I just wanted to give my input about other threads I have been reading concerning difficult customers (sometimes called PITAs) It has been mentioned that too many people are complaining about PITAs on this site. I do agree to some extent. Many times a difficult customer just has a TYPE A personality. If you combine that with the fact that they are ignorant about proper lawn care, it can be a headache for you. Many of these customers are in the higher income areas. I find that once they see they can trust you they back off, and let you do your job. Just try to educate them. These customers want their properties managed, not just mowed. When I price these jobs, I realize they are going to want me to do all the smallest details to keep the property at its best. You have to take that into consideration before giving your price. Many of the rants may be because of this. That being said, there are still some people in this world that are difficult to deal with. I have been dealing with the public for 9 years. 5 years in lawn care and 4 years before starting my business in retail management. This type of person always wants something for nothing. When you run across these customers, there is not much you can do to make it better. Even if you priced the job correctly, sometimes you get way more than you bargain for. Yes, we are here to provide a service to the public. And yes some LCOs seem to be more concerned with how many customers they can drop rather than how many they can pick up. But, I say it is your business how you run your business. Everyone has a different tolerance level when it comes to difficult people. There is no sense in having those couple of accounts that you dread going to week after week and month after month. What ever the reason may be. It took me some time to realize that you are better off just letting them go. I learned how to play their game though, and it works. I am never rude. One thing you don't want to do is be disrespectful to them, because that is not the way to conduct a business. Just be matter of fact and stand your ground. I have probably had 3-4 really difficult customers over my 5 years of lawn service. I believe all of them have been older widows. The main problem is they are from the old school when everything cost a dime. Also they don't believe in the work smarter not harder thing...no, if you are not servicing their property in the most difficult boot camp style, then you are not doing a good enough job. This is just the era they are from. They had a difficult life. I had this lady one time stop me while I was blowing her driveway (now she was one that hardly ever had a kind word to say about anyone), and she said she didn't like blowers. I said, what do you mean??? She said all blowers do is move stuff from one place to another. She said a broom would do a better job..... I probably looked stunned for a few moments before I said well I purchase top of the line commercial equipment to help me provide quality services as quickly as possible. I then told her I would be glad to use a broom and sweep for entire driveway or do anything else for that matter if she would pay me $xx per hour. (I can't remember the exact amount I quoted her, but she quickly said, no, no, the blower is fine! I mean you can take comments like that sometimes, but when the same customer stops you week after week to complain about nothing, it gets old. One quick way to put an end to it though is to raise their price. This type of customer will not usually go for that. (I'm sorry Mrs. Smith, but I am going to have to start charging you $7 now instead of $5). When I get a call from a potential customer I always try to find out who was servicing the property before. If it is a company you know has a good reputation, it should throw up a red flag. Then find out why they are no longer servicing the property. Sometimes there may just be a personality clash, or a misunderstanding. You just have to go with your gut feeling.... I could go on and on. I didn't intend on boring you for this long. I do sometimes enjoy reading the PITA threads though. It gives me a good laugh when I have had a bad day. It makes you feel better to know that someone else has the same type of customer you do. Let's keep it professional though. I know sometimes we want to tell them all a few choice words. But that will not get you anywhere. Again, sorry for the long post, just getting that off of my chest.