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DFW Area Landscaper
03-06-2006, 01:36 PM
Anyone think this skip policy will fly with customers?

http://www.meierslandscape.com/residential/content/view/8/26/

Basically, customers who want to skip scheduled cuts will pay $2 extra for all of their other cuts. A weekly client who skips 6 cuts per year would pay $27 X 28 = $756/yr. A weekly client who doesn't skip would pay $25 X 34 = $850/yr.

I think I will have good success with it in the spring and summer, but my ability to dictate terms to existing clients in the fall isn't as good. They can fire me in October and not worry about the problem until next spring, at which time they can easily hire another company.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

dsmrolla06
03-06-2006, 04:04 PM
Are these skips going to be skips they tell you of in advance, say in the beginning of the season? Or are they going to just come out of the blue? Im curious as to how this is going to work out into your pricing for the year... If someone just decides to skip a mowing mid season, do you raise prices for all future cuts and add a surcharge for all cuts already made? If this is the case, i think it would be hard to enforce if someone decided not to pay if you didnt have a contract.

Sorry just read it off your site and it made alot more sense. One thing that came to me is someone signing up for weekly, and skipping every other week. You should set a limit to the number of skips, or something. Just a suggestion.

DFW Area Landscaper
03-06-2006, 04:12 PM
Basically, the game plan is to explain the Skip-RIghts program to a client when they call to skip a scheduled cut. We do explain it in the welcome letter when they sign up too.

If they have ANY common sense at all, they already know we don't want to get that call. Some small part of them must feel like an a-hole. Kind of like ordering a a burger and a courtesy water...we all know they want us to order a cola with our burger.

So, when they call and say "You know, our lawn just isn't growing that fast right now. Can we move to every other week for a while?" then I will explain the Skip Rights program and they can either start paying $2 more for all future cuts or stay on the weekly schedule.

It is not an unreasonable plan. If a customer is reasonable, they should understand. I don't want to lose any clients, but if a client is unreasonable, I am probably better off without them.

I just wonder how it's going to go over in October when they can cancel and find someone else 6 months later. In the spring and summer, I've got some leverage. We have almost no leverage in the fall.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

LawnBrother
03-06-2006, 04:36 PM
The only potential problem I see is that customers who choose to have skip rights are paying an extra $2, so they may be inclined to skip more than 6 cuts just because they can. It seemed to me at first that you are taking away your leverage and giving it to the customer by letting them dictate their mowing schedule, but at the same time it gives you an opportunity to earn more than if the cuts were biweekly. I think it is a good idea if you have a problem with people calling to skip cuts a lot. It should go over easy with new customers, old customers might have a problem working into it, though.
BTW DFW, that's a nice website you have there.

DFW Area Landscaper
03-06-2006, 04:58 PM
Thanks for the compliment on the website.

I am definitely going to make this policy effective with new clients. As for existing clients, I am contemplating including this paragraph with the e-mail statements that go out tomorrow tomorrow night:

Dear Customer :

Your statement is attached.

We are altering our policy for clients who skip cuts.

Weekly clients are scheduled for 34 cuts this year. Sometimes customers call us to skip cuts so they can save money if their grass isn't growing very fast.

The price we charge assumes that every weekly client takes 34 cuts per year. For this reason, we offer everyone “Skip-Rights”, which gives a client the right to call us and skip a cut whenever they want. The clients with Skip-Rights pay $2 extra per cut.

If you need to skip a scheduled cut, we need to be notified by 3:00pm the day before.

I guess I will have to make a final decision about this by tomorrow night when the e-mail statements go out. Maybe it would be better to just explain it to customers as they call to skip a cut.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

mgm
03-06-2006, 05:00 PM
" our grass isn't growing very fast right now , can you mow every other week for awhile" We sure can - we will have to move you out of your shceduled Friday weekly service , into an every other week schedule and we will not be able to keep your original weekly schedule open -- so when your grass starts to grow again and you call us to get your old Friday schedule back, it may not be the day you want , now lets see -- We will be back in your area on Monday and Tuesday , which day would you like ?

z_clark
03-06-2006, 06:33 PM
DFW,

Like MGM said: I will usually move them to Mondays if they are habitual about skipping cuts. I also have little pity for "clumps in the yard" if we have skipped the previous week.

This works for me, as Mondays seem slow for us. Sometimes they cancel because of this...but better than dealing with their skipped cuts.

