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Customers that want everything as soon as they sign up

Discussion in 'Lawn Care Business Management' started by jlbf0786, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. jlbf0786

    jlbf0786 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Charlotte, NC
    Messages: 632

    We've had several customers that are signed up on an annual service program (avg of which pays $200-220/month) for everything.. and there's been one or two that are just right off the bat annoying. For instance, the most recent customer..
    He has been on contract for 6-7 wks and has paid 1 time (which was 2 wks late) and already has had the following services done (under his contract price)
    mowing weekly (edged bi-weekly)
    1 granular fert app (screamin green -clarus pro) 1/2 bag
    aeration/seeding (avg cost for property his size is $210)
    pruning everything 1 time (tooks us at least 1 hr)

    When we were there last week doing the aerating/seeding he was heading out the door for work and had the balls to say "don't forget to prune the Wisteria in the back" so I told him we're not doing any pruning today and this would all be done once we're done with our aeration schedule.

    Crap like this just sticks in my craw and makes me wanna drop them on the spot.. but obviously I've got more money into the account now and need to compensate for it before dropping him.

    I know alot of guys have dealt with customers just like that.. ones that need to be more appreciative for the fact that you show up every week (on the same day.. weather permitting) and you're not too hard on them for paying late.. etc, etc..
  2. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,861

    Make sure your contracts read that if the contract is cancelled the customer must pay the balance of services completed minus the monthly installments made.

    Meaning if 1200 in work is done and a 300 payment is made , the customer owes 900 at cancellation.

    I wouldn't cancel him just yet
    The guy doesn't know when probing gets done.

    But it may help to write it up in contracts or provide a syllabus of sorts to customers so they know when to expect what/which services.
    JLSLLC and Mark Oomkes like this.
  3. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,843

  4. Todd73

    Todd73 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Florida
    Messages: 1,747

    Are you his first lawn service? He might not be a true PITA and just doesn't know "the rules" and needs an education on how you do things.
    Grassholes and hort101 like this.
  5. jlbf0786

    jlbf0786 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Charlotte, NC
    Messages: 632

    It's a good idea to include the early termination policy in the agreement(s).. for sure!!! I will change this going forward.. great idea!
    And as for this particular customer, he knew exactly when we were to do the aerating because I've kept him in the loop by texts and emails (as I do with every residential customer) because its just what I like to do.

    I told him by text 2 days beforehand that we were scheduling his aerating/seeding for that particular day.. he's just a PITA for real. And I wont cancel him (I'll just make sure he knows that we're not a giant company and can only do these things on our our schedule)
  6. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,843

    Giant companies have schedules too. They might be able to get things done faster by rescheduling a little here and there, but not that much.
  7. jlbf0786

    jlbf0786 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Charlotte, NC
    Messages: 632

    No, he previously had a service but I can vouch for them being very "hit or miss" when it came to actually showing up weekly.. we on the other hand show up on the same day weekly (weather permitting of course)
  8. Oxmow

    Oxmow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    I have this on all of my year round contracts. I call it a "Non-cancel Clause."

    I actually put this into another thread and kinda got hammered for having year round contracts and not being able to handle my finances. Apparently everyone should get paid when they do the service and not stretch it out over a year???
    DIYOKC and Mitty87 like this.
  9. JMK26

    JMK26 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Missouri
    Messages: 4,037

    "Don't forget to pay on time next month"

    I know, I know....it's one of those things you wish you could say....

    But yeah, the cancelation clause is a great tool.
    Mark Stark likes this.
  10. Grassholes

    Grassholes Banned
    Messages: 495

    Have you guys ever had to enforce these contracts and if so how much does that cost you? Also, I don't know why all of the work is done up front and then they are on a payment schedule. If a customer wanted to they could tell you to do all of this work and then just not pay for any of it. Is there any other service business that offers NET terms for service? I can't think of any.

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