Estimating nightmares

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Lawn Dog2001, Apr 1, 2005.

  1. Lawn Dog2001

    Lawn Dog2001 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,030

    I had some family up last weekend. We got to talking about people and I brought this story up. You want to talk about a problem potential customer check this out.

    This happened 3 years ago. I get a call from this woman, she sounds nice enough on the phone. She wants to hire us for mowing. She tells me that we were highly recommended to her by some people she knows(although she never did tell me who, I would love to know). She tells me that her mower continues to break down on her and she wants to hire a service as opposed to replacing the mower. She gives me her address, she is located in a pretty nice neighborhood. I tell her I would look at it the next day. She says fine but please call first.

    So the next morning I call. A man answers, and I ask for the woman. This guy has an absolute fit wanting to know why Im calling his wife. When he finally lets me get a word in, I explain who I am. He goes to get his wife , and you can here him screaming at her in the backround because there is another guy on the phone. At this point im already thinking, there is no way Im going to this house. The lady gets on the phone and apoligizes for her husband, and finally I agreed to stop about noon and giver her some numbers.

    Well heres the good part. I have other accounts in the neighborhood. They are all very nice homes. I get to this place and it is a total dump. Before I went up to the door I decided to drive around back to see the back yard.

    In the back yard, there are numerous kids toys, two large homemade posts in the ground with dog chains conected to them, a completly rusted out swing set. And here is the big kicker. Half of the backyard looked like it had been cut about 2 weeks ago. The other half hadnt been done in about a month. Right in the center, seperating the two sections was an old school POS, broke down craftsman lawnmower with grass grown up over the wheels. Their mower broke down and they actually let it stay exactly where it broke down at. ;)

    So I drive back around to the front and get out of the truck to head up to the front door.(dont ask me why I havent left yet) On the way up to the front door two rotwilers serenade me as they despertatley try to bust through the front window to get at me. I get to the front door and heres the final straw. Taped to the front door is a gas shut off notice with a balance attached of over $2000!!!!!!!

    At this point, I run to the truck and peel tire leaving. What total losers. I guess there is always signs of people that are bad customers. Im not sure anyone has ever made them this blatantly obvious though.

    Anyone else have estimate stories like this?
  2. lawnandplow42

    lawnandplow42 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 508

    lol man, sounds like a disaster
  3. LB Landscaping

    LB Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 1,309

    I had a lady in a neighborhood of $400-$500K homes call me. I had placed door hangers around the neighborhood. She wanted a price for a spring clean-up (leaves were everywhere) mowing, aeration, and a new brick walkway. I told her the walkway would depend on what she wanted done. Gave her a price for weekly mowing, aeration and the clean-up. She was shocked at the price. Told me that on mowing I was $20 dollars more than her last company. The yard was a 1/2 acre minimal and I gave her a price of $45, go figure. She then started to ask what I would charge for the clean-up if she did the front yard. I gave her a price, she countered well how about if she does the front and side yards. I give her a price and she says well how about if I do the front, side and in all of the gardens/bed? At this point I tell her it's obvious that she is looking for just price and not quality, insurance etc. and that my price was firm and left. As I left I looked into the garage, new convertible, new Lexus SUV, all her money must be tied up in car payments. :dizzy: :dizzy:

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