Sometimes you can't win for losing...

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Bob-Cat#1, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. Bob-Cat#1

    Bob-Cat#1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 110

    What would you do?

    I had a contract last year to care for a lady's weed infested yard. I mean this yard was infested! It is a very small yard and was really easy to care for. As far as getting control of the weeds I mean. I killed all of the weeds in two applications, and had her on a fertilizer plan for the rest of the year. Once the weeds were totally dead and gone she was noticing bare spots. It was her opinion that I had burnt out the lawn with the fert. treatments. At the time I didn't realize she was referring to the bare spots. I thought she was referring to the fact that her unwatered lawn which was in 90 degree weather and in the middle of a drought had some dormant areas. I just told her she needed to water her lawn. Which she admitted she was not doing.

    So I call her up to see if she wants service this year, and she says, "what for?" "You burnt my lawn up last year with all of those chemicals." Now I had asked her last year if she wanted me to overseed her lawn in the fall, and she declined and said maybe next year. I assumed it was for financial reasons and didn't pry further.

    Now I'm torn. It's not my fault her lawn looks awful. I killed the weeds like she asked. I fertilized the grass she did have. I offered to seed, and she said no. The nice guy in me wants to reseed her lawn with the left over seed from last year, just to make her happy, but the business man inside of me just wants to make her pay the full price to reseed. Or what if I reseed her lawn for the cost of the product with the stipulation that she sign a new contract for weed control this year? I somehow feel I didn't paint a clear picture for her about the hurdles we were going to encounter in working on a weed infested lawn.

    I'm just wondering what other's would do. I always try to keep my customers happy even if it doesn't make business sense sometimes.
  2. olive123

    olive123 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 500

    one of the very reasons i got out of my own business...they are only as happay as their last green memory.
  3. Russ

    Russ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 540

    Good Riddance. Drop her and move on. If ya keep her there will always be more problems.
  4. allenh60

    allenh60 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 46

    yeah, forget about her and move on.
  5. lawnservice

    lawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 589

    so when she called you made an 'over the phone diagnoses'? (didnt realize she was referring to bare spots....if you had gone out to see the lawn...well you could have explained to her the situation)

    i agree that you didnt "paint a clear picture for her"

    whether you go out and seed her for free or at cost is your call....but dont be upset that you lost a customer. sounds to me like you dropped the ball

    my opinion
  6. Madstriper

    Madstriper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 130

    In my opinion, you just didnt educate her well enough. Go with your gut, if yout want the contract, and peace of mind, go talk to her again, explain everything, apologize for not clearly explaining the whole process needed to get her lawn back to where you both wanted it, and let her know what you would like to do.
    Reseeding for free only if your conscious makes you do so. If she is a PITA on her own account, not because of lack of your educating her, drop her.
    Just go with your gut.
  7. Xterminator

    Xterminator LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    If the lady let her yard get in that bad a shape its her problem. dont sweat it drop her and replace her w /someone else, but explain proper care of turf to the homeowners and when they start complaining about the way their yard looks they have no one else to blame but themselves
  8. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,986

    The one thing that chaps my hide, (other than people who think my business is a lending institution) is people who don't take care of their lawns then blame the lawn guy. Whenever I take on a new client with a really ugly lawn, I always get a little excited, because I know that I can make that lawn the envy of the neighborhood. More often than not though, I will get the lawn thick, green and weedfree by the end of May, just to see it dive-bomb in the summer, because the client is too lazy or cheap to water. There are exceptions, people who want a beautiful lawn but don't know how. But there are a lot of people who just don't care enough, they let the lawn go to pot once and they will do it again. Despite my constant reminders to water.
  9. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,605

    Come on guys. Don't you carry your magic wands around with you?? Just wave it, say "LET THERE BE TURF!!" and then go!!
  10. turfsolutions

    turfsolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 855

    Why not just aerate overseed starter fert and bill her accordingly?

    Who cares if she's a PITA, half my customers are PITA's. I just don't let them get to me. You shouldn't either.

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