Tn Lawn Man
03-06-2006, 06:55 PM
We have a skipped cut fee. We do this because even when the grass doesn't grow very fast it seems like all of the edges do. And our trim time on the next visit increases significantly.

ZaK18
03-06-2006, 08:37 PM
I don't allow skips for mowing. If they choose the recommended weekly mowing, we will mow their yard each week. Bi-weekly customers will be mowed every other week. :laugh:

DFW Area Landscaper
03-06-2006, 09:25 PM
Zak18,

Do you lose customers in the fall?

I would guess about 10 to 15% of my weekly clients called to switch to every other week in the late fall. If I just told them "We don't allow skips" I am certain I would lost some of them.

I thought seriously about trying that approach but I never had the guts to actually try it.

What are your experiences?

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

ZaK18
03-06-2006, 10:01 PM
DFW,
When people call to skip in the fall, The conversation goes something like this.
Customer...My yard hasn't been growing very fast, does it really need to be mowed once a week.
Me...Yes it does...You are on a concise mowing plan, We will be starting to lower the cut each week, to prepare the lawn for winter.

Its important to give a reason for mowing when their lawn isn't growing...Even if you have to bulls**t. I don't think Ive ever had someone tell me to skip that week. They always ASK if mowing is really needed. *OF COURSE IT IS*. I have 158 weekly customers, and have never lost any because of not allowing skips. Last year most of my yards were dormant by August, and there were months I didn't cut anything off.

Zack

dsmrolla06
03-06-2006, 11:12 PM
Im having the first and last 6 weeks available for biweekly to weekly customers and no additional charge. Other than that im only going to allow about 2 skips per season.

DFW Area Landscaper
03-07-2006, 12:39 AM
DSMRolla06,

That is what my mentore does. I think they schedule 40 cuts per year and then gamble that most clients won't remember to phone in for the skips. They do expect a percentage of clients to call in to order EOW in the spring and fall, and because they already expect it, they are not bothered. But for those that don't remember to call in, which is around 70% I am guessing, they get an extra 6 cuts per year out of every one of them. That more than offsets the reduction in revenue from those who are skipping.

I am hoping I can avoid doing that. At the end of the day, it is a business decision. My gut feeling tells me that scheduling 40 cuts per year promotes more churn, but does it produce enough churn to offset the increase in revenue you'd get from the clients who don't skip the extra 6 cuts each year? That is the question and I don't know the answer. Something tells me I will be scheduling 40 cuts next year too.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

daveintoledo
03-07-2006, 12:54 AM
i also dont burn up the texas lawns either, different part of the country..... if its really too dry to cut and not growing, i show up and do trimmiing edging, clean up what ever, but my customers know that unless its a really extream condition, i mow every week... but ohio sure aint texas.......
:)

StBalor
03-07-2006, 03:11 AM
If they have ANY common sense at all
DFW Area Landscaper
LOL, how many feel like most of their clients have none? This is the 1 thing i hate about having to deal with all these people.

work_it
03-07-2006, 04:10 AM
DFW, you must be running some pretty tight routes to have a gate policy like yours. If any of my customers have a locked gate I simply don't mow the gated area that week. I've had customers call me and ask if I can come back to which I remind them of the service agreement. It plainly states that an additional $25 fee will be added onto their invoice for that week. I've had a couple agree to the extra fee, but most of them tell me it can wait a week. After implementing that policy I haven't had many problems with locked gates.

Richard Martin
03-07-2006, 06:03 AM
Why don't you just do away with the "skip rights" and just charge them an extra 10 bucks the next week? You would actually come out ahead on a 6 week skip customer. 22 X $25 = $550 and 6 X $35 = $210 for a total of $760 vs. $756. I think that telling the customers that they can ship cuts for only an extra $2 per mow that they actually get will encourage those who would likely skip anyway to skip even more.

hole in one lco
03-07-2006, 06:17 AM
im upfront with every client . I tell them you get one skip a year. This is how my family eats so i cant take a week off. You would be mad if your boss told you to take a week of with no pay. works every time haven't had a skip in 3 years.

SodKing
03-07-2006, 07:45 AM
Do away with the amount per week and just charge a monthly rate...that way when they call it doesn't affect your income.

RandyMidd
03-07-2006, 10:16 AM
DFW
Your operation and the image you've crafted is outstanding...I love how you made those rolling billboards that're easily recognized a mile away without being loud and obnoxious when you're close to them! :clapping:

The wording here on your site....

