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Difficult Customer?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by carolinaborn82, May 16, 2008.

  1. carolinaborn82

    carolinaborn82 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    Alright guys this is my first season in the lawn care business and I am starting small. I already have a difficult customer. She is an old lady that lives by herself and she has money. I went to mow her yard for the second time today and she meets me in the yard and starts telling me what a horrable job I did on the first cut. She said I did not cut the grass low enough, even though if I would have went any lower it would have scalped her yard. She has a ditch that runs about 100 yds. at the very bottom of her property that I weedeat and she said I should have raked up the clippings. I told her that if the clippings are clumping I will rake them up, is that what ya'll normally do with clippings? Do you rake after you weedeat. She just totally did a 360 on everything I had did from the first time. To top it all off, my mower broke just as I got started and I had to come home to fix it. I knew she was gonna be trouble. I mow her ex daughter-in-law's yard and she told me that she was gonna be different, but I liked the money so I went ahead and took on the job anyway. What I am asking is, should I dump her or should I try and stick it out?
  2. TNT LawnCare Inc.

    TNT LawnCare Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,157

    Problem from the start ,always and forever a problem . Doesnt matter who cuts it she will never be happy ! She does this to try and get a couple of free mowing Jobs. Tell her good bye and save yourself alot of freakin head-aches !:)
  3. All_Toro_4ME

    All_Toro_4ME LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,578

    yea ^^^^ what TNT said. And no we dont rake the clippings from the sting trimmer. If its a real problem, go over that area real good with your backpack blower and blow them onto the yard. If they are still visible, go over that area again with your mower/mulch kit attached to make them disappear. But yea, drop her, absolutely.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I try and be understanding, this is not always easy lol
  5. zz4guy

    zz4guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 901

    DONT rake anything up. You have better things to do with your time than satisfy a PITA customer. Hasn't she heard of common sense? You mow it at 1/2" starting at 3" and it is gonna clump :rolleyes:
  6. 19-SAH-98

    19-SAH-98 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    You could try this:

    Explain that all the additional things she wants done cost MORE MONEY, and that you gave her a 'basic' price, if she wants to 'upgrade'....stay there all day, as long as she's paying you for your time.

    A lot people are really picky, I don't mind picky....if and only if....they pay for the extra work (extra trouble, pain in the A**)

    If she balks, drop her and giggle at the next dude she hires.
  7. carolinaborn82

    carolinaborn82 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    Yeah thanks for the comments!! Man she has had me all screwed up all day long. I even called another one of my customers to follow up with her on a job I am gonna do this weekend and to also ask her if she likes the work I do. She said she loves the work I do so that helped me out. I guess I havn't learned to take criticism very well yet. I was very close to telling her what I thought of her this morning, but I held back. Then to top it all off, I had mower problems and I could not finish.
  8. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Messages: 4,260

    Most older customers are a pain. You showing up, is the highlight of their day. One customer I cut ,didn't like the stripes. And didn't want me to use 'that Big mower". She ask me to cut it lower, and I did. Then the next cut, she said that she wanted it even lower. I argued that it would be way too low, and leave a ton of clippings. I went from cutting 3.5" down to 2". I scalped and left a big mess. She called me up to complain and fire me. At this point ,I didn't care. I know starting out in the lawn business, I had my fair share of older customers. Now I only have one. Just try to stick it out with her, as long as you can.
  9. cuttin-up

    cuttin-up LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    Tell her if you bag the clippings or remove them in any way it will cost more, but honestly I'd just dump her. I had a client the same way wanting the grass cut low I told her it would scalp, when it did she complained. Bottom line she's not worth the hassle, and sounds like the type who goes through 3 LCO's a year.

    By the way is that BBQ restaurant in New Ellenton still open I haven't been there in a while.
  10. chesterlawn

    chesterlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 704

    The next time you are paid in full, tell her you understand that she isn't happy with your work and she is to find another landscaper. One less big headache for you, and f her.

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