Your CRAZIEST customer

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by MOWEMJEFF, May 13, 2007.


    MOWEMJEFF LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 278

    My friend said he knew someone who needed a clean up so I went with him today to do it and the lady is crazy. She is about 5 feet 175 punds and probly 20 percent asian and sounds like George's mother on Seinfeld. Her yard is all trees with one section of grass about 10ftx10ft and 2 old pools that are still standing and probly havent had water in them for 10 years, her yard is decked out in fake flowers and blue carpet spread out where there should be grass. After we tell her about how we'll clean up the leafs she asks why would we do that, and says she just wants the stick picked up and a tree that has fallen over and is dead to be tied so its standing up again. We ended p doing that and raking the leaves out of her driveway, which was a ton since her whole yard is trees, a real clean-up and I woulda had to charge her $300-400 but she gave us 50 for 45 minutes work, all in all one of the wierdest experiences of my life. I'd love to hear some more of these stories so I know I'm not the only one whose worked for someone who is beyond out in left field.

    MOWEMJEFF LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 278

    oh, and the only reason it took so long is because we had to knock on the door for 12 minutes and call her 3 times before she finally answered, who knows what she was doing???
  3. Midwest Lawn Services

    Midwest Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 211

    We mow for a little old lady on a 2.5 acre farm in the country. We only trimming, no blowing, just mow. She asks me last week if I could trim under the 25 pines she has along the property lines, and I tell her yes its an extra $40...really would only take me about 10 minutes with the front mount Grasshopper. So she tells me that's too much. This week I sent the foreman out and another guy to mow, and they call me laughing their a$$es off. She is out there with a set of small pruning shears, on her hands and knees, trimming about 5" of grass off around these 25 pines! I drove out there just to see it for myself, and sure enough, there she is, probably 90 years old and 100 lbs cutting practically each blade of grass by hand. That is what I would classify as CRAZY!!!!:dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy: But we sure got a good laugh!:laugh:
  4. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Messages: 1,209

    I have a customer that we took care of plowing her yard. One day it was light snow but we needed $ so we went out and knocked on the doors of our customers to see if they wanted to be plowed out. I knocked for a few minutes knoing they were both home then went ahead with plowing. As I was leaving I saw the lady peaking at me through the blinds like she was a private eye and caught me in the act. I went up and knocked again and she didn't answer.
  5. twj721

    twj721 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    have a little old lady who says very little if anything at all when she calls us when she wants her place she simple says her name phone number and then says (mow me) and hangs up
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I guess for those of us (guilty) who think it gets a little bit worse every year, we sometimes fail to appreciate how good we really got it... In time comes the experience, and I too often forget the mental side of those years.

    I don't even know where to begin, or who was crazier, me or the customer?
    I'd love to talk about the customer, but I can't, not for me, I'd rather tell on myself and I think it's just as good a laugh, thou I'll enjoy reading the rest of the thread...

    Let's see, I started in 2002 with:
    A 1974 F-250 with a 390cid carb'd cleveland, she had well over 400,000 miles on her, got 5-8 miles per gallon, mostly 6... Burned and leaked a quart of oil about every 4-500 miles, I had to dump 10 bucks / day of gas in it, every day, good thing gas was only 99 cents for a bit... When the paint needed it, that was something, I'd buy 2-3 cans of white spray paint at the dollar store and go to town, and it really looked better afterwards.
    The gist of it was, I do think I buried the speedo once or twice like an imbecile, but that had to have been one of the most unsafe vehicles I ever owned, even the brakes were treacherous (plan stops well in advance, mentally mark where there exist run-off ramps such as tree lines, don't forget not to count completely on steering).
    Windshield wipers? Well, no, there is this stuff called Rain-x, I still use it because it really rocks.

    Two very worn 52" Wb's, but they were Toros, with velkes, and bagger.
    > Both of them had the engine replaced that year, one was my fault.

