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What would you do with these customers?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Down2EarthLawns, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. Down2EarthLawns

    Down2EarthLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 191

    A cutomer called me today complaining that his grass was getting to high because he fertilized it. Right now, we are on schedule for every other week.I explained that I will have it done by Wednesday, and he was fine with that at first. Then he started explaining how its bad for the turf if it gets too high before I cut. So he told me that if I couldn't come out tommorrow, he would have to find someone to cut it. I held my anger, but quickly reminded him of his agreement with my schedule just a few minutes before. I said that I would call back later with an exact date that it would be done. When I called back , his wife answered the phone and she wanted to express her dissatisfaction with Wednesday cuts. "I have always been a Friday customer, can you not do that?" I said that I could, but her rate will have to change. She has to talk to her husband and will call me back.

    This is one of the accounts that I bought in October. They are good payers. But the price is about 20% too low, so I was going to have to raise them when the season breaks. Would you cut your loss with these PITAs, or ride it out with optimistic hopes?
  2. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    I would drop them. If you have already agreed that it is cut every other week on wednesday then they "should" be fine with that. Since they are not happy with what they agreed to I don't know how you would get them to become happy. Like you said it is 20% too low, you don't get paid enough to put up with their bull.
  3. GreenN'Clean

    GreenN'Clean LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,512

    Charge them extra since you say they can afford it and if they don't accept it and its an inconvenience to you then drop em. If there already saying they will call another company to come do it if you can't then they don't seem like they will be a reliable customer.... If you do something they don't like in the future they will use the old call another company card again and again. The more I think about it drop em drop em drop em....
  4. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,369

    Well, if you can get some kind of rate increase from them and manage to keep them in your schedule somewhere ... then it might work out !! However, it's up to you.
  5. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    First, the guy is correct about getting it cut now before it gets too high, but he caused the problem with too much N to begin with. If he was a good payer, and otherwise hasn't been a PITA, I would try to get his lawn cut.

    Then, I would turn it into an opportunity to do his ferts for him, explaining how when I have more control, these problems can be avoided. He probably used some freakin Scotts 35-x-x stuff. Educate the guy. Tell him how all that top growth might look nice, but doesn't improve the health of the turf, and in fact hurts it. Then the root system doesn't get the development it should at the expense of top growth, and on top of that, he has to pay for more cuts!

    Always try to turn a problem into an opportunity. I see this as an opportunity.
  6. tamadrummer

    tamadrummer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,102

    Don't sweat it dude! We will all be up to our eyeballs in grass in the next week or so with the rains the way they are. If they need to find some fly by night, scalper. Let them, if they want to keep a quality lawn service that has proven himself and understand that you have more than one customer to care for than so be it. If you can squeeze them in great.

    It is not your fault that he put down the fertilizer, but even if true brown was putting down 46-0-0 like they do every where they service that I do and it is knee high by the time I get there in 2 weeks now. It is insane right now.

    Keep your cool and kill them with kindness but be firm, if they force you to show when you are not scheduled, bill them for the time. It is not free. $1.00 a min or more that you are on the property!!
  7. TPLawnPro

    TPLawnPro LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 424

    I'd get my butt out there and cut that swamp!

    Though, of course, I not one that turns away the opportunity to earn some extra $ when the opportunity presents itself.

    I'd tell your customer, Sure! Have the coffee ready! I'll be here at 8am.

    Since they are altering your routine mowing schedule, just be sure to charge them accordingly.
  8. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,369

    Called "growing the business" !!
  9. capetrees

    capetrees LawnSite Member
    from ma
    Messages: 221

    Screw him back. Cut the lawn at his wish and then cut it at your schedule. If he calls again to have it cut a different day, running you around all the time, cut it a few weeks into the new season, send a bill and then drop the guy mid season. You just got the account and its already hurting you at 20% below worth. Fight back. You back down to a PITA and they own you. Belive me, I'm owned and wish I wasn't.
  10. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,270

    This man right here is correct! Also if they pay promptly I have always found it hard to drop somebody if 1. They are close to other accounts or 2. If they pay quickly.

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