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just got told off by customer i think!

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by ScnicExcellence, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. ScnicExcellence

    ScnicExcellence Senior Member
    Messages: 352

    I just got off the phone with a customer that wanted a quote for her driveway, i said no problem i will do it and leave the price in the door if you are interested call me.

    I dropped the quote at the door 10 minutes later i get a call, Asking about the price i quoted $30 per time to PLOW driveway and SHOVEL sidewalks. Once i talk to her she asks about the service, i told her i will plow the drive and shovel the walks. She then says you canot use a plow on my driveway, ( I asked why not) She said Well like most people i don't want a plow to touch my drive way. I said ok then she asked for a price to shovel and if i would do it same price i said no to double that price if i shovel the driveway,(simply cause i don't want to shovel the driveway to long of time to do that) She said i was nuts and that i am some over night guy just trying to make a quick buck, i said excuse me i pay over $700 per month to be a plow company and have the correct insurance and equipment she said that i would never last and that she had quotes to SHOVEL her drive way for only $35 and SHOVEL the walkways inlcuded. That would take about 25 to 30 minutes work.

    The whole time she was rude and i basically just told her that i don't offer those services normally like that and if i were to do it, that i would charge alot. Simply because it would take 4 times as long to shovel the driveway then to plow it.

    Not sure what to think about this.

    Also she complained about my contract agreement that i shouldn't charge a minimum of 2 pushes a month cause it is bad business and i would never get business that way.
  2. Fisher8HD

    Fisher8HD Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Your better off with out that type of customer. I would'nt even think about it. It is funny though some people have no clue on anything now a days.
  3. tls22

    tls22 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,264

    I think you played it very cool, way to be professional! Just say thankyou for ur time and hang up the phone!
  4. scitown

    scitown Senior Member
    Messages: 422

    Then drive by during the first snow, hire the neighborhood kid thats shoveling her drive to do walks for you and plow her in on the way out...hehe
  5. Mick

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

    Then tell her she should hire that guy. Why is she even arguing with you about it? As soon as she said I couldn't use a plow, I'd tell her I wouldn't do it at any price. End of discussion.
  6. OfCourseYouCan

    OfCourseYouCan Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    I started a policy last year with my commercial custumer to charge a minimum of pushes per month. I started 10 years ago with private residentials requiring 8 push pre-payment at the begining of the year.

    I did go from 125 accounts to 60. But....I gave away 50 due to unreliable help situation, AND now I net MORE money for half the effort with 8 men instead of 24 men. I'm making money this way and I am happier. So are my customers.
  7. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    dude, she just saved you a giant headache so appreciate it. screw that. we have enough problems to deal with, with insurance issues, being undercut annually, crappy weather and god knows what else, the last thing you need is a cutomer like that.
  8. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    im did the same thing with lawn accounts 2 years ago... ill never look back, more money , less work , half the problems

    i had one last week.... this is a lawn account that my dad use to do.... its my account (was) now, as he moved on to other things... my dad mowed this lawn for 23 years... I mowed it with him 7 of those years,,,, well he has been on his own the last few, and using a 36 inch mower for a cornor lot.. and charging 25 only , since its a side business for him

    i took it over and the first week we had to have a chat... and lay down "ground rules as she put it" and i was to use the 36 inch walk behind, instead of a 48 or 60 inch... (its a flat lanw , theres no scalping areas either) i told here , my aggreemnt wiht my father was i would finish the year as he started it wiht the 36, and we would talk over the winter about next year,,,,

    next week i cam e, mowed with the 36.... her lawn takes me 25 mins,,, with my 60 inch i mowed 7 houses on that street in less than 1 hr 15 mins....

    she comes out to pay , and she says " Mike, after talking to you last week , i know you dont like the smaller mower, so i found someone that uses them.... " lol, if i would have know that , i would have just run the ZTR on her lawn.... good luck to her
  9. bigearl

    bigearl Senior Member
    Messages: 393

    Let me get this straight a customer who pays you wants something done a certain way, and you wanted to save time by doing it your way. and then you lost the lawn did you everthink that maybe you shut your mouth and finish out the rest of the season and drop her next spring? you can do all the good in the world and no one will remember, Be an a$$ once and no one forgets.
  10. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    valid point,...she asked me to use the smaller 36 , i told her sure , and i did just that... i also told her that we would be talking over the winter about service in the comming years... trust me i was glasde to lose her..i picked up an account that day anyway...

