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How to handle cust complaint...........

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by ltw77, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. ltw77

    ltw77 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    A little preview of the situation: I have been working for a long time friend for the past 5 years part time in lawn care. We have been cutting this certain cust lawn for most of that time. It has always been a pleasant experience for both parties as far as I know. The house has vinyl siding and there is grass up to the house on one small section, in the back yard, maybe 25-30' long in a side corner. I ALWAYS cut the back yard so if anything goes wrong guess who is to blame........ME. I always admit when I make a mistake and call attention to it from the get go just because its the right thing to do and it establishes some trust and credability. So my buddy tells me earlier in the week that this cust has found a small spot on the vinyl that has been chipped out and says he noticed it this season since we got some bigger equipment(im using a quick36). As if to say I DID IT with the bigger mower. As soon as he told me I asked him if it was red showing through the vinyl?? He said yeah, I knew the spot he was talking about and I see it everytime I cut the yard and HAVE SEEN IT for at least a year if not more. I thought it was paint, not the brick foundation. Of coarse I tell my buddy this and he knows I'm telling the truth but he confronts the cust and he still insists we are responsible. I will gladly try to make it right but the vinyl is old and it may become a bigger mess trying to fix a small spot on the bottom section of vinyl. My buddy told the cust that IF I did it I didn't realize it and we are not going to argue about it. Whatever he wants to do then we will work with him to make it right. I think we will get through this but I know they think I did it and no matter what my response is they will always be hanging over my shoulder from here on out. I don't think there is anything else I could do but what do you guys feel is the best way to proceed for me personally in this situation? Sorry for the long story but I have been thinking about it for several days and thought I would ask:confused:
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    You could, for starters, state plain and simply that this damage has been there for a long time, much longer than the recent assumption of damage. That's for starters, I'm not getting into the rest.
  3. TurfProSTL

    TurfProSTL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 693

    Your buddy (your boss) has already decided he's going to try and fix the siding somehow.

    So don't worry about it.....

  4. Lawnamus

    Lawnamus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    #1 Stop worrying about it.

    #2 I've learned that you have to fight fire with fire.
    They told you about the spot. You in turn very respectfylly but very sternly (forthright) say yes you know about the spot and have seen it there for as long as you know you have

    #3 You have to be confident in your delivery of the message and reaffirm your awareness of these types of issures and that they should know you would always tell them if something is wrong. Make sure you tell them both while standing right in front of you.

    #4 To drive your point home, suggest that they walk around and inspect the premises before you all start work everywhere. Again, who cares if they think you are being a wise guy or whatever. You will of course suggest it respectfully and it will put the burden on those who may or may not believe you.

    By the way, you have helped me in my posting dilema. I am tired of trying to be MR. NICE GUY. People will not hassle with you nearly as much if they know you don't put up with crap. Not that this is a crap situation, but you tell them what the deal is and move on. It becomes their problem if they can't deal with it. Of course you have to this tactfully not being stupid and risking your job. But it can be done where you don't get taken advantage of or always get the short end of the stick.
  5. ltw77

    ltw77 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Thanks for the replies!! I know you guys are right. I just hate it when I know the story and "joe customer" assumes he knows better. I guess time will tell............

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