Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mr.Lawn, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. Mr.Lawn

    Mr.Lawn LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 93

    OK Do customers think they can treat us like crap and just have to deal with it? When do you say enough is enough and end their service?????
  2. Scagguy

    Scagguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,522

    Only you can answer that question. Some of us have high tolerances for putting up with crap, others have little to no tolerance for the head games customers sometimes play. I fit into the latter category.
  3. PearsonExteriors

    PearsonExteriors LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    If you're real fed up with them, just tell them that due to rising fuel prices, you will need to add a gas surcharge. Do it when the gas prices seem to be high. Add some arbitrary ridiculous fee to their bill, and if they keep you then get along with them, but customers that are harder to deal with should pay more. I haven't had to do that, but I've thought about it.

    I know that when I bid a landscaping project I sometimes add in a little more if I think it is a customer that is likely to complain. I don't like having to do it, but some customers just take more time and money.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    All depends, this is my philosophy, in order of difficulty:

    1) Might be time to fit them into the end-of-season category that sees a 15% price increase for next year.
    > Doesn't always fix it, but a lot of times it does, one way or the other.
    2) Mid-season price increase, preferrably that very bill and from there on out.
    > One advantage to billing per cut, I might get a dirty look but oh well.
    3) When it's just too much, it's over right then and there.
    > that or my truck starts to have that steering problem where I can't seem to get it to turn down that road no more.

    That's how I deal with every one of those cases anymore.
    Just some things I can't stand either...
    I've dumped more than a few this year who kept calling me on my home phone, also the hand-holders, the riders, the cheapos, you name it. It still depends, very few get away with riding me, but if they do it just right... :laugh:
  5. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,910

    We got rid of some pita accounts last winter and spring. We called them and said due to higher fuel prices and problems in the past with raising rates we couldn't justify driving to their lawns anymore. Kind of put them on the spot about pricing increases and the whinning they did. Reminded them how much it costs them to drive to work and for a $45 lawn you just can't drive anywhere. We never asked for more money we just explained that we would not be cutting their lawn anymore and were giving them lots of time to find someone new. We gave up a few better ones too but the fuel savings were worth it. We did get rid of some local ones but even with an increase it just wasn't worth the whinning. We still have one that we have been doing for 6 years that I would love to dump but we get too many referrals from them. I refuse to do any work when they are home, my wife will cut the grass but that's it. I am a carpenter and they are always wanting little jobs done " it will only take a few minutes" and a truck full of the right tools. I fixed an old door for them one time and they whinned cause the bill was the price of a cheap new Home Depot door, which is exactly what I told them before I started. The old door wasn't worth my time. No more carpenter jobs for them. My wife is pretty good at explaining to customers that she won't be cutting their grass anymore.
  6. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Messages: 1,657

    Whenever YOU feel like it.

    I don't consider my customers to be my boss, they kind of are but the good thing is if you quit one customer. Its no big deal.

    If you were employed somewhere, full time, and you quit, you lose all your income but if you quit just ONE customer who knows.. you might even make more money if they are that much of a pita.
  7. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,209

    I agree with Vikings...that is the beautiful thing about owning your own business, you make the call. I had a difficult year this year business wise, and there are a couple of people who are really getting under my skin, so they are gone. You've got to do it every year, a good spring cleaning of your customer list, it's like taking a good dump. It seems that the ones I drop are usually replaced pretty fast, so no one really equals a blip in my bottom line.

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