Weekly and bi-weekly customers agree to a six cut minimum. You may cancel service at any time once the six cut minimum has been met. If you cancel service before the six cut minimum has been met, we will charge the one time rate for all the cuts you’ve already taken, which is $15 extra per cut. We automatically assume your business next spring unless you contact us to cancel.

Can be simplified to...

Weekly and bi-weekly customers agree to a six cut minimum - You may cancel service at any time however if you cancel service before the six cut minimum has been met, we will charge the one time rate for all the cuts you’ve received - which is $15 extra per cut. We automatically assume your business next spring unless you contact us to cancel.

The reason for the recommended change is that this sentance isn't exactly true:
You may cancel service at any time once the six cut minimum has been met.


Or...you can make it true by qualifying it though...
You may cancel service at any time and be billed your regular rate once the six cut minimum has been met.

JustMowIt
03-07-2006, 11:51 AM
DSMRolla06,

That is what my mentore does. I think they schedule 40 cuts per year and then gamble that most clients won't remember to phone in for the skips. They do expect a percentage of clients to call in to order EOW in the spring and fall, and because they already expect it, they are not bothered. But for those that don't remember to call in, which is around 70% I am guessing, they get an extra 6 cuts per year out of every one of them. That more than offsets the reduction in revenue from those who are skipping.

I am hoping I can avoid doing that. At the end of the day, it is a business decision. My gut feeling tells me that scheduling 40 cuts per year promotes more churn, but does it produce enough churn to offset the increase in revenue you'd get from the clients who don't skip the extra 6 cuts each year? That is the question and I don't know the answer. Something tells me I will be scheduling 40 cuts next year too.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

We schedule 36 mows a season, then allow bi-weekly at no extra charge the first and last 6 weeks of the season, or a customer can pay the $31 bi-weekly rate till they call to change to weekly (their preference).

There are always a certain percentage of customers that are watching the pennies, but there are many more that never call.

It is 10% of the customer base that does 99% of the calling!

TJ

DFW Area Landscaper
03-07-2006, 01:20 PM
TJ,

As you can see, I am still struggling with this issue. I thought you guys were at 40 cuts per year. Did you reduce the number of cuts this year from 40 to 36?

FWIW, I increased the number of cuts this year from 32 to 34. We are starting service a week earlier than normal and we won't be automatically converting our weekly clients to EOW until mid-October. Last year, we did that on October 1st. So we are scheduled for 34 cuts this year instead of 32.

Honestly, if I could just get everybody to take 32 cuts per year, that would be fine with me. The problem is, you try to be fair to all clients and only cut the lawn 32 times per year and the cheap-o's are calling to whittle it down even further. So then you start trying to cram more cuts down everyone's throat in anticipation of the cheap-o's.

My feeling is, the classless people who are calling to skip are creating more customer service and more phone calls to answer and then sometimes you forget to note the schedule and you pay your guys to mow it and then you can't charge them for it and then they still want to go two more weeks before the next cut... I just think these people should pay more than the ones who don't do that. I think I will try the "Skip Rights" program for a year and see what happens. I guess if someone gets mad and cancels over it, I am probably better off without them anyway.

Good luck to you guys in '06!

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

JustMowIt
03-07-2006, 01:31 PM
TJ,

As you can see, I am still struggling with this issue. I thought you guys were at 40 cuts per year. Did you reduce the number of cuts this year from 40 to 36?

FWIW, I increased the number of cuts this year from 32 to 34. We are starting service a week earlier than normal and we won't be automatically converting our weekly clients to EOW until mid-October. Last year, we did that on October 1st. So we are scheduled for 34 cuts this year instead of 32.

Honestly, if I could just get everybody to take 32 cuts per year, that would be fine with me. The problem is, you try to be fair to all clients and only cut the lawn 32 times per year and the cheap-o's are calling to whittle it down even further. So then you start trying to cram more cuts down everyone's throat in anticipation of the cheap-o's.

My feeling is, the classless people who are calling to skip are creating more customer service and more phone calls to answer and then sometimes you forget to note the schedule and you pay your guys to mow it and then you can't charge them for it and then they still want to go two more weeks before the next cut... I just think these people should pay more than the ones who don't do that. I think I will try the "Skip Rights" program for a year and see what happens. I guess if someone gets mad and cancels over it, I am probably better off without them anyway.

Good luck to you guys in '06!

