Demon Client...

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by GreenBlade, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. GreenBlade

    GreenBlade LawnSite Member
    Messages: 216

    Okay, so I have a client that is just a major headache. I just wanna see what some of your opinions are on him.

    This morning (Sunday morning) he called me on my cell at around 9:20. Luckily I wasn't in church that day. He was calling to tell me that I could come and collect my money from that month (month of may). So I went over there and got it. Now, this is a client who went from an unprofessional, neighbor doing it for $25 just to get some extra money to me. I charge him $35. It would usually be $40 but he is also my neighbor so I don't have to use any gas to get to him. Anyway, he is also signed up for our StayGreen service, which is just your 4-6 yearly fertilizations.

    He told me he didn't think he was benefitting from the StayGreen service because he had some dry patches in his yard. Well, 1) this guy has an incredibly thin, untaken-care-for lawn that barely consists of grass. 2) we haven't had rain here for over week with temps. In the 90s. I explained this (2) to him and he still said I need to contact him before I did it.

    I also gave him an estimate for a landscaping job. The job consisted of us trimming trees & hedges, clearing weeds & debris from beds & mulching, and clean-up. The guy had A LOT to be mulched. It was a hellalotta work & it was going to take at least 60 bags of mulch. The price was $624. He told me that this was ridiculous & he payed the other guy $8/hr to do work for him. :laugh:

    So what are the thoughts on this? I told him if he would like we could do everything separate & I'll just add it to his monthly bill & we'll do each individual task when he asks. I was very angry with his demanding, degrading attitude. But I tried to keep my cool.
  2. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 41,983

    Laugh at him and walk away. Don't go out of your way for people who don't respect you
  3. RonWin

    RonWin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 692

    Quietly keep collecting mow money from him. Do not do the big cleanup of the beds and trimming if he isn't going to pay what you want. You have been ok with mowing for the $25 and like you said you are his neighbor thus not having to use any gas. I actually just got done doing 2 lawns in my neighborhood for dirt cheap. They are right next to eachother and are small lots. The only problem is the gates which means i have to push mow both of their backyards. It takes me about an hour and 1/2 to an hour 45 to do both and i only charge them $27 dollars for one and $20 for the other (the lesser amnt is because she is the first lady to respond to my business since starting up last season for fall cleanups). She pays me $30 even though I charge her $20 per visit because I do a great job. She is also the reason why I have her immediate neighbor which i charge $27 per visit whom came out today and said i do an "impressive job".
    To cut to the chase althought i don't make a lot of money from these neighbors they appreciate my work and we both benefit as well as the neighborhood by maintaining a neat street. If anything else in your case, you are making money off the guy, using little to no gas and making his place and your street look good which would prolly not get done if you walked away from him.
  4. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    you know how he is, you have two choices, do what he wants or walk away, life is two short to put up with too much.
  5. DMVPropertyCare

    DMVPropertyCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    He seems like a dirtbag client. I have very little patience for disrespectful, cheap and worthless clients. My price wouldnt change if you were my neighbor or if you were across the street from a client I currently service. You went above and beyond by doing his lawn for cheap and the guy still bit you in the butt. Lesson learned :)
  6. RonWin

    RonWin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 692

    Depends on your situation. If you are new and dont have a lot of accounts keep him. If you were doing it out of being neighborly and dont have any more patience to bare with this guy then drop him. It's really all about where you are in your business and how you handle the conversation with the guy; after all he is your neighbor.
  7. TriCountyLawn

    TriCountyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,517

    Yeah , if you can afford it then drop him and watch his place turn to crap keep your place pimp and laugh the whole time he runs his mouth. Unfortunately the market is prime for D-bag customers like this guy. Best of luck.
  8. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    Clearly you are not telling him the benifit of your chemical program but they are hard to maintain if not irrigated. You can help but not solve lawn problems on dry ground.

    I would not get bent out of shape about the clean up job. If I got upset at every client that did not have 600 for beds, I would lose a lot of mowing.

    As far as reaching out to you on sunday. Nothing says you have to respond.

    I do not work for neighbors.
  9. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,251

    Best attitude to have, I have one guy on my street that I'll haul off leaves for in the fall but that's as far as I go. Other than that I don't want to do any work for my close neighbors, most can't afford me anyway.
  10. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    Very, very seldom does it ever get better. Normally, things will continue to go downhill. If it were me, I'd just continue mowing, and avoid trying to upsell him on anything. I've learned that when they volunteer what they paid the "other guy", trouble is brewing. I always want to ask why then is the "other guy" not still working for them?

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