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Residential is driving me absolutely nuts

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Aug 18, 2004.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    This lady calls me today and wants a quote for weekly mowing service. I run over there and we walk the property. She explains why she fired the last LCO. We talk for at least 20 minutes.

    Anyway, she likes the price. She asks how the payments work and asks me if she would be leaving a check under the door mat each week.

    I explain that we don't operate that way. She would need to place a valid credit card on file and we would zap it once a month and send her a statement.

    "But I'm not comfortable giving out my credit card."

    I feel like saying: +++Tough schit lady. I'm not comfortable mowing your lawn in 100 degree heat and then just hoping that you pay me++++

    "Well, if you'd rather pay a deposit, we would need a deposit equal to 8 cuts. And if we do it this way, you won't be able to order any extra services like shrub trimming and stuff like that, without first writing us a check. And we have some very severe late fees too. If you place a credit card on file, it's a lot easier and you never pay late fees. What are you afraid of?"

    "Well, we did that once before with another lawn company and after we cancelled the service, they just kept billing us even though we had cancelled. If we do the deposit, how long do you keep it?"

    "Until you cancel the service. But I can assure you, if you place a credit card on file, we're not going to cheat you or bill you for things we don't do. We do require 30 days advance notice of intent to cancel, but it's not like this is a one year contract or anything."

    "Well, let me talk it over with my husband."

    These residential losers want everything. They want a reliable company that shows up when they're supposed to. They want cheap prices. They want someone who will do everything right. And they want all this from some idiot schmuck who will do this on 100% credit and just hope he gets paid.

    Friggin losers. I cannot fricking stand residential. It's absolute torture. If things aren't better with commercial, and I can't imagine they could be possibly be any worse, I'm getting the fugg out of this business so fast it'll make your head spin.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  2. EastProLawn

    EastProLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,110

    Some people just don't understand simple things....
  3. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,905

    Hurry, Hurry!!! I'm sure they've saved you a spot in a cubicle.

    DFW, why do you make things so hard for your self??? The things you described, you know, a cheap service they can rely on from someone they trust, that is the nature of the business.

    Why must you take a credit card? Are you really that paranoid about not getting paid? By no means would I suggest " extending credit" to someone I don't know. However, how do you expect to do any better at Commercial?? Do you expect the people you deal with there to be any easier to deal with?? If so, I suggest you start looking for a JOB real quick as you will be risking starving to death treating them the way you say you've been treating " Joe Homeowner "....If you think you've got it tough servicing pussycat homeowners, just wait until you try to tame some commercial LIONS...

    Serriously D, I'm not trying to Rag on you, I just hate to hear you complain about how miserable you are. ONLY YOU, can change your circumstances. Maintain a positive attitude, Use some of the intelligence you obviouly posses ( I READ your posts carefully, you do have some interesting ideas ).. And change YOU, to meet your clients needs.. God bless you man, and I wish you the Best no matter what you do.
  4. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    I think that requiring them to give you a credit card is crazy. If they want to pay by check let them. If you are worried about getting paid ask them to pay each month in advance. Mail you a check on the 1st of each month for $xx dollars and problem solved. I wouldn't give my credit card number to you.
  5. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 4,205

    I'm inclined to agree with txlawnking.
    You're making life difficult for yourself.
    If a lawncare company told me they needed an 8 cut deposit or my credit card number I'd tell them to take a hike in the fast lane.
    Do you seriously believe commercial accounts pay their bills and aren't late?
    Your kidding yourself.
    I think you need to find a little faith in people and worry about late payments when they arise,not consistantly treat a customer as though they are already dirtbags before the first blade is cut.

    I'd rethink your position or consider employment, It may be easier.
  6. naturecare

    naturecare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    ditto I can see why I never joined this forum haha, but that is just crazy. Sounds like to me that you do **** work and dont ge tpaid much. Just how I feel. I've been burned on money few times but nothing to make me cry over it.
  7. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    ++++Why must you take a credit card? Are you really that paranoid about not getting paid?++++

    Damn straight I am. Haven't you noticed that, like, every other thread here lately has been "How do you collect on past due balances?"

    News flash: I haven't had to suspend service on a single customer who gave me a credit card for automatic payment processing. Not once. Never. But for those who have paid deposits or even worse, last years customers who are on 100% credit, guess how many finance charges I've had to assess? Probably every one of them at least once this year. And then there is the old guessing game...are you gonna pay me or should I suspend service...

    Thanks, but no thanks. From now on, when someone calls me for an estimate, before I agree to come out and potentially waste my gasoline and time, I'm saying this: "Now, before we go any further with this, we do require a valid credit card for service. That's not a problem, is it?"

    Like I said. Residential maintenance is a tough gig. There's a lot easier ways to make money in this world. If that means a cubicle, that's what it means. I'm going to try focusing on commercial for the next 12 months and see how it goes before I throw in the towel. But I definitely don't want to be mowing lawns for a living much longer. This sucks. Call me negative. I call myself a realist. It's easy to make a poor decision. It's stupid to insist that a poor decision was a good one when evidence clearly state otherwise.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  8. naturecare

    naturecare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    if yo uare tha thard up about the business then leave it I left a desk for my businesses.
  9. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    No such problems here.

    I extend 100% credit to all, with very few stiffs, ever. I Make a good living.

  10. tippi931

    tippi931 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    the factory i work for pays the lawn service late all the time it is almost impossible to get the money out of them. the contract is for $25000.00 per year which i think is good money but they also have in their bid that they have 90 days to pay you so that means more than likely you will work for 3 months before ever getting a dime.

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