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The Drop Zone

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Colsy
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The Drop Zone
#1

Have been servicing a customer for about a year. Its their parents place and the parents are in a home so house is vacant. Mow lawns and a light trim of shrubs. I priced it really cheap ($45) as the lawns are thin and wispy and no effort for most of the year and then go crazy for a couple of mths....eg SUMMER! I also have a bigger job a few doors down so the economics were good. For a year they have been happy with the service.

 

Anyway for the first time the son calls me today and says his sister went their today and it looks like it hasnt been touched in ages. I explained that I was their 3 weeks ago and I am due to go again any day now, I was very pleasant. I explained that at this time of year the monthly jobs start to look a bit ugly after 3 weeks. Anyway he starts going on like this:

 

"right, well, from now on I want you to tell me the day before you go there so I can meet you there and make sure you are doing it right. I want you to hard prune everything right back, and I dont mean a soft prune, I mean prune the shrubs down to the ground. I want you to pull and spray all the weeds,.etc etc etc..."

I explained that extra work would need to re-quoted and he said that I must do it as I have allowed it to get 'out of control'. I explained that our original quote that was agreed to is just a light prune, which I have been doing.

I then asked if he thought I had been there 3 weeks ago and he implied that I hadnt been there in mths so I explained that if there is a lack of trust then their is no point to continuing the service. 

 

He then started raising his voice and carrying on so I hung up.

 

He later sent me some photos of a lawn with 3 weeks growth on it with an accusation of some sort.

 

I am now enjoying a beer.


Posted 29 December 2018 - 03:17 PM

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The Drop Zone
#2

Your a tougher man than me colsy , I would have told him to get pharked quite early in that conversation


Posted 29 December 2018 - 03:25 PM

Colsy
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The Drop Zone
#3

Your a tougher man than me colsy , I would have told him to get pharked quite early in that conversation

 LOL, yes the temptation was there for sure but I find pleasure in the statement of "discontinuation of service based on a lack of trust".....and then hanging up.


Posted 29 December 2018 - 03:39 PM

AndoTheMando
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The Drop Zone
#4

He sounds like a massive Fuktard ..    I find it hard to keep my cool sometimes..  I can lack "Tact" with people who are wasting my time ..

I wouldn't loose no sleep over that one...he deserves what he gets


Posted 29 December 2018 - 04:11 PM

B.L.T.H ....Brake late, Turn hard


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The Drop Zone
#5

 

"right, well, from now on I want you to tell me the day before you go there so I can meet you there and make sure you are doing it right. 

 

 

So this "gentleman" has the time to meet you at the job and sit and observe but not actually DO the job?  :huh:

 

What an idiot. 


Posted 29 December 2018 - 06:58 PM

CGAHS
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The Drop Zone
#6

l dropped one the other day, was one l'd done for 20 odd years until the old girl went into a home, she had been a friend for 30+ years. All of a sudden her 2 kids appear after a 30 year absence....long story short, its gone


Posted 29 December 2018 - 08:08 PM

AndoTheMando
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The Drop Zone
#7

some clients take us for granted...  they don't realize what they had until we are gone and they have someone else who is bad and un reliable to replace us...  You loose one ...you will gain another two ......easy come, easy go.

I have an elderly client that is great....but her big mouth (ugly) daughter keeps sticking her big nose into the business....her days are numbered


Posted 29 December 2018 - 08:33 PM

B.L.T.H ....Brake late, Turn hard


Colsy
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The Drop Zone
#8

some clients take us for granted...  they don't realize what they had until we are gone and they have someone else who is bad and un reliable to replace us...  You loose one ...you will gain another two ......easy come, easy go.

I have an elderly client that is great....but her big mouth (ugly) daughter keeps sticking her big nose into the business....her days are numbered

 Yes I actually cared about the place but I think he wanted to do a power thing on me. Poor bugger didnt realise that you cant threaten a lawnie and still hope to be serviced....lol.

Had he simply sent me a message saying "hey mate can you start attending every two weeks" or "Do you think you could prune the front shrubs a fair bit next visit" then all would have been sweet. 

Or even go and inspect the place the day after I invoice, which is the day I do the job.......rather than 3 and a half weeks after my last visit. What an idiot.


Posted 30 December 2018 - 06:19 AM

Lucky
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The Drop Zone
#9

What a fkwit. I had a similer thing just happen to me, not as rude as your "client" though and at the moment im still doing the lawn.

 

Its a yard ive been doing for 5 or perhaps 6 years. Older couple and I quoted the job when I started out (= cheap).  Got to know the couple really well and always had a chat. He died a few days before xmas last year, a couple months later she finds out she has cancer everywhere and is dying. Still doing the lawn and having a chat. She is a nice old duck.

 

About 3 months ago one of her sons from South Aus meets me at the job and says he wants me to invoice him and he will pay (i upped the price by $5 at this time). Everything carries on as normal but at 3 week intervals all year. Was fortnightly and monthly depending...but he is a lawn contractor and ….

 

Turned up last service and the lawn out the back was long, thick and damp. He was in town and said could I catch the grass out the back, I tell him I always catch out the back but mulch the fronts, have done for years but when its like this it will be a bit messy for a couple days. He says that's fine and understands... Do job with his brother and sister watching from the outside area having an afternoon drink. Mowed twice, came up OK considering. Brother and sister said how much better it looked, merry xmas and all that jazz.  I went and grabbed some lunch and went to the beach to eat it and got a txt. Did you catch the grass out the back as it doesn't look like it? My reply "yes mate and mowed twice, ask the two people who watched me do it". Nearly added more but I like the old duck. No response back...

I'm guessing being from SA he wouldn't know what a thick damp lawn would be like to cut and catch..


