It takes all kinds I guess

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by nitrotim, May 4, 2005.

  1. nitrotim

    nitrotim LawnSite Senior Member
    from nj
    Messages: 525

    I had this customer about 17,00 sq ft lawn. Anyway he hires me beginning of the season and I get his lawn in shape. The second time I cut it I followed the shape of the house and deck to a descending slope which i thought looked real good. He calls that night and says whats with all the swirls. I said I followed the contours of the house and he replies that he wants only straight lines. Ok its his money and I cut it yesterday the way he wants straight lines. I put some extra time in the trimming and edging the last time to make it easier to maintain. I had two people stop and tell me how good the lawn looked and ask for my card. The customer wanted an estimate for mulch so I returned that night with the estimate (8 yards installed). The husband comes to the door and I give him the estimate. He stammers and stutters and says that his wife's cousin is out of work and will be cutting and mulching from now on. I ask if there is something wrong with the way the yard looked and he says no and if his wife's cousin doesen't cut it good he'll call me. I asked if the agreement for services meant anything to him and his attitude changed and says well your agreement won't hold up in court so do what you want. I said see ya in court and by the way I guarranty your wife's cousin won't have the yard looking this nice. I actually wasn't pissed just annoyed that I worked a little extra to make the edges nicer to help me maintain them easier and he pulls this sh!t..He did pay me for the last cut. To me this was a typical well to do. Nice big house AUDI and PORSCHE in the driveway. Probably maxed out and can;t afford a $50.00 cut. Btw one of the people who stopped and asked for my card already called for me to give an estimate on yearly program including if and when we get snow. So I know its not me.
  2. jim dailey

    jim dailey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

    Them dammed people in Jersey...they'll do it to ya every time. Borrow Booby Bald-Ass's shovel and go after them
  3. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    what do you have in your service agreement? Any clauses that lock him into a certain amount of cuts or anything?
  4. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Messages: 1,237

    Okay, let me see if I have this right. He said his wifes cousin was canned and was out of work so he dicided that famliy was important. So, you thought it wasn't and instead of being a little passive and preserving the account, you got a little nippy. That sound about right? So now you have a bridge that's burned.
    Granted you do have a service agreement. But what are they really worth in the long run. Spend a day in court? I can't afford to. And you know the lawyers are just money magnets. One thing that I've learned is if I'm doing really good work and the customer is not sastisifed, chances are they're gonna call me back. Then, I'm in control. I name my own price and write my own ticket.
  5. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    There worth what ever it says there worth, and if there any good they cover your attoney fees. Thats why you have contract :dizzy:
  6. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    I agree... but sometimes it just feels good to speak your mind. It isn't right to fill a spot and then cancel when the first person in the family wants some extra money. Nothing makes me mad like when a days schedule is full and we turn down work in that area. Then a couple of weeks in a customer calls and cancels for some bull crap reason. That spot could have been filled by a more loyal customer if we just had a crystal ball that told us which ones are keepers, and losers.

    A contract is worth a lot if you intend to enforce it. This guys attitude for the law might justify a trip to court.
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    That's funny...this sort of thing just happened to me today. An older lady that lives next to one of my fert. customers asked for an estimate when I went over and did a spring cleanup for this customer. She wanted cleanup, mowing, fert., the whole nine yards. She even called and cancelled tru-brown. Well, while I was there, I pushed a bunch of leaves out of her weedline (back of yard) that were packedthere from fall. This was a few weeks ago, and I've had communication with her, and told her she was on the schedule (We've had rain, snow, and more rain consistently). Well, today, I go over and slit seed the first customer's back yard, with the plan of coming back that afternoon to get the other lady all done and polished up. She comes over and tells me that her grandson is out of college now, and is going to take care of the lawn. I just quickly replied, "Well THAT'S good!" She said. "Yes, he's not even gonna charge me anything." I said. Well, atleast the price is right. How about the fertilization and weed control?"
    "Oh, he's going to take care of that, too."
    I wasted no time in saying. "Well, great...I hope it works out."
    The way I see it, it's easy come and easy go. Now, I have no idea what he's going to do for the grub damage, as the whole area waas hit hard. They will have more troubles this year without Merit, but I didn't bother telling her. I figure she can pay me now....or pay me later. Like I said...easy come, easy go.
  8. nitrotim

    nitrotim LawnSite Senior Member
    from nj
    Messages: 525

    I didn't get nippy with him I just asked him about our service agreement. He retorted that it wouldn't hold up in court and bascically what it came down to was I got the lawn in shape and now he'll pay some scrub to cut it. Not a big thing I just know it wasn't my work.
  9. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    How many times have we all heard that BS! We get the yard looking good then all of a sudden thier son/daughter/granson/cousin/kid next door/wifes retired dad/uncle will now take over, you get the point. Im willing to bet that they have found somone a few bucks cheaper than you, not saying they could not be telling the truth but in my 7 years I have found everyone that has told me that to be a lie and caught them in it in time.
  10. nitrotim

    nitrotim LawnSite Senior Member
    from nj
    Messages: 525

    You're probably right but as a silver linning to this I signed the two people who stopped while I was doing their lawn the last time and also picked up a third near another account. So I know my work speaks for itself.

Share This Page