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Customer must be deaf

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Russo, May 2, 2002.

  1. Russo

    Russo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 287

    Just wanted to share this.

    I was mowing a gas station for a real reasonable price. I get my coffee there every day and know the owners.

    No big surprise...it's got a lot of trash, being a gas station and all. However, about 3 weeks ago I told the owner that I cannot mow him until the broken glass and bottles are cleaned out of the lawn. He also has Honey Locust branches piled up along the perimeter. I explained that it's just not reasonable for me to charge $25 / mow and then spend $35 to replace a tire each time I come. He says " well, just mow it today and we'll clean it up later." I said "no way". He says " OK, come back in two days, it'll be clean."

    Two days later, all the trash is picked up, but the glass, thorns, bottles and oil cans are still all over the grass! I say " I'm afraid I can't mow". He rolls his eyes in disbelief. I walk him to the glass and point to it. ( there is a lot of it, I'm not being picky ) Then he says " I have a lot of landscapers that would like to cut my grass for me". I said " Great! Because this is not worth my time, and I don't appreciate you rolling your eyes at me and talking down to me. You'll have to find someone else."

    Well, the coffee is still darn good so I get it there every morning anyway. This morning he says " Look how tall the grass is! When are going to cut it?" ( hence the title of this thread )

    I know some would say that i should raise the price by double and do it, but my feeling is that the best thing about self employment is that I don't have to work with jerks if i don't want to.
  2. TOSLC

    TOSLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 175

    SIMPLE, quote him a price for you to clean it up. I know a guy who owns a gas station and has someone else mow it (I'll have it in another year). He will pay for anything to keep from doing it himself! The station is on a busy intersection (a lot of wrecks) and I've seen the guy that mows it picking up CAR PARTS! So, just give the guy a price for you to clean it up. . . if he agree's your money ahead, if not, move on.
  3. sheppard

    sheppard LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 542

    Sounds like the guy wants to do business with you. Price the job so that it is appealing to you and make the man happy.

    Or you could send in the costs for repair on your equipment everytime you get a flat or stiches from flying glass.

    On second thought, I'd find a better account.

    Had a fellow parishoner ask me to 'clean up' her father's property and mow it.

    Went buy to price the job and saw that it was in Tallahassee's biggest drug area. The place had needles, glass, you name it all over the place.

    Called her up and said "No thanks, would be too hard on my equipment & me!"

  4. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    TOSLC- would that be the station at 9 & 46? I think the current guy there uses a Grasshopper front mount mower. He needs new blades it leaves streaks LOL been that way since last season too LOL..:p
  5. Holloway Lawns

    Holloway Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 253

    I had a Texaco last year that I dropped because of all the trash and I dropped them only after explaining to the owner that I could not keep spending an hour everytime I come to service the lawn picking up trash. I said eaither more money or have your employees pick it up everyday so it does not get too bad. He agreed to pick it up well, when I came to mow again I seen that it did not look picked up at all. I went in to talk to him he was not there so I left a message with a manager for him. About 1 week later he calls wanting to know why I have not come to mow. I return his cal did not get him left a message. 2 days later he calls again. I went to this store about 2 weeks ago to get somthing and he asked me when I was going to do his lawn for the first time this year. I told him about last year and that I did not want his lawn. He asked if I knew of anyone that could do it. I refered him to someone and he turned it down as well because I had told this person about it last year. Someone is doing it now. Fell sorry for them.
  6. southside

    southside LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    I would give him a price to clean up the rubbish. Maybe make the
    rubbish/litter removal a regular thing and bump up the price accordingly.Sound like he is keen to keep you doing the job.
  7. John from OH

    John from OH LawnSite Member
    Messages: 144

    There is a lesson to be learned from this. Anytime you price a gas station, fast food restaurant, or convience store, you need to figure trash clean up in your mowing price. The managers have other things more important to do than pick up trash. We are in the service business, provide the service and charge accordingly. If your price is too high, you don't have to worry about picking up the trash. If your price is accepted, you get paid to provide that service and your client will be happier with the job.
  8. Russo

    Russo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 287

    Thanks guys. I just wish that I found LS before I priced this one. I know that you're all right. Lesson learned.......John from OH summerized it well.
  9. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    so check an see if the glass is picked up . .now u understand each other an could turn into a good acct. if not u can drop him later . we dont live in a perfect world.

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