I went off on a customer tonight.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by QualityLawnCare4u, May 26, 2005.

  1. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    Ive got a client that on and off for the past 5 years I have cut her yard on and off. She wants me to mow then after 2 or 3 times I pull up and the yard has been mowed by a nephew or grandson or whoever. This has happened several times. I started back doing her yard last month and told her I would be there every other monday. I pull up last monday and of course it was mowed, that was it, I had enough! She calls me tonight and tells me that her nephew got her old snapper running and he mowed it for her and she was going to let him do it, but of course it might not work out and would call me if Im needed. I said "no mam, dont bother, I will not do it anymore under these terms". She got quite for a few seconds then asked "why not? I explained to her that I wanted regular customers not any of this mamby pamby crap of when I need you. She told me she was happy with my work and was just trying to save money being whe is old and on fixed income. I told her "mam, Im trying to save money not wasting my time and gas with folks like you, it cost me time and gas driving to your place and the yard is done. She asked me" what happened to the nice guy I knew" I told her I was still a nice guy but was running my biz different this year. I aint your friend and you aint mine, Im just a guy that cuts your yard and I expect some loyalty and I in return will give you my 100%. I know that was not the most professional thing to do but by gosh, Im weeding these clients out real fast this year. I told her before I hung up that the only way I would do her yard would be a signed contract, this will eliminate this kind of aggravation, which she did not want to do. I know the I aint your friend did not sound good but dang it sure felt good!
  2. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    You did the right thing but you should have left your emotion at the door.

    Don't work for people who are not willing to sign a contract.
  3. dog245

    dog245 LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 34

    It's all part of the game we play. I had a "little o'lady last year that was referred to me by her nephew. I was told that she needed someone to mow for her cause the guy that was doing her yard was not doing it consistently or to her satisfaction......should have seen the writing on the wall then. However, I met with her to give her a bid. She came off as this poor old lady on a fixed income. It was a yard that was easily $40 but I gave her a price of $25, yes $25. I did it last year and each time I regretted going to it. it was the proverbial trool yard. We all know those with everything from the patio furniture in back yard to the flamingos placed strategically throughout. Well here it goes this year I sent out my preseason letters and hers I stated that i would be raising her to $30. Now keep in mind it is probably worth $45 this year. I got a card back stat ting "We were very pleased with your work and you did a superb job. However, we have found someone to do it cheaper." I have since found that this lady is a millionaire. My point is that as long as we do this we will have clients like this. Not many are going to treat us like this and we shouldn't't treat the majority to spite the minority. Keep up the good work and most will appreciate. Weed out the trouble ones and each year it will become more enjoyable.
  4. C&KLawnCare

    C&KLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 246

    boy i know how ya feel i have one my self that i am just one mowing away (and that's tomrow) from telling good bye . Started out this season every two weeks ok fine i will be their every other monday unless its raining . My phone never shuts up im out today trying to play catch up and 5 times she called 4 times on the home phone . you can not get into this womens head i have a schedual and i plan on keeping it as best i can . i can not just shut down in a middle of a job and go push mow and trim a dang yard for 20.00 . Only and i mean only reason i started doing it was for a freind of the better 1/2's . i do not belive ill be mowing this one much longer every two weeks and she wants it short as you can get a push mower to go . To hard on my equipment . not worth the time and sweat.
  5. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    I forgot to add that this was a 25 dollar yard. The lady started telling me what a wonderful client she had been and how much she had paid me. I told her that in 5 years Ive probably made 350-400 bucks off her yard and that not doing it was not going to put me in the poor house. Some folks think they are doing you a big favor paying you 25 bucks!
  6. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    You've got to weed them out,Danny. I would be pizzed to drive to an account and find it mowed 2 or 3 times out of four each month. Start using a contract for everyone..period. If you need help with one, let me know. I'd be happy to share some info with you to bulletproof your mowing clients' accounts and payment plans.

  7. C&KLawnCare

    C&KLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 246

    Yea they think 25.00 is really something your lucky to get 2 cans of gas and a happy meal at mcdonalds LOL. i also started a form of contracts my self some of these people think well im not sure what they think lol

    JKOOPERS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,259

    language ................
  9. NCLawnMedic

    NCLawnMedic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    Speaking of little old ladies, watch out for the ones that may have dementia. This customer called me out of the blue and I met with her, she told me what she wanted in every detail and I wrote the contact accordingly. However she kept referring to her deceased husband that wanted to keep her in the kitchen and not the yard and she would ask that same questions several times at different times in the conversation. Anyway I made the mistake of not following my instincts and signed her anyway. I mowed as contacted, treated her yard, it was greed, weed free and beautiful. One day she calls me inside to pay me. She handed me a check with a competitors name on it and showed me the bill. She was paying me for amounts she owed the LCO from last year. But it gets better. She showed me a flyer for another company stating that it would be xx.xx per mowing with a monthly payment of xx.xx. I advised her that I was charging her the same amount per cut, but included aerating and fertilization in my contract. She looked at me dumb founded, and asked but he only charges xx.xx. I told her to call him. Long story short, I have received NO money for 3 months of service. BE SURE YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE WITH IT.
  10. Remsen1

    Remsen1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    I agree. You did the right thing, but the way you went about it? You let your emotions take over.

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