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The high cost of paying too little!!!

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by Landscape Poet, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    Ok, so Rob from here on lawnsite and I were talking the other day that it would be a good example to start a thread based on this subject after a client of mine experienced some issues ( more on that later).

    But after talking to a client tonight .....I need to rant on this subject. :angry::angry::angry:

    Rob called to inform me that a client that we share ( I care for the lawn, while he plays with all the flowers etc) had just called him and informed him that he was switching from the L & 0 company that I recommend for all my clients to.........True Brown...... I mean True Green!.

    After a brief discussion of what this meant for us in the very near future....the most likely rather decent sod installation and replacement of several replacement of key pieces of the landscape. I called the client and confronted him about his switch.
    This is part of the conversation that took place.

    Me. The L & O company I use offers a sod replacement guarantee so even if you experience a problem with pest damage to the sod or your plants they will be replaced free..........

    Client .... Well the True Green rep told me that they offer a chinch bug replacement guarantee too.

    Me.... That is interesting..... I will be sure to let my 7 customers who lost a big section of there lawn to chinch bugs last year know that they are offering this and that they will not need to worry about paying me for the sod estimates that I have given them.

    Me again.......Sir, As I told you last year..... certain companies like True Green were charging a premium to those same clients last year after they experienced chinch bug damage....saying they needed to use Arena since they had bifen resistant chinch bug, where as the company I recommend uses Arena from the get go to try not to experience problems.

    Client..... Well that is what the True Guy told me....He also told me that his company is sharing their knowledge with many other companies when they want to ensure that neighboring properties that had chinch bug problems got them resolved before they affected their properties.


    Me....Sir, I just wanted to call and voice my opinion. If you would like, I am coming to your neighborhood tomorrow to do a sod estimate for 10k of turf replacement for a True Green Client, maybe you could come up the block and ask them about their opinion of True Green.

    Client..... I will stick with True Green and form my own opinion.


    Me......I do not have a relationship with True Green like I do with Heron. With Heron everything is included in the price, so as you know, if I see a weed on your property, I call them prior to leaving, inform them, they resolve the issue, and there is no charge to you. With True Green, this will not be possible, because they do not offer this service. In fact....they will call you several times trying to upsell you on services....some that you will need....some that you may not.

    Client.......Ok, I appreciate you input and concern Michael, but, I think the price is much better and I will try them.


    Me....Sir, Prior to me and Heron taking care of your lawn...you experienced chinch bug damage. This areas now have Bermuda growing in them among many other weeds. Did you still want to replace them? Now would be the time prior to the heat of the season.

    Client.....Michael, I do not think that will be needed.....the True Green Rep told me that they could get this areas to grow together. ( This areas are three areas measuring at least 5 X 10) .

    Me.....Well good night sir....:laugh::laugh::laugh:
  2. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    So.....back to the high cost of paying to little.

    In the same neighborhood as the above post. A nice little gated community here in my town, home above average in price.

    I went to inform 5 clients who I mowed for the last two years that I would no longer be able to care for their property on a per cut basis (I had informed them last year, they were my only clients on a per cut basis and I picked them up as the recession started and did not mind doing so as I do over 8 others in the neighborhood).

    I ran across....well we will call him Frank.

    Upon coming to Franks lawn it had not really greened up like other lawns in the neighborhood. I asked Frank if he new why. He did not know.
    Looked like Frost Damage to me, but I got down and inspected the lawn and found all three stages of Chinch Bugs active in his lawn. I inform Frank of my findings and show him the chinch bugs.
    Frank is confused as he tends to his own lawn chemicals.

    Franks is confused on how this has happened. Frank is amazed at how small the chinch bugs are because they look much bigger on the internet.

    I inform Frank how I will not being taking care of his lawn unless he switches to a monthly payment. Frank is confused. Frank wonders why it would lawn care would be needed in the winter. I point to the areas the chinch bugs are eating his lawn and call my L & O company for Frank.

    Frank paid to little and experienced the high cost of paying to little.....Frank has a decent sod job in his future!:rolleyes:
  3. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    Only you can take a Great Catch Phase and Muddy it up. BTW Thanks I will be using that Line on my next sales call. THE HIGH COST OF PAYING TOO LITTLE.

    BTW That works Two ways. The high cost of charging too little. OR The high cost of not buying the best equipment etc etc.
  4. rob7233

    rob7233 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    Well Ric,

    The phrase was actually mine but Mikey can use it anytime. I was telling him that his experience with that client was a great example regarding this industry and the justification of having year round service. The client cut corners to save money(so he thought) and now it's gonna cost him big to replace the sod.

    While we were on that subject, I relayed to Mike some (non LCO) personal stories with bad results of my trying to save money in having work done or even doing it myself and it costing me much more in the end.

    So he started this thread since we thought others must have stories to tell of bad decisions they made while being driven with the idea or goal of trying to save some $$. The stories don't have to Green Industry related but it's great if it they are. Maybe a little something we can all learn from.
  5. tallrick

    tallrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    It always amazes me when people complain about chinch bugs. So far I have never had a problem on any of the properties I own. In fact, all the lawns are green and growing most of the year. The cold weather only seemed to kill weeds. None are sprayed or fertilized, and the only pest problem I have ever had is grubs. What I have noticed is that upscale areas have more serious pest problems than the poor areas. The home I just rented out had a yard that was 10% sandspurs and 2% bermuda grass with patches of zoysia and broadleaf weeds in sand. After mixing in compost and installing sprinklers it is already greening up with no fertilizer or pesticides. A similar home ended up with a zoysia/st augustine mix that is the only green lawn on the street. Yet a friend who lives in Pinecrest has his landscaper putting down endless fertilizers and pesticides and still has the dead spots. You often see spray trucks there in the summer.
  6. I agree. Most of my nice yards are treated by a spray company, but I have one that isn't and it is lush green and healthy and has not had any chinch problems. I see chinch damage on the over fertilized yards all the time. Proper management can and will alleviate most issues.
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  7. tjlco

    tjlco LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 283

    I love tru green.....thanks to them I always have a decent size sod job to do...
  8. rob7233

    rob7233 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    Overfertilization will attract chinch bug populations to the new, tender and lush growth. I have been told that Chlorophyll can be detected by insects over two miles away. All the insecticides applied for control also kill off all the beneficial insects too. Some of these "good bugs" are predators of the bad ones. The balance of things gets all thrown off.

    I've seen it many times, lower input lawns can be less problematic, cost less and look nicer.
  9. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    You make a good point about over fertilizing drawing bugs. It is almost economically impossible to Over Fertilize with Organics, you would smother the Plant with compost before over fertilizing. But That is why my organic subcontractor has a Class B CDL for his 33K GVW Dump Truck and several thousand dollars worth of a Top Dresser and a Dingo to fill the Top Dresser etc.
  10. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,356

    Reading my community paper this morning. Www.3seasonsonline.com. They have a half page ad that reads
    Only 69.95 per month up to 7k
    Includes 37 mowings
    6 liquid sprays for fert, insect,broadleaf and fungus
    2 granular apps of high quality slow release.

    Lowball has reached a new low. There is no fiscal way in hell you can make money at that price legally.
    This is not a small operation either.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011

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