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I can't believe this....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by TLS, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    First off, let me appologize. It's 11PM and I just got in and listened to my answering machine.

    Customer since 1997.

    1.5 Acres.

    48 Trees (27 of them newly installed in 2000)

    Above ground pool. (new in 2002)

    Shed (new in 2002)

    Swing set (Big one!) Since day one.

    Sidewalk out front with a 57" boulevard of grass between it and curb. (Yeah, just narrow enough to make it a PITA to mow with the 60" Lazer)

    I start them out at $45/cut in 1997 (I wanted $50 but he got me down to $45 CASH.) They pay the end of the month while I'm there. Took just under 1 hour to mow it in 1997.

    27 trees went in midway through the 2000 season. I bit the bullet the remainder of the season and raised them to $50 in 2001.

    Everything's been fine since then. I figure no reason to raise them a buck or two since they always pay cash. Well this year, with my liability insurance going up 50% and gas skyrocketing, I figure let me write them a nice letter explaining that I'll need to raise them this year to an even $60 (once again thinking to keep it even to help with the cash part).

    Sent out the nice letter on Monday morning expaining that it's been 3 seasons since I've raised them. Since then the shed and pool have been installed and it now takes me 1.5hrs on a good day to mow, trim, blow and go.

    I may also add, that I picked up two nearby lawns just from the appearance that I give this lawn. It is highly visible on a curve in the road. This customer even asks me for their favorite "angle" for the stripes on special occaisions (birthdays, etc.). It's literally the "talk of the neighborhood" type of lawn.


    Here is the kicker.

    He calls me tonite while I'm out and says that his wife made some calls and she found a lawn service to do it for ......GET THIS.....$35/cut. :eek:

    He attempts to appologize, and says that I can pick up this months payment whenever I want, that TOMORROW the NEW guy is mowing it. Well as of 7PM tonite I had planned on mowing it TOMORROW.

    I just cant see how someone can spend at least an HOUR (probably more on the first mow) on this property and get $35.

    I've been pi$$ed before, but not over something like this.

    I'm gonna bite my lip, go get my money and walk away silently.

    P.S. This is a customer that their 7 year old son is infactuated with me and my mowers. Sits by the window and watches me every week. I've seen him grow from a newborn to my little buddie that hands me my money in the envelope.

    I also plow their snow.

    Or....used to. :confused:
  2. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 4,205

    Don't worry,they will probably be sorry.
  3. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    This could be for the best. You might find a customer to replace them that will pay you $70.
  4. work_it

    work_it LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 976

    I had something similar happen to me at the beginning of this season. Now the guy is calling me again. He just signed a contract for chemical treatments on 3 of his properties, gave me back 2 of his appartment buildings for mowing, and is now considering firing the new LCO and giving me another 2 accounts. Just hang in there, and I'm sure in time they may reconsider.

    LAWNS AND MOWER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,129

    Be patient TLS. The old saying.....you get what you pay for....will hold true here, and they will be calling you up very soon. I can feel your pain though, putting so much effort to make it look great, and then they drop you.

    Good luck!!
  6. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,410

    Wow, $35. Chances are they wont last long and/or customer wont be happy with new (budget) lawn guy. Oh well, bow out graciously & profesionally, you probably havent heard the last of them and like Tiedeman says, you will likely pick up a $70 account in its place.
  7. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    First of all.. I'd like to know how the heck you or anyone else gets a 1.5 acre lawn (with 21 trees, large play set, house & 57" of curb line of grass) done in under an hour? I just don't know what I am doing wrong? I consider myself extremely efficient but I just can't seem to get things done as quickly as what I'm reading here on this site. What's the secret?

    Secondly.. sorry to hear about that Tommy. I'm always a nervous wreck when it comes to raising or asking for a fair price. Just goes to show you that it doesn't matter how good of a job you do.. your expendable. I lost one a couple of weeks ago.. said it was too expensive ($60 for 60,000 sf) and his son was going to do it. Turns out his son is not doing it because he found someone cheaper. It was across the street from one I still do. It hurts but it opened up room to take on what I hope to be better clients.
  8. Lbilawncare

    Lbilawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,119

    There is always someone better waiting to replace him on your route, you just have to be patient and don't let it bother you. You probably won't miss mowing around all of those trees- especially for only 40.00 an hour.
  9. leadarrows

    leadarrows LawnSite Senior Member
    from N/A
    Messages: 925

    Sometimes it ant just about the money. Sounds like one of those times to me. Damm shame people are like that. Sorry to hear it. Like the others have already said hang in there it might not be long before he eats crow and you get what it's really worth when he asks you back. If not .........thats life sometimes. Find a better account to replace him with and don't look back.

    I know it's easy for me to say huh? :(
  10. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087


    That's lousy of them. After a while you start to have an attachment to those premo accounts. However, in this case you certainly got attched on the wrong lawn. IMHO you lowballed it to begin with and then got to liking the job. Then you got attached and became a sponge just soaking up the additional work.

    Now after one increase and one attempt to increase, they have sent you packing in favor of some idiot. Anyways, even if you had kept the job and got the increase, the price would have still been to low. So take another look at this and realize they really did you a favor. So go out and find a replacement at the right price.

    Also... when they try to call you back to the job, don't forget how they treated and offended you....

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