    out of 21 customers that my dad gave me ...she was the only one to call and say "im just very concerned"...

    every week , she is "very concerend" these days being concered costs money....

    i was more jus tin shock that i did exacttly what she asked, ater 23 years of being in the family, and she didnt let me finish the season... then even more in shock that someone would agree to the same price, with a 21 inch mower

    i really Feel for you SC, your time is worth so much , so is your energy , if they dont like it... you will always find more ppl
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2008
  11. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    The customer is not always right. In fact, some of them are total you know whats. Sometimes using the smaller mower is not cost effective for a guy with a real business, doing work at side business prices. This guy was trying to do her a favor! I don't think he was an "a$$" at all!
  12. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    i dont know about landscapign wise but snowplowing wise, this is why i got out of the residential market. it's nto worth it to me anymore. i would much rather stick to my commercial accounts and know that they appreciate every little extra i give them and know i have job security.
  13. bigearl

    bigearl Senior Member
    Messages: 393

    I understand that the customer is not always right, and I under stand that using a smaller mower isnt cost effective for "real Business". But as far as doing her a favor that is just bull$^&% . No one does anybody a favor and gets paid for it. Yes He maybe right but you never know who she knows and that how bad rumors get started.
  14. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    I agree. I don't work for these kind of people anymore. If they give me grief, I simply will refuse to work for them.
  15. plowtime1

    plowtime1 Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    I agree, just happened today. The customer asked what would be my hourly rate?
    I said..my rate was irrelevant beacause you have already made your decision.thanks for calling, have A GOOD DAY!
  16. plowtime1

    plowtime1 Senior Member
    Messages: 446


    correct! bigger is not always better..keep your profits high!
    Damn insurance people
  17. ScnicExcellence

    ScnicExcellence Senior Member
    Messages: 352

    Well with all said here i would rather no have a customer like this but i am still worried about getting enough work for the winter.

    I got 4 contracts one is seasonal at 650 for the season and the others are per push for 35\push. if i bill out 24 times which i believe i will, my income for the year will onlyg be like $3170

    I really hope that i get at least another 20 contracts for per push.

    I don't know what is going to happen, could i expect to get alot of pick up work or am i wishfull thinking.

    Also my plan is to grow really big then cut back to the high profit accounts to keep man hours down and money up. over the next four to five years.
  18. Mick

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

    Not a good plan. Believe me, if you grown reallybig, really quick, you will get a reputation for either poor work or being cheap. Either one is VERY hard to shake once you've EARNED it. Start small, grow slow, monitor your business practices and SERVICE your customers.

    I can tell you, less income for a winter is far preferable to a bunch of PIA accounts. You can pick up accounts over the winter, but what are you going to do if a really lucrative one comes along and you're already loaded down with crap you picked up just to have something?
  19. JOEC

    JOEC Member
    Messages: 56

    Wait till it snows and plow her in and tell her to shovel this. If that drive so easy why ain't she cleaning it. You gotta love these people that think that we make too much money for what we do. :dizzy:
  20. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    hey guys...Just some FYI

    well the lady called me back , reallized that she was geting a good deal , and was not happy wiht the quality of the other company , after one cut, ..they also were gonna charge her more than me.

    After a heathy conversation , i AGAIN , made completely sure she understood, that i would finish out the season using a smaller mower, simply because thats what my father did.

    I then proceeded to explain to her some of the differences, and that the width of the deck had a minimual effect... its still a commecial mower , with 4 tires after all

    and she aggreed to finish out this season , and that there would be a trial for next season to see if she could get use to seeing the bigger stripps in her lawn,,,,

    imagine that -

    as big earl said, im not trying to do her any favors, (hes right) but i am a person of my word , so i would finish out the year as my father started -
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2008