tried 3 times to aerate, now she's mad

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by americanlawn, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,955

    In the fall, we try to aerate lawns that are irrigated right away before their system is shut down, so they can mark the heads, etc.

    Recently, we called ahead to allow a particular customer ten days to mark their system. Then we called the locating company which marks utility lines (at no cost to the customer) . The utility lines were marked. We sent an aeration crew out to aerate their lawn. Everything was marked except for the sprinkler system, so the crew left. A week later, we sent a crew out again....same thing -- sprinkler system was not marked. Following week, we sent a crew out (for the 3rd time)........same thing.

    After all this and our phone call notices to the customer, we finally gave up and called them (again) stating that we could nolonger send equipment, personel, & trucks to their home because it was costing us time, money, etc, plus......we had many many others who wanted us to get their lawns aerated.

    Then we received a very nasty phone call from the Mrs (the "F" word was used several times). We explained our efforts during the past three weeks. Soon after that, we received a cancellation notice in the mail from this customer explaining how bad our service was:laugh: Her letter also told us they would "spread the word" about how bad our service is:laugh:

    I know this is a rae situation, but has anybody else rune into this???

    thanks, rscvp:usflag:
  2. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,085

    honestly, no. I don't worry about marking utilities for aeration. If it's too shallow, it's the utility companies problem & they fix it on their dollar. As for the heads, if she's home, mark them while you're there. I'm sure you made more effort than anyone else would have though. I'd of given up after the second trip. Tell them to call you when everything's flagged next time.
  3. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Messages: 2,419

    Make sure your attorney has a copy of that letter that has that part in it. If he gets bored at some point and you overhear people talking about "so and so" said your company was no good, let your attorney file a defamation of character suit against her for spreading false information that is damaging your business.
  4. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570

    If you are hitting utilities while aeration you have bigger problems than aeration. As far as irrigation, the irrigation contractors are good about marking heads. Even homeowners do a good job of pointing out heads as well.

    It sounds like she is doing herself a favor. The spread the word bit usually doesn't go far. If she gets vocal, threat of litigation should quite her down.
  5. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,955

    Thanks guys. Seems to me this customer takes lawn services for granted and expects them to be able to spend unlimited resources to do work when it's convenient for them. We do not need or want customers like this. Fortunately, they are few and far between.

    Like my wife says, "We're in the business to MAKE money....not give it away".

    Thanks again, americanlawn
  6. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,219

    from what it sounds like you went above and beyond sending a crew out 3 times for nothing and she still blasted you like its your fault...let the crazy ones go

    you dont have them mark utilities for all your areations do you?
  7. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,955

    Thanks dude -- we call "Iowa One Call" for every property (no charge to the customer), so they mark all utilitiy lines before we aerate. 3 trips, two man crews, plus trucks & equipement....we finally gave up. Still this customer thinks we were at fault??? I say.........they probably have personal problems.

  8. steve5966

    steve5966 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 210

    You could always mark the heads yourself. Five minutes, no wasted trips, get paid and everyone is happy. Or lose the customer, ***** for awhile and then replace them.
  9. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

  10. buttaluv

    buttaluv LawnSite Senior Member
    from MidWest
    Messages: 572

    there are some real goofs out there...people call me in late july and august, and complain about weeds in their lawn and their grass is just not green and lush, I say how often are you watering it, because like most places, July and August are hot and dry here, most of them say "well we can't afford to water our grass." I just want to scream....

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