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unreal customers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by cantoo, Jul 7, 2000.

  1. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,908

    We have this "crazy" customer that we work for. She wants us to do all kinds of work but doesn't want her husband to know that we do it and for the stuff that he does know about she doesn't want him to know how much it costs. This work is done at their cottage so he isn't there very often. She is driving us crazy, we barely have time for our regular customers and she wants us to do everything from putting up ceiling fans to planting flowers. Last night we removed a bunch of small spindly cedar trees along the roadway, tonight she leaves 8 messages on our machine saying that her husband is mad as hell because we removed his trees without his permission and he wants them back now. I'm ready to kill her and tell her husband how much money she has given us so far. That is part of the problem, money is like water for her she just keeps shoving it and we keep taking it. The next step is a $5000 retaining wall and I know she is going to want more stuff done. Her husband is just as crazy as she is, we have her messages recorded on our answering machine saying to remove the trees but "please" don't tell my husband. She must think he is blind. I know I am rambling but this lady is causing us some grief. I'm not sure I could handle this as a full time job with customers like this. I guess I should just take the money and shut my mouth. Do any of you guys have crazy customers like this or do we have the only one?
  2. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Messages: 3,485

    Charge her to put them back. Dig'em up and replant as often as she wants as long as she is willing to pay. I would get it in writing when doing permanent jobs such as removing living plants or installing permanent &quot;things&quot;. What about the wall, will he see it or just think it was free? Crazy.<br><p><font size="1">Edited by: KirbysLawn
  3. OP

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,908

    The wall is one of the things he knows about and wants done, the trees will have to be removed to get the tractor in to do the wall, that is why we removed them. They said to put them back then remove them to do the work then replace them again. I am thinking of getting some plastic trees, I don't think they would even know the difference. We even rake the beach sand for them. Another example of their oddball thinking is that they want us to come over and spray for mosquitoes before their friends come over. The good news is they will give us 15 minutes notice bfore we have to be there, we live 20 minutes away. I'm telling you they are driving us nuts, I wish I never gave them our number, then I think of the money and we say sure no problem. Now where is that bug spray.
  4. yardsmith

    yardsmith LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 628

    1) Save the messages on your ans. mach & don't delete them<br>2) Tell the lady she needs to get with her husband & straighten things out so you are not being yelled at, or:<br>3) You will play the messages to her husband if she doesn't start acting civilized.<br>Retaining wall- better get at LEAST half down first, & give your self a little extra on the bid for putting up with her.<br>Spraying mosquitoes- HAH! I camp out on NOBODY'S doorstep. Tell her to buy it at the store & do it herself, or drop her like a bad habit, unless you enjoy that kind of stress.<br>If they pissed me off, I'd tell the other one on each other, & get them mad at each other, & quietly slip out.........<p>----------<br>Smitty ô¿ô<br>
  5. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    I &quot;HAD&quot; a customer similar to this a few years ago. Big bucks but the only want the front cut every 2 weeks and when I cut it cut it real short.<br>I did that and he comes home and has a **** hemmorrage because he planted seed and some got ripped up. They were told to get someone else. Even though the money was good I made up for it with better people who werent insane.
  6. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 773

    No matter how good the money is, it isn't worth it w/o piece of mind. I would, at the very least, draw clearer boundaries for this woman. I would not allow her to call me with '15 minutes notice' and work me at her leisure. You can get that hassle in any office job, if you please.<p>Most likely, I'd give her the walking papers. Sometimes it just ain't worth the hassle...<p>-TGC
  7. bill phagan

    bill phagan Guest
    Messages: 0

    Best to do here is to get it in &quot;writing&quot; via a work order or quick agreement you BOTH sign to document the job, pricing and completion dates. We cannot allow our customers to dictate our schedules and work habits. Sounds like it's time to have a long chat with this wacko. Get it straightened out or move on. May also want to &quot;rerecord&quot; her messages for documentation for the future.
  8. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    Bill's right about getting everything in writing to clear you from any repercussions by the husband down the road. Some of these people can be the best customers as far as bang for the $ go's. We had a lady that had more money that god, but she could never decide on anything. Put it in, take it out, plant it here, move it there!! Once She had me plant a japenese maple in her yard and she decided she didn't like it. I told her once it was out of her yard its mine again, I wasn't a nursery storage center! It was all in writing. So knowing her, I planted the tree in a small lot next to my equipment yard and sure enough she bought that tree again a week and a half later but she wanted on the other side of the yard. So, she got charged for:<p>The tree<br>installing it the first time<p>removing it<p>the tree (it was a good investment!!)<br>and re-installing it.<p>All becuase the has to much money and too much time on her hands. <p>Now, also like Bill said she had a problem as far as thinking she could snap and I'll be there. She may have been my best paying customer, but I did have way too many to cater to any particular one. You have to find a way thats nice enough not to lose her but to explain to her that you need to work off a scheduele, and more then 15 minutes notice is going to be needed for any job! Sounds like you struck gold as far as the money goes though, make sure you don't forget to add in a couple bucks for the headache!<p>Later!<p>----------<br>&lt;a href=&quot;http://communities.msn.com/guidosequipmentpics/&quot;&gt;&quot;Guido&quot;&lt;/a&gt;<br>David M. Famiglietti
  9. Twotoros

    Twotoros LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 494

    Get out before you are sued . In court the wife will side with her crazy husband and he will be mowing the lawn with your equiptment and looking for a buyer for your house .
  10. OP

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,908

    Sometimes a fella just gets lucky, turns out the trees in question were between the two properties and were removed by the neighbour after we left and the fence and trees actually belong to the neighbour too. We still planted the trees we had bought and they are really $orry about the confusion. I am building a small model of the retaining wall so there is no confusion about what it will look like when done. The reason for building the model is that I have 8 people who also want walls done along the lake so I want to do them all the same and at the same time. On jobs like this I always make customers pay 1/2 upfront, maybe that makes me a scrub but at least the material is paid for.

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