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is honesty the best policy?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    i was just looking at that guy's thread, requesting a cancelation notice, and before i could reply, i have a question. should you be honest? if u have a client who is cheap, and always lookin for extras for free or low price, and you had it with them, do you give this as the reason for cancelling? if you have one continously late on payments, do u give this reason for cancelling? are you brutally honest, or try to let them go, "gently?" though things will be done differently now, i have in the past cancelled service in the following manner: just stop showing up, don't return thier phonecalls. make up a lie, say we are downsizing. tell them they don't pay promptly, and i aint no credit card company. tell them i have a health condition. well, are u honest or not?
  2. dkeisala

    dkeisala LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 911

    Actual letter sent:

    I regret to inform you that due to a change in the nature of my business, I will no longer be providing lawn maintenance services for your residence. Maintenance services will cease effective immediately.

    I appreciate the opportunity to serve you over the last year. I wish you the best and thank you.
  3. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    Just Be Honest, Tell them that you can't work for Break even or a loss anymore.
  4. ParkerLawn

    ParkerLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from KY
    Messages: 511

    Honesty ALWAYS! This is a reflection of yourself, not the customer. It will payoff in the long run and allow you to know you did the right thing.
  5. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,454

    I'm honest when I can be. But I won't be brutally honest if it will only hurt someone. For instance, if a customer doesn't pay because they are broke, I'd probably go with "I've had a change in schedule and can no longer provide lawn service for you". If a customer doesn't pay because they are playing a game and wasting my time I will get to the point rather quickly. BTW, there is no grace period with me. If the check is not in my mailbox by the day before their next scehduled mowing, they get skipped. The only customers that get away with it are my year - round regulars and they are regulars because they pay.
  6. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    so parker, if they are a pain in the butt, and this is the reason you are terminating thier service, you will tell them, "your service is being terminated, because you are a nuisence?"
  7. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    I am blatantly honest. I have said in the past...

    "I am very sorry, but I am not your bank" (slow payers)
    "Not everyone can afford me" (el cheapos)
    "I can't charge you enough" (job ain't worth my while)
    "I don't have the time to do all this" (wanting too many free extras)
  8. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    This is a case where I don't think honesty is the best policy.
    Although it would feel good to tell these types of customers the exact truth as to why they were dropped, what actually is gained by this?

    Nobody likes to be reminded about their faults. Whether they are a late payer, a cheapo, or a chronic complainer, they still aren't going to like to be told this. All this will do is a leave a bad taste in their mouth about your company.

    We just dropped a lady last week. I sent out a nice cancellation notice. Although I was dying to tell this lady what I actually thought about her, I instead opted to tell her we were consolidating our routes and wouldn't be servicing her immediate area any more.

    This lady is a doctors wife, a member of the country club... What benefit would we have gained if I would have told her we were dropping her because she is a PITA? NONE..
  9. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,899

    Rod - don't forget "Our goal is to see you happy. Since we have fallen short of our goal in keeping you happy (by the numerous nuisance complaints you regitered), I believe its in both of our best interests if you seek the services of another qualified professional" Client who couldn't be pleased no matter what!
  10. leadarrows

    leadarrows LawnSite Senior Member
    from N/A
    Messages: 925

    Word of mouth helps or hurts with equal force. I wouldn't lie for fear of being caught in the lie. I wouldn't be rude for fear of negative word of mouth issues. That said a clever way of saying it like the one Turfdude offered gets my vote.

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