Customer claims you broke her irrigation

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by naturescaretaker, Dec 16, 2004.

  1. naturescaretaker

    naturescaretaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 854

    You get a call for a one time cut. The house is in an upscale neighborhood. You agree on a price and get a signature on the work order. Your crew arrives and does the job. They pay and you move on to the next job. A few days later you get a call with a complaint that her irrigation is not working. You go and inspect it and yes, there are broken heads. Yes, you can see the tire print from the z over a head. The head is hard-lined in and is "olderthandirt" (no pun intended :p ). It is a 50/50 call. The other heads were clearly not damaged by mowing. You offer to repair the one head but the customer (PITA X2) now wants her entire system fixed.

    Here's the kicker, when you arrive she is having a lunch party and there are about 75 guest there, two happen to be your high $$$ customers.

    How would you handle this situation. The total repair would run AT COST about $700 with labor.
  2. Mico Landscaping design

    Mico Landscaping design LawnSite Member
    Messages: 238

    I would only fix the ones my crew broke.. tell her to get lost on the rest... sounds like yet another PITA!!! thats what i got to say.. i would not dish out $700 for 2 heads my crew broke... payup
  3. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    bill her for the repair
    the system is hardlined. this is no longer an acceptable installation method due to it's succeptability to damage. had the system been installed properly you would not have dammaged it.
  4. richard coffman

    richard coffman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 341

    I'm sure the customer would not want you there while the party is being taken place. Did you schedule that time to go do the repair job ahead of time?? Sounds like she's over reacting a bit much. out here in the desert climate of Utah, Allmost everyone has a sprinkler system and heads do get broken. I'd repair the heads that we're broken and then test the system for leaks. if there are ploblems in areas not related to where you worked, I'd tell the customer and exclaim what you have found. then tell them you can give them the # of a local sprinkler company that can fix the rest.
  5. naturescaretaker

    naturescaretaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 854

    The only person going back was me because she called to complain. I happened to stop by while she was having the womens rotary luncheon. I didn't catch that until I was to deep in the visit to back out.

    Oh yea... we got the call to cut it becuase her "Yardman" was on vacation.
  6. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    I think I'd make her sue me. And if she had the balls to do that, i'd simply call the insurance company and forget about it. That's what its there for.

    I find it hard to believe your crew could have damaged $700 worth of stuff by mowing the lawn. You should be able to drive a ZTR tire directly over a properly installed sprinkler head without damage. Only exception would be if the soil was completely waterlogged from rain, in which case you might be liable.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  7. naturescaretaker

    naturescaretaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 854

    What we ended up doing was replacing the one head that we might have damaged and spent two man hours "patching" the rest of her system. It was barly working when we left. A few weeks later we saw someone else mowing the grass and the next day he was replacing the sprinkler heads. All of the ones that we patched. He never cut another yard in that subdivision again that we have seen.
  8. Garden Panzer

    Garden Panzer Banned
    from Seattle
    Messages: 313

    SEVEN HUNDRED???? wsounds a bit high for pop ups, but what do I know....
  9. naturescaretaker

    naturescaretaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 854

    Was a little more then "pop ups". That also included man hours to find everything....
  10. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    Why would you do that for a one time cut?

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