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CHEESE2009
06-27-2009, 02:13 AM
When they hired me, I made it clear of the dates I would be arriving to mow their lawns & what not.

It's annoying to me when;

1. A customer calls me & says, "Is it possible you can mow my lawn Saturday instead of Monday? It's getting long"

- One thing I noticed, is that this customers lawn barely grows yet he freaks out. Even if it was long, he's a 2x/month customer, & this is what was expected. No big deal really, it's just kinda pushy of him I figure.

2. When a customer misses & avoids a payment, & finally calls me back to complain. "I thought you said you would trim my hedges?" is this a joke? Am I going to work for free? Show me you can afford one month of lawn service, then bug me. ... Next thing you know, she says, "Isn't hedge trimming free?" ..... I swear man... lol

I actually had to call the person she referred me too, to ask them if they knew where she was, if she was out of town.:o

turfmaster
06-27-2009, 09:24 AM
They are called PITA customers.
Everybody runs across them from time to time.
All though I have 2 , I'm not crazy about bi-weekly customers .
I feel the lawn should be mowed weekly at least thru May and June when it grows like crazy. I also charge 25 % more for a bi-weekly cut because of added
wear on equipment and time.

I don't use contracts for my residentials just what I call an agreement.
I will not tolerate PITA customers nor do I want them. To me they are not worth the hassle. There are plenty of good people out there.

I just tell them I cannot service their property anymore. :D

majoe7
06-27-2009, 11:41 AM
They are called PITA customers.
I just tell them I cannot service their property anymore. :D

Funny you two have clients like this also. I like the name “PITA”. Maybe when I forget a clients name when I am talking to them about issues, I will refer to them as Mr. / Mrs. Pita, What do you need me to do for you today? LMAO :D
I have a lady who has been asking (telling) me to start taking care of her lawn since the beginning of April. I told her that she must pay me up front due to her standing with her past LCO. She has skipped payments to him, tried to get a lower price and ask him not to cut this week, “it doesn’t need it”. She said okay, it is now the end of June and she has yet to give me any sort of deposit to do her lawn. I have yet to maintain her lawn. I would do this only because I have 9 houses together and her stands out and looks like crap. My Bro-in-Law and several friends live here and it brings down the beauty of my work when her lawn isn’t maintained. One client sent a LCO over just to cut the lawn. She asked me if I did it and I said no, your son cut it. She said really, I told her no another LCO did it just because.

When I say deposit I mean that I ask for a deposit plus 1st month fee to be paid before I start servicing them. Others I have a contract with. Some, just a hand shake. I use this for insurance because I am sure that we all have been burned by a client once in our time.

Steve
06-28-2009, 03:33 AM
Have you found your PITA customers tend to stand out from the first time you meet them? Are there initial signs that the customer is going to be trouble? Do you use these signs to decided if you want to service their property or not?

If so, what do you look for?

mark123
06-28-2009, 06:40 AM
Have you found your PITA customers tend to stand out from the first time you meet them? Are there initial signs that the customer is going to be trouble? Do you use these signs to decided if you want to service their property or not?
I've found that everyone is different but everyone has some PITA in them. ;)

It's really hard to judge someone from the beginning, some of the folks with "bad traits" (asking for discounts from the start, arguing over how the lawn is to be cut, etc) often turn out to be the best payers.

majoe7
06-28-2009, 01:46 PM
Have you found your PITA customers tend to stand out from the first time you meet them? Are there initial signs that the customer is going to be trouble? Do you use these signs to decided if you want to service their property or not?
If so, what do you look for?

In my experience when taking on new clients referred to me or I sought out, we both have in our minds what is expected and what the expectation are. I fully go over with them the exact services that I will provide for said price.

Some signs that I have dealt with are, when they say my past LCO did this or that for the same price. (Trim bushes, pull weeds and clear brush). They might say I need this done this way or make statements about the previous LCO and what they did wrong. Ask you what day you will cut my lawn on, are your blades sharp or how often do you sharping your blades. I had one client ask “how often do you inflate the tires on your mower”.

Another sign is when the client is happy with the initial visit, and then is outside every time after you service them in the future to watch or chat. Sometimes good, sometimes bad.

With all that being said, I have yet to take on the client I posted about in this discussion earlier.