PITA customers

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Callahan's Lawn Services, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. Callahan's Lawn Services

    Callahan's Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    Well here is my ordeal. I have a customer with with roughly 2 acres of property that has two huge garages and one house that is probably every bit of 10k sq.ft. It is a new constructiin that is not landscaped at all around the house. The rest of the property is nicely landscaped and this is what I maintain. Customer monitors it through CCTV because he is away at the moment. He was complaining that I didn't trim the weeds around the foundation or cut the grass/ weeds in the rear, which by the way is mostly mud and sandy soil that dand near swallows my Exmark to the hubs. Now I have serviced the complete property one time before and it took me 3.5 hours. He agreed to pay $65.00 per service. I told him that I could no longer use my mower as a brush cutter and bush hog on his problem areas of the yard. He wants too much but won't come off the dime to let me do everything. Now for 65.00 I manicure soley the areas that are landscaped and they look amazing. This takes me about 1.2 hours, which is still good money per my time. I pulled up Saturday to spend some time on the grounds before he got home and couldn't get in his dang iron gate due to faulty keypads. My thing is that everytime I go over there its always something, locked gate, snakes, chased by geese, hornets, muddy grounds due to irrigation leaks. I am about to just cut ties and pick up another customer. Finally my question is how much do yall take before the client gets the boot? I'm still an active duty Marine and I mow on the weekends so I don't have time for shananigans like this.

    GOATMAN GEORGE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    2 acresfor $65 And 3.5 hrs labor if u were running a real business u would be toast. You should drop him immediatly after all those issues plus you are makin no $ at that rate And you are hurting yourself the market by going so Low
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  3. Caddyshack Lawn Care

    Caddyshack Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 748

    Why are you working 3.5 hours for $65?
  4. Callahan's Lawn Services

    Callahan's Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    No no, I COULD work 3.5 to give the customer what he wants but like I said I would make absolutely no money. Now I service the landscaped portions of the property that takes me a few mins over an hour and I can turn a profit with the 65$.I'm just really fed up with all of the variables I deal with from this one guy. It really urks me when I have to back down a one lane road around a corner abiut a half mile with a 8x20 trailer when I can't open the dang gate! This will be the first customer that I will be droppingand I guess I just don't know how to go about it. Call/ email/ face to face or just stop showing up?
  5. Kurt6845

    Kurt6845 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 128

    I'd drop him like it's hot! I'm not sure what the market is like up there, but even $65 for an hour of mowing, etc is barely competitive. It's not worth the hassle. If you think about it, after you spend an hour there, how much more time do you spend sending/receiving emails, phone calls, etc from this customer? I'm sure if you ad up how much time you spend on this customer, it will come out well over an hour and your time is more valuable. My advice, call him, explain to him that the situation is just not working out and you need to drop him as a customer. Give him a timeline, tell him you will service his property two more times before you drop him, so he has enough time to find someone else. Try to leave on a good note, I know that you have a bad taste in your mouth, and that's fine, but you don't wanna leave a bad one in his. It's amazing how much business you could lose just by one upset customer. I'd drop it and go find you a few little 1/4 or 1/2 acre lots in a subdivision. You're in and out and you can get $30-$40 a piece, make more money in the same amount of time. Good luck man!

    GOATMAN GEORGE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    Tell him you misunderstood his expectations in your quote and offer a new quote or decline his future business.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. zackvbra

    zackvbra LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    I would charge around $65 for 1 acre. wow. I do one 2 acre yard for $80, but it only takes 1 1/2 hrs.
  8. monoshock

    monoshock LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,325

    I would keep mowing it, so you can feel the pain of bidding to low. JK.
  9. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    It really sounds more like a PITA property than a PITA client.
  10. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    It's not the customer's fault that you agreed to do the work for that price, if it were me I would at least finish out the season, I know a lot of folks think I ain't never seen a hard day's work but doing the right things may teach us all some good things, marine.

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