Sometimes, I just don’t understand people, especially those who are in the business to make money. I say that because recently I called a local lawn care company to see about getting a specific treatment for a fungus that showed up in my yard last year, only to eventually learn they weren’t going to help me unless I signed up for their entire lawn care service.
Currently, I’m very content with my existing lawn care service. Other than this rare fungus that somehow got into my yard last year, a fungus called Pythium Blight, I really have been impressed overall with their results for the past six years. Unfortunately, when this fungus showed up out of the blue last year, my lawn care company didn’t have anything to treat it, as it is that rare, at least in this area, and it’s also somewhat pricey to treat as well, with the fungicide costing upwards of almost $500. Since I didn’t have the desire to spend that amount of money last year to get the expensive fungicide that would have fixed the problem, I ended up losing over half of my entire yard as a result. Thankfully though, after over-seeding last fall and this spring, my yard has fully returned to its former glory, yet so has the worries about this disease coming back, especially as the humid and hot weather that brought it out the last time has started returning as well. In lieu of that, I recently began calling around to other lawn care companies to see if they had a specific treatment for Pythium Blight, and if so, could I hire them specifically to treat my yard for it, if it was to show up again.
One such lawn care company who had great ratings on the Internet contacted me and told me they indeed did have a fungicide that would take care of Pythium Blight. They also said that it would probably take two applications and cost me about $60 dollars overall. When they asked who did my current lawn care, I told them, which upon hearing, they attempted to see if I’d be open to switching my lawn care service to them. I told them I wasn’t necessarily looking for that, but would be open to an estimate just to see their costs. A week later the owner of this company showed up and provided me an estimate that was relatively reasonable, except I had had decided in the meantime that I wasn’t really ready to switch services. But at least I now had a company who could provide me a spot treatment if the fungus was to show back up again right?
Because when I contacted the owner via phone the day after getting my estimate and asked how long it would take for him to come out and provide the Pythium service if it was to return, I received a very short text message back that said he wouldn’t help me unless I was willing to fully switch over to his lawn care service.
Honestly, I got pretty perturbed because of this. I felt this business owner’s tactics were shady because on the front end, when I originally made my first contact with him, he was totally willing to provide the spot treatment if it was to show up again. But later, when he realized I wasn’t going to switch over to his lawn care program, he couldn’t be bothered with me. And even after several attempts to reach out and speak about the matter further, I never heard back from him again.
Frankly, I don’t understand why business owners make decisions like this, as providing a small service for something like a simple fungicide treatment can go a long way with (a) me providing recommendations for his company to others, and (b) me providing them more of my future business as well. In fact, quite possibly, providing me the small service he said he’d do at the onset, could have eventually led to me down the road giving him my full lawn care service. Yet, this guy was only interested in me being a full lawn care client now and nothing else. Ironically, one lawn care company I talked to later about this issue confirmed that they have indeed taken on small jobs before just like the one I was asking for, because it usually has led to a lot more dollars of future business down the road.
Nevertheless, this deceptive lawn care service owner reminded me of my past addictive me who was only ever concerned about making the big dollars versus developing better relationships with clients. It’s a big reason why my bed and breakfast failed back in 2010, when I lost hundreds of thousands of dollars overall, because back then, I was often deceptive myself and far more focused on the money coming in then developing stronger bonds with my customers.
So, while this lawn care business owner couldn’t see the bigger picture of how some better customer service and a small fungicide treatment could have gone a long way to a more lucrative partnership down the road, I’m at least glad I was able to identify the mirror for my past self, and for being able to cross a company off the list who probably wouldn’t have ever been in my best interest to use anyway when push came to shove…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson