Prepaids wanting to change the rules after weeks of service have completed

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by OhMowBucks, Oct 14, 2017.

  1. OhMowBucks

    OhMowBucks LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    I have this new customer since the beginning of September. Agreement was prepaid til end of this season. They knew from the sart' that the price they we're paying was for their lawn to be cut with a commercial mower. Cheaper for the prepaid and we use a commercial mower.
    They hadn't mowed their yard for a month, they told me, prior to inception of my service.
    Their yard was was mostly high dry grass. They claim that the zer turn has acThe yard didn't look well prior to me cutting it the first time. Now they want to have me cut it with a push mower. I'm mid fifties and have done lawn care for over 30 years and have never had this request.
    1) I'm reluctant to push mower a yard that is priced for a commercial mower. And has to much to cut around.
    2) At my age this is to much for my back, etc.
    3) took them on as a favor to their neighbor who already was my customer.
    4) My gut was to NOT take them on. (being PC, I knew they'd prob. Be difficult people)
    Want them to pound salt but could be hardship for me currently.
    Would love to hear your experiences with this and ideas.
    Thank you!
  2. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 10,787

    Easiest thing to do is just say--- No. That you are out there to make a living. That you can't make a living pushing big lawns. Do you want me to keep mowing your lawn or not? I would like to keep you as customers, but I understand if you want to find someone else
  3. Grassholes

    Grassholes Banned
    Messages: 495

    I hate when people do this. Lot of armchair quarterbacks in landscaping. I charge more if they want it done with a 21" mower.

    I have it written in my contracts now that I have to handle the maintenance schedule and procedures. They can switch landscaping companies at the end of the contract term. Their lawn was not in good shape when you found them so they are not being 'put out' by your methods.

    Sometimes people with the crappiest lawns have these oddly high standards or become picky over things that should not concern them. I laugh at the people who are obsessed with edging but the yard is full of weeds and ruts and bare spots.
  4. Todd73

    Todd73 LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Florida
    Messages: 2,583

    "No" is the most wonderful thing I have learned to say. You need to draw the line in the sand on this. Explain it however you want need; time, bad back, etc.You give on this, they're gonna try to get something else. Takers are always going to try to get more.
  5. marcusmac99

    marcusmac99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    It should be pointed out to the customer that commercial businesses in this industry do not use 21" push mowers in 99% of their customers. The list of reasons is long. You can spend time trying to "inform" the customer of those reasons. I, myself would ask them if they ever had an operation. Then ask them if they instructed the surgeon on what instruments to use. Then, if they still insist on the 21", then tell them Honda makes a great mower then give them your notice and stop the service.
    OhMowBucks likes this.
  6. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,953

    This list of reasons why "some commercial mowers" may not be appropriate for ALL properties is long also. Sometimes the customer is right. Without seeing photos of the property , the mower and the finished job how would you know? I am not saying a 21 is the answer, but a 1200-1400 pound ZTR may not either.
    skidoo433 and hort101 like this.
  7. marcusmac99

    marcusmac99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    Granted a 21" maybe better than a large ztr in some cases. Which is why I did not say 100% of commercials don't use a 21". Or the OP could by a 30" walk behind. The 30" is a 43% increase in cutting width each pass. So, it maybe easier on his back and if he increases the cut price, maybe profitable to keep the customer happy. But, if that customer quits, then he is stuck with very limited use equipment.
    Being further north you may not mind pushing during the summer. But in zone 9, it is not done except by high school kids.

    This would be a pretty good business if it wasn't for the customers.
    OhMowBucks, GoPappy and hort101 like this.
  8. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,805

    Another customer that thinks the lawn mower is a magical wand. They believe under their dry, non irrigated, multi species, field grass lawn is a beautiful putting green worthy of only the finest attentions.
  9. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,161

    Tell the guy , push mowers went out back when they had rotary phones
  10. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,389

    The zero turn has ac?

    Even if it did why would that matter?

    Learn something I teach a lot

    This is the deal
    I’m the contractor
    I specify the scope of work and how it will be done.
    You pay
    That’s the relationship

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