Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Your services are no longer needed

Back when I first got my forever home, I interviewed several landscapers, checked referrals etc. I went with guy #1, seemed nice enough, knew what he was talking about, etc.

Twice, I have had to reach out to find out when he would be coming to do the lawn, do I have a set day (never communicated) perhaps? Nope, the reply was that he tries to get to all of the lawns (he has 40 including some commercial properties apparently)by the end of the week.

Twice, I have had to remind him to please weed wack or physically remove any weeds/poison ivy that may start growing in the walkway to the front steps.

He had asked me permission to repair what we assume is plow damage, for a small fee, it is bad for his mower, etc. Sure, no problem. I have since followed up twice about getting it addressed.

I got a quote for a small step repair (he specializes in masonry), told him "at his leisure" but since followed up twice. Reply has been, "Yeah, I have your and another really small job that would take me all of 15 minutes." Umm . . pretty quick way to make $$ that he is charging (fair price, BTW), but he never gets to it.

He is keenly aware that I have some plans for landscaping out back next year, I got a general quote to get some idea on how much a project like that would run me, so I can save for it.

While we've had some rain on/off this past week, since the end of last week, the weather has been very nice. Gave him a pass as it was Father's Day weekend, fully expecting that he'd show up Mon, Tues if not, certainly by today. Nope, nothing.

While I am not looking for a golf course lawn, this is what I am looking at:

I can't remember the last time it was cut, (12 days ago?)I felt it was left too high last time, again weeds in the walkway. Sigh . . the lawn looks simply awful : (

I messaged guy # 1, asking him to please send me a bill for June services to date (he does monthly billing), stating that unfortunately, I can no longer use his services. As I am typing this, he messaged me back, asking if there is a reason. I'll reply with something like, "I will be trying someone else who hopefully can address my lawn care needs (mowing, Spring clean up, plow area repair, keeping the walkway clear of weeds/poisson ivy)more consistently, and in a timely manner. You are a pleasurable person to work with, I am left, however, that your landscaping business takes a back burner to your other commitments."

So, I reached out to another landscapper who my plumber highly recommended "after being dic*ed around" as attentive, shows up, easy to work with etc. He remains interested and will put me on to start next Tuesday, as that is the day that he is in this area. He is coming over tomorrow to give me a quote on clean up, and to confirm the survey lines. Like guy #1, this one plows as well. I have another guy (who I used for dumpsters and who is lined up to address my driveway)who I will reach out to for the masonry repair of the front step.


kelley said...

sure hope this one works for you...I've had the same problem this year with lawn care folks...someone new starting a larger job end of the month, first of next month...if he shows up I'll hire him for more...

Linda said...

Most lawns are cut too short. Longer grass helps to keep the weeds from growing. Most lawn people keep the churches and business lawns cut on time and to perfection. The common person gets little care. At least that is the way it appears. I had a lawn guy mow my yard years ago. He left strips of unmown grass. I noticed his sign in a church lawn advertising his skills, saying the work was done by his business. I really, really wanted to call the church and tell them how he did shoddy work for the public. Good luck!

Linda said...

Lawn people will use poison on the weeds in the walkway. You can put boiling water on those weeds, except you might burn yourself with the injured hand. Plain vinegar on the weeds works wonders.

Amy Walter said...

I am a bookkeeper for a landscaping business. It is medium sized and we have 3 mowing crews and quality control. The owner, operations manager and I drive the mowing routes twice a month to check their work. Yes there are problems but they get addressed. I have found that clients need to ask 3 questions of their landscaper. What day will I be mowed? We mow 4 days a week. Leaving Friday for one time jobs or special jobs. It is also used as a catch up day for rain or skips (skips are when a client asks to not be mowed.) How often do you handle weeds? Is it every time? and do they use chemicals? Finally who handles clean ups and when will the clean up happen? We do a basic clean up for free as part of mowing. Get an estimate and consider a contract. IT protects both of you.

I am sorry you had such a bad experience. From my past experience 40 lawns is manageable until you get other work then things fall through the cracks. I think when he said he just tries to get through all of his lawns in a week I would have ran for my life.

Good luck.

CTMOM said...

Amy, thanks for your insight. Yes, I asked all of the right questions. Communication on what I expected was quite clear: mow weekly, weedwack all perimeters-esp the sidewalk cracks. Extra services were discussed, repeatedly, (snow plow damage repair, Spring clean up, step repair) but there was never any follow up. Man in question is a firefighter. Great, and that is clearly his passion. He took offense, I believe, when I stated that his other commitments are pushing his lawn business on the back burner. How the heck would one explain not mowing for 12 days? not following through on quoted extra jobs? especially when the customer brings them up 2 more times for a total of 3 conversations over a month? Nope, going with my gut on this one.

Precious People Preschool said...

Gardeners are just very undependable.If you pour plain white viniger in and on the cracks it will kill the weeds.
Love your new home.

Marcia in rural WNY said...

I'm going to try the white vinegar this year, I think. If I ask my husband, he'll use Round Up which works great but is very toxic.

We had similar problems looking for a carpenter to rebuild just the floor of our front porch, after replacing some 2x4's in the supports. Not a huge job, but 2-3 days work anyhow. Finally got a friend's brother to do it--not terribly happy with the job--next time my husband will do it himself again--except he's 75 years old, and not a terribly good carpenter to start with.

My sister, widowed a few years ago, was married to a handyman who did the best job on everything. Boy has she been disappointed in trying to get some little jobs done since he died. She couldn't even get guys to come out and give her an estimate. She did finally get most of it done but they all seem to save the last two hours work for a rainy day or something! They don't show up, they can't work that day, whatever! And she is not at all shy about attempting most things herself either. She does all the gardening herself, except for mowing the lawn, which her grandson does. She hates gardening but she has had it with waiting for people to come and get paid for it. She decides what has to be done and does it, usually all in one day, working as many hours as she has to. And she's 73. I used to be the gardener here but my arthritis has had a bad effect on my gardening. I can only crawl around and bend over for about 45 minutes tops, then I can do another half hour or so of less strenuous stuff. My husband hates gardening and can't tell a tulip from a dandelion, to hear him tell it. I don't think he tries very hard. He will pull weeds, but best if it's all weeds because if there are flowers in there you plan to keep, you might as well do it yourself. He is willing to do indoor work too--it's almost true that I don't know how the vacuum cleaner works, that's how often he does that job. I can't carry it up and down the stairs anymore either. I do give him points for being willing!

It's frustrating to depend on others for many things. I wish you better luck with the next mowing company!