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I won't need mowing this week....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by crawdad, Aug 22, 2002.

  1. crawdad

    crawdad LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,938

    Here's the situation.. Two customers, scheduled on same day every two weeks, they talk to each other on the phone all of the time, so they do know when I'm coming. I mow one of them, fine, see ya later, I go to the other one, unload, head for front yard. She comes out on back porch, I wave. Get into front yard, not too much growth in the last two weeks, but a lot of weeds. Twirly birds, someone on this forum called them. So I do a once around the yard to get started, and she comes out the front door and tells me to stop. She doesn't think it has grown enough to mow, at least it "isn't worth $40." She wants me to lowball myself. I don't think so. It either needs a mow or it doesn't, I tell her. I tell her my wife tells me I should charge more in spring when it is growing like crazy. I give her the speech about weeds taking over if you let them get tall, she still wants to "wait a week." I politely tell her that next tuesday is someone elses day, and if we wait, it'll be two more weeks when I am doing the neighbor.
    She did offer to pay me something for unloading and mowing a little section of her yard. I declined payment at this time, didn't want to tell her the charge for driving to her house and unloading would be $30, or she could let me mow for $40. I think she wanted to give me 5 bucks or something. She said she would pay extra next time I mowed, I said "OK."
    Two weeks go by, very little rain, so Monday I call first, starting with the neighbor. Nope, doesn't need it. OK, call the other one. She says it hasn't grown, doesn't need mowing, maybe next week. OK, bye.
    Wednesday I am going past the neighborhood, so I figure I'll glance at the yards, weeds must be getting way tall, it's been a month. I drive past, look through the bushes to the front yard, seems awfully short for a month without mowing...pull over, walk into yard, it is freshly mowed!
    I've been mowing her yard for 3 years and she does this! My wife says I should call her and see what is up, I'm ready to just drop her. This just sticks in my craw.
  2. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    really sympathise crawdad. but whats the point of doing anything . she got somebody else.stings a little ,but u have to get use to it in this buisiness. good luck.
  3. crawdad

    crawdad LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,938

    Ya, when this happens, my wife always wants me to call. I generally just move on to the next customer.
  4. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    well you've probably heard this so many times you are sick of it...but I can tell you as a new guy in this biz it does work...every single mow customer I have is on a contract. Its all in how you sell the contract...you have to make the point that often you'll be mowing more than every 7 days....right now maybe every 14...but the bottom line is they have a landscape that is going to cost 'x' dollars to maintain for 9 months....sell it like insurance..."peace of mind". And you also need to make the point that profesional service providers cannot maintain a professional business by waiting on the lawnwoner to call...if they dont understand that, you may not really want them as a customer..Now we are in some very dry times...so on those accounts where I am mowing less, I go in and trim, cleanup, fill holes,deadhead flowers, whatever...there is ALWAYS work to do in a landscape. In this way I am maintaining my revenue stream, the ccontract is being fulfilled as agreed to, and the client is getting 'his moneys worth". I know alot of guys dont do contracts, but frankly, I cant see how you can survive in this biz without them...I have not had ONE customer have a problem with this.....because I sell the concept right up front before a blade ever turns....give it some thought..good luck
  5. Mike (MLC)

    Mike (MLC) LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    Sorry to hear you lost a customer. There are so many out there that never call and give you an explaination on why they dropped you. :rolleyes: I mow 3 yards that are all next to one another. I was mowing all 3 once a week. Well, one of the ladies said that she didn't think her yard was growing as fast as her neighbor's and she wanted me to come every 2 weeks for her. I don't know what she is talking about because her yard is exactly like the other 2!! Anyway, I went to mow them again the other day and the lady stuck a note to her check that said: "My front doesn't seem to grow as fast as my back. I would like you to mow my back yard every week and my front yard every 2 weeks. Please let me know the price for a half yard" I have about had it with this woman. I think it won't be long before I am going to drop her. ;)
  6. proline32

    proline32 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 98383
    Messages: 278

    This happens all the time, just get used to it if you plan to stay in this business...... I have had a few do this to me but you know what I really don't care..... Just gives me more time to go fishin, and if they drop you for some one cheaper don't worry about it, it all balances out in the end and you should be enjoying the fact that you work for yourself...... Recently I just dropped a contract customer (condo asso) that was slow paying thier bill constantly.
    it was a $800 a month account that only took me two hours a week to mow, but hey I stand my ground and won't tollerate folks who don't take paying my bill seriously so I dumped them and went fishin instead on tueday afternoons. Basiclly I find for every account that I dump I always pick one up to replace it.

    I find that if you let these issues get you down, you start to have problems with both your business and personal life.
  7. Blessed 1

    Blessed 1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 516

    It must be the name Mike's Lawn Care because I have the exact same problem only she wants the front cut every two weeks and has the ordasity to say we hardly every use the back so it can wait till next time. Aint that a joke! I want to drop her as well but I have picked up 2 of her neighbors who are good customers. She was one of my first customers so I put up with her junk but I talk about her every chance I get. HA ha. I'm embarrassed to say then on top of that she always is short on the 35.00 till payday. Needless to say she will not be getting the bonus that I plan on giving my regular "paying customers"! She told me at the beginning of the year that she could not find a dependable lawn man------I wonder why?
  8. bubble boy

    bubble boy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    i'd call to see what was going on. i would say she owes you an explanation.

    or call just out of curiosity, if nothing else.
  9. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    You can't let these people play you like the kid down the street that's mowing for rollerskating money. If you have a business to run, then RUN it. You don't let customers dictate when their lawn needs mowing. They don't tell their mechanics when their car needs a new diode or computer chip, and they don't tell their furnace guy when they need a new orifice, and they don't tell their doctor when they need additional mammogram tests. Period.
  10. Big Al

    Big Al LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    My best one so far has bee two fully loaded rigs pulling up to a house at the exact same time:eek:

    I got dropped and never got notified. After grilling the other guy I cut 4 other yards in the neighborhood and went about my biz. At the end of the day I made a pass by the yard and it looked like hammered horse poo poo. She has one of those bottomless lawns where the mower sinks in a little and this dude cut it with a big Craftsman rider.

    Needless to say I got a call the next week. I told her that I didnt appreciate the way she treated me and I dropped her........never liked that yard anyway.


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