Starting the long weekend by firing a customer

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LwnmwrMan22, May 29, 2010.

  1. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    I've finally got a PITA after going about 13 years without one.

    She called me last year, around mid-September because she had fired her current contractor and needed someone to mow.

    I met with her and we agreed on a price.

    I mowed last fall, did a cleanup, fertilizing, spring cleanup this spring, fertilized twice, sprayed all the weeds, did the mowing, yada yada yada.

    I triple cut her lawn yesterday, it's that time of year where the KY bluegrass shoots up like mad for 2 weeks.

    I had a voicemail last night at 6:30 saying her yard looked like crap, that there was dead grass all over the lawn, there was grass all over the driveway, the grass was cut so short that she's going to get weeds everywhere, that she pays too much for service like this.... blah blah blah.

    I just drove past her house, yes I'm going to work at 6 am on Saturday on Memorial Day weekend.

    Anyways, I saw 2 very small clumps of grass in her front yard, what would be if someone threw about 10 quarters in her yard, that would be the amount and size of the pieces of grass.

    There was nothing on the driveway that I could see. I did this property myself because I knew she was going to be a PITA and wanted to make sure everything was good to go when I left.

    I also work for the city, doing their mowing, and they've informed me that this gal complains about everything her neighbors do, to the city.

    I guess some people just have to live to complain.

    I'm calling her up at 9 am and telling her she can spend all weekend trying to track someone else down to mow her grass.

    I thought about starting up the blower this morning when I drove by, but that wouldn't have been fair to the other neighbors.
  2. MikeKle

    MikeKle LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,253

    Youve done pretty well if you have managed to avoid any PITA customers for 13 yrs! I know Ive had at least 10 or 12! What you should have done is fire a big BP blower up at 6am right by her window and wait for her to come out yelling, and say, well, I thought you would want this taken care of ASAP! Yeah, it may have woken the neighbors up, but when they found out it was done to her, they probably would have laughed.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yeah I found that just a little bit hard to swallow myself.

    Yup, I ALMOST mowed a lawn in the dark last night, at least I had planned to,
    and would have except for it started to rain which maybe that was a good thing.

    As for working today, I'm getting ready to head out.
  4. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    I haven't advertised in 10+ years, and have been fortunate to stumble into the right accounts, which have led into other decent accounts.

    This gal saw the truck driving through town last fall while we were mowing the city and called.

    When I met her I knew I had trouble on my hands and quoted her a price I figured she would pass up.

    She took it, but I don't care how much you get paid, you can only spend so much time on one lawn each week before you know you're in a losing proposition.

    It's a little larger than 1/4 acre, and I charged $300 / month for mowing, spraying, fertilizing, spring / fall cleanup.

    She stated she only wanted the small mower on it, the 48" grandstand.

    Then she stated there was too much thatch. You could see bare dirt.

    Then she stated the grass was dead. The soil temps weren't warm enough yet in the spring, so the shaded areas weren't growing yet.

    Now all the weeds are gone, all the grass is growing 4+" / week.

    Yesterday I spent over an hour getting everything looking good, then she calls and says everything's crap.
  5. head_start

    head_start LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    well that is just bad luck. i wouldn't do it anymore if you have a problem, or come up with a more creative option, i like the mowing at night, good idea topsites.
    other than that, im kind of small, so i take all the customers i can get, even if they are a pain. i find it best to only make contact when money needs to exchange hands haha
  6. bdconsoli

    bdconsoli LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    Anyone ever have a problem with a customer who has 2 biga$$ watchdogs outside everyday?
  7. rain man

    rain man LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,794

    You can't change people (customers) much. Unless they are on medication and the dosage can be adjusted. Just let this chick slide on by.
  8. Hell on Blades

    Hell on Blades LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 513

    Tell her you'll continue on a 4 day schedule. that way you won't have clumps.

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