1. Is Landscaping An “Essential Business” In Your Region?
    Read the timely article from Turf addressing this question. Click here to learn more.

    COVID-19 Safety Procedures For Landscapers
    As you are working out in the field, maximize safety for you, your crews, and customers. Click here to learn more.

    Dismiss Notice

Has anyone had to fire a customer?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Gecko Lawns, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. Gecko Lawns

    Gecko Lawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    I rarely do this, but I have to fire a customer today. She's a lovely old lady, and I like her a lot but I cannot mow her lawn anymore. There is a magnitude of factors as to why I would fire a customer, and this little old lady was doing most of them. I should mention that this was a high paying lawn, so money was not the issue.
    A few of the issues with the job were.
    • Changing the cut day constantly
    • did not want the lawn cut before 12 pm.
    • Not wanting edges done - it looks terrible and I don't like doing this.
    • I had to knock on the door and wait up to five minutes for her to answer when I was done to get paid - she would not allow us to run an account.
    • All payments were by cheque - this was the only cheque we get so we would have to visit our bank to deposit it. All our other accounts are paid via internet banking.
    • Having a back gate that was permanently locked and was only unlocked when I was there. She did not want to leave the gate unlocked when she was out, so the customer needed to be home.
    I finally got her to stay on a Tuesday - the same day as the neighbor and today I was informed that in future I could only mow the lawn after 2 pm.

    That was it. I had to give up. I told her I couldn't mow her lawn anymore.

    I have arranged for another local contractor who runs a small part-time round to visit her tomorrow. I have explained the conditions and he is happy to work with her.

    I think that when you are working a tightly run round, you need to recognize when a customer is the wrong fit for your business model.

    Has anyone else experienced this kind of thing?
  2. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,509

    Firing a customer feels so good, I lit cigarette afterwards...and I don't smoke.
  3. Andrew H

    Andrew H LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,039

    Yup, some customers are just a pain in the butt, if they ask for recommendations, give them someone in you don’t likes number :D
    TheC-Master, tobylou8 and hort101 like this.
  4. Koehn's Lawn Service

    Koehn's Lawn Service LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 939

    Yeh that's more of a hassle than its worth. you don't need that stress life's to short. You will pick up a better one
  5. MowDaddy

    MowDaddy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,634

    The other option is:
    Ma'am we are in this neighborhood on Tuesday, we will mow your yard on Tue. We always trim, edge, and mow each week. We also need gate unlocked or we need a key. Otherwise I can refer someone else.
    Just keep it simple.
    Also you should always except checks.
    You should be visiting your bank a couple times each week anyways.
    Every time your in there, chat with your banker. They are #1 source of whats happening in your area. Keep your feelers out. I'm at my bank at least 2-3 times every week. Always asking about who's got new developments, new housings etc. They will bump your name around. Versus electronic transfer of another nameless account.

    GRANTSKI LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,030

    They usually start with one silly request or complaint then progressively get worse. Some start out friendly and then become nasty over time. I won’t tolerate anyone talking down - making demands - or being passive aggressive. The last lady that pulled this I finally spoke up and was bout to drop her lawn . Once I mentioned it she seemed almost embarrassed and apologized and has been super nice ever since.
    The worst was an old cpl w 2 houses that both started getting pissy w me. Last straw lady left a stake in the ground with a nasty note attached telling me how to do my job and that I was ripping her off by $15 over charge on a 1/2million$ home. Left the $15 and a note saying “I think it’s best I discontinue servicing your property”. Felt good.
  7. wbw

    wbw LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,413

    It is unusual to see anyone at my bank. All daily transactions are via screen and to see a live person an appointment is necessary
    TheC-Master and hort101 like this.
  8. Doc8406

    Doc8406 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 29,610

    Time to change banks in my book
  9. MowDaddy

    MowDaddy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,634

    Good lord I know everyone at my bank.
  10. Greencuts518

    Greencuts518 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,727

    Yeah , I just realized a lady I know from AA has a supervisor position at my bank. Not excited. Im probably switching branches.

Share This Page