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Customer calls me today and....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JayD, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. JayD

    JayD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    About three months ago while at one customers house mowing, this guy flags me down and ask me about mowing his lawn for him. We go over and take care of it for him and gave him a good price seeing that we had four others on that same block. He lives on a nice corner lot with a lot of edge work. At this time we are not for sure if it is a one time cut or what. So we spend a little extra time making his edges look good ( pretty over grown ). He really liked it and even tipped us. Said he would call us in a couple weeks to mow again. He never called us back. I have been by it after that and looked like he cut it with a 20". Never thought no more about it until today when he called me.
    He calls me ( Dec 2 ) and asked me if I can come by and do the edges again but the grass was OK and did not need cut.:dizzy:
    I told him that we are done for the season and have put every thing away for the winter....
    I just thought it was a funny story...
  2. Bob_n_weave

    Bob_n_weave LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    I would have said the same thing. :nono:
  3. Jhill19

    Jhill19 LawnSite Senior Member
    from WV
    Messages: 293

    I would have gone out and done it as long as he agreed for service in the spring...
  4. kemco

    kemco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,059

    I always try to charge quite a bit more for "first time cuts" if overgrown. I too had in the past many people tell me that they would want it cut weekly, so I'd price it like it wasnt overgrown, just to get the yard near my other yards. It would take 2 or 3 times as long and Id never hear from them again. Live and learn, so I give them a first-time "get it back in shape" price, then tell them what it would cost on a weekly basis after that should they want me to continue cutting their lawn.

    But as Bob n weave put it, "I'd have told him the same thing."
  5. 1993lx172

    1993lx172 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,305

    I would have given him a price for the job and done it. The "trimming" is an aspect of the job that almost all of us just include when we mow a property, but never look at it as another service that we can offer.

    Look at it this way, almost anyone can mow a lawn and there are more homeowners that have mowers than those who don't. But on the other hand, not many people have or really want to mess with trimmers and edgers.

    It takes you guys with bigger and faster equipment, what twenty-thirty minutes or less to do an average sized residential yard from the minute you drop the ramp to when you put the ramp back up and pull away. How much of that time is dedicated to trimming? I'd look at it as an opportunity to branch out into an untapped source of income. Most people don't mind mowing it's the trimming they don't like or can't do.
  6. Hawg City Lawns

    Hawg City Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,070

    you lost money
  7. Steven B

    Steven B LawnSite Member
    from CA
    Messages: 99

    Should've charged him the same price when you mowed the first time or more. :dizzy:
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I probably could've figured the rest of the story right from that point on, all except for the exact details.

    I'm not really sure why, but for some reason in all of the years I have never
    had much luck when I'm approached this way, not sure what it is...

    Whether I bring it on myself, whether they all have some feeling of entitlement,
    maybe it's the fact that I have to drop everything for a minute to attend to their
    needs makes them think I'm a pushover?

    Who knows...

    But I'd say a good 90% of all walk-up customers always turn out some kind of pita bs later down the road, about
    every last one of them pulls some kind of jerk-me-around nonsense on me, sooner or later.

    That story in another thread about the lady who didn't want to pay me for cleaning up the leaves because
    they didn't want that even thou the grass needed cutting, guess what, one of them kind.
    Could have seen it coming, I knew it was only a matter of time, only thing I never know for sure is WHAT they're going to pull.

    It's to the point a lot of times I get short with them folks right from the git go, then I get this look like "what did I do?"
    I've even tried to tell them look, I don't have time right now, here's my business card, call me and I'll get an estimate out to you.
    That doesn't work, they never call back, must be that's not what they wanted...

    Why that is so, how to handle this, how to make it turn out different?

    That's been bugging me for many years now.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  9. joel29m

    joel29m LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 658

    you can make about the same amount of edging a yard than doing every thing at one price. i charged one guy 25 dollars just to edge a yard that only took 10 minutes to do.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yeah, of course, you could have gone out there and edged for a minimum charge of $30 but there's a problem...

    Because when a customer says "ALL I need done is edging, the grass doesn't need cutting?"
    That means they ain't planning on spending more than 5 or 10 bucks on it, that's what they really meant to say.

    Now some folks can go on out there, stick their necks out and then see about getting paid, but I ain't doing it.

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