ethical dilemma?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Big Bad Bob, Jan 23, 2007.

  1. Big Bad Bob

    Big Bad Bob LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 5
    Messages: 1,074

    another lco sold out his business last summer. around 50 customers not under contract. well, it seems that the buyer has bitten off more than he can chew because the seller has been getting calls complaining about the buyers service, work ethic and reliability. the seller has sent me side work in the past from the customers before he sold it to pursue another career. i have been offered the accounts by the seller and the customers. they are ready to drop the new lco anyway. the seller doesn't want to re-enter the business. would it be ethical for me to accept these accounts?
  2. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,085

    for free, then yes. It is not your fault they are leaving the new lco.
  3. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    i agree..
    no ethical problem here.
  4. Frosty03

    Frosty03 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 171

    It happens all of the time with slightly different circumstances.

    A customer gets my number, they call and are not happy with their current service. Can I come by and give them a price? Sure I tell them. Most of the time, I sell the job and it is almost always more than they were currently paying.

    The only customer I will not accept is from a couple of my personal friends that helped me get going in the business. However, they are so good and professional, that this has never happened. I did have one person call and ask for a price (they were price shopping), I always ask who their lco is and it was one of my friends.

    "Sorry, I do not give bids on any of Joe's customers," I told them. "He has helped me too much for me to give bids on his customers."

    I asked if they liked his service and they said they did, but was looking for a cheaper price.

    I politely refused again to give a bid and then I called Joe and told him.

    Other than that, if they aren't happy and call me, I will put them on as customers with no afterthoughts.

    It's called customer satisfaction. If they aren't satisfied and start looking around, I will be willing to give them service and satisfaction with my services.

    Go for it.
  5. toac

    toac LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    exactly. take the accounts.
  6. RedWolf

    RedWolf Banned
    Messages: 279

    I`m with everyone on this one. Take them.
  7. Eakern & Dog

    Eakern & Dog LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 431

    I think it is ethical for you to try and take the accounts. However, I don't think it was ethical for the seller to have given you leads since he sold those accounts to other LCO. However, that is not your concern.
  8. stumpslawncare

    stumpslawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 153

    Take them, not your fault
  9. Big Bad Bob

    Big Bad Bob LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 5
    Messages: 1,074

    it seems that the customers don't seem to be as concerned about price as they are about quality and reliability.
    my only qualm is that the buyer shelled out $20000 for that client list.

    the seller was getting calls from his former customers asking him to re take them but he has no desire to get back into the business. plus I think he signed a non compete with the buyer. he is simply trying to get these people off of his back. he feels a loyalty to them to help them get a good lco. he wanted me to buy it in the first place but i wasn't about to put out that kind of bread for loose accts. imagine what $20000 in advertising could do.
  10. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    I would jump all over that deal

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