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customer turned us away

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by americanlawn, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,944

    Today we had a tight route for our T3000. 20 lawns to do -- 12,000 to 40,000 sq ft. 19 of the 20 got done, but one lawn was not treated, and here's why.........

    ___ pulled up to unload the ride-on, but before he got out of his truck, the lady said "no way". He asked why... She said she was weeding her flower beds. Problem was, both she & her hubby were plopped in their lawn chairs drinking iced tea....not doing anything but sitting.:confused:

    The lady asked him to wait for an hour -- then come back to treat her lawn. Our prob was we were 'running a route", and we would be out of the area in one hour. My applicator told her we would return in a month.......that made her mad. Then she called the office saying she was offended cuz she could not understand why we would delay her lawn's schedule for a month. (okay - it would actually be 2 weeks).

    She & her hubby do not work, and they are always home.:hammerhead: Always holding us up when we attempt to treat their lawn every darn time. Yet they are unwilling to pay us for our extraordinary time spent on their property every time we are there.

    When the lady called in, she said my guy got out of his truck. This was also a lie. She also said he "sped off" exceeding speed limits.....prob is, it was a corner lot, so "speeding off" is impossible. Especially when there's a stop sign. :laugh:

    I guess my guys work for free, and our trucks get 80 miles per gallon.

    Anybody else have customers who don't know the price of gasoline or what employees expect to get paid?
  2. gorknoids

    gorknoids LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 316

    Never really had such a thing happen. Every now and then some of our older clients ease into dementia, which is pretty easy to pick up on. What I usually do is to quit while letting them think that they fired me, and then make sure that someone who is friends with them knows that they've slipped a cog and bear watching.
    Sounds like these two are just a couple of "barking starfish", however.
  3. tlg

    tlg LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 651

    If there is a legit reason for not treating that day then I guess you would have to come back. A legitimate reason could be construction on the home or landscape, a graduation party, ( we get that one all the time this time of year) a wedding etc... A customer pulling weeds out of beds in my opinion is a unreasonable request. That should have let you treat the lawn and resume their work after you left ( after re-entry period has passed ). This would be a common courtesy. Explain the problem of having to come back and the cost involved. Tell them their price is based on servicing their lawn while in the neighborhood and treating lawns in the area. If they still want you to come back and this is a problem each time you go out make them a call ahead or advise them of the extra charge you must get to make up for the added fuel and drive time. Be understanding but firm.
  4. jdmcat

    jdmcat LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Messages: 439

    I would let them wait the whole month. That would give them plenty of time to become somebody else's problem.
  5. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,430

    I too would try the diplomatic route Larry, but people like that rarely respond well to diplomacy. Their sense of entitlement makes it very unlikely that you'll be able to reason with them. I'd give them one more chance to straighten up. When and I mean when, they screw up again, I'd fire them.

    KACYDS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 559

    I have a customer that every time I show up, he tells me to come back next week. So now, what I do is, I know what kind of car he drives and I only go there only when I don't see his car there. Haven't been a problem since I started doing that.
  7. TforTexas

    TforTexas LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 260

    We could do it now; or we can do it next time we are in the neighborhood, whenever that might be. Period. If that upsets them, let them cancel. Sounds like the are a PITA every time anyway. There are a few customers I would go out of my way for, but only a very few.
  8. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 8,620

    I would tell them there would be service charge of XX amount of dollars for a return visit. I bet they would let you do it then:)
  9. cpel2004

    cpel2004 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    What are most of you guys thinking....Listen go back and treat the lawn, yeah gas is a little more now a days but still. Kindly notify the customers in a form letter explaining to them the cost/benefits of having a tight route. Once explained, Im sure they would greatly appreciate all of the steps that are taken to provide a efficient, cost effective service.

    Remember its their yard and they have a right to send you away, but it sounds like you and your guys are taking it personally. Your a Vet and Pro, I know you have already properly handled this situation. Make an exception and kindly educate your customers, no big deal and move on.
  10. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,430

    You just can't afford to run a business the way you're suggesting Cpel. The price Larry quoted them didn't account for extra trips back to a customer's property that needn't be made in the first place. If there's a good reason not to treat, then I fully agree that skipping that lawn and going back later is the best way to handle the situation. In this case however, Larry stated that these people request that he come back at another time on a regular basis. If a customer needs you to reschedule an app due to extenuating circumstances once in a blue moon, that's a lot different than requesting this special treatment all the time. It's not just gas that's up. Fert prices, like everything else have gone through the roof. That just puts even more importance on avoiding these situations as much as possible.

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