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You ever fire a customer?


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#1 gosh

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 10:22 AM

Last year, I had a neighbor bug me about cutting and baling 7 acres for him. He lives a mile down the road, never stopped in to introduce himself or anything, just drives by. I didn’t return his call because I was just too busy with my own stuff, so he stopped by and pleaded with me. So in the spirit of “love thy neighbor” I agreed. Terms were simple: cash deal, cut anytime after July 4.

On June 30, guy calls and insists that I come now because of favorable weather window. I was in the middle of trying to fix an irrigation problem and I told him exactly what I was up against. I was not nice about it. He called again a couple of days later and bugged me again. I decided that I would go ahead and cut. What a crappy piece of land. Uneven, gopher mounds all over, swather high centered. I remember laying on the ground digging the dirt out of the machine and sending him a text message saying I’d never do this again and he said he understood.

It got rained on. I turned over the windrows. As soon as it was dry, he wanted it baled immediately. It was mostly alfalfa, some grass and a lot of weeds. And by immediately, I mean 2:00 in the afternoon. I clarified he meant RIGHT NOW and he said yes. Fine by me. Leaves were crunchy dry and humidity was very low but I wanted out of this deal, so away I went. Not my best work. But I wanted this pain in the butt out of my life.

Guy calls me a couple months later and needs some grass hay for his lady friend. I didn’t have any, all sold out. Then he calls again, begging. Well, I had a customer back out on me so I had his 2 tons after all. This was good looking stuff, but he continuously questioned me about mold. I moisture test periodically, so I got him to shut up about that after I explained. Then he bickered about the bale count with my daughter. Then he bickered about the weight. I told him 70 pound bales. He shook his head “no” and I asked him what he was thinking. He said 68.

Good grief. I explained to this jackass that we have a scale, take bales from throughout the field to create a random sample and weigh each bale individually to come up with an average and this guy wants to whine about 2 pounds?

Got him loaded up and out of here. I pulled the next 2 bales off the stack and weighed them. 69 and 71, I kid you not.

So when this guy came around this spring to ask me if I was interested in continuing the arrangement, my immediate reply was HELL NO. The look on his face was as if I had just kicked him in the nuts. I just told him I didn’t have time and let it go at that. I decided that this guy was incapable of understanding that he is a jackass and that explaining this would be a waste of time.

So I gotta admit that felt pretty good. I’ll never do business of any kind with that guy ever again. And my life is better for it.

Anybody else fire a customer?
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#2 JD3430

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 10:39 AM

Last year, I had a neighbor bug me about cutting and baling 7 acres for him. He lives a mile down the road, never stopped in to introduce himself or anything, just drives by. I didn’t return his call because I was just too busy with my own stuff, so he stopped by and pleaded with me. So in the spirit of “love thy neighbor” I agreed. Terms were simple: cash deal, cut anytime after July 4.

On June 30, guy calls and insists that I come now because of favorable weather window. I was in the middle of trying to fix an irrigation problem and I told him exactly what I was up against. I was not nice about it. He called again a couple of days later and bugged me again. I decided that I would go ahead and cut. What a crappy piece of land. Uneven, gopher mounds all over, swather high centered. I remember laying on the ground digging the dirt out of the machine and sending him a text message saying I’d never do this again and he said he understood.

It got rained on. I turned over the windrows. As soon as it was dry, he wanted it baled immediately. It was mostly alfalfa, some grass and a lot of weeds. And by immediately, I mean 2:00 in the afternoon. I clarified he meant RIGHT NOW and he said yes. Fine by me. Leaves were crunchy dry and humidity was very low but I wanted out of this deal, so away I went. Not my best work. But I wanted this pain in the butt out of my life.

Guy calls me a couple months later and needs some grass hay for his lady friend. I didn’t have any, all sold out. Then he calls again, begging. Well, I had a customer back out on me so I had his 2 tons after all. This was good looking stuff, but he continuously questioned me about mold. I moisture test periodically, so I got him to shut up about that after I explained. Then he bickered about the bale count with my daughter. Then he bickered about the weight. I told him 70 pound bales. He shook his head “no” and I asked him what he was thinking. He said 68.

Good grief. I explained to this jackass that we have a scale, take bales from throughout the field to create a random sample and weigh each bale individually to come up with an average and this guy wants to whine about 2 pounds?

Got him loaded up and out of here. I pulled the next 2 bales off the stack and weighed them. 69 and 71, I kid you not.

So when this guy came around this spring to ask me if I was interested in continuing the arrangement, my immediate reply was HELL NO. The look on his face was as if I had just kicked him in the nuts. I just told him I didn’t have time and let it go at that. I decided that this guy was incapable of understanding that he is a jackass and that explaining this would be a waste of time.

So I gotta admit that felt pretty good. I’ll never do business of any kind with that guy ever again. And my life is better for it.

Anybody else fire a customer?

