It's official...I'm ********

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by wooley99, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. wooley99

    wooley99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    The whole thing was like a train wreck and I just couldn't stop myself. I got an out of the blue (or green) call Friday for an estimate, referred by a property manager I get some business from. "How much do you charge to cut...? It's a rental, I don't have a mower, etc." I say it depends, "I'll take a look Monday and give you a quote" (Monday because I'm driving out of town when he calls).

    It's a very nice sub-division, all 1/2 acre lots. His house is right between two I already cut. .5 miles apart, 5 miles from my house. The garage is full of boxes, there's little evidence of habitation in the lawn. No privacy fence. Yeah! I ASSUME he's a new renter and the yard died while it was vacant. The centipede is not competing well with the 2-3 foot tall weeds out back. Lots of evidence of why lawns need irrigation early in a drought rather than pouring on the water after the grass is dying and the weeds aren't.

    Then I become an idiot. I get his voicemail and quote him my normal price for his yard, $45.

    No call back, I call him again Tuesday because I'm cutting the other two lots today and he's right between them and I want this lawn. (See I'm ********). We talk "I'm working in your area tomorrow and can start taking care or your lawn" I already gave him a price. He's lived there since December and the lease expires in Aug. Weekly doesn't fly so I offer bi-weekly through then and he wants "A La Carte". Huh? He says "He'll call when he wants it cut". He asks how he pays and I say "well if no one is home do you have a door mat?" Nope no door mat. He'll think of something and call me back. No call back, I can see disaster all over this. I read about this same stupid thing on this site last night but I can't help it.

    I drive by today after doing my lots along this street. Truck in the drive, so I ring the bell, nothing. My card is still stuck in the jam from when I did the quote on Monday. I'm almost stupid enough to mow with no dough but not quite so off I go. When I get home tonight there's a message from this dude. He couldn't remember if I was going to cut today or tomorrow.

    You'd think I'd learn but I guess not. What do you think? Call him back just to continue the fun?

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    If it were a regular weekly customer that would be something I might pursue a bit, but A La Carte??? A La Carte is something you find in a cafeteria. For lawn mowing....a nuisance. He will always call you the week when you're backed up with rain and can't barely finish what you've got. So just pass on this guy.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    No man, I think you need to run before either that guy or the situation takes you for a ride.

    See this part:
    That's it, you've done your job, the ball is in his court.
    That's the end of it, nothing except a "YES DO it!" from here on out, and coming from him.
    No call backs, no driving past, no wondering about ifs, ands, or buts...
    He has to call you, he has to say it, once you leave the quote it's his turn, he has to make the next move.
    If he doesn't call back it means No, sorry but any answer except "YES DO it!" means NO.

    It's just as stupid, believe me.
  4. MeadowsLawnCare

    MeadowsLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 192

    I had one that agreed on weekly. Two times, first when i talked to her and second time right after my first mow of the weed field. Then she calls me after I leave the first time saying that we need to work something out, where she will just call me when she wants it mowed. I explained if that was gonna be the case I will have to charge her double if its 2 weeks and triple if its 3 weeks and so on. She says ok and guess what, I never heard back :p People don't understand that others see our trailer outside and our best advertisement is our work itself. If that lawn looks like crap for a week or 2 there gonna blame us, not moron clients.
  5. avjohnson

    avjohnson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    Yep, these kinds of accts are a PITA. They wait way too long and then call when you have no time to do it. Run!
  6. 4curbappeal

    4curbappeal LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 761

    Sounds like my year!!! Run- run fast and far!:weightlifter:
  7. Focal Point Landscapes

    Focal Point Landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 401

    He probably won't pay you , either.
  8. lawnkings

    lawnkings LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    That was my first thought, sounds like a deadbeat trying to get something for free. I refuse to do work for someone I havn't met in person. Even then that is no guarantee
  9. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    run away right now
  10. Kumi

    Kumi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    I had a very similar problem recently. If you have plenty of other customers i wouldn't worry about this one guy but if he calls you and you have space to fit his lawn into your schedule that week then go for it. It might be once a month or so but it's still $45 more than you would make that month if you didn't do his lawn.

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