What would you do with this stinker?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Mar 13, 2005.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

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

    The last few billing cycles, I have been including a little note with the bill that says:

    If you are interested in receiving all your future statements by e-mail, we will issue a $10.00 credit to your May billing statement. To get the credit, just send an e-mail to XXX@YYYY.com and indicate that you want to sign up for e-mail billing. Please note, if you accept the $10.00 credit, we will not be sending out any more statements via US Postal Service.

    So one of my customers responds with this e-mail:

    We would like to start receiving our billing statements via email. Also, we would like for you to mow every other week until the beginning of May and then every week thereafter. We are very pleased with your services. We no longer have the credit card you have on file so please email us our bill monthly and we will submit a check. It is possible that we may give you another credit card number in the future but for right now we will pay by check. Thanks so much.

    The customer has been with us for about 10 months. Never a decline on the credit card.

    Two issues:

    1.) Wants credit from my company instead of the bank. Probably would pay, but you never know. Why doesn't she have a credit card anymore? Is this a red flag?

    2.) The customer is making up a service I don't offer. My weekly customers go weekly from late March through October 1...then every other week from October 1 through November 11. Bi-weekly customers are prohibited from fertilizing the lawn between May 1 and September 1. Of course, if a new customer signs up for bi-weekly service today and then contacts me to switch to weekly service on May 1, I would have no problem with that. Should I allow the switch up when the customer wants it?

    What would you do? Very interested to hear what other LCO's recommend.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  2. lawnguyland

    lawnguyland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,108

    It depends on the client and if it's an easy job that always pays (I don't take credit cards, but we'll assume the client pay). If it's on your route or it's the neighbor of other customers already it may be worth keeping. If it's out of the way I'd say see ya later to that. That's why I say it depends, I might keep this one if it's not out of the way.
  3. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,382

    If you don't offer the service, tell her you don't offer the service. I would say weekly only or find someone else.
  4. Mueller Landscape Inc

    Mueller Landscape Inc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 489

    Stick with your policy and drop her if you must.
  5. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    If you won't accomodate her needs, somebody will.

    I accept 100% checks and have never been burned.

    Most of our weekly maintenance begins at the first of May.

    I can easily see why you have so many issues with company growth.

    Stop trying to be Jim Lewis... Stop trying to be justmowit. Find your own nitch.
  6. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    I never make exceptions for just one customer. I guess I'm kinda like bobby in a way. Its like when a customer asks me to cut at a different height I tell them no.

    DFW, I would tell her that you will not change your service.
  7. Smalltimer1

    Smalltimer1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,223

    She may have lost the previous card or it could have been stolen.....that's something no one will know except her.

    Maybe you should offer to accept PayPal for lawn services??? Just a thought.........
  8. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,736

    1.) there are any number of reasons, with a leading one being a move to reign in their finances. any financial adviser would make this the first recommendation when it comes to personal budgeting.

    2.) since you are growing, and want uniform accounts, you might as well drop them, however... it's a customer that's been with you and so far so good. weigh the revenues gained over the whole and then take out the stretch where it's every other week until may and decide whether it's worth it. i'd think it is just for the referrals and visibility of your truck driving up and down the street. if they are late the first month, then i'd view that as an actual red flag.

  9. DFW Area Landscaper

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

    ++++Most of our weekly maintenance begins at the first of May.++++

    How the heck do you build a business that doesn't start weekly mowings until May 1st? I'm getting 32 cuts per year out of a weekly account, and that includes the spring scalp. If I waited until May 1st, that number would drop from 32 cuts per year to 28. It's hard enough having zero demand for 38% of the year. Stretching the zero demand to 46% is something I don't even want to think about.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  10. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    why not suggest to use auto debit from her debit card. Sell it an not having to write the check. Same account, but you control when you get the money. If she has a checking account then she has or can get a free debit card.

    about making up your own schedule for mowing, I am realy hesitant on that. Besides with 135,000 flyers what is this one account worth. I am thinking very little.

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