ethical or not?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MikeKle, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. MikeKle

    MikeKle LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,253

    OK, my good friend that I have been helping take care of his accounts is going out mowing his customers yards even though they really havent grown at all, since the drought is going into the third month now! but I was really surprised at his decision to mow some of them and when he said just make a few passes around the outside perimeter, and these yards are completely brown and almost to the point of going to dirt! I guess he is strapped for cash and has no other choice but if yards do not need mowing, how can someone justify mowing them anyway? On the other hand, the larger mowing companies do this all the time, we see them out mowing big commercial properties that doesnt need mowing anyway, so I guess he isnt the only one? My customers would be extremely pissed if I kept coming every single week even though there is absolutely no growth at all, and probably fire me! I just wonder how the larger companies get away with doing this? Any idiot knows if you dont have any rain in a 2 or 3 month period and the grass is brown as can be, it DOES NOT need to be mowed, yet they do it anyway?????

    SNAPPER MAN LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Well I know the companies doing commercial properties have to out because their contract states they have to make x amount of visits each year and they cannot break that contract. Residential is a whole different story. I would personally keep going until my customers told me not to come anymore.
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  3. Damian

    Damian LawnSite Member
    Messages: 242

    Maybe this doesn't really apply under the circumstances you describe, but if the lawns don't need it, why aren't the owners calling in and saying skip them that week? I mean, on a non-contract, residential property, where does one draw the line between being unethical by mowing a lawn that "doesn't need it" and being negligent or "undependable" by not mowing it because the operator decides it "doesn't need it" absent of customer input?
  4. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    Fortunately, I've not been faced with conditions that severe since entering the lawn business 7 years ago. The most I've ever skipped a property is perhaps 3 or 4 weeks. The past two years, we've had only short dry periods, and rarely have had to skip more than one mowing.

    But, to answer your question, if it doesn't grow, I don't mow. I have, admittedly, mowed accounts that only marginally needed it, but usually these are either business properties, which need to be kept looking nice, or homes where I knew the owners were particular. If we were in a severe drought, such as we had a couple of years back in the 80's, I'd be sitting at the house. I guess that is why I question how anyone can depend on this business for their sole income.
  5. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,542

    thats almost as bad as stealing your neighbors Internet service:laugh:
  6. TheC-Master

    TheC-Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 819

    I do year round service, when the grass dies, we do bushes, leaves, and everything else. Contracted.
  7. mark123

    mark123 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 486

    I'd rather have a customer mad at me for doing my job too much than for them be mad at me for doing too little. I skip if it doesn't need cut unless there is debris in the lawn and then I'll bag it up. Maybe they are having people over.
  8. 44DCNF

    44DCNF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,826

    It depends on if you are there to maintain their grounds or mow their grass. If it doesn't need cutting I would show up, police the property, scout for infestations of weed or pest, weed beds, fluff mulch, treat any damage to branches, bark, blow off any hard surfaces that needed it, prune/deadhead, etc. I'd spend close to the regular visit allotment of time. I would also not expect to hear any grief over making the decision to not perform work during any given week during extreme weather conditions. Regular visits are what I based my fees on. Having said that, if I deemed the lawn was too crispy to walk on to do other work, and it would cause visible damage to be seen during the drought recovery period, it would be up to me to make that call, based on a mutual agreement with customer. Again, I'm getting paid to call the shots, whithin reason and the scope of my abilities. I do not take jobs on where the client calls the shots on a weekly basis as to if/what service gets performed. I'm be paid to maintain the grounds, not mow their grass when it needs it according to them.
  9. gasracer

    gasracer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,049

    Because our season ends in October I start calling the day before to check on my customers around the last mowing. Some I just skip a week others are more. I don't just show up and cut it when it is brown and dead.
  10. Lefet

    Lefet LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,887

    My sentiments exactly.

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