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trying to please crazy customer-the outcome

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Jun 22, 2004.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    well, here is the outcome to the tragic mulch job. i did "the right thing", as you would all have me do it, and what a disaster. we put in several yards of mulch for her. she inspected everything, gave approval, and paid the bill. 2 weeks later she advises me that she saw on a t.v show, and was told by a nursery worker, that the mulch should be kept 6 inches away from all plants. she insisted that i return, and create a 6 inch ring around all her plants(about 200 of them). my initial instinct was to blow her off completely. i should have followed my instincts. instead, yesterday afternoon i dropped one of my boys off for 4 hrs. after he created these 6 inch rings around all the plants, the job looked REDICULOUS!. and, now there is extra mulch, that she wants me to haul away and refund her money for! this is what happens when you do "the right thing". now i have to recoup the loss somehow or i'll never sleep at night. how will i recoup? well it's grub treatment season, it's a great time to make money for nothing. how many of your clients can tell the difference between costly merit, and cheap starter fertilizer? from now on i'll follow my instincts.
  2. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    Bobby, I wouldn't have returned - especialy if she was being a pita.
    I have had similar experiences, I explain that I have completed the work that we agreed upon, anything else is extra. I sure would not rebate on mulch that was installed then removed.
  3. TRex

    TRex LawnSite Senior Member
    from DFW ,TX
    Messages: 487

    I told you to explain to her how to go to the lake of fire. Tell her she watches to much t.v.
  4. MiracleMan

    MiracleMan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    6" away from plants?
    Must be a northern thing. I've NEVER heard of such a thing. Tree wells are a different story but not shrubs. I can only guess it's to keep water from draining away from the shrub and retaining moisture.
    But back to Ms. Grumpy, ... I wouldn't give her back one penny for work your services already rendered. As was stated, you did the work agreed upon. If she wants it different, she needs to call someone else. As always, there's at least ONE in your crop you just can't please.

    p.s I always have a customer sign a work order before I do any work. It gives me proof of what was ordered and what they agreed to pay.
  5. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    Those 6" rings are supposedly to keep the plant from suffocating and to allow the moisture to wick out at the root base. Something about the plant has an increased chance of getting root rot if the mulch touches the plant.

    The only times I have seen that done is in homeowner installs. And like you said Bobby it looks ********.

    But on the other extreme I had a client that watched too much TV and insisted that to be mulched properly it has to be 6" deep to do any good. Nuts don't just live by you. We all have a few.
  6. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,117

    And you did not discuss what, how and who would pay for her adjustments BEFORE proceeding???????
  7. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    yes i actually explained that we will charge, per hour, for the "corrections". she started moaning about it not being done right in the first place. i didn't feel like arguing(for once), and i wouldn't even do it myself, i left a guy there for her. cost me 5 man hours, but i did use the extra mulch around some trees 3 blocks away. i hate myself for giving in, and i'll never do it again. i will make it up on her grub treatment. i'll put down starter fert instead of merit. i'll spray her clover with plain water. i always win in the end, usually in the beggining actually, but this time in the end.
  8. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,036

    I would not do any more work for her. tell her to bugger off and find somebody else to do her work.
  9. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,449

    i understand you're angry about her situation, and I don't blame ya. But what if she gets grubs a few months from now, and wants you to replace large sections of the lawn? she'd want it fixed for free.
    I'd drop her then go to lunch with a smile. Can you make some of the money using the mulch elsewhere? how much extra are we talking here?
  10. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 4,205

    Does any body ever consider how many people that are just homeowners are lurking here and reading this?
    Just a thought.

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