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  • Time to get rid of this client?

    So I just got home from a regular clients house who wasn't home. i've been grooming her dogs for almost 2 years now. One passed away and now she has a cockapoo. She hasn't been home before. So this isn't the first time. I've been debating getting rid of this client because her dogs come in matted every time I groom them. I am so fed up. I groom these dogs every 4 weeks and they come in looking like they havent been groomed in 6 months. She wants them long of course but doesn't want to pick up a brush. I've told her many times they have to be brushed. I even started cutting the yorkies hair short. He looked so cute. She was fine with that for awhile until she decided to grow his hair long again. The last time I groomed them the cockapoo was so matted I had to shave her down. Her chest was like a blanket. Totally ridiculous because i groomed her 4 weeks beforehand. How do they get so bad. her hair was very long though and i know they run around in the yard a lot. No excuse though. So the owner wants to get the dogs on a 2 week schedule once her hair grows out a little bit. So I am not sure what to do. This is an appointment I don't look forward to going to. But would hate to lose the money. Although I don't think I am charging enough. I charge 6 billls for the yorkie and 7 for the cockapoo. Does that sound right or should I charge more? I guess I can charge whatever I want at this point since I want to get rid of them. What should I do. Oh yeah, these people are very well off. And they don't tip me. I am the second mobile groomer they have used. The first girl couldn't stand them anymore. ADVICE!!!!!

  • #2
    If they were not so matted, would they be easy dogs to do? I mean, the owner isn't a horrible pain and the dogs are well behaved? If the matting is the only reason you want to drop them from your roster, then it really is just a matter of how often do they need to be done to keep them in good condition.

    I can't blame an owner for letting her dogs be dogs and letting them have a good time, roll and play in the yard. The question is with that lifestyle, how often do they need to be cleaned up? Obviously the owner for whatever reason isn't going to help in between, and in my opinion, with her wanting to move you to every 2 weeks, it sounds like she is making an effort by wanting you there more often. She's obviously not going to brush them, so I wouldn't even ask her to. Turn that around and simply work out a schedule that keeps the dogs in great condition. Maybe it isn't clipping each visit and instead some visits are just a bath/brush out. If she likes them long, it's because she likes how they look and she's probably willing to pay to keep them long.

    Put her on a 2 week schedule and see what difference it makes. They may need to be on a once a week schedule. Say you were to bathe/brush every other visit and trim every other visit. Work out a price that works for you, and if she doesn't tip, then adjust your price to include it. If you are constantly telling her she needs to brush them, and sometimes you have to shave them, then she's not 100% happy with your service. Personally, I'd be real tempted to offer her a weekly plan where the dogs get bathed and brushed weekly, with a bangs/feet trimming as needed and a clip once a month. Pitch it to her with the idea of you doing the work since you know with her schedule, the last thing she wants to do is have to spend her valuable time brushing the dogs. She may not even realize that the dogs could get a bath once a week and it would be healthy for them.
    But, don't wait until the dog grows out to a matted mess again. You need to be there in two weeks to make sure the hair grows out matt free so that you guys can work out a schedule that allows the dog to stay in long coat.

    I really think most owners don't know what their dog really needs and we as groomers have to teach the owner more than we teach the dog. Sometimes it is a matter of teaching them how to brush, and other times it is a matter of teaching them what they have to pay for so that they don't have to brush.

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    • #3
      If I were you I don't think I would fire the client, but raise your rates high enough that you look forward to doing the dogs because of all that money you'll be making. Also, if the dogs have more matting than you would be able to brush out within 5-10 minutes, refuse to dematt, and only shave them. If they stick to the two week schedule, hopefully that would solve the matting problem, but if they aren't sticking to the schedule then you have another problem. I would suggest charging a no show fee, costing the same as the average groom fees for the dogs, added on to their next grooming bill. good luck with everything!

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      • #4
        You've already received some good suggestions, I agree with all of them. The other thought I had as I was reading your post was , have you ever "undercoated" that cock-poo?

        You may see a big difference in the coat after you've pulled out the undercoat, not just simple combed the dog out. You should have much less coat top deal with for the next few appt's.

        Just a thought...


        sittingpretty

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        • #5
          [QUOTE=poochpickup;378708] This is an appointment I don't look forward to going to.QUOTE]

          I think that answers your question right there. When you keep doing those dogs that you really dont want to do it only makes you miserable and then you can kidna start to resent doing them. It really does not matter WHY you dont want to do them, if you dont want to then just dont. I have 2 Tzus on 2 wk schedules that come in matted like cray every time. I have told mom that they either have to go to 1 week schedule or get a much shorter cut as their coat just cant go that long without being brushed at that length. She can either follow that or go elsewhere, its just not worth it.

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          • #6
            You should notice a huge difference in a 2 week schedule. I would put up with them because of the income. Good luck!

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            • #7
              I agree with everything swissmissNchow said

              I also agree there might be a need for "undercoating" the dog, if it has the need.

              If the dogs were not matted, I am assuming it wouldn't be so bad?

              I agree with your fees, at least in Utah that would be about right.

              I have one big question though: Are you brushing/combing these dogs BEFORE the bath, or after? Because if you are doing all that brushing/dematting BEFORE the bath, then you are doing it BACKWARD. Shampoo the dogs MINIMUM twice, get them squeaky squeaky clean, then condition. Then rinse well and blow dry by hand, of course. Use your force dryer to force some of those mats away from the skin. Clean hair demats WAY easier than dirty hair.

              If you already knew the above, then disregard!

              Tammy in Utah
              PS: 2 weeks will make a big difference in their condition, I am pretty sure of that.
              Last edited by SpikeyTheYorkie; 01-09-10, 02:33 PM. Reason: COMBING, not 'coming' :)
              Groomers Helper Affiliate

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              • #8
                With only the one dog now, surely the owners can afford to have you on a weekly schedule. If the dog is easy to groom, except for the matting of course, then maybe on a weekly schedule you will be able to maintain the coat some. Work out a fair price, perhaps just a tad lower since you are now coming once a week.
                Of course the other issue is your client being home. I know that is very frustrating. If you add her to your weekly schedule, be sure and discuss with her how important it will be that she either be home or let you know so you will not drive to her house for no reason.
                good luck with that one!!

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                • #9
                  As for the 6 bills...

                  It depends on whos pic is on the bills. If it Is George....drop her, if it is Abe, drop her, Tom is good, Andrew even better. If it is Ulysses, great, and Ben, then you are well paid.

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                  • #10
                    Does the dog wear a sweater????? I have seen "long" haired dogs mat quickly when they wear the sweaters nonstop. Let us know how it turns out good luck

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