Georgia: “I have a customer who expects a warranty for her plants in metro Atlanta during our complete watering ban. As of yesterday, there still is a 30-day exemption for watering new landscape installs completed by a professional landscape company. There have been a few cities that have already thrown this out.
“Would you guys honor this? I know when I come back and tell her that I can’t possibly warranty trees and shrubs that she may not be able to water for up to a year, she’s going to want a steep discount off my quote. I’ve already been through the whole ‘what’s your cost?,’ ‘where do you buy your plants?,’ ‘what is retail?,’ and ‘what is your mark up?’ with her! Some people don’t want us to eat at night!”
Northern Virginia: “What was the value of this job? I would not warranty, period. It is beyond my control. According to what you said, she can still water, so water. Trees? Get Treegator bags. Use soaker hoses or drip under the mulch for shrubs.
“You could offer to install these as a friendly gesture. Maybe do it on your own time just to make her happy at a minimal cost to her. I would see what makes it and what doesn’t. If she can water, well, she had better water.
“Now, if this was a very good customer of yours or a big job and a couple things died, I wouldn’t sweat it. Maybe work out a deal on replacement even.
“I do not think this is such a customer to you or else you wouldn’t have posted.”
Georgia: “She can only water for 30 days, and that may get banned later this week. Even after the 30 days, there may still be a complete watering ban in the metro area for up to one year, meaning no watering your landscape or lawn.
“It’s a very small job (under $10,000) that she wants done in sections.”
Ohio: “In our contract it states the customer is responsible for watering after completion. I leave it with that. We haven’t had as bad of a drought as you, but you can’t control the weather.”
Kansas City: “I wouldn’t warranty them. Sounds like she is looking for someone to pay for her landscaping even though she knows it will probably struggle. Maybe get her to do the foundation portion of it and then hold off on the plants. Whatever happens, I foresee lots of renovations in your area’s future—stinks right now, but big money in the future.”
Cartersville, Georgia: “No way can you warranty any plants that you install during a water ban like the one we are having! Water them for the 30 days or until they start the complete ban, but do not offer any type of warranty!”
St. Louis: “I never offer a warranty on plants, but I have replaced many. If there is a ban on watering, I would guarantee that they all would die.
“I also never discuss cost, margin or price for plants. I tell them my source, and I tell them their price.”
Kentucky: “Acts of nature? Out of my control and voids all warranties, sorry.”
Georgia: “Thanks for the replies. I’ve decided not to take the job, and it has nothing to do with the drought. This woman is a vender/friend of my girlfriend, who recommended me because this woman had some renovations done on her home, and the front foundation plantings ended up being torn out with the work.
“Anyway, I give her a quote for the plants, and it comes out to just over $8,000. She comes back and wants to break it up to three projects! I do this for her, e-mail her the bid with the side, foundation and front yard as separate quotes, and get an e-mail back in five minutes asking for my quotes to be broken down by plant with my wholesale cost for each one and where I will be purchasing them—and she wants a design!
“Long story short, my girlfriend is not happy with her, and I blow her off. I was supposed to start the job this week, but I never gave her a plan or a breakdown of my prices (which I never do). So, yesterday my girlfriend calls and tells me the woman is mad because she never heard back from me and wanted me to do the work this week! I call her today, and she gets into it again about wanting to know my wholesale cost and wanting a plan so she can compare and see what kind of a deal she’s getting!
“So, even if I were going to warranty the plants, they would not be going to that property.”
Northern Virginia: “Good job. Forget people like her. The longer you’re in business the easier it is to quickly turn away such people.
“A lot of people give in for some reason. Thanks for upholding the industry and not divulging your pricing. Hope you’ve got another one to move on to.”
Georgia: “Thanks. I’ve been in business for a long time. I’ve dealt with all types, and the only reason why I gave her the time of day after the first line of BS was because she knows my girlfriend.
“I’m not sure about lining up other jobs in the Atlanta area until this drought ends. I think we’ll see a lot of nurseries and landscape companies go under soon. They are already predicting half of the $80,000 green industry employees in the are will be let go within a short period of time.”
Tennessee: “I’d tell her that all she needs to know is the amount of your quote, and that’s it. With that information, she can decide whether she wants to engage you for the job.”
New Jersey: “I believe that you if you use water bags, you may be able to skirt the ban. We had a ban years ago for ‘broadcast watering.’ We put water bags on trees and filled every other day; all the water goes right where you need it with little waste.”