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Has anyone had to fire a customer?

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

  1. tobylou8

    tobylou8 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,889

    Reminds me of a customer I waited on in high school. Big family, big dinner, big bill (over $50 in 1980) and he left a dime! As he was paying, I took it up to him and sweetly said, "Sir, you left your lucky dime on the table"! He turned red and sheepishly thanked me! He went and put $5 back on the table. Some people....
  2. North Idaho Dream

    North Idaho Dream LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,158

    Yes, those ones are the best to let go. Anytime a customer is talked about at the dinner table more often than not, it is time for them to find someone else. Their problems cannot be yours!!
    TheC-Master and hort101 like this.
  3. Gus McGee

    Gus McGee LawnSite Member
    Messages: 209

    I've fired a number of customers over the years. Some customers are more of a headache than what they are worth. The 2 most recent ones I've fired were.

    1. The woman had OCD or something. Would complain about the mowing after every single cut. I don't think anyone could live up to her expectations, as the mowing quality at her property was good. Got tired or her constant complaints and told her that we are not able to meet her expectations and that she would be better off finding someone who can.

    2. A cheapskate was contracted to have weekly mowing, but he kept stopping the crew because he wanted to stretch out the mowing an additional week despite his grass being high and needing a cut. I told him we weren't interested in bi-weekly mowing his juiced up lawn, and that it was weekly or we would have to cease services. He stopped a scheduled mowing service again to try and save money and I fired him.
    TheC-Master, jetson and hort101 like this.
  4. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,374

    I've got a list started of customers we will not be renewing this year. I have plenty of customers who are low maintenance and appreciate our work. PITA ones are out the door.
  5. Love the Green Biz

    Love the Green Biz LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,570

    It happens. Not much can be done so the clean break will work out in the end.
    hort101 likes this.
  6. Love the Green Biz

    Love the Green Biz LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,570

    A lot of print here mentions the elderly clients that seem to be the problem but I've had to toss many of the under 40 crowd over the past five years. Rude to the point of making appointments and then not being home in their 2 or 3 hour appointment window. We work seven days a week in season and some of my irrigation clients can only have weekends. When one misses a weekend day and are not apologetic with a good reason we ban them from weekends. If they miss a weekday appointment after that they are banned permanently. Some have the gaul to call back demanding service as if nothing happened and we owe them something.

    After 53 years in business I have a blacklist with over 11,000 names and addresses. The only way you get off the list is by passing to the great beyond or the property is sold (if sold the old owners will stay in the file just to make sure they don't weasel their way in at a new address). Sometimes the address will stay on this list if the notation indicates it is an ancient system that we don't want to service. When a new owner calls they are told this and offered a free estimate to upgrade or replace. Some take us up on this, some don't.

    There are some on the list that we have never met or done any work for-when they call they are just rude, demanding and balk at discussing payment. The office simply tells them that we are not accepting new clients that are not a good fit with our operation.

    The office regularly checks both the obits and the real estate transactions to keep the list fresh. Even with our best efforts the list grows 100-200 per year-thankfully almost all growth are the rude cold callers.
  7. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Ark
    Messages: 6,633

    I'm guessing you didn't spray because you aren't licensed? Was the new guy?
  8. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,375

    i seem to be firing a customer every year now for the past 3 years. :laugh:
  9. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,374

    Just added 1 to the non-renewal list yesterday.

    Complained about less than half pound of salt on a sidewalk adjacent to the parking lot. Not even sure how long it is....150' feet maybe. There's more, but this was the last straw.
  10. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,374

    Here is what he is complaining about:



    Buh bye...see ya, I don't want your money.

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