she cut it herself

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    i show up yesterday to mow, and i see it was cut, real low, with a 21". i start my mower, and run over the lawn. she comes out, and says, "o, i didn't know if u were comming, so i cut it." i said, "ok, i still have to go thru the motions, afterall, you are paying for it. " she didn't like that. also, i am considering sending a letter saying that since she mowed it herself, and she mowed it way too low, and with an obvious dull blade, i will not be available to answer to any complaints about weeds or turf quality. i treat this first year "troubled" property also, and i cut at heights of 3+ inches, and use sharp blades. ever have anything like this happen?
  2. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    what does the contract say about a home owner cutting their own lawn?

    GEO :confused:
  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Might I suggest you carry a digital camera to take some pictures for future reference with this woman...and any others.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Oh yeah, twice this month:
    First time wasn't that big a deal, I figured it out and lesson learned: Not ALL self-cuts are pitas.

    But the other one... First I went through this rigmarole to get 5 extra bucks out of them, after 4 years I am thinking it would be ok, their yard was at 25 and was only going to 30 and my minimum is 35 but I've been through this so many times that I kinda suspected what might be coming, or so I thought.
    What I had NOT expected is to come out as scheduled, after being asked to wait TWO more weeks and the whole bs with the price and I reluctantly agreed because I didn't want the argument and leave well enough alone (long-term customer also)... And I go out there and the grass had been cut! Of course, nobody calls to inform me but unlike yourself bg, I have learned that in this situation if I go ahead and go through the motions, chances of getting paid are considerably less and rather than taking a chance, I won't waste my time (which is also how come I have less non-payment issues, but anyway)...

    I already knew the story, there's a neighbor who works on 2-cyclers as a hobby (we know, it's a small business on the side of having a real job so no taxes and all that) and gee suddenly he needs a yard to 'test' out this mower on. As far as I'm concerned, the customer is just a cheapo who'll save every dollar at my expense and I've had enough because the neighbor always cuts the grass when it's nice outside but come July-August that's when they call me to come cut it in the 104+ heat index, lawnboy. It was never like this until about a year or two ago, but oh yeah come September when it's not so bad, cute neighbor cuts it again so I'm really just there to call for cutting grass in the worst heat and oh yeah, the leaves in the fall. (afterthought: am I being had or what!?)

    So, I did myself a favor and crossed this one off my schedule, which means they have been dropped and if she calls to 'resume' services at this point, I will gladly resume services at this year's rates of 35 dollars / cut, and this fixes the problem one way or another.

    The sick part of it all is, there's another guy in that neighborhood (and he charges a pretty penny from what I hear) but I can see it now, they'll pay HIM the pretty penny and complain the entire time but to save face, they won't pay me a dime over 25 but ohhh grudgingly twist-my-arm you big bad new guy ok we'll pay you the 35 this time.

    Still, I'm better off, I don't need the lousy 25 on top of the hassle, I *HATE* wasting trips like that (when it's been cut especially).
  5. CutInEdge Lawn Care

    CutInEdge Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 677

    Stick to your guns TopSites. I would treat them as one time cuts and charge $40/cut and see where it goes. What sux is when you give someone an estimate for say $30 and they agree, you can almost hear the scheming while there brain is thinking ok I can hold them off for x amount of days and save myself some money. I quickly tell them $35 is for 7 day service May-Sept. 10-12 days durning this period results in $10more and eow is double the weekly rate + $10. It immediatley lets them know they will not get away with thinking by going every two weeks they get a better rate (save them money) while it takes me longer, dulls my blades quicker, uses more fuel, lawn looks like S$#^. and on and on. I will not let potential customers dictate my level of income and get better rates than the customer that is paying for yr round serv. THEY WILL PAY MORE!!!!!!!
  6. Wayne Landscaping

    Wayne Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 237

    This is why im thinking residential contracts for next year. I mean, i know ill get less customers, but it will be trouble free. I wont hafta worry about people calling me to cancel services or wether im gunna drive all the way to the job to realize they did it becasue i was 5 hours late:confused: w/e, i think some might go for it if i offer a discount on a 1 year contract and a even bigger discount on a 2 year contact. What do u guys think?
  7. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    i think no discount. plain and simple- when i present the contract, it is a commitment from me, to maintain thier property. when they sign it, it's a commitment from them, to have us maintain the property.
  8. CutInEdge Lawn Care

    CutInEdge Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 677

    Cash or Credit no discount.
  9. NNJLandman

    NNJLandman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,306

    I had a customer hire me to cut the lawn...."Yea Jeff i want weekly service, price is great etc etc." Cut it he pays me on the spot.....okay time I go, hes outside cutting it himself....jus went on by never heard or talked to him again....dont get it.


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