This says it all

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by RickR1818, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. RickR1818

    RickR1818 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 342

    Here is an email I just recieved from a customer. I had just serviced them for the first time this past Saturday. The yard needed cut two weeks ago and had the first application laid by a big franchise (Not mentioning who) and we have had probably 2.5-3 inches of rain the past few weeks. You can imagine what the first cut was like:

    "Hey Rick,

    Thanks for doing the lawn this weekend. The grass clippings are barely noticeable anymore. And my neighbors commented on how great it looked.

    Listen, there is this guy called ***** that called me and said he’d do it for $25 with trimming/edging every other week. I realize this is probably below your cost, but it’s a huge savings for my wife and I especially right now. This computes to every 3rd mow free. He said he really needs the work and wants to get into this area.

    If you don’t mind I’d like to give him a try, but will keep you in mind if things change. Meanwhile, we will gladly send you a check for $40 for this past Saturday."

    This was a corner lot with a good amount of beds that needed trimmed around and a lot of sidewalk edging. I probably should have even been at $45.
  2. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,087

    Bill him for three cuts and explain why. You were going to eat the extra costs of mowing a high lawn since you got the weekly mowing. If you get the two extra payments great, if you don't at least you tried.
  3. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    Dont feel bad my friend. I lost 2 today.
    we do larger areas. one was for 125.00 a week the other is 85.00 per week
    that's 840.00 a month
  4. RickR1818

    RickR1818 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 342

    My reply:

    "Dear xxxxx,

    I am sorry to hear that. I was looking forward to having you as a client this year. I understand the need to save money on your behalf and I can empathize. You may send a check to the address below or you may pay online via my website.

    I would at least ask if this gentleman has liability insurance in case he damages your or a neighbors property or even an individual. If he doesn’t and worst case scenario an accident happens, you can be held liable as the property owner. In the event things don’t work out you can contact me and I would be happy to bring you back on as long as I have space in my schedule.

    There are always a lot of guys out mowing at the beginning of the season and I was one of them a few years ago. Almost all undercut to get started in the business but few actually last past May once it heats up and they realize that gas, maintenance, insurance, and taxes eat a lot of profits up. Good luck and I hope to hear from you in a few weeks.


    Rick Rowe"
  5. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    I got a call last fall saying almost the same thing, their friend had lost his job and was now going into the lawn business to make some money for his family. They said they were going to go with him since he needed the money and if things don't work out they would give me a call. I was getting $65.00 per cut and there friend told them if they would let him do it he would cut it for $45.00 and it was a hilly lake lot w/lots of trimming. I feel your pain. This happens all the time a lot more than I would like but what you going to do.
  6. coolluv

    coolluv Banned
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 4,514

    Thats funny. Welcome to my world. I had a customer cancel this year that I was charging $40. I send every customer a startup letter in March. If they want to cancel then they can call me, if not I show up. Well I didn't hear from her so come April I show up. Well she hears me out there and comes running out in her nightgown. (old lady) Stop! Stop! I turn off my mower and she proceeds to tell me she found someone to cut it for $30.

    I ask her what company it was, she says Oh its just a Mexican. I said yeah he's probably illegal too. Then I get the deer in the headlights look. Anyway I go by there today and the lawn has finally been cut. None of the sidewalks are edged or the driveway, the place looked like crap. I had to laugh.

    Its funny, the cheapskates wait until the lawn is a foot high and then want to start service. I don't know how many times I get a call for an estimate and I go out and look at it and the place hasn't been touched since last October. I went out this morning and looked at one. The guy emails me and said he had a house for sale in the area but was now living in Pa. He needs someone to maintain it bi weekly until it sells. I say OK, let me go have a look at it.

    When I get there the place looks abandoned, the grass was six inches high in the front and a foot in the back. Now this is a 3/4 acre property fenced in around the back, lots of trees and bull$**it to be trimmed around. You get the picture. Not to mention its Bermuda and the grass is overrun with Henbit and every other weed at this time of year. I need the work so I call the guy up and tell him what it looks like and he says, yeah thats what I was told. I tell him $60 for the fist cut, because of the growth, and $50 every time after that. Now right before I call this guy I'm thinking $75 or $80 for the first cut and $60 after that.

    Buuuuuuuuut, I need the work so I lower my price. Anyway he says, well I have a few others coming out to look at it and give me a price. I go int my sales pitch about how I'm licensed and insured,Yada, Yada , Yada. I get the, "Well Ill call you either way" answer. Soooo anyway just another day in paradise.:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

  7. RickR1818

    RickR1818 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 342

    Don't get me wrong, I have had these over the past few years but this one just set me off. Maybe its because I am getting a ton of calls but cant close hardly any because of the guys out there trying to make a buck. Believe me, I dont want this to be a lowballer thread because I am sick of those. I think the reason I am really pissed with this one is because me and my helper busted our A** to make this yard look good and 2 days later I get this email! I almost skipped it Saturday because he dilly dallied last week until Thursday night. I wish I would have now because it would have been an hour I had back on a beautiful Saturday.
  8. coolluv

    coolluv Banned
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 4,514

    I haven't been getting many calls since advertising since February and the few that have been calling are real winners. Mostly Indians,(dot not feather). I don't have many customers so I do a few a couple days a week and then go out and do some advertising.

    When the phone does ring I'm all excited, only to get some Indian or other cheapscate calling. Today I got 2 calls. Woooopppeee $H8t. One was from someone who obviously never had a lawn service before asking me what did I charge. I tell her, well I have to see it first. Paaaaaauuussse, she says well can you give me an idea about what you charge. I say, well how big is your property? Paaaaauuussse. Is it a 1/4, 1/2 acre? Paaaaaaauuussse. Long story short I tell her what it roughly would be for each size. Her response, OOOOOOOOh, can I get it cut monthly. AAAAAAA Noooooo. Then I get the I will talk to my husband and call you back. Yeah, Right.

    The second call I got today. OMG two in one day. The lady says, when can you come and look at it, hopefully today. I say yeah I can come by there today.(Not like I'm really busy or anything) She says good I have a tenant moving in there tomorrow and I want to get the place cleaned up. I go and look at it and its a nice house in a nice newer sub. I'm thinking ok not bad. Then I open the gate to the backyard. Theres a dog house next to the patio, dog $%!t all over the place and what looked like the remains of Bermuda grass thats about a foot high in spots.Lets not forget about the 1ft by 1ft by 1ft holes around the yard.

    These are the kind of calls I have been getting. Even the somewhat normal calls I have received (not many) are a joke.

    I may have to give up on the bad habit I have of eating.:laugh::laugh::laugh:
    I need to lose some more weight anyway.:laugh::laugh:

  9. TheC-Master

    TheC-Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 819

    Yea, I hate the ones that wait until it is a nightmare and then want you to do it one time.
  10. Toy2

    Toy2 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,924

    Well GM is considering laying off 21K.....wonder what type of business they intend on getting into??????

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