How to deal with rain delays?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DuraCutter, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 806

    I do mostly condos and apts. and I have them scheduled on specific days of the week. One project usually takes the day. Most are in the 8 to 22 acres size with buildings spread out all over.

    Last week I did site A on Tues./Weds due to rain and then it rained for 3 days. This week site A insisted I had to do her site the same day as usual even though it rained and I was behind. It's hard to play catch up with large sites sometimes and it's only my 1st year.

    She insisted I come Tuesday and had her head office manager come over. So I skipped 3 other sites and went. Well, I wasn't met with hi, thanks for coming over, it was more like where were you and you're not supposed to skip....blah...blah.. no care in the world about other sites. Their site is numero uno for them and damn the others...

    How do you guys deal with this... hardnosed people..?
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,652

    uhm... well you kinda get used to it, sorta...

    I had to do something myself years ago, it is a matter of how I run my business when someone insists I take care of them NOW, it is a problem. I decided at that time my business was first come, first serve. Just like waiting in line anywhere else, customers are taken care of in that order. With this problem, I can not place someone ahead of the line while I got folks waiting, it just wouldn't be fair if I put someone ahead of the next person in line.

    Yes there may be a few who are impatient, I have learned to let them know the schedule is on track and there is a bit of a backlog but all will be taken care of in due time. I like to tell them that the situation was forecasted and that production has been increased to meet up with the demand. But although one reacts as fast as possible, unfortunately it still takes real time for the changes to take effect and with a business such as this, real time is measured in days (but not weeks, days - a few, 2 or 3, time!).

    Should the grass be really tall, it wouldn't be the first time. Commercial mowers are designed to handle tons of turf, even grass that's 2-4 times as tall as usual is no match for these machines, the place will look just as beautiful as ever before (and cost no extra).

    So, with time you kind of develop some lingo like the above bs and it sounds good and the customers are ok with that, a calm tone of voice and you sounding like this is all nothing new helps a lot as well.
  3. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 806

    I did say some of the things you point out. I said a 3 day delay meant projects were waiting and it wasn't fair to skip them for hers. She said too bad so sad.... to wich I said .... nothing... lol It was so such a stupid reply I wasn't sure what to say. She is the typical "I don't care, give me the best service even though I'm paying crap prices..."
  4. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    I simply tell them I have no control over the weather and if they know of someone who does, hire them instead.
  5. BCF

    BCF LawnSite Member
    Messages: 107

    Let them know that if the weather holds your business backa few days, then you will proceed in the same order, unless there is some life or death situation. People must understand what with outdoor work we have no control if it rains, snows, or is just too unbearable to work. Or, if they insist they can't wait, tell them it will be an extra amount of money, enough to make worth all the headaches of pushing alrready upset people back. I give 'em three digits. No one's been that important on my schedule yet.
  6. chuck bow

    chuck bow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 701

    Sounds like she is a real BI$%^ to me, No offence Jodi but give a woman a little power and she on a real trip, she is the kind that no matter how good you do it isnt going to be good enough !!!!
  7. JJLandscapes

    JJLandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    Everyday of rain causes the shcedule to get pushed back one day. I deal with residentials so if 1 of 116 decide to cancel because im not superman or can control the weather then it doesnt effect me to bad You sound like 1 account might be a good chunk of your income though so i wont even try to give advice really

    had one customer who had sod put in there backyard it rained 3 days so they couldnt get there friday cut like they requested they called on monday and said we will be there friday and she was in shock and said its not good for the grass let alone new grass so.. we cut the grass soaking wet and long and left the place a disaster on purpose because the sun was going down they called and asked for the final bill and they will cancel and i havent been happier

    If trhey waited til friday there grass would have been long but dry and able to be cut i wouldnt be suprised if there grass is half dead

    maybe do the pain on the day she requested and whoever You planned on doing that day might not complain about being pushed back an extra day
  8. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,586

    and they are the same people who complain if you mow in the rain too....
  9. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    yup, pretty much dave
  10. You should have explained in the beginning that you were a fair-weather-only LCO. And at the first sign of inclement weather your schedule is going in the crapper.

    Personally I DO have control over the weather, they're called rain suits and carhart insulated overalls.


    Have I expressed that I'm less than sympathetic with your plight?

    Let me summarize, You promise the customer a scheduled day, you don't deliver, then whine when they complain.

    Fire you? You'll be lucky if they don't sue!

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