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

We've been at 36 week season since 2001, it was previously 37 weeks 1997-2000.

dsmrolla06
03-07-2006, 01:32 PM
Im going to be on a 32 week season this year, but the average lawn is cut about 26 times here. Im anticipating doing first and last 6 week biweekly starting april 3, otherwise some wouldnt start til beginning of may. I havnt yet decided how i will deal with skipping, im thinking of adding a charge the next week, maybe 25 or 50%? How do you think this would work out TJ and DFW?

Correct me if im wrong, but you guys dont use contracts right? How can you enforce charging a client $15 a service more if they cancel before 6 without one? It seems to me they could easily do a chargeback on you as its a nonbinding agreement.

DFW Area Landscaper
03-07-2006, 01:51 PM
We never actually charge them the one time rate if they cancel early. It is a bluff that works very well.

TJ,

Just wondering how your churn is coming along this year? We ended the season on November 11th with 248 clients. Of those 248 clients, 18 (7.2%) have cancelled.

Mind sharing your numbers? You can e-mail me if you'd like. What I'm trying to do is figure out if fewer cuts per year translates into higher customer retention. You guys were at 36 cuts last year and I was at 32. My concern is that weekly lawn mowings all the way up to November 11th may cause some clients to cancel service. If you guys are seeing similar churn rates, I will definitely give more consideration to scheduling 36 cuts next year.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

z_clark
03-07-2006, 02:16 PM
Churn rate out of our 190 clients from last year:

11 canceled / moved (6%)

30 have pushed the start date back 1 or 2 weeks (15% +/-)

Also, many calls regarding every other week in the beginning.

I am sure more are to come.....I am also interested in y'all's #'s. Thanks!

RandyMidd
03-07-2006, 02:40 PM
I don't know about this year but this is what TJ or MJ posted in the past...

I am not sure exactly how many we lose total, every spring we lose 5-8% to start with, then go from there.

I'm a JustMowing fan too!:waving:

DFW Area Landscaper
03-07-2006, 03:36 PM
Z_Clark,

How many cuts did you get on a weekly client last year?

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

z_clark
03-07-2006, 04:02 PM
36 was the goal (same as "Just Mow It", as to you, they have been a fantastic mentor for me).

Last year was the first year for "Mow and Go", we signed up most customers in April. Many started the "skip me this week" stuff in October last year.

I tried to charge the $5 premium for every other week in the middle of season, but did not stick to my guns always. It is harder to enforce skip premium when you need all of your customers!

I think the more customers you have, the more you can enforce things like start dates, skips, not returning for locked gates....etc. Currently our goal is not to pizz too many off that results in cancellations!

DFW Area Landscaper
03-07-2006, 04:34 PM
The logical way to address the problem, in my mind, is if a customer takes all the cuts you schedule, they pay the regular price. If they want to step in and start whittling things down, it only stands to reason that you can't do it for the same price that you are charging everyone else. Everyone in this country is familar with the concept of volume discounts.

I will report back as soon as I try the "Skip Rights" speech out on a few clients who call to skip and let you guys know if the general public will tolerate this or not.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

RandyMidd
03-08-2006, 12:46 AM
Why don't you just do away with the "skip rights" and just charge them an extra 10 bucks the next week? You would actually come out ahead on a 6 week skip customer. 22 X $25 = $550 and 6 X $35 = $210 for a total of $760 vs. $756. I think that telling the customers that they can ship cuts for only an extra $2 per mow that they actually get will encourage those who would likely skip anyway to skip even more.

This is what I was thinking too!

I hope it's not too late..and you didn't send out those emails:

"Dear Customer :
Your statement is attached.
We are altering our policy for clients who skip cuts.
Weekly clients are scheduled for 34 cuts this year. Sometimes customers call us to skip cuts so they can save money if their grass isn't growing very fast.

The price we charge assumes that every weekly client takes 34 cuts per year. For this reason, we offer everyone “Skip-Rights”, which gives a client the right to call us and skip a cut whenever they want. The clients with Skip-Rights pay $2 extra per cut.

If you need to skip a scheduled cut, we need to be notified by 3:00pm the day before."

It sure sounds like an invitation to call for some skips! Almost an advertisement for a "Skip Rights" program. "Hey honey I think we have skip rights or something...call the lawn guy and use our skip rights."

I may be missing something..but it seems that the rules are becoming unnecessarily complex.

My vote is for an additional fee on the next mow...now that is easy to explain and justify...

I'm rooting for you!

HOOLIE
03-08-2006, 12:54 AM
I think you should give it a cooler name, something like "Skip-lomatic Immunity" :)

How do you "schedule" more cuts all of a sudden?? Isn't the grass-growing season pretty much dictated by Mother Nature?