Posted 30 December 2018 - 10:19 AM

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The Drop Zone
#10

Sounds like a yukky situation Colsy

I like how how you adopted the zero tolerance for abuse
Posted 30 December 2018 - 10:55 AM

AndoTheMando
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The Drop Zone
#11

Sounds like a yukky situation Colsy

I like how how you adopted the zero tolerance for abuse

I love this forum...I learn so much from you guys...  from pricing ,technical advice, dealing with customers and above all not putting up with garbage you don't have to from customers...

Zero Tolerance is the new Ando in 2019 ;)

 

I'm finding as I get older....I'm getting grumpier


Posted 30 December 2018 - 12:02 PM

B.L.T.H ....Brake late, Turn hard


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#12

[quote name="AndoTheMando" post="28477" timestamp="1546135336"]I love this forum...I learn so much from you guys

Ditto for me as well.

Great thread; it’s encouraging to know that other lawnies have similar experiences regarding abusive customers and that what we experience as individuals are not isolated.
Posted 30 December 2018 - 12:49 PM

Colsy
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The Drop Zone
#13

[quote name="AndoTheMando" post="28477" timestamp="1546135336"]I love this forum...I learn so much from you guys

Ditto for me as well.

Great thread; it’s encouraging to know that other lawnies have similar experiences regarding abusive customers and that what we experience as individuals are not isolated.

 

 

Its actually my first one. I have dropped others in the past, but normally only due to not liking the job rather than the person.

 

The sadist in me thoroughly enjoyed this experience. As soon as he started making demands I knew exactly how the convo would finish. 

 

It was a guilty pleasure to drop him.


Posted 30 December 2018 - 01:25 PM

Smokey
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The Drop Zone
#14

some clients take us for granted...  they don't realize what they had until we are gone and they have someone else who is bad and un reliable to replace us...  You loose one ...you will gain another two ......easy come, easy go.
I have an elderly client that is great....but her big mouth (ugly) daughter keeps sticking her big nose into the business....her days are numbered


Hit the nail on the head ando i let a large wedding reception place go earlier in the year because of the demanding attitude we copped from the owner.

But that's a long story since i let that go i picked up another 3 schools

The grounds at the reception place look like sh#t now with the new contractor doing it
Posted 30 December 2018 - 02:44 PM

plucka
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The Drop Zone
#15

Dropped two today myself,  one a habitual late payer, every invoice weeks late and multiple time chasing them up,  Gone.

The other, did first mow 2 weeks ago, agreed to fortnightly mow, today I get response mow not needed this week. Bye.


Posted 30 December 2018 - 03:33 PM

Grae
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The Drop Zone
#16

I drop them for anything that makes me not look forward to doing the job or results in 'stress' from the client or their accounts department.

 

I've said this before regarding proof of service.

Use your smart phone.

Take a time stamp photo on arrival and another on departure on every job you do.

These are your proof of service, you should take more pics if necessary for bigger jobs or clients you don't trust.

 

I upload them to my photo library at the end of the day and change my calendar bookings times to reflect the actual on site time, it only takes a couple of minutes but it gives me peace of mind if find yourself in a dispute about service dates.

 

This also provides valuable data if you would like to work out job time averages. The blank gaps in the calendar also record travel/unbilled times.


Edited by Grae, 30 December 2018 - 04:09 PM.

Posted 30 December 2018 - 03:52 PM

retired last week and I'm bored already!


terry
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The Drop Zone
#17

I drop them for anything that makes me not look forward to doing the job or results in 'stress' from the client or their accounts department.

 

I've said this before regarding proof of service.

Use your smart phone.

Take a time stamp photo on arrival and another on departure on every job you do.

These are your proof of service, you should take more pics if necessary for bigger jobs or clients you don't trust.

 

I upload them to my photo library at the end of the day and change my calendar bookings times to reflect the actual on site time, it only takes a couple of minutes but it gives me peace of mind if find yourself in a dispute about service dates.

 

This also provides valuable data if you would like to work out job time averages. The blank gaps in the calendar also record travel/unbilled times.

 

That is a great idea, Grae.  

 

I do it on the longer grass, crappy jobs, but i think i will do it on all of them now.

 

And I echo Ando's comments (Ando is a real life mate of mine), this forum has been a great resource for picking up hints and tips across all facets of the business.  

 

I started from scratch in April this year after the corporate world thought i was too old to offer anymore value, and I've now got 30 fortnightly or three week clients (some are weekly even!), and i'm finding it easy to fill the rest of my week. I'm now not afraid to quote at a higher rate which I think provides a fair return for my services, and I'll be upping the pricing on some of my earlier customers in line with what my business needs. If they go, they go, but i'm confident enough in the quality of service I provide that they'll stay around. 

 

thanks to all you guys

 

Terry


Posted 30 December 2018 - 04:40 PM

Colsy
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The Drop Zone
#18

I drop them for anything that makes me not look forward to doing the job or results in 'stress' from the client or their accounts department.

 

Yep, totally agree.


Posted 30 December 2018 - 05:15 PM

spongy buffalo
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The Drop Zone
#19

It comes out in different ways, but deep in every customer in the drop zone is a lack of respect for the contractor. You can often sense it before the an issue starts.
You mean nothing to them, there’s no loyalty from them. But they’re never afraid to ask for a “while you’re here” freebie.
Posted 30 December 2018 - 06:01 PM

AndoTheMando
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The Drop Zone
#20

And I echo Ando's comments (Ando is a real life mate of mine), this forum has been a great resource for picking up hints and tips across all facets of the business.  

 

just dont let anyone know we are cyclist in our spare time....they will never talk to us again :P


Posted 30 December 2018 - 09:33 PM

B.L.T.H ....Brake late, Turn hard



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