Customer says it wasn't cut

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Rick Jones, Jun 2, 2004.

  1. Rick Jones

    Rick Jones LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 427

    I did a job for a guy in one of my core areas. Not a regular, just wanted it done 3 times while he was on vacation. We agreed on a price of $30 per cut and he gave me a check for $90.

    The first cut he was there for and saw the finished product. Second and third weeks he is gone. I cut as promised. Originally, he told me he would be there the third week. He was not. So the next week when I cut my regular accounts in that area I notice he is still not home and the lawn still hasn't been cut. Same thing the week after.

    Then I get a call from him this morning. Says he is unhappy, lawn hasn't been cut and he wants me to come look at it. I go and look at it and see that a helpful neighbor has been by on his lawn tractor and did a quick cut for him. And I know it was a homeowner on a tractor, because there was large areas that were missed, no trimming, lawn mowed in circles, and when he was done he drove diagonally across the front of the lawn and towards the street. Also, the area my helper cut each time with a 21" had much larger tracks on it.

    My customer insists that nobody has mowed it but me and that I did not cut it as I said I would. He says they have a neighborhood watch and they would have seen me or somebody else doing it.

    Now he wants me to cut it again for free and clean up the mess. I don't feel I should be giving away free cuts. He goofed by not having me cut it the whole time he was gone. A neighbor saw it was getting out of hand and did a quick chop for him. He sees that and thinks I missed all those spots.

    I hate to have somebody thinking that I screwed them, essentially stole from them, but like I said, I'm not interested in doing any free mowing.

    We basically left it at, I wasn't going to cut it, and he has his check stub and so forth, accusing me of sticking him. I told him I've got the dates written down in my log of when it was mowed, but of course he says that means nothing.

    What would you do?
  2. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    I count about 6 weeks time lapse.

    you mowed the first 3.

    I believe he thought he paid you to mow everyother week.

    what to do? ask him. if the answer is NO, then count the weeks and the cuts. it's a no brainer.

  3. Rick Jones

    Rick Jones LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 427

    Yeah, I didn't think of that. I'm about 99.9% sure he and I were both on the same page as to it being done each week, rather than every other week. He said he would be around on the third week so I think we were clear on the schedule. I know for sure I did it the three times, but he insists I didn't.

    Like I said, I hate to have people think that I burned them, but I don't really know what to do. He wants me to fix it now, and it's almost worth it to shut him up, but then it seems like I would be admitting that I didn't actually mow it the 3 times if I went ahead and did it.
  4. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    I tell him to have a great day

    I'd say you performed your side of the agreement n if he want's it cut its an extra $30
  5. qualitylandscaping

    qualitylandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,581

    look for the neighbor who cut it for him and get them to tell him they did it..

    Its not your fault it looks like crap, its the neighbors...
  6. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    If a neighbor did indeed cut it, it's not going to just be any neighbor. It's likely going to be one he's pretty friendly with. And if you're right about it being a tractor, then it's going to be a neighbor with a tractor.

    I mean, how many of your neighbors would cut your grass without asking them too? And how many have a lawn tractor?
    That should narrow it down to one or two neighbors for him to ask.

    Or he could ask his "neighborhood watch" buddies if you had shown up 3 times, on the dates that you gave him.

    Other then that, I guess there's not much you can do about it.

    Hopefully he'll find out the truth from a neighbor eventually, then he can feel guilty about not trusting you.
  7. Rick Jones

    Rick Jones LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 427

    It's a good samaritan type neighbor with a homeowner rider who has cut a few lawns in the immmediate area before. I don't fault the neighbor for leaving it looking like crap, he was just trying to do something nice. And I thought about trying to get the neighbor to tell him he did cut it, but then the customer would probably still not believe me that I cut it the two times when he wasn't home.

    What it all comes down to is this guy didn't cover himself for the entire duration of his vacation, he came home to a big mess and now he is trying to put the blame on me. He doesn't seem to realize that if the lawn isn't cut for three weeks, in spring, with tons of rain, it will grow out of control.

    It just really annoys me because I have never screwed anybody over in this business, and it just stinks to be accused of trying to do so. I'm just afraid he will tell all his neighbors and possibly end up costing me business.
  8. Remsen1

    Remsen1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    too bad you didn't have a way of contacting him while he was gone. you could have made some extra change.
  9. Rick Jones

    Rick Jones LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 427

    ^^Yeah I know. I'm just I didn't let him pay me when he got back like he originally wanted to do. Then I would be out $60.
  10. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    tell him you will do it, but not for free. This is one of the reasons I started to record the time on the properties. So when customers get their invoices it has the time that I was there

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