Has anyone had to fire a customer?

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

  1. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,506

    Every off season you should have a cull list...dump pia add new profitable customers.
    zlandman likes this.
  2. guitarman2420

    guitarman2420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Midlothian, VA
    Messages: 738

    I have a good base of clients that I have had for > 5 years; but every year I have to fire @ 1/2 the new clients. Many move here from other states and expect the same turf or techniques, etc. Also, any client that has mowed their own lawn all their life and you are the lucky one to get them first ..... RUN, RUN, TURN OUT THE LIGHTS AND HIDE!
    hort101 likes this.
  3. Love the Green Biz

    Love the Green Biz LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,165

    I have noticed in all our trades a distinct downturn in the quality of "new" clients. More PIAs, demanding know-it-alls because they saw it on the internet, the "I'll get it cheaper" crowd-you name it I've heard it all these past 5-6 years. I hear the same stories from my plumber and electrician-they get to deal with the same folks we do.

    I think it has to do with people being generally frustrated with the way their lives turned out coupled with them spending beyond their means and always playing catchup with their bills and CCs. No one needs to lease that overpriced BMW 3 Series when a cheap Corolla does the same thing but without the perceived cache. No one needs a new iPhone every time a new one appears. No one needs a yearly $5,000-10,000 vacation to put on their CCs.

    Thankfully the giant screen TVs have gotten cheap but there are still people paying off that over the top home entertainment system @ 19%+.

    And it doesn't look like it will get better until the life and financial lessons that our parents and grandparents lived by come back into vogue.
  4. jetson

    jetson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    Lol! This is a great thread! Most of us don’t want to lose jobs but some of us can’t stand these arrogant jerks.. I’m with you here.. when I was new I was like please please please don’t leave me.. after being in the biz for 12 years these peeps are a dime a dozen.. u can complain with a legit complaint.. we don’t get a lot of complaints but it happens. U cross the line and complain about the same thing we obviously took care of because ur a lonely house wife or house dude and don’t have anything better to do.. get the fudge out of here.. I don’t go all Donald trump on them and say ya fired.. I just say.. umm lady or sir.. we are increasing prices next week to double what ur paying.. what’s that? That’s insane.. yes it is so now ur complaining about the price increase and it’s making me unconftable so let’s just end this now.. this way they feel like they hurt my feelings and are confused on what just happens or most of the time they are probably giving me the finger.. but I try to see how much fun I can make it because I will fire peeps in a heart beat.. just like they will me.. I don’t take any **** any more so I just say most of the time .. we are done here.. or I’ll be out of town next week and then the next week after that and that next week too.. I’ll send u a bill if u don’t pay it I’ll send into collections.. ha.. this is a business we ain’t buddies!
  5. Love the Green Biz

    Love the Green Biz LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,165

    You mentioned the lonely house wife or dude having nothing better to do. Been there. I too have had some fun twisting their thoughts around to bite them back. When they catch on it's the signal to go in another direction-and fast!
    TheC-Master and jetson like this.
  6. Hoosier_Fan

    Hoosier_Fan LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 50

    When I used to do electrical work I remember a couple times on service calls where people would have a $1 mil+ house, a couple really nice cars, but the kicker was that they didn't have furniture or anything in the house. To me it seems like they had their priorities backwards lol
    Ma&Pa likes this.
  7. rippinryno

    rippinryno LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,109

    to fire - an act of removing someone from their job:

    Let's be clear, you're not firing anyone, you're simply choosing to no longer service. Is your client working for you? I have always found it funny that LCO's call it "firing" a client, not the case at all. Your'e not cutting their pay or terminating them from a job are you?

    Fact is, if you have a customer tell you they no longer need your services, you're the one getting fired.

    In the event that you are weeding out problematic customers or ones who aren't worth it, that's not call firing, that's called managing your business.
  8. That Guy Gary

    That Guy Gary LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,360

    I always find it funny when people think words have static definitions, it's like they don't realize we made it all up to communicate with each other. :laugh:
  9. Love the Green Biz

    Love the Green Biz LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,165

    I've seen that empty mil+ house myself. Add in the whining over the bill and the picture is complete.

    I told one couple who was questioning a $112 invoice to sell one of their Beamers if money was tight. Oh but they can't-it's leased! Dumped them on the spot and made them pay the bill or it I was going straight to the police station to sign a theft of services complaint. They ponied up in full.

    Another woman who bragged about her 1.3 mil home gave me a bad check for $101. After repeated attempts to collect I signed a bad check charge against her. Come the court date and the husband shows up and tells the judge that his wife had a bad day and couldn't make it here. The judge-a fair man who only wanted the cases before him to conclude looked him right in the eye and said-"I get very upset having to send officers out to bring defendants into court. Do I need to keep you here while I have her brought before me or are you simply going to make good on her check that was returned for insufficient funds?" A short silence followed and then the husbands meekly replied-"Yes, I will do that".

    The judge then sends us out into the hallway to finish this and tells us to notify his clerk when completed and he will dismiss the charge. The guy has the nerve to try and negotiate a lower amount! I laugh and start walking back into court to inform the judge and he sudden says "OK-I'll pay it all!"

    You really have to wonder what went wrong during their upbringing. Behavior like this is awful and sometimes criminal.
    Ma&Pa, hort101 and Hoosier_Fan like this.
  10. Doc8406

    Doc8406 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,020

    Just goes to show that life is an act, but some actors don't understand life!

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