Pain and Suffering

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by SprinklerGuy, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Colorado Caller:
    Hello, my name is "pita", I am calling to cancel my 10am appointment with you today, because I had it fixed 3 or 4 days ago. Sorry.

    Frazzled sprinkler guy:
    Ma'am, can I just educate you a little bit? Do you realize that yesterday alone I received 8 calls that could have been stuck in the spot vacated by you just now?


    Angry frazzled sprinkler guy calls lady back after being hung up on...boy does he hate that!

    voice mail message:

    Mrs. Pita, I just wanted to finish our conversation. since you won't answer the phone, I will leave it on your machine. Let's say you are a subcontractor that works for people doing, hmmm...I don't know what, let's just call it office manager stuff. You are desperately needed by a lot of people because you do great work. Your phone is ringing non stop, and you are booking your work 1-2 weeks in advance. You tell people all the time, " no, sorry, I cannot work for you on Wednesday June 1st because I made an appointment with Mrs. Pita for that day...I'm sorry. You even got a call from a company with many many office locations that could have been a great contact and could have meant higher revenue for you in the future. You even told this company that you honored your word and you were really sorry, but Mrs. Pita has been waiting almost 1 week for this appointment and it wouldn't be right to cancel.

    On Wednesday morning, while you are preparing for your appointment with Mrs. Pita, she called to cancel her appointment. Hmmmmm....good bye to that appointment's revenue eh? Do you understand now? Or do you still just not care? By the way, it isn't nice to hang up on people. Have a great day!

    She called back and left me a message on my phone....she said she was going to send my voice mail to the BBB. Thank god! Now I won't have to join the BBB here in Colorado either! Whew!

    Some would say good riddance to this type of customer..some would have blown it off, but I can't. It irritates me to no end that there are people in this world less honorable than me. Now I know I don't sound like too great a guy because I couldn't "turn the other cheek", but I think I am an honest guy that when he says he will do something he does it.

    This cancellation thing really irritates me. Why is it that if you cancel your hotel room without 24 hour notice, they charge your credit card? Cancel airline flights same thing? But you can cancel your sprinkler service anytime you like, or even better, just don't be there when the schmuck sprinkler guy shows up! Nobody will charge your credit card for that!

    I hate to say this...but in Arizona this hasn't happened to me in a few years.....Guys/Gals, keep your current customers happy, because the ones that are calling you from the Yellow Pages, or wherever, are not loyal and will treat you this way. Your current customers never will.

    Boy am I fired up!
  2. Mueller Landscape Inc

    Mueller Landscape Inc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 489

    You could try getting a deposit through their credit card. Make it nonrefundable if they cancel. This works for our 1x service stuff.
  3. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195


    Sorry to hear about this. I would just say, "That's the price of doing business", but what a tired old cliche. It just ain't right to do someone that way.

    I agree with the deposit theory. Charge something reasonable when they call and make the appointment, say $50. Explain that this price will either come off their invoice, or will not be charged unless they cancel in less than 24/48 hours, or simply don't show (I prefer this idea). If they hang up on you, then you have saved yourself one more headache. If they give you their CC number, you probably have an honest customer, and possibly a long-term one.

    People like this customer is why businesses over-book appointments, then have unhappy clients. The upside of this is the report she will be sending to the BBB... as it is, it kind of makes you look like a smart business person. If things went the other way, she would be calling them because you didn't show and she waited on you.

    Good luck!
  4. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,211

    SprinklerGuy and I have talked about this today, and to top it off his first appointment this morning was a no show. I too had a cancellation for one of my techs. My situation is a little different since I have a larger client base and larger backlog of people waiting, I can usually plug something else in. I had my #1 tech go meet #2 tech to rebuild and old manifold that cracked last night. But if that had not happened I would have been a little irritated trying to find something for him to do. I also know Tony has had at least 2 or 3 other cancellations in the last 2 days. One was a contact I sent to him. And the guy talked to him for 30 minutes bugging him for info. Then cancels the day before saying he took care of it.

    I don't think turning the other cheek is the best thing to do. Sometimes you must, but not always. Nor should we yell and swear at the people that piss us off. And I know Tony did not do this. Sometimes I need to explain why I am upset with that person and what their actions have done to my schedule. The relief of letting out the steam on the person who created it, is better than letting it out on the wife, kids, employees, or other good clients who actually appreciate us.

    The no-shows are the ones that really get me. My #1 tech had 3 in one day. We may have had 3 more the rest of the spring. I just scheduled an appointment for a lady that had another company cancel 4 times on her since April. Now her lawn is very brown she says. Just needs new wiring from contoller to manifold due to new siding.
  5. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Upside to this pain in the butt day was that my son and I got to go fishing :)

    He enjoyed being out fishing, and I enjoyed being out of cell phone range!

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