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Sort of ticked off

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by madmow, May 30, 2003.

  1. madmow

    madmow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    I dislike homeowners who call and ask for the occasional mow. They never cut their grass at a commercial height. I can put my mower to it's highest level (without changing the deck or blades directly) and it still isn't good enough. I don't have money for a vacuum system and my grass gobbler attachement has been on backorder for 2 weeks. Any quick fixes? How do I get a beastly long lawn halfway decent cut? Also, how do I get grass out of the beds? I try, of course, to stay away from them, but some people have the good old obstacle course backyard and grass in the bed is unavoidable-- how to clean it out though.....Help please. I was so:angry: about a house today that I quit early.
  2. mr.lawnzap

    mr.lawnzap LawnSite Member
    from tulsa
    Messages: 123

    you shouldnt dislike anybody that asks for your services, if there not a contract customer charge them more than standard rate to make the job cost effective, if they dont like it then let someone else mow.
  3. fblandscape

    fblandscape Banned
    Messages: 776

    I haven't had any problems like yours in several years. My problems have been the opposite. I get a couple calls a year from one or two neighbors asking me to come cut their lawns because their machines are busted. I go over, and I can't get the machine low enough to really cut the lawn. Both people mow with little 21 or 22" Crapsman push mowers. I am cutting with a 48" commercial walk behind.
  4. madmow

    madmow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    I like being asked for service, but she hid the fact that her lawn was ridiculously long. She is a complainer too, so I don't want to ask for me cause I don't feel like hearing her **** about a few bucks. I was at this house for an hour and 45 minutes. It isn't even that big. Ridiculous. I wish I had the just low-enough-to- cut-it problem. Grass in the beds problem-- help?
  5. Rhett

    Rhett LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,071

    If you choose to take those type of clients, insure that they know the price may be different depending how long they have allowed their property to go unserviced. I was taking everything I could get. Mowing Sat and Sun trying to keep everyone happy and even juggling my regular accounts. Just weeded out the first lady that thought I was her on call "Lawn Boy." Boy it felt great. Wll feel even better when her last check arrives.

    Good Luck
  6. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I am inferring from your post you gave a bid without seeing the property. Don't give a bid without seeing everything. The way to handle this problem is to double cut the lawn to help disperse the clippings and to gently use the blower to clean out the beds. The grass gobbler will greatly help as would a OCDC.

  7. LakeSide Lawn and Landscape

    LakeSide Lawn and Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 337

    I agree with gravely man to the tee!! He always gives great info.:)
  8. madmow

    madmow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    Gravely_man, Thanks for the advice---I actually did see the property...when it was cut! haha, I guess Rhett's idea was good too-- price dependant on length. I appreciate the help fellas.


    Madden's Mowing
  9. j_loppy

    j_loppy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    I know a guy that tells people like this 125 bucks (1/2 acre lot) the first mow, and x amt. after that. He gets about one in ten to take him up on it. His reasoning is that once you get it looking good, they'll start mowing it again. We've had alot of calls like this in NC this year because of all the rain...
  10. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    I say you need to "S" can this PITA and find a less stressful, more profitable account. The reason I say that is no to be "smart." It just seems to me that the stress isn't worth the money and I'm willing to bet that the money isn't really even there in the end. If you take a strong look I bet in reality you are going in the hole on the job. In fact, I know you are if you can manage to replace it.

    Sometimes you must be headstrong, brave and willing to take a risk to put yourself in a better business position.

    If there is no way you can just "can" the account use these rules to turn things in your favor a bit.

    *Breaks the 1/3 rule = highest possible mowing height period.
    *Then follow 1/3 rule following that

    If they wait until the grass is 6" high to call, come out and cut it to 4". If they insist they want it cut from 6" to 2" say "that will require at least a double cut, which means double the time, double the labor and double the wear on my equipment, which also means I'll have to charge you at least double." Then follow that by saying "regular maintenance would cost you much less in the end, I could fit you in my schedule on a weekly basis." Then shut up and wait for them to speak....

    This leaves the customer with clear and fair choices....
    #1 Regular maintenance
    #2 Paying double for double cut conditions
    #3 Learn to live with a taller finished cut
    #4 Find someone else

    Now, do you think they will have objections? Throw them at me, I have a counter for every one!

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