Customer can't read the contract?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by hubb, Apr 4, 2002.

  1. hubb

    hubb LawnSite Member
    Messages: 192

    I was cutting a large multi-unit housing complex today for the first time. I no sooner got the mower off of my trailer when the manager came out of her office and yelled over the mower engine that she needs some dandelion treatment on the grounds. I turned the throttle down and told her that this wasn't in my contract and that I don't put down herbicides. She acted super P/O'ed. I started to explain that I don't have an applicators liscense and she threw her hands in the air and started to walk away. I told her that I could have someone do it from a different company. She said never mind. As she walked away shaking her head, I said I could at least tell her what to use for the dandelions. She turned and yelled that she know what to use.
    You have to have some background here. I had this contract awarded and signed last fall. She then asked me if I could do the snow removal too. After I did the first snow, she called all upset with the prices. She said it didn't even snow enough to have any removal. I explained to her that the prices were on the contract and that it was understood that these prices were acceptable. She griped enough that I cut her some slack on the snow prices on her 2 complexes. I knew she was going to difficult, but this is ridiculous. I don't want to lose this account because although she only has 2 complexes, I cut 5 others for the property management company that she works for, but for another manager.
    I really dont what to do.
  2. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    Call her back because she will have calm down by now. Explain to her that you are very sorry for the inconvenience and that you can sub it out at an additional cost. Explain to her that you value her as a customer, and then do a little more a$$ kissing. Actually what I would do, which I'm still not sure if it's legal. Is tell her if she buys the materials that you need that you will spread it at no charge. I don't see what's wrong with helping a friend spread some store bought weed and feed on their lawn. Explain to her that this is the only legal way you can do it, and that it will save her money anyway by not paying labor. After this she should be a happy customer. If she's still not happy then get rid of her, It's not worth the headache.

    Just my $.02
  3. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    By the way, I just noticed that we are close to each other. I'm across the river in Belleville.

  4. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    Uhh Soupy, the state applies laws for the safety and well being of people. The fact that someone doesn't have an applicators license shows they don't have the knowledge or desire to go learn the rules and regulations of applying products that can make someone sick or even kill them. Trying to get around that with a technicality is quite irresponsible and information I wouldn't be too proud to announce on a forum like this. If he can't provide a service because he isn't capable for whatever reasons, that's his loss. That's why I and many others get their pesticide license. It is another avenue of revenue and shows you put a little effort in schooling yourself for your business. I have had personal experience dealing with people that make excuses for why they don't go get their license. Too much money for the license, not a money making business, customers complain too much, those are all excuses because they're lazy. Everyone on here knows that fertilizing is a money maker that exceeds mowing profits. Of course it takes a little practice and a fair amount of knowledge, not quite as easy as mowing but more rewarding. Whether one chooses to obtain licensing is completely their decision. But trying to beat the system is ignorant. Your quote couldn't appear to paint a more unprofessional image to the customer that this industry really doesn't need. Regardless of the lady being a jacka$$ or not, two unprofessionals don't make a good one.
    No offense to you hubb, you appeared to handle it the best you could. The lady just seems unreasonable. Maybe you could go over her head to the management company.
  5. bubble boy

    bubble boy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    i would like to say even IF it wasn't illegal, why do this for free?

    whatever you're doing, charge for it. labor is NOT free. and she is a customer, NOT your friend.
  6. parkwest

    parkwest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 678

    hubb, I think it would help in answering your question if we knew if the lady was pre-menapausal, menapausal or post menapausal. The problem may be solved by her simply taking her medicine. You're in the business of helping others, maybe suggest to her to try some estroven. You can get some for about $10.00.

    Try it and let us know how it turns out.
  7. Russo

    Russo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 287


    If you do a lot of multy-family ( apartments ), you probably already know that these managers come and go all the time; especially people like this. Imagine how she acts toward her staff and boss! Betcha she acts the exact same way.

    The relationship you have with the management company seems to be the important factor. It may be best to kiss a little of crazy lady's behind to save that relationship. She'll be gone soon, anyway. I'd bet some cash on it!
  8. proline32

    proline32 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 98383
    Messages: 278

    This is a good reason to diversify, so you don't have a lot tied up in places like these...
  9. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    no, it is not legal to let the customer buy the herb then apply it "as a favor". i am the king of loopholes, been there done it, it wont fly!but, i will tell u this, the chances of getting caught, so ive been told, are very slim
  10. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    Mr Randy Scott,

    You read to much into what I said. I don't do fert. apps because I can't compete with Chemlawn. They own my area. None of the LCO in this area say it is worth it. Chemlawn is just to cheap. I even have family that work for them and they complain how cheap they have gotton, they aren't makeing any commision. Anyway, I just suggested it to him to save a good customer. If it's illegal then he shouldn't do it. I just don't see why it is legal for the home owner to buy it and do it. If I'm not supplying it to her and I'm not chargeing her to do it, Then What's the difference If she asked me to help her with it. She told him she knows what to use. As long as she knows your not qualified to answer any technical question about it.

    I could be wrong. If I knew it was illegal I would have never suggested it. I have my family members that work for Chemlawn take care of my customers when needed. i don't even do my own Lawn.

    My father-n-lawn asked me during Eastre dinner If I could spread the fertilizer he bought for him the next time I come by to cut his Lawn. Should I have told him no? Even though I don't charge him to cut his grass.

    By the way I am studying for the test, But am in no hurry, because Chemlawn does it for what it would cost me just to buy the supplys to do the apps. I'm just glad they don't Cut or do Landscapeing in my Area.

    Now I see why over at the **** ***** they talk about the Flameing that goes on here.


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