Western PA Landscapers!

Discussion in 'Network: North' started by 93Chevy, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. McG_Landscaping

    McG_Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,738

    Yup i got 5 on weds thurs and fri routes for the most part. Stillskipped a few tho. We need rain again
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  2. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    Speaking of billing...

    I have a client that I picked up the beginning of last Spring - I cut her every Monday. The (verbal) agreement was weekly service unless there's a drought situation.
    During the recent drought, I sent a text asking if the lawn needed cut since I don't drive by there on a regular basis. It was skipped a few times and that was fine - it really didn't need to be mowed at the time.

    Several weeks back I mowed as usual after I pulled up and evaluated the lawn conditions. We had rain a few days prior, the grass was green except for a few spots damaged by the stress of the drought, and every other client's lawn was growing as well, so I cut.

    I got a text saying she wished I hadn't, as it didn't need it and "it's been another dry week". Ummm... maybe she doesn't watch the weather - or have windows. It had rained at least twice the prior week - hence the growth.

    Long story short, she doesn't want to pay the $30 as it was "unwarranted service" and - get this - "unauthorized".
    WTF? Unauthorized? You authorized it last season when I said I'd be there every Monday after 11am so I wouldn't disturb your husband who works nights!

    I told her I had texted her during the drought asking if the lawn needed cut as a courtesy. I explained that the lawn was green and growing when I cut, and that I'd never cut "just for the money", or if it would cause damage to the lawn during a drought. "I was never under the impression I needed to ask permission to mow the lawn", I replied.

    I haven't been able to get in touch with her and her last text suggested that if I wanted paid for that cut maybe it is time to stop service. Good grief.

    Here's the kicker. She was the first person to give me a review on Angie's list.
    Just a few short months ago she added the following review...

    I just want to talk to her and offer a simple solution to the "problem". If she doesn't want teh lawn cut, LET ME KNOW the day before. It's not my responsibility to call clients and ask if the lawn needs cut - it doesn't work that way.

    If she wants to keep me on, fine - I'll finish this season, but I see no reason to keep her next year. She's made it clear (between that and a few other interactions) that the bottom line is "price".
    I really only keep her because it's a high-traffic location and I get exposure while working there. My price of $30 is about $15 too low, so I'm not going to lose out financially.

    On the flip side, I have a client that frequently gives an extra $5 and the lawn is an easy one that I think I'm borderline OVERcharging for in the first place.

    Another client I mow for paid me $30 for work I didn't even DO.
    I had to skip her one week due to rains. When I went the following week, there was $60 in the envelope (I collect at time of service, or take pre-payment) with a note stating that "everyone deserves a paid vacation - especially someone who does such good work!"

    I emailed a client yesterday explaining that I needed to alter his schedule. He's a biweekly and when I had to skip some others on his route due to the drought, it threw off my route schedule and I was now going out to cut his lawn alone now instead of with the ones nearby.

    He's not due to be cut until next Wed, but in order to get everyone back on the same day I explained that I'd mow today at no charge, then we would go to every other week.

    He didn't have any issue with it. In fact, he said "I'll leave payment - I wouldn't feel right having you do work for free."

    One person is complaining that I cut her grass (like I have just about every Monday since last spring) and won't pay and all these others are GIVING me money not asked for.

    Go figure.
  3. McG_Landscaping

    McG_Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,738

    Thats people for you just drop the pita. I had a guy like that and i raised his price $20 and he dropped me. Customers dont dictate my schedule. I am the business owner
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  4. Pressedun

    Pressedun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 44,983

    Yup they're not worth it in the long run man, I just dropped 2 recently because they were completely unreasonable. Get rid of them and your stress will go down!
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  5. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    I have to say that overall, I don't have any PITA clients. This sort of came out of nowhere. It bugs me only because it could have been avoided by better communication with me.

    Whatever happens, happens. Like I said - it's not a money maker anyway, just good exposure.

    In other news...

    I picked up a new client today as a result of the recommendation one of my regulars on the same street.
    "They speak very highly of you and said I need to give you a call", she said.

    Awesome. That makes 7 in one stop. 3 right next to each other on one side, three right next to each other directly across the street, and the new one two houses up from those.

    Even if I do lose the other one, "when one door closes, another one opens". No big deal.
  6. lawnkingforever

    lawnkingforever LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,280

    Yep. I just dropped 2 in the past few weeks also. I am at that point I will not deal with pitas under any conditions. First one I dropped had a huge back yard with a small gate. He told me he was getting a bigger gate installed so I could fit my Grandstand. He told me to wait a few more weeks, nope, he is gone, not pushmowing it again. The second one was an every other week account. The lady calls and said her nephew was visiting and mowed the grass, and to not come this week. Did not need to hear anymore, told her to find someone else. I am trying to drop all of my EOW anyway, though I will miss the 75$. I am simply too busy to service anything but weekly accounts, they are too hard to schedule. It has been a long season and my patience has run thin. I have been mowing since the third week in March and feel myself getting burned out.
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  7. McG_Landscaping

    McG_Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,738

    I am definitely burnt out and i was feeling the same way today. Just tired of people. Just schedule an even amount of eow accounts and do 1 this week and 1 next. I do that for a few and its great
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  8. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    Someone pray, do a dance, or shake a chicken foot... whatever. We need RAIN.

    I had to skip two of my weekly cuts today.
    I mow my own lawn about every 4 days normally. I haven't cut it in over a week now.

    It snuck in here, but the drought is back. :(
  9. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    OakNut, ... ditto on the need for rain.

    Issac brought very little,not enough to do any good. It amounted for a couple of quick showers. Initially, the forecast included our region in the 2-4" rainfall. Yes, we were at the extreme edge, but enough to cover the entire SW region.

    Dry leaves are in abundance now. I blew out beds yesterday, mulched more leaves under Red Crimson King Maple trees. The Weeping Cherries are drying up and falling. Walnut leaves, the same.

    But, the grass growth rates are dismal. I cut full schedule yesterday and today, but one was iffy. Another was a cloud of dust over much of the property, lots of bare spots.

    My hope for a wet end of August, for a good run-up into September -- failed!
  10. Bumpmaster

    Bumpmaster LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 22,187

    Roger, Roger.

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