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good customers gone bad, anyone else??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by General Grounds, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. General Grounds

    General Grounds LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 902

    :blob2: ive had this customer for 8 years and in that time the guy spent thousands and never hassled over price and usually prepaid. this year it seems that every price is to high and when it comes to pay i get another story why i cant come buy for a check. i was wondering if any of you guys out there have had good ones for some reason just get real crappy fast, once this joker pays up i think i may forget to send out his renewal. tony
  2. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    Yeah had that happen. One time I got a check on a thursday for some extra work, went to the bank and there werent funds in to cash it. I put it in the bank and it went through. I guess they were living week to week. Onother time i went to the door, and found a disconection notice for electric.
  3. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    yes tony, many times. just recently......i signed up this new client last march. weekly mow and fert program, no trees at all, so no cleanups. the fert was expensive (12 thousand sq ft of turf) so i added all the mowing up, and the fert, and divided it into a 9 month payment plan. they were very happy, the lawn condition improved alot and quickly, the wacking and edging was done perfect, i got nothing but compliments from these people. in july i touched base with them via email, asking how everything was going. they were really very happy, and gave me alot of compliments. then, in late september, i got an email. they had spoken to two neighbors, who said i was charging "way too much". they asked why i charged so much and they thought i was taking advantage of them. i pointed out that this is the price we agreed on, and they were very happy with the work, and these are standard prices for a good service. they started asking me to skip cuts and take it off the bill, skip the last two fert aplications and take it off the bill, etc. so tony, what may have happened with your client was they got a better price or heard from a friend that thier guy is doing it cheaper. you never know. makes u feel great huh?
  4. General Grounds

    General Grounds LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 902

    :blob3: happy new year bobby, im not sure what had happen we do all of this guys work right down to del. firewood, i think things are slow with his business and i guess he thinks because ive been doin him for 8 years he can jerk me around because were "friends". somebody is in for a rude awakenwing very soon. tony
  5. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,454

    Sounds like money got tight for that guy. Did he get laid off or something?
  6. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,687

    I’ve seen the elderly go from sweet and nice to unreasonable unpleasable complainers in a mere 2-3 seasons after a decade long relationship. It happens my ex boss had roughly 90-105 customers at any time and probably 90% were elderly so I got to see that phenomenon first hand many times. What causes it some are just lonely and have no one to talk to so they make statements like the edging isn’t done right when there isn’t a hair over the sidewalk and your both standing on it. Others get old and there kids start to take an active roll in the bills and I have seen many a daughter I don’t think I would brake for in my truck. Then there’s altimers and memory loss diseases it is hard to watch some of your best customers change but some will.
  7. hole in one lco

    hole in one lco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,793

    Well hears my story. I had a cut 33.00 that should have bin more like 45.00. But i got it from a another guy so i couldn't raise the rate that year. So fall cums and do my clean up 2 to be exact 315.0 was the total bill. I get a call a week later 315.0 dollars .I could have had the neighbor hood kid do it for 5.00 hr. She thought i was going to spend 9.0hr in her yard for the price of a mow and then proceed to tell me i was gouging her. But the good news is i got paid took 3 months but i got it

    every thing is all was beautiful till they get the bill
  8. hole in one lco

    hole in one lco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,793

  9. J Hisch

    J Hisch LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 952

    Here some thoughts. When customers start to squabble over your bills. One if they bought a car a local dealership them next week or month later found another dealer selling the car for less would they go back and complain about the price they paid for it. Alot of customers will have friends who also get their lawns done and it may be cheaper, but when the old saying well my friend gets it done for such and such. Ask them questions about the friends lawn aee if they even match up to each other. When a customer says skip this week or forget that service. Ask then how they would feel if their boss told them to skip next week without pay. I educate my customers to the best of my ability about our business, that it takes real dollars for my family to have health insurance, retirement, investments, mortages etc. they too often think of us as fly by nighters. and rightfully so becasue there are so many out there. If your one of them your hurting the entire industry. Since we are a service oriented business, we need to conduct ourselves like others in the service industry business. Heating/AC contractors, electricans, most of them wear uniforms, marked trucks, real invoices and the customers pay for their bills. The point I am making is when someone complains about our bills we need to evaluate ourselves also not just count them off as tight wads. offer them payment plans just my opinions.
  10. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    With every one being so money tight lately I have found that most of my highfuluent customers are tightening their belts and ones that could just afford it are dropping.
    Tough times on all.
    Best of luck.

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