What should I do here

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by kc2006, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    I've been waiting for payment from a shrub trimming job for about 3 and a half weeks now. I finally got it today after threatening a late fee on the last invoice I sent. The customer sends me a letter with the check saying he wasn't happy with the job and as he said "I will be out this weekend or next fixing the mis shaped and untrimmed shrubs you missed"

    Which is fine because I had no intention of going back. The shrubs he pointed out to do were done and looked really good in my opinion, however he likes them trimmed back until they look dead. The guy freaked me out to be honest, when I went for the estimate he kept asking if I liked how he did the ones that were already done and would get real close to me, kinda creepy :gunsfirin

    Anyway, I thought about possibly doing something to make him happy so he doesn't run his mouth about me, think I should? This resorts back to my theory of rich people being cheap a$$'s because this is in an upper level neighbor hood. I don't think he'll hurt business for me becuase I've had 3 others in his area call me before and all cried about price and wanted something for nothing, a bunch of crap. But I do like to be a nice guy. Should I write a letter apoligizing and say how the shrubs were done to quality standard and we're sorry that he doesn't agree. Send something as an apoligy? Or should I say f it and just move on? I'm looking at choice 1 & 3 more.
  2. OMG

    OMG LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 275

    If you have no intentions of doing followup work for him and you are confident you did the job right, I wouldn't offer any free incentives.

    Maybe a half honest apology, but that's about it.

    I have the same situation going on with a FORMER customer now. She told me that her lawn looked better than ever on the last cut. After no response to the 1st ever monthly bill, I called her. She now claims I destroyed her lawn and she wasn't going to pay. Her neighbors told me she likes to beat people, so I guess I was forewarned.
  3. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    language ....................
  4. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    I would get some pics of shrubs pruned correctly and take them over when I went to check out the complaint,that you should do automaticly.He says you missed some that's different than saying you did not do them to his specks.
    This is an unhappy customer,go and try to make him happy,if you cannot,then you cannot.Some people are unaware of others personal space zone,they get too close
    back away and ask him not to stand that close.Mabey he can't hear and is reading your lips,or cant see or hear well and is trying to read your lips.
  5. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    as for the other one..some old people like to play money games.Confront her about her honesty with you in person and she will pay right up.say" Wow this lawn looks great to me!"Now you don't want to try and cheat me out of my money do you?"I feed my family with the money I earn.
    If I did a bad job and destroyed your lawn,that would be different,but I did a good job and your lawn is fine so why are you upset.?She will pay right up with you be nice and show in person.
  6. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    I forgot to explain about the ones "i missed" Theres a total of 125 shrubs at this house (mostly smaller ones), I was only to do 23 (of which I wrote down exactly the ones I had to do when I did the estimate) I then got d#cked around for 3 weeks because he didn't want it done right away and all this other crap. So I go and do them, and now he must have changed his mind and wanted more of them done (after the fact). I had pointed out another 12 I believe that needed done but he thought were fine and didn't want them touched.

    This is why I'll just write a letter and not waste my time and gas to drive out there. If I did something wrong then of course I'd be on it fixing it. The more I think about it the more I realize I shouldn't have to do crap but I would prefer to try to point out the false statements on his part to clear my name alittle.

    BTW, the thing that gets me is, he never called or said anything in the 3 and a half weeks it took him to pay up, heck I even dropped 2 of them off at his house and was never told anything by his wife....Thats what I don't get.
  7. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    I wouldn't bother with the letter. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder with shrub trimming. What looks good to one person might not look good to another.

    Your lucky he didn't use it as an excuse to stiff you. At least you got paid. Consider yourself lucky.

    We're in a lose-lose situation with shrubs. Everybody wants an estimate before we trim them. After the work is done they can easily be dissatisfied with the way they look.

    Of course, if I were to just stop offering shrub trimming, that will blow up in my face too. I don't know of any landscaping companies in the area who only trim shrubs. If they trim shrubs, they mow lawns too. Telling customers you don't trim shrubs can get your customers stolen.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  8. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Exactly DFW. I thought about not even offering the service because like you said, what looks good to one doesn't look to another. But I picked up 4 mowing accounts this week just because the last company didn't offer mulch installs or shrub trimming. I try not to get into shrubs that much though. They're great because its very profitable for me (solo) but it spoils it when you get someone who's very picky..or crazy
  9. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,967

    ha ha ha.....When people ask me to trim their shrubs I tell them my nickname is bushwacker! The only thing I do worse involves a caulking gun!
    Don't worry about this nimrod, sounds like he wanted to "get close to you" and it didn't work out! Now he has buyers remorse.
  10. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Whether you guys know it or not there is a proper way to trim shrubs,and some are trimmed differently than others and at different times of the year.But ALL shrubs should be trimmed in an opposite V not like this V but like this A so sun can get to the bottom of the shrub.Shearing is different than trimming and deadheading or heading back.

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