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should i drop this customer?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnmowerman29, May 29, 2002.

  1. lawnmowerman29

    lawnmowerman29 LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 34

    I have one customer that is 45 min. away, 45 min. back. I have doing their lawn since i started so i think i owe it to them to stick it out. But here is the problem, they installed sod at their new house, didnt ask me if i could do it, and it is the worst looking sod i have ever seen it has at least 2" of thatch and it has been mowed only 5 times since installed. My gravely 260z just sinks into the ground , at 3" it just scalps the yard, so i mow at 4.5" and the blade of grass is still only about 2" tall. The husband tells me after i mow "you better cut it shorter or dont come as often, i cant even tell it has been mowed" being the biggest jerk he can be. What would you do? If i mow it shorter it will look like sh$t and the sod probably will not survive a heat wave.
  2. ScotLawn

    ScotLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 309

    either raise his rates or drop him due to the pain in the butt factor. you don't keed your business name on a yard like that.

  3. ADMowing

    ADMowing LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 175

    Personally, I'd keep mowing it at 4.5. It will keep it maintained (looking level and even) and keep weeds from seeding. It's okay during a drought and heat wave if the grass looks a little high. It is better than it getting burnt out. The taller grass shelters the root system and cutting it on a consistent basis will inhibit weed growth. This is just what I would do. Some of our customers want us to mow lower, but we try to educate them during dry and hot seasons not to mow it lower for the sake of their lawns' life!!

    If the customer is paying well and you feel you should stick with them, I'd stay with them and just mow high until you get some rain and/or cooler weather.

    My 2 cents.....:)
  4. lawnmowerman29

    lawnmowerman29 LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 34

    I did educate the customer but he is the type of guy that doesnt want to pay someone do to something he can do, actual quote from his wife. He said he did not care how the grass looks as long as it is short, i am talking 2" short, if i did that all he would have is dead brown thatch.
  5. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,899

    Most everyone feels some attachment toward their first clients. I still have a few I've been doing for many years, but now just drive by accounts that are very similar because there is no $$ in them. Sounds to me that this particular client is not appreciative of your work ethic, diligence and working relationship.

    The time has come to give them a month's notice to find another contractor. Explain to them that the travel time to and from their account is no longer economically feasible (unless you have others in that area - then you're kinda screwed). Stay professional to the end if you can, but by all means - you'll be able to fill the void w/ 3 accounts and triple your money or more. I say 3 accounts because you lose at least one visit in travel each way plus the time spent at the account.

    You'll be much happier in the end$$$$.


    P.S. I still have a few old blue hairs left. As long as they don't complian too much - I'll keep 'em till they move or expire.
  6. Brickman

    Brickman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,249

    Bye bye. Its been nice knowing you.
  7. lawnmowerman29

    lawnmowerman29 LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 34

    The problem is this guy is maybee 38 years old and is capable of doing it himself he is just too lazy. Plus it is the only account i have in that city, used to do her sisters till she bounced me a check and never paid up.
  8. proline32

    proline32 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 98383
    Messages: 278

    I think you would be asking for trouble cutting it lower, you sound as if you personally do not feel comfortable doing it lower and you are driving a long way just to do it, I myself have dropped customers because they wanted the lawn cut lower, if it looks good I will But most yards here can't be mowed lower than 2.5 inches and that is where I stand, I try to educate the customer about cutting to low and even show them yards that are cut low and you can see how brown they are while mine are green.. Maybe you should just drop this guy and get better accounts closer to you.

    I MOW ALONE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,961

    first of all i would dump him but if you feel that you should keep the account then i would scalp it like he wants you to and then when he ask,s you what happened why is the grass so brown and burn,t you just tell him that,s what you wanted that,s what you got
  10. marley

    marley LawnSite Member
    Messages: 91


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