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What Would You Do?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by statman, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. statman

    statman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    I mow a small (but nationally known) business less than a half mile from my house. $20, 20 minutes. Never heard a word from the manager for the three years I had the job, except "looks nice" when I seen her. Paid every month like clockwork. New manager this year - get paid every other invoice "HQ screwup" I was told. Anywho, about midway thru the season, I get a note in the mail that says please watch how I weedwack along the back splitrail fence (owned by the abutting property owner). I look the next time I mow and sure enough there is weedwacker damage. Then I look down the side where I don't mow and see the same thing - damage to all posts. I don't say anything, just try not to hit the posts and keep getting paid late.

    At the end of the season I get another note that says I need to find an alternate method of trimming next year due to damage to the fence and trees (which have grass right up to the trunk). My "alternate method" is to not show up next year and wait for his call when the grass is 12" tall. My wife says "wrong", go down and tell the manager I have never had a complaint, yada, yada and tell him the damage was already there, yada yada...

    What would you guys do?
  2. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    the same thing, tell them the damage was already there
  3. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    For future occurrences , do like we do: On any commercial property we bid or engage service at, I do a walk thru before we start and note existing site conditions. This may include :dead/dying/diseased shrubs/trees, existing curb damages, grass fungus/disease/dead spots, fencing damages, obstructions, low branches, cracked / broken windows, etc...Take pictures of each finding as well for documentation.We don't start any job w/o the property manager / owner signing off on an "existing site findings report". got to cover your azz, cause everyone's out to get a piece of it my man..hope this helps in the future...

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    impact has good advice. This highlights the problem with certain kinds of commercial accounts. Whenever the person in charge changes, its like you're taking on a brand new customer. Whatever you've done over the past few years is moot. That's why I hate those HOAs.
  5. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    Just continue with service as usual and increase your price to $35 to reflect your new method.. which is taking a few extra minutes to carefully trim around the posts.

    BTW.. if this is your biggest problem.. you're doing okay! 20 bucks... geeeez
  6. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    Too bad it wasn't already documneted damage. Now it's just a yhea you did, no I didn't thing. Do walk through like suggested above. Take pictures as well. Point out existng damges to the customer mkae them sign a walk through inspection. Chances are the guy doesn't care who mows the lawn and he has a PITA nieghbor that complains alot. Just inform owner that you will not seek contract renewal at end of season or raise price really high and smile as he complains about the fenceline.
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    If there is damage being done to both sides of the fence that matches the properties side, this means that the fence was already being trimmed anyway. Alternate method? Simply don't do the fence. Let the other company take care of it. Then, when there is new damage done, you can tell them. "I don't even do that fence."
    Another thing would be to do, would be to contact the ajoining property owner (or management), and let them know that you never trim their side, and the damage occurs over there as well. Atleast you are informing THEM of what is going on. Let them know that you don't do this to trees, fenceposts, mailbox posts, or anything else - as a matter of fact, you GET jobs because of lco's that do this sort of thing.
    You may just be in the running for another property close by. No, you're not stepping on anyone's toes...if they do shabby work, too bad for them. This was brought to YOUR attention, it's not like you went running to them "tattling".
  8. LCME

    LCME LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    Collect you money and drop them. Or, raise you prices to reflect the extra care. $35 minimum. Also, start charging a late fee. You do the work on time and he should pay you on time. Period. Do not let this pita dictate how you run you business. For only $20 the owner should not complain. And, because you did not cause the damage I would let him know that. Stand up for your business and yourself man.

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