Dating a client.. Son has competing LCO

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jimmdenver, Jul 24, 2006.

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  1. jimmdenver

    jimmdenver LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    Ok guys this is a strange situation, I realize that. Just hear me out before you form an opinion. I have one client who is a very attractive woman in the same age group as myself. I do general maintenence for her property as well as installation jobs here and there. For the past two months we've been dating, which started when she asked me to go to the bar with her to discuss additions to the perrenial garden. We completely hit it off and have been getting much more serious. I.. think she might be the one.

    The trouble begins with her son. He is 19, just out of highschool, and runs a competing LCO. This would be all well and good, the more the merrier and all that, except very recently he has begun stealing my accounts. It started a week ago when I arrived to one account and to my total shock and surprise, he was mowing it. Confused, I talked to the customer who informed me, quite bluntly, that I had been fired and she had hired a new landscaper. I just left without saying a word to Steve.

    This has since happened to 2 more accounts. I am not sure what is going on (I'm still personally investigating just what is going on) but in the meantime I don't want to make a big deal out of it because I don't want to screw things up with my girlfriend. I think he might be spreading bad rumors to my customers or something.. I'm not sure.

    What would you do in this situation? And should I discount landscaping that I do for my girlfriend or charge her full price?
  2. Sandgropher

    Sandgropher LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 901

    This is a very strange situation as you say.

    I think you are going to have to confront the young guy about whats going on, or better still tell your lady friend whats been happening and she my be able talk to him and see whats up, he may dissaprove of the relationship and is low balling your accounts.

    You will have to confront them about the situation sooner or later i am afraid, who you decide to speak to first is up to you, but i would the lady friend as you are on good terms, good luck any way hope you do not lose your friend over this situation.
  3. wardtom084

    wardtom084 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    There is an old saying that business is business. Charge her the full price. You two get married she is going to get it for free.
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Definitely talk to the kid and ask what the deal is. Ask why he is going behind your back after YOUR customers. Maybe you can share some info on how to get his OWN work. You DO need to speak to these customers, give them a quick run-down of what's happening, and ask them to PLEASE atleast tell you what was said to influence them (so strongly by the sounds of it). You may have grounds for slander (who knows, you may be a rapist or child molester in their eyes, now). Because this involves her son, yes....I would consult her about it. Good luck with it...Just out of curiosity, if he is doing a "lawn service", how come HIS rear-end isn't taking care of his own mother's yard. He shouild be doing this at NO CHARGE. By the same token, THIS might be where the resentment comes from - not just you dating his mother. I think I would have a little difficulty at 19 if there was this guy taking my mother out and also taking money from here - regardless of what it was for. Also, on that note, If I was seeing a gal for 2 months, and felt the way it sounds you feel about her, I would hav some difficulty taking money from here as well.
  5. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Go steal a couple of his accounts and see how he likes it.
  6. CutInEdge Lawn Care

    CutInEdge Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 677

    It's hard to tip the gravy bowl and charge for it also!! At somepoint it's all gotta be cleaned up. Good Luck!!!
  7. WJW Lawn

    WJW Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,330

    Wow, that's a tough one for sure. I'd say talk to to man...see what the deal is. Maybe then you'll have more of an idea why he is doing that. Has he been over at her house when youve been there?? Have you noticed any friction? You could find out more from talking to him.
  8. coyotekid

    coyotekid LawnSite Member
    Messages: 111

    I guess my question is: Why was an outside LCO ever hired in the first place if her own son is in the business already?

    I feel for you in this situation...I hired a good friend of mine to work for me this year, and she's doing a great job...but it's really stressed our friendship.

    Unfortunately, I'm beginning to think the "no business dealings with friends/family rule" is true! :(
  9. Brendan Smith

    Brendan Smith LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    that's pretty hardcore rod. you know that won't make it any better. plus, he probably doesn't want to work for lowball pay. i think he'd be better off just talking to her first, getting her take on it, then talking to him.

    AND FOR GOD'S SAKE, QUIT CHARGING YOUR GIRLFRIEND. that alone would be enough to pizz him off. at least it would me. just do her stuff on your own time.
  10. tylermckee

    tylermckee LawnSite Member
    from wa
    Messages: 248

    keep charging, just tell her you do not accept cash, checks, or credit cards, she'll figure out what form of payment you accept [​IMG]
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