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Normal decent customers turning for worse on me.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by WHIPPLE5.7, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. WHIPPLE5.7

    WHIPPLE5.7 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 958

    Yesterday one my regulars walked out as I was finishing mowing and said "I have another job for you if you would like to do it". I was running low on time but I like to keep my current customers happy so I did it. She wanted me clean about 250 pounds worth of pines needles from a tree that died. It took 35 minutes and I was haulingass. She comes out says thank you and hands a check for the mowing and a 7UP for the pine needle job.:confused: At what point did I agree to do a job like that in trade for a 7UP? I cost me $11 in dump fees alone to get rid of it.:hammerhead: Then today when finished another customers she came out and asked if I could hedge trim about 175 feet of hedges she has. I said I could and she said she would pay me my regular mow rate to do it.:nono: I told that would totally unacceptable because it will take twice as long and I have to haul 3 times the waste. She says I need to do it for that price or she will start looking for a new lawn guy.:confused: I think the summer heat is making these people ******* nuts.
  2. lawnprosteveo

    lawnprosteveo LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,930

    Ive got my customers trained pretty well overall now....they know I charge $40 per man hr for anything other than the standard mow/trim/edge/blow...
    There are alot of people that will try to nickel and dime you...those are the best ones to cull out.
  3. Yuanding

    Yuanding LawnSite Member
    from England
    Messages: 82

    This kind of tedious argy bargy is part of the business. You have to try and minimise the time you spend on it and the thought you give to it. There ARE better customers out there; but the idiots are out there as well and we meet more of them than we'd like cos they're always falling out with their present lawn guy and going after new ones (i.e. you and me)
  4. DoetschOutdoor

    DoetschOutdoor LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S. IL
    Messages: 1,818

    Doesnt sound like a good customer to me or else you are letting yourself get taken advantage of. Some of my customers give me sodas as well, after they have handed over a check for all work completed.
  5. lawnjockey56

    lawnjockey56 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 227

    never ever ever ever ever do a job without setting a price
  6. Yater

    Yater LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 687

    I had one today too. She called to say that her family wasn't coming in this week and she only needed the front yard cut....the hedges and clean-up work will wait until next week (family coming for the 4th). I agreed to do the front for $25. When I got there, she followed me around and tried to show me how to trim....she wants 4" of dirt along her driveway, curb, and sidewalks. She told me I forgot to do the hedges last time but still charged her for it. She said there weren't enough clippings in the trash for me to have done them (I took the clippings with me). Then she told me I work too fast...there's no way for me to do all this work in 2 hours. She also hit me up for those last minute BS tasks like filling her birdbath, blowing out her flower beds, picking random twigs from her hedges. I told her that it would all be included in next weeks job....It's been 3 weeks since the back yard was cut and I plan to charge her for a full clean-up for the rest. If she balks at my up-front price, I'll leave her looking for a new lco on july 3rd.
  7. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Central NY
    Messages: 1,582

    Hey, at least they're paying you SOMETHING. I spent half of today calling and chasing money- Come the first of the month, no pay= no service. I'm sick of chasing money.
  8. jrush

    jrush LawnSite Member
    Messages: 215

    Same here, I'm tired of goin to the post office and seing that box empty:cry: They better be in by the 2nd or 3rd otherwise theres a stop work order until paid in full!
  9. dcgreenspro

    dcgreenspro LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 688

    I must say, I have been lucky in all of my new pickups until 3 weeks ago. I am doing 3 properties on the same street and I get flagged down by a potential customer. Needs 3 yards of mulch. I tell her the price and she almost faints. Asks for a way to lower it, I tell her for her to do all of the prep work, I'll put the mulch in. She agrees. Go to put it in. They have more beds built and low and behold, no edging is done on the old ones. I realize that I am going to be short of mulch now. I sling 1 yard, husband comes out and begins to watch me...for about 45 minutes...then it starts pouring!!
    So I finish the 3 yards, I am soaked and he thanks me for finishing, loves the work..etc.
    Get a email from the lady saying she won't pay until I finish the edging and complete the mulch. (I left a small bed undone, apparently).
    Next time my gut tells me something, I am going to listen.:hammerhead:
  10. WHIPPLE5.7

    WHIPPLE5.7 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 958

    Not all of them are. Started out the year with some saying I'll pay you at the end of the month and I agreed because I was hungry for customers. I got burned like a mofo so now its pay every visit or pay for an entire month up front but no working for a month and then chasing these people all over town trying to get when they don't even have the money to pay me anyway. I've done too many for free to not get prepayed anymore.

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