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Free lawn cutting for newly widowed mother of three?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by SoloSulkySurfer, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. SoloSulkySurfer

    SoloSulkySurfer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 224

    I had an account last year in which the client was friends and neighbors with one of longtime accounts. The lawn was in extremely poor shape and created more dust than all my weeks accounts combined. It wasn't a fun nor profitable lawn to cut but I sort of felt obligated, since it was my customers best friend. Luckily last summer the husband decided to buy a used ride on mower and cut his own lawn. It was kind of a relief.
    This spring the women called me to do a spring cleanup and informed me her husband was losing his battle with cancer (40 yr old father of 3). I did the cleanup and was paid by the bed ridden man. He told me that they will need me to take care of the lawn and the outdoor work. I shoke his hand on that. Now three weeks later he passed away. The viewing is scheduled for tonight 4/26 and out of respect I plan on attending.
    The question is how long do I cut it for free? The people were somewhat hard to contact as it was. I just cant picture myself calling this lady to pick up my money. I had a few ideas:
    1) cut the lawn a couple times for free

    2) Seed and top the front lawn (kinda small) so it isn't such a dust bowl. Do that for free but charge her for the lawn cutting.

    Any other ideas and how would you guys do?
  2. fergmonster

    fergmonster LawnSite Member
    from east TN
    Messages: 8

    my question is, can they afford to have their lawn cut? if they can, then charge them and plant the seed. if they can't, i wouldn't plant seed. why plant a lawn that can't be maintained?
  3. Scagguy

    Scagguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,522

    I do a charitable thing now and again for situations like you described. If you have some left over seed from a job and can see your way clear to cut the yard a few times, I'd do it. I feel that we all have to do something nice for someone that's deserving of an unasked favor. Sounds to me that this lady is a strong canidate for a helping hand.
  4. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    I end up doing a lot of free stuff for various reasons. I don't think it hurts me in the long run. Of course if your running a business you've go to have a limit you can do for others.
  5. hdhillin

    hdhillin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    Do what your heart tells you. Remember the widow has concers with thrying to raise 3 children without their father. The hurt and the emptyness they are experiencing will take a long time to heal. (I was a widower). If you can do some work for her in your busy schedule and do it free, or at a lesser rate then do it. The feeling of doing that for her will help you in the long run. Sometimes it is deeper than "earning money".
  6. WJW Lawn

    WJW Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,330

    I had a lady last year...who lost her baby 3 weeks after she was born...then her husband ---the coward---ran off on her a week later. I cut her yard for free...dont care if its "bad" business...or hurt my "costs" and blah blah. She needed help...didnt have a mower---was obviously devistated by the events. Having her tell me "thank you so much" was worth more than any money I could have made off her. The truth is...Ive been lucky with my business...Ive done well in the short time Ive been doing it...and felt like giving back was the right thing to do. Go with your heart.
  7. prosperity

    prosperity LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    Do at least the mowing for a while.

    Not only are you helping someone out, I feel it gives you a little extra "shine" in your community as far as your business goes. Word of mouth advertising is the best, and folks will remember you doing a good deed for someone in the community.
  8. Sammy

    Sammy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,734

    Where does it say that you promised to cut it for free ?
  9. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,034

    Let her pay when she can, and help her out when she cannot.

    How old are the three children?

    Can one of them mow?

    Do it as long as you can afford to do it. But don't let her take undo advantage as that helps no one, incuding her.

  10. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    I went to the local newspaper to take out an ad "mind ya this is a small town"

    I got 3 customers while there, one of the women is an elderly lady been working for the newspaper forever her husband is 80 and dieing of cancer.
    her lawn is was in bad shape too..... I charged her the 1st time then I learned of her issues...... I now cut her for FREE...... FOREVER.......
    SHE knows everybody in town.. she has given me word of mouth and I so far have 4 new customers because of her......
    any good deed never goes unnoticed ......

    I know what you mean. But WE being owners of Companys have a resposabilty to give back to our community sometimes......

    and to be honest I really enjoy cutting her lawn

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