need to vent

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by JLong, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. JLong

    JLong LawnSite Member
    Messages: 103

    sorry if this is in the wrong section.
    I've been in business for roughly three years pretty much full time while i'm going through school and never met a customer as full of it as the one today. I meet with him and his wife nice people and agree to do a bed clean up and much for an "estimated price" explaining that i could't give a firm bid for clean ups and that i would notify them if it went quite a bit higher. they said oh sure we understand. anyway i do the work, keep getting told oh it looks nice, looks great. I leave and start work down the street. they drive by wave and smile multiple times. I thought it was done and they were happy. He then calls me up pissed when he gets the bill won't tell me whats wrong just mad. I go meet with him and he is upset cause the bill had 35 dollars extra on it (he agree for me to cut down a small dead tree) and starts nick picking over leaves that had blown back into beds and got even madder when i showed him fresh mulch under the leaves proving they blew in. any way he said he needed to give me pointers on how to run my business better :confused: but anyway i re-cleaned out the new leaves and finally got paid...wont do work for him again

    sorry need to vent
  2. gardener

    gardener LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    you kept your cool and got paid. you did the right thing.
  3. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    Yeah, some customers can be a royal pain. I sometimes get a little uneasy about working for people that I don't know anything about for reasons like that. I would venture to say that probably 80% of my work comes from leads or recommendations. Most of these turn out very well. I also have friends in other service industries like pest control, painting, etc..and they will send customers my way. They will not send pitas to me.
    The larger I get the more I am running into these people that just happen up on me or I have no clue about. I am also running into more problems like you have described. I used to do one time shrub pruning jobs and more cleanups than I do now. I have done this for some elderly customers that can still mow their grass but can't do the extras any more. I go look at the job, price it high. I show up to do the job, and by the time the customer gets through following me around, like I don't know what I am doing, and pointing out every detail and telling me to take more off of this shrub and that, etc..I end up not making much money. I'm like...I priced the job for a shrub trim not a shrub butcher. :hammerhead:
    You did the right thing. It can eat away at you. I just wait until they call me again, and I either tell them I am too busy to work for them, or tell them the truth and tell them that I will come back out but the price will be much higher. Then I will explain why. They don't usually like that too much. :nono:
  4. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,369

    Ditto ... it sounds like you handled it well !!
  5. yardshark

    yardshark LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Yeah, I know what you mean, I'm new to this forum but been in business since 2006. People this year seem like their not getting there moneys worth or something and I am working as cheap as I can work and still make a little money. There was a guy called me 2 days ago for an estimate on mowing,trimming,cleaning underbrush in some woods and re-mulching every thing he had, over 60 cubic yards of mulch by the way cause he wanted a min of 4" deep. I priced it for $3000.00 for everything and he thought I was way out of reason and honestly I work for the going rate with everyone else around east tn. I've had several of those this year.
  6. MowJOlawncare

    MowJOlawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    The customers i cant stand are the ones who dont think we are professionals. The kind that sit out on the porch and watch every move you make. I recently did a yard for an elderly disabled man. On the phone I asked him if it was gonna be a weekly thing and he said it depends. Normally i would never even go quote someone if i knew the possibility of repeat business wasnt there but i wasnt busy and was in the neighborhood so i stopped by. I gave him a cheap quote much cheaper then i shouldve then after i quoted him he mentioned that he didnt want me to use a rider so i pushed it and had to go over it twice. To make matters worse he asked me to use his mower before i started which i obviously declined. 30 minutes he rolled up and down the drive way in his wheelchair watching me. He kept wheeling over the grass clippings which made them impossible to blow off the pavement, and of course, i got blamed for it. when i was done he told me to come back thursday i said ok then left, knowing that i would never do work for him again. In this line of work there is nothing more insulting then being treated like the neighborhood boy working for peanuts.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yeah, I'm with you guys on most if not all of it...

    It's sad how it is, they get me sometimes too, no doubt.
    Why I say it's not all about the money.

    I still think it's funny, when I stop and think about it:
    One Lco's pita is another Lco's goldmine.
    So we just trade customers back and forth lol

    There is something to it thou, has to do with how well I get along with a customer...
    To me that is very important, probably as much if not more than the price quoted or agreed upon...
    How they treat me and are the gears engaging smoothly or are they grinding, do we see eye to eye.
    And a lot of this deals with perception, how they see me, how I see them, and so on.
    So I try and feel things out, peace and quiet to me is as important.
    And that is how I might get along great with a customer you can't stand, and vice versa.

    well i gtg zzzz
  8. rachael24

    rachael24 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    I handled it better than I would have LOL. I give you credit!
  9. Gardens55

    Gardens55 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 98

    I like the way he was more than happy with your work until the bill came, then he makes a fuss! :rolleyes:
  10. k911lowe

    k911lowe LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    i found that when dealing with new customers i require payment up front-no money,no deal.

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