Revenge ?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Matts Mowing, Aug 20, 2004.

  1. Matts Mowing

    Matts Mowing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    I have been a member of lawnsite for a few months now. One of the most talked about topics has to be late payments/collections. Collecting or revenge is also talked about in these threads. Here is a story for you. This happened in my first year in business, mind you I only had a 21" Honda, trimmer, blower, Chevy 1/2 ton.

    I get a call late in the night from a woman. She tells me she has many properties and has two in particular that need work. She wants me to mow them once in awhile and wants a price to mow. I tell her that I will need to go out and take a look and she responds "I need this done fast - I do not have time for estimates, the lawn is not big and should take no time at all". Since I certainly wanted the business I told her $25.00 a week for each property. She says that will work and to get them done ASAP. I get to the first property and the lawn is up to my knee. I say screw this and head over to the other property. This place is just as bad as the other. I stood there for awhile trying to call her and explain that it would definitely be more than $25.00. After no answer I decided to mow $25.00 worth and see if anyone would show up ( it was around rent due time ). My luck - a middle eastern man gets out of his truck and introduces himself. He is the husband ( she just told me her first name ) and is excited I am there to clean the place up. I tell him that it will be $150.00 for each property. It will take me a few hours to mow and it will cost me $20.00 to dispose of the grass. He tell me that his wife handles all the finances but he says that this is a fair price for the condition of the property and to go ahead with the work. I finish the work and arrive at the other property the next day. Grass is everywhere !!!!! Someone mowed it without a bag and did not trim anything. In the back there is a couch and chairs sitting in the grass. He mowed around them and blew grass all over the property. It looked awful !!! I attempt to call "Sue" and actually got a hold of her. She tells me that she found a renter to mow and was not happy to hear about the current condition of the property. She asks me to "fix" everything and place the couch and chairs in the dumpster for pickup. I tell her I will not charge her the $150.00 but rather $100.00 to trim and pick up the mess. She immediately asked me why it was not $25.00. Her husband obviously did not discuss yesterdays conversation with her. I explained the other property and how long it took. She said since it was so much more than $25.00 I originally quoted, could I cut her a break on this property. She also enticed me with the fact that she would depend on me for full time maintenance and wanted me to go over to another property and take a look at what needed to be done. I agreed to fix this property for FREE in lieu of the future maintenance. I completed the job in 2 hours and headed over to the third property. This was not a small apartment complex like the other two but rather a house. It too was in terrible shape and needed a lot of work. I called her and told her I was sending a bill for the One property including the FREE property maintenance. I would schedule the third property for next week. She said to mail the invoice to a P.O. Box. I tell the %^* I would rather give it to her in person and meet since we will be working together in the future. She says that she is very busy and will mail me a check right away. The next week there is no check and I decide not to mow the third property till I receive my check. 2 weeks go by and I call and the husband answers. He tells me they lost the invoice and to please send another one. I send the invoice again and wait another 2 weeks ( the third property was mowed by someone else - looked like #$%). I call again and this time I am getting pissed. I tell him I need to meet him in person for payment or I will consider legal action. He agrees to meet that Sunday at 4:00 to pay me in cash. I arrive at the first property at 3:50 and wait for half an hour and nobody shows up. I call and leave a pointed message when "Sue" gets on the line and tell me that she only owes me $25.00 and that if i call again she will file harassment charges on me. Well It has been a few years since this incident and I never did anything about this. I have picked up a new account right across the street from this jerks rental house. In the driveway sits their RV. I know it is their RV because the husband told me about storing his RV at their rental house.
    OK that is the story. I know it was long !!!!!! Now here is the question. How many of you would completely destroy this piece of $%& RV one night? I have no idea where these people live. The rental is currently unoccupied. I read a lot of posts where people talk about Round Up etc..... Round up on these properties would make them look better :D
    Anyone here have the cahonies to share a story of sweet revenge that they have taken?
    I know that I will never do anything to their property. I would love to but do not want to risk by business or potential jail time for these jack a$$e$. Another aspect of this topic is a persons ethnicity. I am not prejudiced but my parents always warned me about middle eastern and asian people cheating people on bills. They owned their own business and were always having problems with this. I can now honestly say that if I show up for a bid and they are middle eastern I say that I am too busy and move on. I know this may seem shallow but I do not want to take a chance. Do any of you feel the same way? Well Thanks for reading this book and I look forward to some "Revenge Stories". I know Bobby must have a few.....:p
  2. vipermanz

    vipermanz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,773

    honestly revenge isn't worth it, a smile or laughter is much more effective. People don't don't know if it's a good or bad thing....

