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Question about flakey customer

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Shaun13, May 1, 2008.

  1. Shaun13

    Shaun13 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    So this is my first year part time and everything is going well. The only thing is I've got this one customer who said he was going to sign up for regular bi weekly service and after the first cut(which by the way was entirely over grown and I filled 15+ 60gallon trash bags with clippings) said he wanted to wait a while for the next cut. I told him at the time that we couldn't wait too long because we'd be in the same situation with the grass being way too tall. Just fyi it took me 2 weeks to collect payment with multiple phone calls and bs to finally get paid. Major pain in the a**. I get a text message?? from him yesterday asking if i could fit him in this week. I know that I don't want this guy as a customer but I don't know how to handle the situation where I don't come out with a bad name for my company. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    Tell him your schedule and stick to it. Tell him its every two weeks and if you show up and only have to cut either front or back give him a little bit off.
  3. KGR landscapeing

    KGR landscapeing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    a huge jug of non slective herbicide and fix the problem for him
  4. lawnboy858

    lawnboy858 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 344

    Tell him if he doesn't want to stick to a bi-weekly schedule you won't provide service.

    If he wants to wait longer, charge accordingly.
  5. j05h22

    j05h22 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 70

    That's funny you bring this up because I'm having a similar problem. I cleaned up a lady's yard that was all grown up about 3 weeks ago. She paid me promptly and we had everything lined up to mow weekly. the day I was to show up and mow again she calls and says money is tight and doesn't want me to come out due to money. I called her the next week and no answer. I had given up on her because I had driven by several times and the yard looks bad (hasnt been touched in 3 weeks.) Well now i've got a message on my phone wanting me to come out to mow it now. I know she'll be pissed when I tell her it's gonna be extra to clean it up AGAIN!. But oh well.
  6. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,359

    DO NOT WASTE ANYMORE TIME ON THESE PEOPLE!!:gunsfirin:gunsfirin Avoid taking on customers that want to dictate to you. Do not be the on-call guy , you will get screwed every time. Bid high on overgrown nightmares. Come on 15, 60 gallon trash bags full! That would have been a 250.00 yard cleanup. Don't be afraid to turn down a job. I know its hard when your starting but why kill yourself for chump change and a busted butt. Always get your first payment up front or after first cut. If they balk you walk. I tell new customers I cannot extend credit to them on the first month. Genuine customers will not have a problem with this.:usflag::usflag::usflag:
  7. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 993

    Patriot said all that needed to be said. Thread closed.
  8. lawnkingforever

    lawnkingforever LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,280

    Good post Patriot, I am done with customers like this also. I dropped one today and have to get rid of one more pita, then it is smooth sailing for the summer.
  9. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    I got this property started on a weekly cut today. A few before and after pics. It took me a little bit to get it finished. I got paid good for my time. He also wants all the weeds and small branches/trees cut out and all the sticks cleaned up and removed A few shrubs need to be pruned and shaped some. Got any idea on what I should charge for doing most of it? It's going to take most of a day to finish I'm thinking. In the second to last pic, everything needs to go but the 2 large trees. In the last pic, everything but 2 azalia's < spelling) needs to go. There's a concrete slab in all that mess in the last pic! Got any rough idea on price? Thanks for any help....
  10. Shaun13

    Shaun13 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    Thanks for all the help guys. I talked to the customer yesterday and he says he wants to be on the bi weekly schedule. We'll see how long that last. I told because it has been over a month that just a cut would be $75 up front. If he doesn't pay up front in cash then I don't cut. Thanks again for the replies guys, this site is a great resource for us newbies.

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