Problem Customer

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Smartgene, May 19, 2002.

  1. Smartgene

    Smartgene LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    Estimated the yard last Saturday. Noted and discussed with customer the shortage of parking at his home. No parking on the street - his driveway can park two vehicles in front of gate and one behind. In order for me to park, he has to park one of his cars behind the gate. I get there yesterday to cut, and both cars are in front of the gate leaving me no place to park. I leave to go to my next customer's house and call my wife (who handles customer relations) and explain that I had no where to park. She calls the customer and he's asking for me to turn around and come back and that he'll move the car for me. I'm pissed that he would be so irresponsible, and then want to move the cars on my watch. He suggests that I could have illegally parked for a sec on the street or parked in his neighbors drive - both no nos for me.
    What do you guys think?
  2. P&J Lawncare

    P&J Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 531

    If it happens again drop the customer or be prepared to deal with the cars every time you are there.
  3. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    Unless that is a real well paying account, I would tell him that I will stop once for that rate. If I have to turn around and waste time while he is moving vehicles, the rate goes up.

    Better yet I would tell him to have the neighbor kid mow.
  4. Something I cover in my written agreement with customers is access to the work area. Although I've never had this particular problem, I think it falls under the same heading.
    If I show up to work on the scheduled day and am not able to work, the customer is billed reguardless.
    Things that I consider lack of access are - locked gates,( I try to get gate keys now) loose dog on yard, contruction work/materials. Pretty much anything that prevents me from doing my job. (that is of the customers doing)
    I am willing to work around things that they have going on if they will give me 48hrs notice.
    One thing I have learned over the years is that is you need to rely on the customer in situations such as yours-you get nothing but aggravation. Anyway you look at it its going to be a waste of time and or a possible ticket. Consider that on first service he asked you to break the law and put yourself at risk for him. Unless you really need the work and will just have to deal with the PITA this presents, I would talk to him again and give one more chance. The next time you show up and no parking-make it the last.
  5. ADMowing

    ADMowing LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 175

    I'm agreeing with the idea of not putting yourself in a bind by the possibility of getting tickets or worse, getting hit by other vehicles while parked in the street.

    PET PEEVE!!! Cars ON the grass or in driveways with nowhere to park. That is one of the worst things for me. It doesn't bother my husband, but it drives me crazy because it screams of inconsiderate behavior. We mow around the vehicles or not at all and still charge the customer. We don't bother calling them or coming back or anything. We have never had a customer call us and ask us why we didn't mow. Common sense tells them this. We mow on the same day each week -- pretty much around the same time. So, there is no excuse for them. If, because of their negligence, their lawn looks incomplete, it is not our fault. But, being people who like to do a good job and see a pretty lawn when we leave, it gets me VERY upset.

    Don't do it next time. If the customer calls you, tell him that in order to stop and do his yard, you need to have some consideration for us and have your vehicle out of the way. That is it -- pure and simple. If he drops you -- so be it! Good ridance!!! There are too many great customers who do care about us and who are appreciative to have to deal with that. I'd be diplomatic about it the first time and tell him that you'll be back next week and the car needs to be out of the way. If things are that tight for parking and stuff -- I'll bet it was not fun to have to turn around with your truck and trailer and all!

    We feel that respect goes both ways!
  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Why can't you park on the street? Is it a busy 4 lane, or what? Does it have a shoulder? Or, is it just a side street that happens to be marked no parking. If it is anything but the 4 lane, I would just pull to the ide, put the cones out, (spaced properly and atleast 3), hit the hazards, and mow! You are only there for a short time, and you ARE commercial. Now, being commercial doesn't justify this, but they are many of times a bit more understanding. I don't do ANY jobs where we have to take up the clients driveway.
  7. SLS

    SLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mars
    Messages: 1,540

    When viewing a lawn for a bid if I see that parking or security is an issue I just move on. No time for unnecessary aggravation. Same with gates...if they won't give me a key or the combination to the lock I just move on. People tend to 'forget' to unlock the gate (or are not at home) on your appointed day and then expect you to make a special 2nd trip to do the gated area. Nope.

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