Saturday, May 29, 2010
A double dose
A customer of mine called me in a panic the other day. I had just performed a weed control with the new Fiesta on his property and he was quite upset.
Not at me, but at his former lawn service provider who showed up later that day, even though the lawn was flagged decided to put Sarritor on his weeds as well and left him a bill.
All I could think was, I'm glad they didn't put fertilizer on top of my fertilizer and burn the lawn.
I asked him, "I thought you cancelled them?"
"I did", he told me, "at the end of last season."
"Do you have a cancellation number?"
So here is what I told him. In fact, I will tell anyone who has a company, that they've cancelled, show up and do an application anyway. It's more common than you'd expect.
Phone them. Be mad as hell. Quote your cancellation number. Tell them you are not paying for the invoice and will charge them with tresspassing if they show up on your lawn uninvited again. Also add, if there is any damage caused to the lawn due to a double application, you'll be sending a bill to that company for resodding.
To this day, I can't see how further infuriating a past customer will endear them to you when you try to win them back next season?
Yet, a few things still troubled me about the situation.
Why would a technician knowingly perform an application on a lawn that was already flagged and dated for the same day?
Are companies that desperate that they are now hiring people who can't read or aren't aware of the problems a double application could cause? It's a basic rule we're all taught on our first day.
And why, when there is Fiesta- considered a superior control- would this company still be using Sarritor?
This second question I had answered the next day when I spoke with one of their technicians who was doing a house across the street from me. He told me they had Fiesta but were not allowed to use it until they had exhausted their Sarritor stock.
So let me get this straight...you have a quality weed control to give to your paying customer, but you choose not to use it until you get rid of the stuff that doesn't work as well? Man, that's customer service!
"That's right", said the technician who also asked me If I was hiring.
"Can you read?" I asked.
So getting back to my customer. I told him, "Look at the bright side. With a double dose on your dandelions you shouldn't have to worry about WEEDs MAN."