Customer problem - All should read...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by TMlawncare, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. TMlawncare

    TMlawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,199

    In April, a lady called us about mowing her property. We told here several times that we were not accepting any new accounts at the moment. She went on to say but this is so-in-so's old house that you use to mow and you also do the yard behind us. She said the house is for sale and they are moving to another state. We finally agreed to do it. Two days later, I arrive at the property and discover that the lawn hasn't been mowed or any leaves been picked up since I was there last for the old owner. This customer has not touched a thing outside since last october when they moved in. I went to the door but no one was home so I went ahead and mowed the lawn. Its a small yard with a fenced it back yard but a ton of leaves. All I had on the trailer was the walker and 21" proline. I finished the property (last on of the day/ heading to the compost area) in 1hr. (Seven hoppers full in the walker). I thought wow this customer just got a bargin, lawn mowed plus leaf job all for $25. After five more mowings the house sold. We submitted a bill on may 1 and now its the middle of may and we have heard nothing. We submit the final bill for six mowing for a total of $150. The customer calls us and says that she isn't going to pay. She says that she only wanted it mowed one time. She says she will pay $25. I asked did you tell us it was a one time mow only. She said no I thought you would have known that. She said by the way when you were here the first time you left the gutter off and flooded the basement, your lucky to get anything. That was not true, the gutter was put back into place, but the gutters are so full the they wouldn't drain. The lady sent us a check for $25. We never cashed it, this still just pisses me off we made sure that property was pristine, she just brushes us under the rug. Moral of the story, be very cautious ever doing any work for a new customer that is moving out of the area. Over the last eight years we have had only 3 no pays. Guess what? All were people that had their house up for sale and moved.
  2. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Messages: 2,702

    It's a shame to not get paid for work you did, but IMO, you should have pulled away from the property when you first got there and saw the condition of the place. Why would you collect 50 bushels of clippings and leaves at a property you didn't want to work on in the first place? And, for $25?!?! ;)
  3. packerbacker

    packerbacker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,433

    In defense of you the lady saw you were mowing her lawn for all that time and she should of called and cancelled.

    In defense of her I always ask a potential customer if its a one time mow or are they signing up with me?
  4. TMlawncare

    TMlawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,199

    The lady moved right after the first mowing. Why did we pick up the leaves? The walker was the only thing on the trailer on that day. All the neighbors around here all had their places cleaned up. So I went ahead and bagged it. If I would have went back a got a different mower it would have taken more time then it did. Plus all the neighbor would have complained if anything blew into their yards. They were already at the windows (if you know what I mean) when I first started.
  5. LB Landscaping

    LB Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 1,309

    I'm with GM, never would have done it, especially for $25. Lessoned learned move on and forget about it!!!
  6. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    it's all part of the game. i was talking to my friend this morning about pita clients. he's been in business for 20 yrs, and has very few new clients. all are 10 years +. he did say that, the only ones that give him trouble are when he takes on new ones. these "newer " clients seem to know how to "play the game." they know exactly how to screw us, and exactly how to decieve us into parting with our service/money. it's all part of the game my man. you been scammed by a lowlife @##$@%^. they never would have got away with that with me. #1- i probably would have asked the condition of the property. if i didn't, when i pulled up to see a jungle, i would have driven away. #2- sorry to say it, contract. it's a dog eat dog world, and we're all wearing milkbone shorts
  7. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    This is a lesson learned. Just a little advice for those of you that need the work and can't turn it down. Find out who the title company is and let them know to contact you before closing the escrow account. I have a Realtor that passes me houses that really need taken care of before they go on the market. I contact the title company every time to give me a call to make sure that I am paid to date before property sells.
    It has saved me once and I am sure it will again where the title company refused to cut check to seller because I was not paid yet. Let me tell you it is a quick way of getting paid.
  8. Evergreenpros

    Evergreenpros LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,154

    Same here, I'd say 90% of the non-payers, stop check payment, and bounced checks come from jobs where people are moving. We're cash and carry on move out jobs now. People who get upset with this are almost always the ones who are trying to stiff you. The good customers have no problem with it.
  9. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    LOL...good one bobby. Woman sounds like a real C U Next Tuesday to me.
  10. GTLC

    GTLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 700

    Man I hate deadbeats...I'm stil dealing with one myself currently...

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