customers that drive me crazy...

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by David Gretzmier, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    I had a client last year, who had us move the mini-lights to 3 different bush/tree combinations until she was happy. I filmed the final result around the 23rd of december last year, and we duplicated the end effect this year. this year she added a garland arch and starbursts on stakes and 2 small starbursts hanging from her outside carriage lamps.

    remembering last year, I confirmed 3 times was she sure she wanted the garland and starbursts where she said. we put up all the new stuff, and you guessed it, we end up taking it down, move some stuff and ultimately we do not do the garland, or any starbursts at all.

    later she complains the mini's are not like we did last year. I calmly show her the video we took last year. she claims that is how it looked before we changed it, and I show here the date on the video, and her work file that shows the 3 different service calls to move the mini-lights, ending with the final move on the 18th of december, and the filming date of the 23rd.

    clearly caught in a frustrating situation, she throws up her hands and basically says she wants it how she wants it. i ask her how I am supposed to know how to charge for her service, when I cannot track how to do her job even when I am careful to document how we made her happy last year. The conversation spirals downward when she realizes I intend to charge her to move things again, although I am not charging her for the above items she wanted but inthe end did not want.

    I understand some folks need someone to talk to, but this is not someone who is lonely and needs something to do. She is very busy and has a busy family life, and works part time.

    I have come to the conclusion that some folks are just nuts.

    got any nut cases you want to share? try not to use names, remember, this is a public forum that all can read.
  2. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,751

    OMG, where to start, too many nut cases when it comes to Christmas.

    Had one from last year that had no problems and loved it, put the job up the same exact way this year. She complains that the bows are smaller and the spruce we lit wasnt bright enough. Mind you the job was up and lit for 2 weeks by now.

    I explain to her that it is exactly the same as last year. She says no. Fine, I will put bigger bows and change the lights from LED to incandescent. She gets mad and tells me I should have told her before I changed the bulbs to the LED, she would not have let me. WHAT???? No I did not change ANYTHING from last year. I will change them now, no problem.

    She then goes on a rant about how this is my reputation, she has lots of people over (doesnt everybody?) and I should think about how I run my business.....WAIT A MINUTE..... I calmly explain to her AGAIN, that it is the SAME as last year, and I will make the changes she just asked for at no additional charge, I will have a crew over tomorrow. She then tells me that she is having company over that weekend and I need to fix my mistake by she even listening????

    At this point I just gave up and said no problem I will fix everything just the way you want and we will have it done before your company comes over.

    We change everything, she was not home, so we called to see if it was to her satisfaction. Still have not heard back from her so I assume it is ok, but that is to be determined as they still owe me some $.

    That is just the latest one, I have more as I am sure the rest of you do to.
  3. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    Dave, are you sure you didn't change the date on that video :)

    This year has been pretty tame, except for those people who think we all should work for free...
  4. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    I'm doing videos on all the properties this year, just because I have used the video so much to essentially prove to folks what we have done in the past. But when folks see a video of thier job, dated, and they still don't believe it...

    I gotta tell you though, most folks love what I do and they make it worth it.
  5. M&N Maintenance

    M&N Maintenance LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    I have a restaurant in Chicago that we hang lights at. This is year 2 now they are saying that we did not do a section of the restaurant. It was done the same as year 1. But they say no it was not. I will now take pictures or video of every job this year. The other is the customer that wants to plug in their add ons to your lights. Then blow the breaker call you for a service call and say they did not do anything.
  6. M&N Maintenance

    M&N Maintenance LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    Just finished talking to owner of restaurant in Chicago, I told her that I would add the lights at cost. She said that if a customer complained about her food she would just have to eat it. I told her that I was trying to accomadate her by doing lights at cost. We are talking about 10 strands of icicles. Not just 1 strand. I stated to her that I appreciate her business and again would do it for cost. Then just next year have it included in the re-up fee. She said we may not use you again next year especially if I have to pay for it. She said if it were my business I would have just hung up the lights and been done with it. For free as customer service and the customer is always right factor. What do you guys think.
  7. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,128

    I've figured out that more often than not, the customer is not right at all. Therefore, a lot of what I do is backing myself up in case I need to prove they are wrong. Whether it's pictures or documentation, I try to make my case as black and white as possible so there's as little room for arguement as possible. I'm sure there will be 18 "veterans" around here who will blast me for saying the customer is wrong quite a bit... but there are different ways to run a company in different areas of the country, and I say that the more I can prove I did what was agreed upon, the better it is for me.

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