Did you ever celebrate when you lost a customer?

Harry0

LawnSite Member
Location
NJ
Today a customer of 5 years(we did original sprinklers and landscape) called and wanted to know if I applied fert and Crabgrass preventer to his lawn. I stated yes it was done Tues. He then asked why he didn't see a flag(pest sign) and why wasnt his grass green.I stated how it could have been forgotten,I later found out the applicator ran out of flags and did not post-.My bad,this is not the way we usually do business. I then said for proof it was applied go look at it your lawn and you will see yellow pellets. He told me he could not see it. He then stated it was not applied. I then stated I would check the work order and call the applicator at home(on a Sun.)He said I think you were too busy and didn't do it. I asked him if he was too busy when he waited to send Oct.invoice till March. I then said with attitude, "You are insulting my integrity and I don't appreciate it." He asked if we should stop doing business and I said yes, and hung up.
Not only was this customer constantly late but he was a real winer. I should have got rid of him years ago. I could go on but I just wanted to let off a little steam. I guess I still take it personally when a customer leaves on bad terms,but it happens. It is business. Hopefully i will not wait so long to take action next time. Better yet hope their isn't a next time, but I am sure there will be- Thanks for listening-Harry
 

tiedeman

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
earth
whenever a customer questions whether I did an application or not that is when I tell them that perhaps they need to find someone else
 
OP
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Harry0

LawnSite Member
Location
NJ
Bermuda is my favorite place to vacation. Did you live there or just like it alot? I am going in Sept.-Harry
 

AL Inc

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Long Island, NY
I had a client who I took on knowing he was a PITA. I purposely went very high on pricing hoping he would find someone else. Well, a few days later he calls and says O.K. So I suffered through 3 seasons of BS with this guy (I was much more forgiving then than I am now). Things like only being able to meet with him Sunday morning, lawn had to be cut on Saturday, etc.
One spring he picked up a few flats of annuals and asked me to plant them because he was having a party that Sunday. Well, it rained a few days that week, we were way behind, and I wasn't able to get there to either cut the lawn or plant the flowers. I called on Saturday afternoon to explain and his wife said "oh, he's outside planting them now. You made him miss his tennis lesson and he's very upset with you". I laughed. He was just that kind of screaming yuppie a**hole that I can't stand.
A few days later, I got a note with the final payment. He cancelled his service. My brother and I celebrated with a beer and I felt like a weight had been lifted off my chest.
Now, fortunately, I can afford to be more selective about the clients I take on, and they are much better behaved nowadays.
 

timinkc

LawnSite Member
Location
kansas city, MO
it's hillariuos to me how certain customers feel they are doing us a favor by "letting" us work for them...

don't get me wrong i appreciate and value all my customers. (without them i'm outa biz)...but the holier than thou attitude really gets me sometimes
 

barringtonbrothers

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Springfield, IL
One customer I had was a real pita all the way. She had a humongus oak tree in the front lawn that was dropping leaves like there was no end. Fall just started and we did two hours of clean up that day. That time of year you come back the next day and the yard is covered again nothing you can do. Well she is out of town when we do it and comes home a week later. Calls me and ask me why we didnt do the leaf clean up. I told her we did but she doesnt believe me, I bit my tounge ( I hate being called a liar) and explained to her that leaves had just started falling and there gonna keep falling and there is nothing I can do about it. She didnt believe me. I talked to her secretary later and she told me yeah she didnt believe you untill she spent a saturday cleaning it and it was covered again the next day. I did not take her on the next year told her I was short of manpower, and was cutting back which was true. Got rid of a couple pitas that way. She called me the next year in the fall for a clean up, yeah right. I will not stand for people implying that im dishonest, its very disrespectful.
 

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