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Need advise with new customer

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mowerbrad, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    I picked up a customer a couple weeks ago. I went out the day they called to give them an estimate and got a call from them later that day that they would like me to do the lawn. I started out doing a quick clean-up and dethatching (very minimal work with not many leaves). I get done and the lady says that everything looks good. I tell her that weekly mowing will start around May 1st and get going to my other accounts that day.

    So at about 5:00pm that evening (7 hours after I had left) I get a call that they were unhappy with the job. I drive back over to their place from across town to see what the problem is. They first tell me that I didn't dethatch their lawn like I said I would. I told them when I gave them the quote that I would be using a tine rake dethatcher on my mower. But after explaining that to them another several times they still didn't understand that I dethatched. Then the lady starts tell me how I didn't blow the beds because leaves had blown back in to them. On top of all that, she starts to tell me that I didn't empty the bags on the mower often enough. After explaining to them another two times what type of dethatching I did (using the tine rake and not a power rake) they still didn't understand.

    I was trying to be very professional with them while I was there. I said to them that I was glad they told me they were unhappy so I could help correct the problem. Then they proceed to tell me that they weren't unhappy. I was finally able to leave and return to the other clean-up I was about to start.

    I returned to their place yesterday to clean-up the leaves that blew back into the beds. When I was finished the lady starts telling me how I need to take dethatching off my list of services because I don't do that. She said it was mis-leading because I didn't dethatch (which I did, I just couldn't make her understand).

    So far this lady has been nothing but problems and I can only see more to come as weekly mowing starts in another week. I am undecided as to what to do. I am debating whether or not I should just drop them or keep them. I didn't quote them high enough to continue to make return trips to their house.

    So now that I have vented a little, I need some advise as to what to do.
  2. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    all that crap and you don't know what to do. your in trouble.
  3. delphied

    delphied LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,067

    Maybe they know what a real de thatch job is with a real power rake and dont consider going over it with a tine rake to be a true de thatch?
  4. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 40,194

    If you didn't quote them high enough, and it seems they're going to be a problem (obviously), then you have to ask yourself, do you really need the business?
  5. turfbuilder

    turfbuilder LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from WI
    Messages: 554

    I am in a almost identical situation with a new customer that I picked up this year. After 1 cleanup for these people I realized that they are a PITA. They basically want me to do extra services above what they are paying me for.
    I have not mowed there yet because of rain but I'm beginning to think their $30.00 account isn't worth the B.S. They will be my 2nd PITA customer that I dropped this year. After all these years in LC I am not going to put up with people like that it's just not worth it. So basically Mowerbrad you have to decide if the headaches are worth the account :usflag:
  6. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,510

    I would give them a couple mows and see how it goes. Two more weeks won't kill you. If that's still now working out just tell them you are unable to provide them the service they are looking for, and give them the number of an LCO you don't like. Haha.
  7. TheC-Master

    TheC-Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 819

    I had a guy who had a terrible lawn who hadn't had it done in ages, and the neighbor who I had done asked me to do his or see if I could. The guy ended up asking me to do it. I did his lawn and he said it was fine, his edging hadn't been done in God knows how long. I had to kick what I edged to get it out, and I explained that the first time through wouldn't make it look fully maintained right away, but it looked good. He was happy. I could tell he was the guy who waits until his lawn is godly awful and ask someone to do it just that one time. I went over there Friday and he complained about the edging after I explained that I did it and it would take multiple goes. I had did a customer that day with bad edging and I fixed it on the second go. So I told him I could do it, and then he says it isn't a problem. Why complain to me about something, so when I "fix" it you don't want it. I ended up kicking the curb after I edged it again and I managed to get it done. He wasn't a full time customer or anything like that and I know those kinds are headaches from a mile off.
  8. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    I was thinking I will keep them for the next couple weeks and see how things go. If they continue on with all this bullsh*t I will refer them over to a different company. I have never had a customer like this, I have been lucky in the fact that most of my customers over the years have been very good.
  9. siclmn

    siclmn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 364

    Using a tine rake to de thatch a lawn is a joke. I don't have the nerve to use one and then charge someone for dragging it over their lawn. A power rake is how it is done and truckloads of thatch are removed. Using a tine rake is scamming them.
  10. Lawnut101

    Lawnut101 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,260

    I woudn't need a customer like that. I have had them in the past, but no longer work for them. Maybe try the mowing and see how it goes. But they may be a huge pain, which is what it sounds like.

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