    The trailer was new thou, brand new, niiiice.
    As was most of the small hand held stuff, thou I didn't have much, the good news was it ALL fit between truck and trailer, I was never without something I owned when I needed it, I even had some space to spare.

    Now, somehow it doesn't surprise me why I might've attracted a certain quality of customer, perhaps it truly was meant to be that way, I do remember accepting a lot of things as they were.
    But drive me to the edge and beyond it did, many times, the part I found most interesting is this evidently really attracts some women, but that never worked out, either (now I know it is because of that Yin-Yang BOWLSHED lol).
    I also remember thinking I must've done some really bad things in life, and this was my punishment... This was also a bad idea with the women, as it later turned out, the results of this experiment were yin-yang related as well. All in all it worked out in such a strange way that somehow I don't think I'm going to heaven, but then it does take two to tango.

    The good news is, it gets better, it really does.
    But yeah, I know what dog poop tastes like.
  7. jbone

    jbone LawnSite Member
    Messages: 125

    Our craziest customer came out one day and started flipping out at me b/c I had gotten her grass muddy. It rained 2 days prior and she has crappy drainage. She told me that "everyone knows you arent supposed to mow 2 days after it rains!" this was in a little 10ft long 2ft wide part of her yard, she told me I didnt know what I was doing and she wanted the whole yard replaced!!!!!:hammerhead: Later when I was mowing her neighbors yard I had accidentally knocked off a piece of slate of a wall (all I had to do was pick it up and put it back in place) She ran outside and told me she had never seen me before and she wanted me to show her identification! I was ruining everones lawns and I shouldnt be here, if I dont show her i.d. she was gonna call the cops!:dizzy: So I said... "You know what youre right! I am some f'ing lunatic that spends the most beautiful friday afternoon of the year, lurking around and mowing random peoples lawns for free!!! You better go call the cops and have my ass hauled away! I am a danger to society:laugh: She shut right up and went inside. My friend who mows lawns with me had spoken to her husband. He said "if she ever comes outside again for any reason to tell her to shut the F#@! up go inside, that should keep her out of your hair for a while":laugh:
  8. LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,136

    I get phone call the other day. A guy wants estimates for some beds, and tree trimming. So I go do the estimate. I am there for over an hour. The guy just keeps talking and picking my brain.

    So finally we get around to the money. I figure I need to charge extra because he is a pita. So I hit him with about double what I would normally charge, and the guy says OK.

    I show up 2 days later to do his trees and the guy follows me around and tells me exactly which branchs he wants cut, one at a time. As in: cut this here.. Ok Now, cut this one here... You get the idea.

    If I hadnt charged him double in the first place, I would have bolted. But i figured what my hourly rate was, and I figured hey I will just go with the flow.
  9. TheDreadedCollegeStudent

    TheDreadedCollegeStudent LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Had a customer tell me to get on my hands and knees to get the grass clippings out of her garden..told her to F herself, she screamed at me and said she was going to call the better business bureau hahaha
  10. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    Had this customer say I was charging too much to hedge trim and pull weeds ( and I only quoted $30 an hour to be nice). He wanted to pay me $35 for a 3 hour job. I said no, so he said, well just do what u can in an hour that's all I can afford. So I did. Then after that, he tells me this story about some guys that gave him an est. on taking down 5 50-70ft trees out of his yard. They quoted him $3000 he said. Sounded reasonable to me, with all the equipment and precautions involved. He looked at me as if I may be suprised at what they told him. I wasn't. He said he told them "no, and as a matter of fact, HELL no!" I was thinking, 'yeah, whatever u pita' Then he said he found a guy that chopped all 5 trees down for $180, cut them up in logs, and didn't even keep the wood. That sounds like a total b.s story to me. Probably just to make me feel I'm charging too much. I bet it would take 3 guys all day to bring down 5 70ft trees ( safely in 1/3 acre property) and cut them into logs. So that $60/man for 12 hours work; $5/hour:hammerhead:
    I don't think so! No way anyone's doing it that cheap! I'm glad I'm rid of that idiot customer!

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