Would you do this for your neighbor and customer?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Shawns Lawns, Apr 2, 2006.

  1. Shawns Lawns

    Shawns Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 638

    I received a call from a customer that also happens to live right behind me. I currently do not do work for her at this address, but i do, do work for her at another residence she owns. She asked me if i would consider raking her pine needles up for free since the are coming from my trees. If i say no i might lose her as a customer for lawn cutting at the other property. If i say yes i will feel like she is taking advantage of me. Any suggestions? :waving: The trees were there before she moved in a couple years ago and at 30-40 feet tall i am sure she couldn't't have missed them.:waving:
  2. Daily Lawn/Landscape

    Daily Lawn/Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 695

    If you were not in the business would she have asked you to do them for free? Probably not. Your are not in the business to give away services. I would not do it for free, maybe do it for a discounted price but not for free.
  3. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,410

    Damn, thats a little tricky. Legally, you are not responsible for what falls in her yard. If she doesnt want the trees there, she can cut whatever overhangs in her yard only and she must dispose of it (cant throw back over in your yard). Sounds like she is taking advantage of you there. I would talk with her and let her know up front what is your legal right and hers, then come to a satisfactory conclusion and if she becomes unreasonable, cut her loose.
  4. Shawns Lawns

    Shawns Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 638

    I have thought of only raking them since she said would i consider raking them and tell i would leave them in a pile for her to pick up and dispose of, but i am not quite sure yet.:waving: :waving:
  5. steve45

    steve45 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,325

    In the interest of being neighborly, just do it.
  6. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Do it Shawn..she is taking advantage of you but you have to live there and you do have that work from her..I would at least do it once then explain to her how she is taking advantage of you and how you feel like it is no fair for her to do so..nicely..She knows exactly what she is doing.
  7. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    The best thing you can do is not work for neighbors even if they have other properties at other locations. I know sometimes it can work out, but most times, it ends up putting you in a tight spot.
    Really, it's easy to pick up neighbors cause they see you, and say, "hey, how bout doing my yard?" And it's hard to say no, but the best answer is, "i'd love to but my schedule is booked."

    Anyhow, with this dilemma you are in, I would not do it simply because she is going to expect you to do it EVERY year I bet.
    When you go to other customers yards and leaves have blown in from surrounding neighbors, does the customer say, "my neighbor will pay you cause it's his leaves." No, of course not, and this lady is just trying to be a user, and I don't like that.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Pretty much an unfair and bold request from the neighbor, regardless if you're an LCO or not. Hey that's how it goes, stuff blows in from the neighbors, probably some of hers blows next door to her too. I wouldn't do it for free...
  9. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,986

    I would just do it. How long would it take? It has nothing to do with your business, just being a good neighbor. When it snows and I'm out shoveling, I always get the neighbors drive, I also fertilize and spray them for free or at cost if they insist on paying. It is a small thing to do and it keeps them all on good terms with me when I'm getting a couple of tons of fertilizer delivered or mixing my tanks in the morning, they have to put up with a little more noise and activity from my yard because of the business, so I throw in a couple of perks.
    It is a lot cheaper and easier than if they started complaining to the city about the increased noise and traffic from my business.
  10. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    Is there a fence between the two properties???

    If not, why can't you just take your backpack blower (assuming you have one) and blow them all back in your yard, then pick them up with your bagger (again, assuming you have one).

    If you're already doing your side, it won't take that long.

    If you're not, it might make sense to do it, and then put in some hostas or something underneath, dress it up.

    If she sees your side all clean and landscaped, she may just have you do her side too, at which point, tack on the extra $50 you'd normally charge for raking up the needles in the first place.

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