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Customer is changing service providers.

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Bossman 92, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,771

    I know this isn't snow related but you guys will know what to do.

    I received a phone call from a guy this spring wanting mowing services. I go to meet with the guy and he tells me that last year he paid $20 a cut, but wasn't very happy with the service. The homeowner had weeds everywhere and the bushes hadn't been trimmed in quite some time. He told me that he was planning on putting his home on the market this summer, and that he had a graduation party on the 6th of june. I explained that I couldn't touch that price, but we would take care of the weeds, the shrubbery maintance, and the mowing for $45 a cut. He was delighted and signed up right away.

    Over the course of the last 9 weeks we spent 6 man hours pulling weeds, 1 man hour trimming bushes and many gallons of weed killer to get this place under control. I spoke to the homeowner just before the party, (we were there trimming bushes, installing plastic edging, and giving it a once over) he said the place hasn't looked that good in years.

    I spoke to him again last Friday when we were there mowing and asked how everything was going and he said the place looked great.

    Well today I get a call from the homeowner saying he was changing services due to the fact that his girlfriend and himself had been going outside every 2 days to pull weeds. He said that they shouldn't have to do that and he wasn't happy. He then thanked me for all our hard work and said he needed to go in a different direction with his lawncare needs.

    WTF! I figure he kept us around to get the place looking good then he is switching back to "el"cheap o.

    Would any of you back bill him for all the weeding and such, or let it go. The agreement was that it was included if... IF.. we took care of the mowing for the season, not 9 weeks! or 1/3 of the season.

    Thanks Bossman
  2. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    Sounds like selective amnesia........par for the HO crowd.

    If that was the agreement and you have that in writing, don't hesitate...........charge him for it. It's not like you will lose out on any future work.

    If you don't charge him you will definitely lose out on work you already did for him.

    That guy's a chump.
  3. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,771


    This guy's a joke. He has told me several times how he is a big hitter sales guy who travels the world on a weekly basis, but the funny thing is he is always home.

    Thanks Bossman
  4. exmark1

    exmark1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,321

    I would charge for it! WTF I hate people who do that sort of crap
  5. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    People like this really make it tough to be a nice guy. I think your best bet is to call him, or visit when he's not overseas;).

    Anyway, explain that you did a tremendous amount of work upfront, expecting to recover the expense over the course of the season. You were trying to help him out by not having a huge bill right now. Have a bill prepared detailing the extra hours. Put in a normal fee for your hourly rate, and tell him you really would appreciate him helping you out on this. He's probably going to tell you to pound sand, but you might have better luck with the humble, small business man approach.

    Truthfully, I think he put the screws to you, and knew what he was doing from day one.

    Best of luck to you.
  6. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    No doubt. Make one attempt to settle things peaceably and equitably for both parties. If that doesn't work, go for the jugular.
  7. bigmudder77

    bigmudder77 Senior Member
    from wooster
    Messages: 125

    i had a guy like that once he said he was paying some kids to mow his lawn with there stuff for $40 a week i laughed and said i wouldnt mow this just mow for under $200 a week and he started yelling and cussing and was like i have never paid over $40 a week for mowing trimming blowing and cleaning up the beds he was like you see all this nice stuff and think im rich well i am but i didnt get this way by having people take advantage of me trying to charge me this much to mow a lawn

    i looked at him and laughed and said maybe it you hired a real company and not some kids that make your lawn look like crap you would find my offer fair. then i said you want me to work over 4 hours plus almost 2 hours of drive time for $40 ill have that in just gas thanks but no thanks thats my price and since you think im taking advantage of you i wouldnt even mow your yard if you gave me $1000 a week your a d**k to deal with and its not worth it bye

    he had a HUGE house with horses 4 brand new bmws in the garage and a woods all on he said 8 acres and what needed mowed was about 3 acres (and it was a 50 min drive one way from where i lived)

    but he must of took my advice and called some more companys to give him a price and he called me back and said look im sorry i acted that way i didnt know what lawn companys were charging ill pay you your price per week to mow my lawn. i just had to laugh and say sorry i dont wanna deal with you its not worth it thanks and good luck getting some one

    but if i was you i would charge him as long as you have the signed contract its legal and he didnt follow through
  8. plowmaster07

    plowmaster07 Senior Member
    Messages: 438

    I would absoultley charge the guy! It seems as though you wont be getting any work out of him anymore. Then bill him for everything that you have done. And if there's any room for a price increase, DO IT!

    Good luck!

  9. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    When you say "He was delighted and signed up right away." do you mean he signed a contract?

    My contract states that I will maintain the property listed for the year listed. If either party wants to drop the other, it is a 10% fee of the remaining amount. Basicly $4 a week on a $40 mowing job.

    I would send them an invoice for the work performed with a seperate letter stating that you expected to recoup your money over the course of the season and since he dropped you the money is due. Be forceful, but not mean. Use words like "Payment is required." "Late fees will be charged if payment is not recieved by ??/??/2009."

    Good Luck