YES. 
Glad to hear yo did this and yes, it is a liberating feeling. I do it right to their face.  


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#3 Edd in KY

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 11:11 AM

I have a had a couple small hay customers in the past that were a pain, and not worth the effort. When they call for hay, I am always sold-out, even if I have an active ad on Craigslist.


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#4 somedevildawg

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 11:33 AM

I have a had a couple small hay customers in the past that were a pain, and not worth the effort. When they call for hay, I am always sold-out, even if I have an active ad on Craigslist.


Same here....no time for it.
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#5 Hayman1

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 11:43 AM

In a New York minute, and not just once.  I work hard at what I do and expect respect and prompt payment.  I do not haggle, life is too short.


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#6 CowboyRam

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 12:10 PM

Last year, I had a neighbor bug me about cutting and baling 7 acres for him. He lives a mile down the road, never stopped in to introduce himself or anything, just drives by. I didn’t return his call because I was just too busy with my own stuff, so he stopped by and pleaded with me. So in the spirit of “love thy neighbor” I agreed. Terms were simple: cash deal, cut anytime after July 4.

On June 30, guy calls and insists that I come now because of favorable weather window. I was in the middle of trying to fix an irrigation problem and I told him exactly what I was up against. I was not nice about it. He called again a couple of days later and bugged me again. I decided that I would go ahead and cut. What a crappy piece of land. Uneven, gopher mounds all over, swather high centered. I remember laying on the ground digging the dirt out of the machine and sending him a text message saying I’d never do this again and he said he understood.

It got rained on. I turned over the windrows. As soon as it was dry, he wanted it baled immediately. It was mostly alfalfa, some grass and a lot of weeds. And by immediately, I mean 2:00 in the afternoon. I clarified he meant RIGHT NOW and he said yes. Fine by me. Leaves were crunchy dry and humidity was very low but I wanted out of this deal, so away I went. Not my best work. But I wanted this pain in the butt out of my life.

Guy calls me a couple months later and needs some grass hay for his lady friend. I didn’t have any, all sold out. Then he calls again, begging. Well, I had a customer back out on me so I had his 2 tons after all. This was good looking stuff, but he continuously questioned me about mold. I moisture test periodically, so I got him to shut up about that after I explained. Then he bickered about the bale count with my daughter. Then he bickered about the weight. I told him 70 pound bales. He shook his head “no” and I asked him what he was thinking. He said 68.

Good grief. I explained to this jackass that we have a scale, take bales from throughout the field to create a random sample and weigh each bale individually to come up with an average and this guy wants to whine about 2 pounds?

Got him loaded up and out of here. I pulled the next 2 bales off the stack and weighed them. 69 and 71, I kid you not.

So when this guy came around this spring to ask me if I was interested in continuing the arrangement, my immediate reply was HELL NO. The look on his face was as if I had just kicked him in the nuts. I just told him I didn’t have time and let it go at that. I decided that this guy was incapable of understanding that he is a jackass and that explaining this would be a waste of time.

So I gotta admit that felt pretty good. I’ll never do business of any kind with that guy ever again. And my life is better for it.

Anybody else fire a customer?

 

I did a field for a guy, just about the same.  Prairie dog mounds all over the place; at one point it almost stopped the sickle.  Some you just could not see; when it came to baling I just went around the mounds, left a lot of hay in the field.  I'm lucky I got paid on that one; I cut the first cutting and gave him an invoice and got paid for cutting.  When it came to baling, the farm had gone into probate; it turns out that it was in his mothers name.  Fortunately his attorney gave my invoice to the Judge and they released enough money to get me pain.  I should also say that I got paid all in cash, but I did eventually get paid.  I told him that he needed to get someone out to kill the prairie dogs and then plow it up.  As far as I know he never did get his second cutting.  I don't think he did anything with that field either.  

 

I have fired customers in my construction business; some that I just could not work for.  From my experience teachers, attorneys, doctors, policemen are the worst to work for.   


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#7 Uphayman

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 12:26 PM

You bet. I consider it part of the customer building process. Cull out the bad ones , replace with new and better ones. I set my prices with regards to quality, supply, and value added, (stored inside on pallets). A few think they're going to work me for a better price. To their surprise, my response is " if you can get it cheaper ......have at it." When a person calls up and only asks price....." sorry not taking any orders". I'm fortunate that I have a waiting list, unbeknownst to the people who have to try to screw you for it to be a good deal.
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#8 gosh

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 03:19 PM

YES. 
Glad to hear yo did this and yes, it is a liberating feeling. I do it right to their face.


Do you mean that you actually take time to explain to them that they’re being a jerk and that’s the reason why you’re quitting them? If so, then you get a big AMEN from me!
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#9 gosh

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 03:23 PM

I have a had a couple small hay customers in the past that were a pain, and not worth the effort. When they call for hay, I am always sold-out, even if I have an active ad on Craigslist.