DFW Area Landscaper
03-08-2006, 02:24 AM
Sometimes it helps to step away from something for a few hours and focus on other things.

I think you guys are right...it does sound like an invitation to skip cuts.

I think I may try this one out:

Skipping
Sometimes customers call us to skip cuts so they can save money when the lawn isn't growing very fast.

If you call to skip a scheduled cut, your next cut will be $7 extra.

If you want to skip a cut, we need to be notified by 3:00pm the day before.

Maybe that makes more sense.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

Richard Martin
03-08-2006, 03:18 AM
I think I may try this one out:

Skipping
Sometimes customers call us to skip cuts so they can save money when the lawn isn't growing very fast.

If you call to skip a scheduled cut, your next cut will be $7 extra.

If you want to skip a cut, we need to be notified by 3:00pm the day before.

Maybe that makes more sense.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

That's much better IMO.:)

DFW Area Landscaper
03-08-2006, 09:26 AM
Now I've just got to figure out what to do with the customers who call on September 15th and don't want us to mow any more this year. Also, same problem with "Don't cut it until April 1st" or ""We'll call you when its time to start regular service."

I think dropping them is the solution, but until the schedules are full I can't justify turning down 6 months worth of business.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

RandyMidd
03-08-2006, 10:02 AM
Skipping
Sometimes customers call us to skip cuts so they can save money when the lawn isn't growing very fast.

I’d change this line because…
1) I don’t want to plant an idea in the customers head for an acceptable way they can save $$.
2) I don’t want to tell them others are doing it and suggest it’s normal or expected.
3) Why they’re skipping is irrelevant. After all, you’re still going to charge extra regardless the reason they skip.

If you call to skip a scheduled cut, your next cut will be $7 extra.
If you want to skip a cut, we need to be notified by 3:00pm the day before.

Suggested revision:

Skipping
A skip request must be made by 3PM on the preceding day.
The next cut following a one-time skip request will be charged at your regular rate plus $7.

"Skip-lomatic Immunity":laugh:

alwaysgreener
03-08-2006, 10:09 AM
First How large are the lawns you are mowing for $25.00?

z_clark
03-08-2006, 10:30 AM
DFW,

What are you doing with those "don't mow until we call you" people???

I have gotten too many of them.

I have been taking them as cancellations so far, knowing most probably will not call back. Also, those that do call back will probably be in May :hammerhead: .

What do ya do?

DFW Area Landscaper
03-08-2006, 10:32 AM
Randy Midd,

You may be right about that. I'd like to get this message out to the customers who skip, but not to the customers who have never caused any problems.

Maybe I should just remove the entire "Skipping" section from the website and the welcome letter and address the $7 surcharge only with the clients who call to skip. Only problem is, it's kinda like I'm changing the rules on them without any advance notice.

I agree, if I blast this message out to all clients with the e-mail statements, it may actually encourage skipping. I don't want the extra customer service. I don't want to lose the revenue. I think I will just leave it alone.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

DFW Area Landscaper
03-08-2006, 11:08 AM
Z-Clark,

I wish I had the answer. Part of the answer, I think, is realizing that we are in a moatless business. I guess if a customer has it in their mind that their lawn only needs mowing 6 months per year, we aren't in much of a position to dictate otherwise. The only real leverage we have is a societal norm that should make them feel at least a little bit dicky about calling to skip cuts (back to the burger and a free courtesy water analogy).

If you stand back and analyze the situation, think of it this way. Two home owners are side by side. One is on weekly service. He calls to skip the second cut of the season and gets nailed with a $7 surcharge. His neighbor doesn't mow the lawn until week three when he calls and orders service. He gets his lawn mowed, after skipping cuts #1 & #2, for $25 and his neighbor is paying $32.

The reality is, and I think we must realize this, we have no real leverage.

When I met with Mike & TJ last fall, they said they had fired like 400+ customers during the year. Once the schedule is full, there'll be no reason to tolerate the people who want to skip service until April and then suspend service in mid-September. Until the schedule is full, I think we pretty much have to deal with it.

The more I think about it, the more I think 36 cuts per year is the answer. Just offer up bi-weekly for the first and last 6 weeks of the season for those who remember to call. So if 35% call to order the bi-weekly, they mis 6 cuts but then you've got 65% who are paying for an extra 2 cuts.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

RandyMidd
03-08-2006, 12:05 PM
I think it's definitely OK to have the skip policy written where customers can see it along with your other policies...I'd just do my best not to encourage its use but at the same time not come across harsh like I'm penalizing or dinging them.

