Screw the sandbaggers!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Envy Lawn Service, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Sandbaggers is the term I use for any customer who is sand bagging around about confirming and getting started for the season.

    They come in all types, and they shuffle around from year to year.
    But I'm to the point I've had about enough!

    I've already retained all of the commercial accounts I really wanted to keep.
    I cut some loose in favor of getting some new replacements, hopefully residential.

    After doing that, I've lost a bunch of residential. But even so, I'm glad to at least already know it since I had planned to be in full-swing with existing customers this week.

    But I still have a bunch that are fiddle farting.

    I'm sorry though... I might sound like a total JERK here... but enough already!

    Mark my words, these jokers are going to start crawling out of the woodworks next week, wanting everything under the sun done and looking flash for Easter.

    But I'm not playing that game PERIOD this year. I'm scheduling in favor of those customers who have done what was asked of them already... and I'm going to ramp up on my advertising efforts... and as far as I am concerned, if they get replaced... too bad!

    And those that happen not to are not saving a dime not having me come this week. On top of it, like I said, I'm scheduling in favor of my good customers, and anyone who calls me next week wanting to get started and get this and that done also are going to get the answer SORRY...

    If I still have room and they still want on the schedule I'll be by to pick up the paperwork and money (no breaks at all) and that is that.

    Ideally, I like to have all the spring work done earlier and I like to be full swing on the regular mowing route a week or so before Easter so everything looks great.

    But when they won't let you do that, and they start crawling out of the woodworks the week before Easter, wanting the lawn mowed and the extras too... what can you do???

    I understand many of their lawns are off to a slow start, or no start yet on warm season stuff. And I know maybe the sense of urgency hasn't set in yet. But if they had done their renewals as I asked, they would have fert down already and spring spiffing done, and all but the warm season stuff would be greening and growing already.

    Maybe this is all a bad attitude for me to have... But geez, it gets old, and when their sense of urgency does set in finally, there are only so many "1-week-miracles" I can perform and give all the routes a fresh cut for Easter.
  2. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Sometimes you just gotta put your foot down or they'll freight train you. The spring rush is best described as utter chaos for most, but like you say, enough is enough. You don't owe them anything, even though everyone would like to please every customer, we would all go insane if that was the case.
  3. lawnguyland

    lawnguyland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,108

    I agree 100% envy-

    I alerady have enough customers to keep me happy this year. Latecomers will get serviced last and pay more.
  4. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    I actually had to call about 25% of my customers yesterday and just tell them, now or never (so-to-speak). I was tired of waiting and I needed to know who's coming back. We had a new customer last year (funeral home) and it looked pretty bad but by the end of last year he and many others said it never looked better, he was one of the people I happend to call and he says, "yeah I guess so, I dont know, yeah what the heck".....What?:confused: People are even more strange this year. Their already complaining of 200-300 dollar clean up estimates.
  5. lawnprosteveo

    lawnprosteveo LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,930

    I have a couple of those as well. They are going to have a big surprise when I tell them "sorry, cant help you"...I have picked up some nice yards and I really dont mind dropping these couple of accounts.
  6. Need a Little Trim

    Need a Little Trim LawnSite Member
    Messages: 137

    Man I am glad these are problems we don't have this far in the south we have been regularly cutting for almost a month now fert went down about a week ago. Of course our customers are year round due to the never having cold weather here. We still cut everyone at least once to twice a month all through the winter.
  7. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    What about a clause in the residential agreements which basically states that the agreement renews itself automatically each year?
  8. lawnguyland

    lawnguyland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,108

    Not a bad idea, but...

    Two reasons I can't/don't do that:

    #1. NYS DEC requires pesticide app contracts with dates so we need a new one each year, no doubt.

    #2. I want the flexibility each year to adjust (raise) prices and don't want to set forth a percentage in the contract..

    For those superlate comers: Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goooooodbye!

    It's all about contracts. They are legally required.

    FYI I gave out contract packages on Feb 2nd with stamped, addressed return envelopes and all they have to do is circle their choice of programs and sign and return. SO damn easy. Then I sent reminder letters at end of feb. I can't make it easier. Screw calling them, I have plenty of awesome customers. FU sandbaggers! I like that term envy, good one!

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Yeah, every year I quickly get to 'that point' you know, that point where its all you can do to keep up with the mowing in the spring. Rapid growth, rain days...then customers start calling with all sorts of other projects that could very easily been taken care of in March.
  10. Willofalltrades

    Willofalltrades LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,000

    I'm pretty sure its illegal to have your contract automatically renew. If your going to go about that way just do a 2 or 3 year contract. Nothing against Envy but I disagree with his point of view. I understand your argument but you have to have some patience. I mean if you reach your capacity and can't take any more... so be it. Let them know and simply turn them down or strike up a non-compete and refer the clients to a good business just starting out. Theres always a solution to to much work lol.

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