Dealing with PITAs

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Chuckb1966, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. Chuckb1966

    Chuckb1966 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    hey guys, this is my first post, I was wondering how you guys deal with PITAs any and all advise is greatly appreciated... Thanks
  2. tjsquickcuts

    tjsquickcuts LawnSite Senior Member
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 943

    To be honest you are just going to have to deal with them on a case by case bases until you are well established and can selectively pick you customer base. I still have a few highend pita's, but deal with them because most are inbetween homes we already maintenance. But do a search on this topic, you will find plenty.....
  3. Chuckb1966

    Chuckb1966 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Thanks for yer info...
  4. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,624

    With some you have to be blunt and tell them that your schedule is so busy that you dont have time for 30 minute conversations every week. If they have some other work for you then you will gladly stop and talk about the project. Unless they come out with a cold drink I aint got time to chat. Others your going to have to figure out there schedules. I have one house that the lady sends off her kids in the am and then goes and showers. If the blinds are down in her bedroom I know its safe to get in and get out. Every time the blinds were up I knew I was in for something. Lady is nuts. Your going to have to adapt to them and once you grow you can weed them out.

    You will find that 90% of your complaints will come from the bottom 10% of your customers.

    I raised the weekly price on a few pitas in the spring. I cant be happier now. For some reason they did not like the $10 per cut price increase.
  5. ke5hbd

    ke5hbd LawnSite Member
    Messages: 97

    I would say to instill in them that your doing your best but you cant spend all day long at their place as you have other buisness to attend that day.

    If its a quick fix do it but if someone wanting their entire lawn mowed again because its not short enough then tell them its another charge.

    I always ask my customers what they expect out of the lawn service and explain to them that things might not work out every time but if anything was found wrong to let me know and we I will make sure to address the problem.

    This comes from experience as i mow alot of elderly/pita customers lawns and for the longest time I have had not a problem/complaint out of any of my customers.
  6. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    I always deal with pitas the same way.
    Once I know for certain the claims or complaints about the service are unfounded, I explain to these customers that if desired, additional services are required, additional charges apply.
    If they want more service, they pay for - pure and simple.
    If they do not want to pay then it is the end of the discussion.
    Provided the service we have provided isn't sufficient, and this is rarely the case, then we immediately correct the problem.
    There is no way I will engage in a 30 minute discussion with a customer merely for their sake - and all of my customers know how busy we are and have been. For those customers who want to talk and insist on routine meetings despite the work meeting contract specifications, then they are not my clients any longer.
    Time is money and I refuse to waste either on whining clients.
  7. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,263

    Specifically stated in the service agreement. I will be there to do ABC for x amount $$$. I don't promise a day or time. If you want DEF work done, that is priced separately and I may not be able to accommodate you on that service day. If you want DEF work done please call and leave a message, I will call you back at the end of MY day. I make it very clear at initial meeting I will not accommodate the " as long as your here" or the " could you just" and the dreaded " but it will only take a minute" . I have had people try to argue that leaf removal is part of the lawn service because I have to remove them to get to the lawn.:dizzy: People will try to push you for any thing they think they can. The minute you do one little thing it is over! That is why all the folks doing this for some time have learned the value of written agreements. Whether they be month to month like me or yearly contracts. They cant argue what they signed for.:usflag: :usflag: :usflag:
    ericg likes this.
  8. Chuckb1966

    Chuckb1966 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    thanks for yer info guys...

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