Hesitant to drop a PITA customer

sehitchman

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
West, GA
New property owner, right in the middle of eight I mow at one stop. Only wants EOW. I did this property up until three years ago when the former owner sold. The interim, customer only mowed every 3-4 weeks and never trimmed. The Bermuda was growing over the curb and down into the gutter, grass and weeds were a foot high on the street sign post and mailbox. I walked past every cut when servicing the neighbors and frequently would trim the high stuff out by the street. Nice corner lot in 400k neighborhood. My other customers saw my effort and thanked me frequently. Forward 3-4 months ago, new owner. Brings me on as "lawn guy" and my buddy to spray. This property has not been treated in over three years, full of crabgrass, Nutgrass, and other weeds. I told her, that it would take months for the yard to turn around and the Pre Em treatments will get it back to normal by next growing season. She wanted it cut shorter, I explained that the weeds will grow at the same rate and still be taller than the grass unless we go to an every 4-7 days. I always mulch with zero issues, now she wants it bagged, I explained the additional cost and she said ok. Now I'm going to be bagging a yard right in the middle of eight customers, I really didn't want to open the door to bagging. I don't have the truck or trailer space to transport a ton of grass clippings. Normally I'd drop it in a second, but being in the middle of my "Honey Hole" I don't want the neighborhood to be nosy. Am I over thinking this?
 

DA Quality Lawn & YS

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rochester, MN
NEVER offer to bag. What a PIA. I'd call back, say no bagging, but will make look good take it or leave it.
 

fatboynormmie

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
balto md
I would politely decline her as a cust letting her know that after consideration it’s not complying with your business model (explain to her your services)and that you’re sorry it didn’t work out.

Im sure she likes your work and may retract all the demands to keep you on. Or she will let you off the hook. I no longer keep lawns I hate do ,life’s to short and I like the ability and freedom to pick and choose my custs. Doubt the other custs on the street could care less if you no longer managing that property. My .02 good luck sehitchman!
 

DA Quality Lawn & YS

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rochester, MN
I would politely decline her as a cust letting her know that after consideration it’s not complying with your business model (explain to her your services)and that you’re sorry it didn’t work out.

Im sure she likes your work and may retract all the demands to keep you on. Or she will let you off the hook. I no longer keep lawns I hate do ,life’s to short and I like the ability and freedom to pick and choose my custs. Doubt the other custs on the street could care less if you no longer managing that property. My .02 good luck sehitchman!

This is absolutely spot on. Rule #1 in the lawn service biz - learn to say no. Rule #2 - you don't have to take on everyone's lawn problems.
 

Honda250xtitan

LawnSite Member
Location
Phoenix
Tell her how you do her neighbors. That alone will show her to just trust your judgement.

I feel ya though. I have a picky customer similar to this.

sedgehammer should knock that nut grass down pretty quick.
 

JT's Outdoor Services

LawnSite Member
Location
Waynesboro, GA
I have had a couple of customers like that. The first one, I had been doing for 3 years, and she turned into a PITA, so I dropped her. The other one, I dropped after the initial cut. I have picked up 6 customers to replace those two.
 

Toro44

LawnSite Senior Member
I’ve told my customers I only service accounts one way and it’s at my discretion. Take it or leave it. I do bag the route a couple times a year but would never just bag one all the time, it’s just a pita.
 

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