That’s the strategy I was going to use with this guy. By the way, what town are you nearby in Kentucky?

#10 Randy Litton

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 03:49 PM

When I started out 25 years ago, I had moved from Louisiana to Tennessee.  I swore when I graduated and got off the farm in Louisiana I was never going to farm; fast froward, mortgaged my life to live on a dirt road and farm to teach my boys to work.  Work force graduated from high school and joined the military, family rule... work, college, or military.. no body rides for free.

 

I worked 56 hours a week average at chemical plant instrumentation and farmed.  I became aware of people who do not comprehend the steps and underlying principles of how things work, all you got to do, is an indication they have only read about the subject.

 

At one time we did thirty five fields within a eight mile radius of our farm.  Their reality, its cheaper to have someone cut hay and maintain the postage stamp field, than bush-hog their property @ $50/hr.  

 

Baled, almost, a aluminum chase lounge deposited in a windrow during a family quarrel, of one customer.  Was not forming bales correctly for another customer, because when I went to their barn I learned if you put your knee in the center of the bale and pull on the closest string to the knee the bales have a tendency to come apart;  who knew.   Our hay never touched the ground , going from baler to wagon via chute.  We loaded off the wagon in the field, but did you know you are responsible for the hay getting wet if the customer takes the hay home and doesn't put it in the barn?  You are also unable to distinguish your hay from baled briers, weeds and saplings when called about another stack of hay in a barn you delivered to, from a delivery from a lower price producer, it's amazing what some people will swear to.  

 

The customer formula is simple; you bale the best hay, cut at the peak of perfection, hauled to the customers barn loft, stacked neatly, then give them a schedule to which you will adhere to feed their backyard livestock so they don't have to get their giblet butts off the couch.

 

Yes, I have fired customers.  The customer is not always right, but they are always the customer.  We have grown to 318 acres, 80 acres Vaughan's Bermuda, square baled in 21 bale bundles with a Bale-bandit. 

 

Moral to the story, be nice, you might have to kill them later...that's a joke by the way.  Sarcasm added.


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#11 Edd in KY

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 04:13 PM

Gosh, I'm in 
Woodford County, near Versailles, KY


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#12 gosh

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 05:19 PM

Gosh, I'm in 
Woodford County, near Versailles, KY

OK, got it. Reason why I asked is I lived in Henry County for 3 years as a child. Little town named Pleasureville. It’s where the agriculture bug bit me, helping our friends milk cows, put up hay, and farm tobacco. Was a very long time ago.

#13 broadriverhay

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 06:05 PM

I usually set the hay out of the barn when people pickup in a horse trailer. That way they aren’t backing in my barn possibly starting a fire with hot brakes or faulty wiring. This lady and her husband showed up with a horse trailer so I set her hay out on the ground in front of the barn and she went off. She said her boys didn’t eat hay that was set on the ground. I ask her where the hell she thought hay came from. When she finished loading the hay she said she would be back to get her other 40 bales. I told her she was done and don’t bother coming back to get the other 40. She could not understand what was wrong. Her husband just looked at her like really. I don’t know where she gets her hay from now but not me!!!
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#14 Hayman1

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 06:14 PM

I usually set the hay out of the barn when people pickup in a horse trailer. That way they aren’t backing in my barn possibly starting a fire with hot brakes or faulty wiring. This lady and her husband showed up with a horse trailer so I set her hay out on the ground in front of the barn and she went off. She said her boys didn’t eat hay that was set on the ground. I ask her where the hell she thought hay came from. When she finished loading the hay she said she would be back to get her other 40 bales. I told her she was done and don’t bother coming back to get the other 40. She could not understand what was wrong. Her husband just looked at her like really. I don’t know where she gets her hay from now but not me!!!

Some people are just too valuable to keep as customers and are better shared


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#15 gosh

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 06:25 PM

Some people are just too valuable to keep as customers and are better shared

Now that is a great line. I will use that.

Actually, I’m stealing it. And I’m not going to give you credit!
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#16 Wethay

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Posted 16 November 2020 - 10:12 PM

Sign behind the bar "The customer is always right, but the bartender decides who is still a customer". 


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#17 RockmartGA

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 07:10 AM

.  I do not haggle, life is too short.

 

Do you offer quantity discounts?

 

How much are you wanting to buy?

 

A pickup load.


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#18 somedevildawg

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 07:17 AM

That’s the way I approach the matter.....if someone is buying one, the price is say $50....if they buy more the price MAY drop, but I have to feel and read each customer.
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#19 RockmartGA

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 07:18 AM

Sign behind the bar "The customer is always right, but the bartender decides who is still a customer". 

 

Just wait until the "snowflake" generation discovers horses......


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#20 JD3430

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 07:22 AM

Just wait until the "snowflake" generation discovers horses......

That’s already happening up here in the recently fraudulently overthrown state of Pennsylvania. 


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