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Is it OK to?

Lawn Dog2001

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
South Carolina
Has anyone ever called another Lawn Service to get a reference on a customer?

I am going on a large commercial estimate tomorrow in an industrial park. This company called me last year and gave me the name of the company that used to service the property. The manager told me that the owner told her he was going out of business, and could no longer service the property. Well the kicker is I know darn well he did not go out of business, as I see him everywhere. So he must have told them that to drop the account on good terms. We wave to eachother when we see eachother, but I have never met the guy.

Any way last year I had an appointment to bid the same property, and before I got to the manager called to tell me they had already hired another service. So I never got to bid it last year. This year she calls and is looking for a new service. So If I get this I will be the 3rd LCO in 3 years. There must be a reason they are going through companies so fast.

The thing is this is a very desirable account to me. At least 3 acres, a large pond, lots of nice landscaping. The place looks like a park.

Do any of you guys think it would be odd to call their old service and ask whats up?
 

Gilla Gorilla

LawnSite Senior Member
It does not sound like a bad idea to do that. If the last guy
told her that he was going out of business, it sounds like there
might be some more to the story that you do not know about.
I would say that it cannot hurt if you do call, only if you dont call.

Good luck with it.
 

pjslawncare/landscap

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Southern Indiana
It dosnt' hurt to call and find out whats up with this. Not normal to go thru 3 servise providers in 3 years. Find out some insite before you commit your self and possibly avoid a headache.
 

gene gls

LawnSite Gold Member
LawnDog,

This is one reason why we should stay friends with our competitor's.I would not hesitate for one minuet to ask questions about former customers of other competitor's.

Gene
 
OP
Lawn Dog2001

Lawn Dog2001

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
South Carolina
Well I went on the estimate today. The property manager was very nice and everything went well.

Well here is the kicker. She told me flat out that the reason they are going through lawn services is because the company is owned by the government, and they are very slow payers. She said the last service was dropped because they would come in the office and demand payment everytime they came. She is not athourized to make any payments.

She also told me to make sure and draw up a solid contract, with payment terms. She said that the payment terms in my contract would be followed. But she is not the payer, so she does not have the final say.

I am definately going to call my competitor regaurding this. I really want the account, but I need to know whats up with payment.

The account is 4 acres in a nice industrial park. It is nicely landscaped, with a large pond, many trees. It is a really nice account I plan on bidding $225 per cutting. I mentioned that would be my price and she did seem Ok with that.

So what would you guys do here? It sounds like I will get my money. It is just a matter of when. Would you jump on this? Or stay away.
 

grass_cuttin_fool

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Virginia
I would take it. Sounds like to me the other contractor didnt have the capital to operate very long, prob had some hefty payments on his mowers maybe. I deal with some people that are salary paid and on social security and only get paid 1 time a monthand thats when they pay me. It s a nice mix alot pay as I finish mowing and then others come in the mail
 

gene gls

LawnSite Gold Member
Lawn Dog:

I do a post office and every thing is 3rd hand between invoices and payments. Some times payment is 30 days other times may be 60 days. Depends on when the invoices are accepted and sent to accounts payable. Good Luck.......

Gene
 
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