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Too early in the morning for me!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mike (MLC), Nov 22, 2002.

  1. Mike (MLC)

    Mike (MLC) LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    Mowed a new client once and dropped him already. Here's the story. Had a guy called several weeks ago looking for a new lawn man. Said his other lawn man would not return his phone calls and this guys kids would never give him the message. Well I decided that I would take on his yard. I got one cut in, and then we had almost 2 weeks worth of solid rain. We had like 24 inches drop. Needless to say even all the high ground was flooded for days. It was going to take a very long time for any yard to be dry enough to cut. We finally were able to start cutiing a couple of yards last Wednesday. Even then the yards were still wet and I almost got stuck in two of them. On Friday, my phone rings at 6:15am. It's the new guy. Me, my wife and kids are all asleep at this time. He wakes the entire house up. My wife answers the phone. He wants to know if we are going to get to him before Thanksgiving (2 weeks away!!) My wife told him yes, we are very behind but within 2 weeks we should get every one done . He said that was fine because his yard was too wet to even walk in. ( Ok, so why call me that early to tell me that???) Hung up the phone. I told my wife she should have said something to this guy about calling so early. (We have never had anyone call before 8am before, most of our clients have more sense.) Anyway, this guy calls last night a little before 7pm. We didn't answer it because we like to try and have 8-5pm as office hours. I was just going to call him back around 8am this morning. At 5:45am this morning the phone rings. Me and my wife are so out of it, we didn't even realize the phone was ringing until the answering machine picked up. The guy hangs up. By now my 3 year old is up. I knew I should have called that guy back last night (around 2:30am to wake him up!!!).
    By now I am steaming. Doesn't this guy have any sense. Who in the world is working at that time?? He calls back at 7:15 and I let the machine get it, because it is not 8am. This time he leaves a message: "I have let two messages and no one has called me back, I need to know if you are going to get to my yard by Thanksgiving. " (Ok, did he forget what my wife told him last week?) I wasn't making him a priority, because he was a new client. By this time I was ready to call and drop him. I called him a little after 8am. Of course he anwered all nice and chipper!! I decided to lay it all out on the table about his calling habits. He played dumb. He said, "I was under the impression that you started your days really early." I told him that I didn't know any lawn service around that started their day at 5:45. I'm sure my clients would really appreciate me being in the yard at 6am!!! And by the way, it's dark!! Anyway, I proceeded to tell him that he has woke up my entire family twice now. He didn't apologize or act like he even cared. I told him that I was going to nip this problem in the bud. I ended right then and told him good luck on finding a 24 hour lawn service. I can't believe the nerve of some people. Now I can understand why the other lawn guy never reutrned his calls. I'm sure he did the same thing to that guy. Sorry for such a long post, I was just aggrevated this morning. (Got up too early, Ha! Ha!):dizzy:
  2. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Nothing like dealing with high maintenance people! That is very rude to but it mildly to call someone before 0800. I don't like making calls before 0900 unless it is a business. At least you found out now rather then the beginning of next season after you turned away other as your route was filled. Someone else will come along.

  3. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    let me guess...is he an upper mgt type corporate person??? I find allot of them...usually in their alte 30's to mid forties, are so used to themselves being always the center of attention that they think the "lawnslave" is their personal servant.
  4. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457


    I got one of them.
  5. deason

    deason LawnSite Member
    Messages: 236

    Call him tomorrow night at 0130 and ask him if he has found anyone yet. :angel:
  6. Mike (MLC)

    Mike (MLC) LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    From what I got out of the guy the 1st time, was that he was retired. But, he has several rent houses. I feel sorry for any renter who is late on a payment. It is hard to tell at 1st how people really are. Who knows how many lawn guys he has really been through.
  7. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,468

    I have talking caller id on my pc and set it to answer on 1st ring at certain times and block numbers i dont want calling me
  8. mountain man

    mountain man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    Never ever use your home number for customers to call. That is a horrible impression to leave when a family member answers the phone. What would you think if you called your doctors office and his half asleep 10 year old anwered the phone?

    If you work out of the house get a second line or at least a cell phone with voice mail. We gladly receive calls and email 24/7. If there is no one to answer the call then the voice mail picks and is promptly returned. I see no problem with a customer calling early since most contractors start there day before 7:00. It is much easier to hear from a customer early than hear from them at 9am after the trucks are loaded and the routes are started.
  9. Mike (MLC)

    Mike (MLC) LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    I would like to get a seperate phone line for the business, but it hasn't been able to happen yet. My wife is by the phone and the computer all day long. Around here there might be one lawn care company that has a business line, but all the rest use their home number. In all of years of business we have never had anyone call us that early. When you want to schedule a haircut do you call the barber at 3 am thinking that someone just might be there to answer your call. This man is home all day long and has nothing else to do. It's not like he works shift work and that is the only time he can call anyone. There was no reason for this man to choose that time to call. We had already figured out that he was going to be one of these problem clients. I'm glad that we got rid of him when we did. We get calls all the time from new people wanting a bid. We'll just fill in his spot.
  10. LB Landscaping

    LB Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 1,309

    I have on lady that has called at the strangest times. It started with early morning calls which I chose to let my answering machine pick-up. I would always call back by 8:00am but she would never be there, no answering machine either. I left her a note on her door when I was in the area one day opr whenever I mailed an invoice with my cell number but she would never call it. The last few calls I got from her were on my home phone at around 1:00 or 2:00 in the afternoon (like I'd be home). I called again last week after recieving a message and her sister answered and said that she would be glad I called, she took my cell number and assured me that she would have her call it as soon as she got home. Well she didn't, two days later I get another message at home saying if I didn't call her within a half hour not to bother (again at 1:00 in the afternoon). Not sad I lost that one, she was PITA anyway. I guess I should have just spent a couple of days at my house waiting for her every call (not). :dizzy:

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