Is that estimate call a setup for a robbery?

Sometimes bad things happen. Sometimes warning lights pop up before issues occur. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from some landscapers who had concerns when shady potential customers called and they decided discretion was the better part of valor. Have you ever received strange phone calls for mowing estimates? Compare your story to these and be better prepared for the future.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I got a phone call from some guy the other day who wanted me to come out and give him a mowing estimate. I typed his address into google and it was in a very bad trailer park. I was still talking to him and he was telling me what he wanted done.

Then he starts asking how many people I worked with. I told him for mowing it’s just me but for other projects, I hire as needed. Then he said good I want to make sure only you come and nobody else. He also asked what type of equipment I have etc.

When he was done talking I told him I would stop by and give him a mowing quote and he told me whatever I charge is fine just let him know. Then he gave me three different numbers to call, different from the one he called me from and told me if he didn’t answer one to call the next.

After I hung up I looked on google earth and his yard was 90% sand. This guy was just too shady for me, plus he was like 40 minutes away about, 15 from my furthest customer. I ultimately called him back and told him I just looked at google again and thought it was going to be too far. He tried to convince me to come and then started getting pissed and told me if I serviced an area near there why not come another 15 min. I told him he was outta luck and hung up.

Would everyone else have done that? I am not sure what he was trying to do but it didn’t seem right.

I figure he wanted to rob me in a secluded area but I just wanted to see what everyone else had to say. The community he is from is a high drug area and having three cell phone numbers indicated he was probably a drug dealer as they often use disposable cell phones.”

A second lawn care business owner added “I too have gotten really weird calls. A few months back, I remember telling myself, ‘I should probably start carrying my gun while I’m working…’ Then I paused to think and realized that if I have a feeling like I’m going to need my gun with me, it’s probably best to just avoid the job altogether.
Better to be safe than sorry.”

A third shared “I got an email from a guy who asked way too many questions that a normal interested person wouldn’t bother to ask.

Other than the normal questions, I received questions like, ‘What equipment do you run, how many guys do you work with, how many clients do you have, etc.’

The guy didn’t even bother giving me an address, he just kept asking really strange questions through email.

It felt like he was setting me up to steal my equipment / truck or who knows, maybe he really just wanted his lawn cut, but he was a really strange person. So when I feel something isn’t right, I pass on the job.”

Read more about Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid. Learn how to improve your bidding process with this lawn care business book and be prepared before hand by knowing what you should be looking out for before a problem occurs.ā€¯

If you need help estimating lawn care or snow plowing jobs, get these lawn care and snow plowing estimation calculators.

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