    Psy Ops ya know
  3. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    my boy, listen to me, and i aint smiling right now. revenge is not a good thing........... IT'S A GREAT THING! it really depends on who you are inside, some people are passive, and can let getting jerked around blow right over thier heads, and never give it another thought, it's probably healthier for you to be like that, for your own good. me, i aint like that, i can't help it, when someone tries to jerk me around, i get upset, i get angry, i think about very bad things, it consumes me, it inhabits my mind to no end, there is nothing else i can think about every second of the day , i can't focus on my work, and when i fall asleep at night, it haunts me in my dreams. this is very bad for me, so i must have closure. revenge doesn't neccesarily mean damaging ones property, or dental work, but i didn't say it doesn't either. whatever makes YOU feel better. for me it's usually getting loud in the front of thier house, intimidating them and embarressing them in front of thier wife and kids, nieghbors, etc. acting agressive, and mentally unstable definitely works wonders. for the record: i neither admit, or deny the use of physical force in my collection routine.
  4. Hacksquat

    Hacksquat LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    As my full time job is a cop, I'll tell you that's it's wrong. Very wrong. Two wrongs don't make a right. I know you put a lot of hard work into their property, and are frustrated. I understand that. But, by taking matters into your own hands, you'll probably be the one who pays the price. Crap will catch up with people like that. My best advice is to stay away from them. Just my two cents, for what it's worth.
  5. Lbilawncare

    Lbilawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,119

    What comes around goes around, let it be. Learn from the mistake and move on, these people aren't worth the energy. Besides, that was a long time ago.
  6. steve122

    steve122 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 208

    Let it go, look at is as having paid tuition for a learning experience, tell everyone in town about them. Also, check with city hall about ordanance violations, what is allowed and what is not. Learn well and never pass up an oportunity to report them for trash, weeds, illegally parked vehicles, etc. We all get stung once in a while and thats how you learn.
  7. chevyman1

    chevyman1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    detroying someone's property is quite possibly the WORST thing you could ever do for your business. You never know who someone else knows man. Imagine that gets around town, and you end up being broke. Don't EVER do it, always take the higher road at the end of the day. It's the hardest pill to swallow, but in the long term it works. I dropped a customer this year and they threatened to badmouth me if I dropped them, they wrote a mean letter to me saying that they didn't like the stripes the Dixie Chopper left in the lawn and could I go back to the push I used when I was younger yeah right. They withheld $75 the owed me of the $150 for what they quote said "was half the job they expect" and so on. I wrote them back a nice letter, saying thanks for your business, sorry it didn't work anymore but I paid $8,000 for my Dixie and $2,500 for my used Ferris so I DIDN'T have to ush anymore and become a legit business, so it didn't make sense anymore to push for me. I wave each time I see them in the yard and I killed them with kindness. It made them so much more angry than if I started in a war of words. In fact, I'm thinking of sending them an X Mas card. They have a scrub now who push mows in figure 8's, quite a disaster I must say. They wanted a push mower again, and sometime you must be careful what you wish for, you might just get it
  8. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Matt, All I can say is that contracts and the legal system are the way to go. Don’t lower yourself to their level and do something that could possible cost you big time. You will have to live with yourself for the rest your life. Do the right thing and don’t do anything silly.

  9. Big Lew

    Big Lew LawnSite Member
    from pa
    Messages: 34

    I'm proud of you guys!
  10. l1011100

    l1011100 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 96

    Killing them with kindness and code violations are the way to go, the thought of revenge is just part of the process of being burned, its whether or not you act on that makes you the person you are.
    On a funny note, I started cutting lawns when I was around 11 for some of our neighbors, we had one that never cut his lawn and it looked like crap, I kept offering to do it for him and kept getting turned down until the day that our other neighbor wrote CUT ME in fert. in their front yard. I cut their lawn until they moved a couple of years later.

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