What would you do with this customer?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JHLC, Nov 23, 2004.

  1. JHLC

    JHLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    I have a customer that I have been servicing for over 2 years. I only take care of the lawn, he is responsible for weeds, shrubs, trees, fert.,ect. His wife got sick about a year and a half ago and he stopped taking care of everything. The beds are overgrown with weeds, trees and shrubs are out of control, the place is a real jungle. His wife passed away 8 months ago and he still has not done anything to his yard. It has gotten to the point were it takes me twice as long to service his lawn. I asked if he would like me to take care of the problem and he said he doesn't have the money. So my question is.. Do I stay with him or drop him? If I drop him, how do I do it nicely? The problem I am having is that I also service three houses across the street from him and they are all friends with each other. Any opinions would be appreciated.
  2. jbell113

    jbell113 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 654

    If he is paying for the lawn service then dont worry about the rest.
  3. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    I disagree with jbell. Every lawn you do is advertising your work. I can't stand when people let the part they aren't paying you to do to get out of control.

    If I could afford to drop him, I would. If not advertise some more so you can.
  4. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    why does it take you longer to do it when you are only doing the lawn?

    If you do three houses right across the street your work shows for yourself there. You have then 4 houses right there. One unload and load up for the maintenance of 4 places.
    Instead of getting him to get everything done all at once, try to convince him to do a couple of things. A couple of things is better than none at all.
  5. JHLC

    JHLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    It takes me longer because I have to trim 4' out around all of the trees because of all of the low limbs. IWhen I quoted him my price, the limbs were trimmed up and they all had tree rings mulched around them. I could mow around them and they were done.
  6. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    how trees are there and how many limbs? How long it take you to trim them you think? And what would you charge him if you did?

    The reason that I am asking this question (and I will probably get a lot of cr@p about it) is if it only takes you 15 to 30 mins to trim the trees, and you only have to do it once a year, maybe twice, then just do it. Think that if you just took 15 mins to trim them, sure you might be out of $50 to $60 (minimum charge) but think in the long run how much money you would save by doing it. (alright fellow lawnsite guys, I am waiting for the cr@p)
  7. jbell113

    jbell113 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 654

    Im speaking from experience here ....when these people say they dont have any money there hoping you will do it for free . Then a month from now they will ask you to do it then pay you for it. They hope to out wait you. Now this may not be the case here and if its not then go with what tiedeman said and good luck.
  8. Green Care

    Green Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 530

    Wife come 1st aslo he's still hurt over her deaf the yard is the last thing on his mind continue to mow everything else will fall in place.
  9. turf9

    turf9 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 233

    Would he go for a small raise in the lawn cut so you could do a little at a time (each month)to get it under a little control.Did this with one of mine worked out ok If you can't afford to get rid of him.
  10. locutus

    locutus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,266

    I actually agree with this statement. You have to be very careful about the freebies. The customer will, without a doubt, come to expect this "free" service until doomsday. Before you prune his trees, accept this premise as a potential eventuality.

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