Skipping Customers - What do you do?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jason Pallas, Jan 28, 2002.

  1. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,335

    I'd just like to get some input on what other companies do about customers that call up and want to skip service for a week (that ultimately becomes a chronic every two-week thing!).
    Our policy is as follows: If we miss your lawn due to something under our control (labor, equipment problems, etc...), we don't charge for the week's service. If lawn or portion thereof can't be cut, due to something beyond our control (pets in the yard, car blocking driveway, workman at the house. etc..) we still charge full price. We do, of course, don't charge a customer if they call up and tell us to skip within 24 hrs of their normal service day. However, we do get customers that start to abuse the "skip" policy and call and cancel service every-other week during the summer/slow grow months.
    For those customers we explain that we allow every customer 4 skips per season - after that, they can still skip - but they'll be charged. What are some of the other guys policies? Always looking for new/different perspectives.

  2. KDJ

    KDJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    My customers get whatever they want.
    However I can only do so many lawns. they could get droped if I have to much to do.

    And they know this!

    BRIAN GALLO LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    When customers start trying to skip, I tell them that skipping results in me getting off schedule and if it continues I don't know when I can get you back on schedule. I tell them that I wont come out and cut if the lawn isn't growing, but to let me please decide. They usually understand and let me keep them on a steady schedule.
  4. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    I just started using contracts this season and this is what it says:

    Lawn Maintenance: TSG Property Maintenance Co. will maintain the lawn on an as needed basis during the season (April 1st - November 30th). In the event of inclement weather, TSG Property Maintenance Co. will reschedule the visit as soon as possible, and regularly scheduled visits will resume. In the event of drought conditions, TSG Property Maintenance Co. will use its judgment as to whether or not turf needs cutting.

    So.. I tell them based on the average for the last couple of years that they will receive "X" amount of cuts give or take one cut. The minimum is 28.. most average 30 and some I charge for 32 and tell them that the 2 extra cuts are for the extra time it will take to chop up some leaves...

    No one is having a problem with it :)
  5. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,899

    Being in a "transition" area, we are affected by droughts in July and/or August. As long as the client calls us the day before - no problem if the grass is truly dormant, or just growing very s l o w l y. This way, I 'm not paying guys to drive around and not work, and I can schedule other pruning, and/or landscape work. The majority of my properties are irrigated, so this is not a big concern. Besides, during the summer, my senior staff members generally schedule some vacation, so missing a few won't kill us.
  6. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Messages: 3,485

  7. Twotoros

    Twotoros LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 494

    I have an elderly lady that always does this. She has a problem lawn but if skipped is to long in 2 weeks. I would not mind half as much if she called and saved me the trip. Last year I raised her price 4 bucks thinking it would scare her off. No luck. She got me down to 20 cuts last season. That is 11 short of my average and I feel she would be better served with 28.This season she is getting put on monday and will fall into the I don't give a crap catergory. However I do get to fertilize and areate and she did generate over 600$. If I had time I would do her every 10 days.

    To answer the question policies don't work here . Nobody else has them and when I try and put my foot down I usually lose the customer.
  8. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    Oh you would huh...? :D

    Sorry that just reads funny...
  9. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    I make it very clear that it is on an as needed basis, but at my discretion. If I leave it up to them I get burned. After you do them a time or two you kinda learn the individual lawn. I am doing a letter to all existing and kept customers that I will refresh their memory on this policy.
  10. I don't get that very often, we use our own judment of weather it needs it are not.

    I/we don't cut a lawn that does not need to be mowed.

    Most don't get skipped at all in a normal season.

    Keep in mind that I think every one will or has said the "LCO's judgment" not the "customers".

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