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dropped a customer yesterday

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Tylerr83, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,780

    Sometimes, dealing with certain people is just not worth it, no matter how much profit is involved. That is one advantage of owning your own business. In my experience, once a pita, always a pita. Often the best approach is simply to kick them to the curb as soon as you realize you are dreading it when you drive up in front of their house. I had one for two years, that used Roundup everywhere. He had a 2 foot bare patch around his house, and would sweep this with a broom. It was nice to have limited trimming, but when it got dry, by the time you got done mowing, you and the mower were covered with dust. He wanted it cut as low as possible, his driveway was a pain to get my trailer into, and he was always griping about something. The final straw was when heavy rains were forecast and he wouldn't let me mow 2 days early (he was on a 10 day schedule). After I dropped him, I wondered why in the hell I put up with all that crap for as long as I did. He called several times after that, leaving messages on my machine, wanting me to come back, but I never returned the calls.:)

    As for the "mowing lower" thing, I absolutely will not go lower than 3 inches, and that usually is only on a portion of the lawn, and only during peak growth. Normally I mow at 3 1/2, and if a customer asks for it to be mown shorter, I just say "sure" and drop to 3 1/4. I've only had a couple ever say anything further.

    Last year, we were in a drought, and on the larger properties, I worked my way up to a full 4 inches as the drought progressed. I was mowing well after nearly everyone else in this area was done, albeit on an longer interval between mowing, and after Isaac dumped 3 inches of rain September 1st, it was like spring all over again within a couple of days.
  2. That's worth saving.
  3. JBradshaw00

    JBradshaw00 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    I understand. However I've never ran into that problem other than on yards that are mostly weeds. My nice yards are mowed at the right length and the customers have always been happy.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. Golfpro21

    Golfpro21 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 563

    I hear you, darn people demanding a cut height far lower than the recommended height, then its your fault once the grass fries under summer heat/drought

    Good for you for sticking to your guns, sucks losing a client, especially one that you cut beside, but no point having your name on a lawn that will eventually fry
  5. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,739

    I'm still amazed at homeowners who try to tell me what will work. They seem to forget that we've done this hundreds/thousands of times for years, and know how it will play out. So many times, i wanted to say something like ""You are going to ruin the best thing you ever had. Please let me do my work."" But, they insist on pushing their nonsense. You know that after you drop them, they will NEVER find someone as good or patient as you. They never see it. The last couple of weeks, i came real close to saying something like that to 2 customers who wouldn't leave me alone.

    A while back, this lady always came out after i mowed, and sat on the edge of the garage. With a red face, i turned off my trimmer and told this lady that "it's not safe to sit out here when i'm trimming. I wear these glasses for eye protection, and i wouldn't want anything to happen to you." I'm not there to socialize. After i told her this, she still does it occasionally, because she can't understand that after i mow, i'm not done. She got pissed because dust went her way and gave me this evil look. Now, she's starting to nit pick; maybe because i don't want to talk to her? Who knows.

    I dropped one lady because the wind blew and caused debris to get in her patio door. She called me and said "Now, you get back over here and blow!" I dropped her immediately, and later moved 4 doors down from her. Everytime i mow around here, she leaves in her car and tries to get my attention. She wants me back, and has been through numerous services.

    You ever been in a situation where they are reprimanding you about something, and you know for sure that it is the last straw and you won't be back? You try to stop yourself from smiling, and start to not hear exactly what they're saying, because you know it's over.
  6. TriCountyLawn

    TriCountyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,517

    Customers can be a pain, I like to thin them out with the bottom line, I have a few PITA that pay quite well to be PITA , I just smile knowing this as well.
  7. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    We all know they're cheap but we can't win this war, you can trust me on this one.

    The reason why I cut at 4" is so I can let it go two weeks because foot tall grass hardly phases a 4" high cut.

    Contrary to popular belief, a high cut neither clumps nor does it make the grass need MORE cutting, it doesn't.
    A high cut can be let go more time between cuts, because it clumps a whole lot less.

    Some might think the grass grows faster, but it doesn't, grass grows pretty much the same.

    The SHORT cuts always need more cutting.
    More so after it ruins the lawn and the weeds take over.
    Weeds grow faster than grass, that's a fact.
    And you'll have to cut it more often.

    I did have the above spawn the one or two nutcases who wanted me to come cut it as OFTEN as possible.
    This, too, will ruin a lawn.
    Too short, OR too often (or both).

    And two...
    This is one of my FAVORITE lines to customers who want it cut shorter:

    Look, the grass is almost always near a foot tall when I come to cut it anyway, and the grass is a foot tall whether I cut it at 3" or 4" doesn't really make no difference, but your lawn looks a whole lot healthier.

    Oh, we still get the arguments, believe you me it is by no means perfect.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013
  8. rbljack

    rbljack LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 725

    its ironic that I found this posting today, and read through it. First I had a customer today (she is a bi weekly customer with a lush lawn), and asked me to lower the height because its been growing faster, and she doesn't want to pay for weekly mowing. Im already giving her a decent price because she wants it bagged too.

    Then I got a call on the phone, and another lady asked me to come by to give her an estimate to "mow her lawn". Sounded simple enough until I saw the overgrown property that was covered in downed tree limbs, dead trees and naturalized grass that was 4 feet tall in areas. It would take hours to clean the place up. Her previous lawn guy was charging 40 bucks apparently, and I declined...NO WAY im going to spend 3 to 4 hours on a clean up for 40 bucks.
  9. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Messages: 2,768

    So you didn't give her a price to do the job?
  10. Vanderhoff Landscaping

    Vanderhoff Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 396

    $40? Dang! I would have added another "0" to that number if it was as bad as you say it was.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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