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Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life. It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.

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Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life.

It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.
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  #11  
Old 04-20-2013, 02:41 PM
LawnBoy0311 LawnBoy0311 is offline
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Originally Posted by SNethercutt View Post
Ahhh the joys of dealing with the public.

I laid a flagstone patio for a lady, around 2,400 sq ft. We agreed on a price, it was around $13,000 for the whole job. When we laid the base and came back 2 days later I noticed something was digging in the yard and in the base but she didn't have a dog. I had no idea, thought it was a possum or armadillo. So we went ahead and worked the next week laying the patio. When we were done, I got my check for the remaining half of payment.

Two weeks later she sends me a text and say the patio is messed up and sent some picture which floored me.

That day I went to the job site and looked at the patio. Sure enough it was messed up. I told her we would fix it. I warranty all of my patios for 12 months.

3 days later we returned and it was messed up more, but this time it had rained the day before and I saw paw prints all over the place... I came to the conclusion that a dog had dug up the flagstone and then her watering the yard cause the leveling material to wash from under the rocks.

I took pictures and fixed the patio and didn't say a word to the customer.

3 days later another text about the patio. This time when I went to look at the patio I told her she needed to be there. And I took a copy of my with her.

We walked around the patio and I explained to her that a dog was digging up the patio and I wasn't responsible, that I'm only responsible for defects in materials and workmanship. She flew off the handle saying I don't have a dog. Told me to come inside with her and showed me her house... no dog. The neighbors also didn't have a dog big enough to dig up these rocks.

Well I ended up driving by her house the next night around 10:00 pm and sure enough a big lab in the front yard. So I stop around the corner and lure the dog to my truck and look at the tag around its neck. I get the number off of it and call the number the next day, come to find out her son lives with her and trains dogs and had this young, big lab that he takes with him everyday to work. He's a dog trainer. Now I figured out what happened to her patio.

I then called and told her what I found out and sent her a bill for fixing the patio. Another $1,300. She said she wasn't paying it.

I had my then lawyer send her a nice letter. He called me 3 weeks later and said he had a check for me.

Don't let your customers push you around. And keep everything in writing. Emails and text. Write down notes from your conversations with your customers. They come in handy. And never do work to the house unless your dealing with the owner.
You may have won the trophy for the biggest A-Hole Customer!
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  #12  
Old 04-20-2013, 07:16 PM
SNethercutt SNethercutt is offline
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It was a lady.. i knew women were deceptive but damn!!!! She is a nice lady but with the patio she maxed out her budget on her daughters wedding, it was at the house actually on the patio. And she couldn't afford, so she said, to pay to have it fixed... so she lied. I found this out through the lady who cut her hair. Because I now the hair lady's yard. Lol
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by LawnBoy0311 View Post
Any stories Steve1201? We all have different Coulda Woulda Shoulda's or This is what I do...but lets keep to the thread. Share some stories with us! I know you have got to have some good ones from the loonies down in FL!
Because I do this, (written contract spelling out everything) I have not had any residential customers for big extra work, They realize I what I am and am not going to do for the price, and anything extra is billed at 50 dollars per man hour. This scares them off, especially if they are used to screwing contractors.
My commercial customers get exactly what they want, and paid for, and could not be happier. I do sometimes do extra stuff that should have been included but for whatever reason was missed, (usually only a hour or two of labor). Companies that I have worked for have become good maintenance customers, and good referring people.
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:32 PM
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My wife did bring up a good point though....I missed the opportunity to upsell. I need to work on that!
Is that because it was too confusing on what was going on or do you feel it would have just been too much of a pain in the butt to add any further complexity to the situation and you just wanted to get in and out?

Would it be worthwhile to send a letter or a postcard or even an email to the son now and share with him your thoughts on the upsells he could use?
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  #15  
Old 04-22-2013, 12:40 PM
LawnBoy0311 LawnBoy0311 is offline
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Is that because it was too confusing on what was going on or do you feel it would have just been too much of a pain in the butt to add any further complexity to the situation and you just wanted to get in and out?

Would it be worthwhile to send a letter or a postcard or even an email to the son now and share with him your thoughts on the upsells he could use?
I think it was because I was so frustrated with the whole thing. I was close to getting in the truck and leaving!

I'll send the guy a "thank you" card just to keep up with high customer service, and in hopes of not getting a bad name.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:21 PM
Ryan's Lawn Care Ryan's Lawn Care is offline
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I went home for the weekend because school was closed friday and had 4 residential yards and two gas stations. Well the one is an exon and every time we go there it's an issue. This was the first time mowing there this season and the owner comes out and gives me a bunch of lip because he's not happy his foot tall grass doesn't look perfect, not much i can do it's a foot tall!!!!

Needless to say we dropped him. he said he'll find someone cheaper my partner said more power to you and left..we agreed to never go back there again or support his business by buying gas or going in his convenience store.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:55 PM
LawnBoy0311 LawnBoy0311 is offline
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Originally Posted by Ryan's Lawn Care View Post
I went home for the weekend because school was closed friday and had 4 residential yards and two gas stations. Well the one is an exon and every time we go there it's an issue. This was the first time mowing there this season and the owner comes out and gives me a bunch of lip because he's not happy his foot tall grass doesn't look perfect, not much i can do it's a foot tall!!!!

Needless to say we dropped him. he said he'll find someone cheaper my partner said more power to you and left..we agreed to never go back there again or support his business by buying gas or going in his convenience store.
Is the one your talking about in Bowie???
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:12 AM
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Customers need to be told politely, "I run a business, not a charity". If they can't handle that, so be it.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:15 AM
LawnBoy0311 LawnBoy0311 is offline
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Customers need to be told politely, "I run a business, not a charity". If they can't handle that, so be it.
Well said! I am having a meeting with one on Friday to tell her to find someone else. She seems to think I'm her personal gardener and can call me every time she needs something planted. But when it comes to payment, I get post dated checks
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