Need help with BONE HEAD customer

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Johnson, May 26, 2004.

  1. Johnson

    Johnson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    I have a customer that generated about $2000 per month. He is a property owner and I mow all of his properties (condos and apartment complex). He is always trying to save a buck. Well, today I called to let him know I would be mowing, as he requesyted i do. It had been 7 days since the last cut. he said no abd demended i not mow until atleast Mon or Tue. After much arguing, he said he only wants the properties mowed 3 times per month.

    This is insane. I have only been mowing them every 7 days and leaving clumps. I hate to show people what properties I mow because they look like crap when i am done with all of the grass clumps. I hate to give up the money. He is my largest account. However, I don't want to work with asomeone who would rather sacrafice service for a cheap price.

    What do I do. I am looking for any advice on how to handle this bone head. Thanks
  2. bugspit

    bugspit LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 767

    Raise the deck, cover all advertisements and collect.
  3. bdemir

    bdemir LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 610

    make sure you put in your contract and make hime sign one. that you will mow a certain times per year and you have to set your foot down otherwise you will never have business and will be mowing when your clients feel like you should.
  4. Shuter

    Shuter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    Mow every 7 days for 3 weeks, then skip until the first of the month. Seeing how bad the grass is when you skip will so the customer what you are trying to say.
  5. o-so-n-so

    o-so-n-so LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,218

    Tell the tight wad that its gonna cost the same per month every 10 days as every 7 days if you have to spend more than the average amount of time. If you can complete job in a hour on a 7 day rotation and it takes an hour and twenty minutes on a 10 day rotation the your getting jipped.

    If you really need the account.....don't do anything but mow it. You know what you need to do.

    hope all that makes sense.
  6. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,660

    I have many customers that tell me to skip here and skip there. I tell them straight up that the next time I mow I will have to charge extra for the amount of time it takes me to get their grass back to the normal height. Usually it ends up costing them about the same amount as it would if I would have just mowed it once a week. So pretty much I tell them (without using the word tightwad to their face) that if they're trying to penny pinch, that skipping a mowing will not save them any money.
  7. Johnson

    Johnson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    Thanks for the replies. This is the type of guy who will not let you get a word in. he knows what he wants and it's his way or the highway. Knowing that, I will give him what he wants and give him what he is paying me for.

    I pride myself on being less expensive than most with a service plan second to none. However, this guy is really testing my ethics and I think it's time to start giving him the type of service he is paying for. Thanks again for the replis.
  8. jwholden

    jwholden LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 218

    Have work prepared to fill the hole in your schedule when you get the call and NEVER let this guy get behind on payments. There are 10 other guys waiting to fill your shoes.
  9. Johnson

    Johnson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    I know exactly what you mean. However, I have used every tactic possible with this man and it does not work. When we had our conversation today, I basically told him i was done dealing with him and that I was not running a busineses waiting by the phone for him to tell me when to cut. he said "Well, that's the way i do it and if you don't like it i have other bids that are very comperable to yours." Soooo, i will just bite my tounge and try and generate more business by next year so i can dump him on his rear end and move on.

    Another side note about this guy. I gave him an estimate on mulching one of hi apartment complexes this year for $2500.00. This was for 49 yards of mulch. The price was very fair. He acted like I was trying to rip him off and said i will have the mexicans that rent from me do it. he ended up having these gentlemen do it for $900 inluding meterial and it looks like crap. Mulch is running into the grass, they didn't even edge the beds. He thinkls it looks good. this is what i am dealing with. I know I can't complain too much, I am the one who continues to do business with him. i just don't want to give up the cash until I can replace the account.
  10. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,656

    If he wants a cheap mow, then thats what you should give him. Just mow and blow. Open the discharge and dont look back.

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