Some lawn care customers are just not worth the effort.

Some mowing customers will throw up red flags from the moment you start talking with them about lawn care. Maybe they will try to haggle with you on price or when it comes time to pay their first invoice, they will refuse to pay sales tax. Others may ask for a senior discount or want you to mow an overgrown lawn for the price of a regular lawn. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum we hear from entrepreneurs who deal with some odd customer situations. Read through them and prepare yourself for when you bump into a similar potential customer.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I got a call from the sister of one of my first mowing customers. The customer is recovering from surgery so her nephew is moving in with her to assist in daily activities. I knew she was going to be a problem right from the start when the first thing she asked for was if I offered a ’senior discount’ and then refused to pay tax from day one. I’ve nothing but pity for her nephew trying to help her out.

Anyway, the caller said that the nephew is going to take over my mowing duties too. I got dropped by her niece before the season started this year and now I’m done with the entire miserable family! I’m going to treat myself to a nice lunch at my favorite restaurant!

I think I was dropped because I raised my price $1 per cut and had the gall to charge tax for my service. Ultimately, who cares why, I’m FREE!!!!”

A second lawn care business owner added “I lost one mowing customer this year that was a real pain in the ass. He called and said ‘he’s going to mow it himself this year.’

Two weeks ago I get a voicemail from him asking to give him a call. Rather than call, I stopped by 2 days later when I was mowing the other properties on the street.

‘Oh, you mow this street on Wednesday this year? You were here on Monday last year.’

Long story short, on Monday he didn’t feel like mowing and wanted me to cut it.

Ummm… no thanks. I’m done with you.”

A third shared “I have got this one client who didn’t re-sign with me this year because instead of $70, I’m charging her $74. Well, her lawn’s growth is up to her neck and her lawn mower is now broken (says her friend borrowed it for the day). When she decided to call me and ask me to come back and mow the property, I told her ‘I maintain lawns, I don’t cut down forests.’ She’s going to have to hire someone else.

I’ve also got another client who hired me a week late in the season, then wanted a discount. I said ‘No.’ Her lawn was high as hell too.”

A fourth said “overgrown yards? I love ‘em. 3 inch to 4 inch mowing is standard for me, I add 20 percent to the price for each inch or part there of, over 4 inches. One woman called last year  with a 1/2 acre yard to mow. It takes me about 25 minutes to maintain this size yard weekly at $30 bucks a cut, this one was $75. It was 10 to 12 inches high. She paid and said after that we were very surprised at how good it looked. It took about a hour to mow it 3 times and brought it down to 2 1/2 inches. BTW I now mow it weekly.

But on the flip side I just lost a mowing customer because ‘I didn’t show up on Memorial Day.’ I’m sorry, say that again? You’re firing me because I didn’t show up for a National Holiday to pay respect to our fallen soldiers? Ah…I understand now.

Okay, so I didn’t send out an email or call. But I assumed that that they would figure out WHY I’m not working that day.

What gets me most is that I’ve done her lawn for 25 months now. And any other time that I show up on a big holiday she is surprised and even says things like ‘I didn’t think you would be working today.’

This customer wanted to haggle with my price right from the beginning. She asked me to lower my mowing bid the equivalent of .07%, and I said no. I know my costs, I know what my time is worth (which is still low-balling the large companies by 25%.) Then when it came to her yard clean up price later in the year, I bid it higher initially knowing full well she was going to try and knock down my price. I told her I was lowering her cleanup/bark install price from $330 to $315. This was for a job I would have been fine with making $250.”

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.”

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

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Lawn Care Business Books And Software.
How To Get Lawn Care Customers Vol. 2
The landscaping and lawn care business plan startup guide
A rebellious teenagers guide to starting a landscaping & lawn care business
The GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show Episode Guide.
Stop Lowballing! A Lawn Care Business Owner\'s Guide To Success