I'm not for letting customers make the rules or being without posture or being weak on business discipline (that’s required to stay the course in order to build the business model I’m after)...but...there's no sense in risking the chance as coming across hard when it's unnecessary…there’s nothing here a bit of rewording won’t fix.

Now this may sound like splitting hairs, but the word "Surcharge" sounds to a customer like he’s being singled out and fined when in fact it isn’t a fine at all, skipping creates lawn and logistical problems for you that manifest as increased expenses. It’s only fair to ask the customer to cover those expenses.

Here’s another suggestion:

Skipping

Because of the lawn and logistical trouble skipping creates we strongly encourage you to not miss any mows. We recognize that there may be an occassion when this isn’t possible. Skip requests must be made by 3PM on the preceding day. The next cut following a one-time skip request will be charged at a bi-weekly rate.

Now what reasonable person could argue with that?

z_clark
03-08-2006, 12:30 PM
DFW,

Very true about not having leverage. I find my self for a lack of words with some people....because I know there are so many others out mowing grass that will put up with the crap.

Like you said, I can't really afford to "let customers go" all the time due to them being a pain in the butt. Now, if I had 3,000 weakly.......man they amaze me!

I had one lady sign up with me this morning....at the end of the call she wanted to know "Now you will mow my yard one time per month...right?". That call was ended VERY quickly by me!

eh, if it wasn't for customers, this job would be easy!

dsmrolla06
03-08-2006, 12:30 PM
DFW, you will charge weekly customers for skipping a week of service at a rate of an additional $7, but will you allow any skipping for biweekly, not to where its a month between service, but 3 weeks, and what would you charge for this?

I think for biweekly to have an extra week between services i would charge around $12 extra the next service visit.

dsmrolla06
03-08-2006, 12:41 PM
Also, do any of you guys do bagging with the service and at what charge?

scagwildcat
03-08-2006, 01:49 PM
why limit yourself to A $ amount, what happens if they call you to skip 10k sq ft. still charge them $2 or $7 ??
i would just add to your contract that if the client calls you to skip a mowing, you have the right to charge them a reasonable amount extra for the extra time/ fuel that it takes/costs you to perform your service to them, then explain that if you miss a mowing due to rain, or lack of rain/ you will not charge them extra for the skipped mowing... also, if the client wants it skipped there is a possibility that the lawn clippings might clump.. .this way you can have all of your clients sign it, not just the $25 lawns, and it brings a point across, that they will not be saving much at all, and you are in charge, as far as what i think about losing someone over this, i too cant afford losing clients, but i would much rather keep the good ones, it happens to me every year in the late summer, i end up having almost half of my lawns not being mowed, cant pay the bills like that !!!!!!!

dsmrolla06
03-08-2006, 02:10 PM
why limit yourself to A $ amount, what happens if they call you to skip 10k sq ft. still charge them $2 or $7 ??
i would just add to your contract that if the client calls you to skip a mowing, you have the right to charge them a reasonable amount extra for the extra time/ fuel that it takes/costs you to perform your service to them, then explain that if you miss a mowing due to rain, or lack of rain/ you will not charge them extra for the skipped mowing... also, if the client wants it skipped there is a possibility that the lawn clippings might clump.. .this way you can have all of your clients sign it, not just the $25 lawns, and it brings a point across, that they will not be saving much at all, and you are in charge, as far as what i think about losing someone over this, i too cant afford losing clients, but i would much rather keep the good ones, it happens to me every year in the late summer, i end up having almost half of my lawns not being mowed, cant pay the bills like that !!!!!!!

For one theres no contracts that are signed by the clients. Its much easier to tell the customer that theres a flat fee for skipping then just 'well i think it should be this amount cause thats what i feel like.' You cant really argue with the flat fee because they knew it ahead of time.

I think $7 is a good amount, because it is a higher charge then the biweekly mowing. Biweeklys are that way for a reason, the grass doesnt grow as fast, not watered or fertilized. Weeklys are going to grow faster and be harder than the normal biweekly in two weeks time. I said charge $12 more for biweekly because they shouldnt be skipping in the first place, so it may keep them from doing that.

lonestaros
07-07-2006, 02:48 PM
Skipping

Because of the lawn and logistical trouble skipping creates we strongly encourage you to not miss any mows. We recognize that there may be an occassion when this isn’t possible. Skip requests must be made by 3PM on the preceding day. The next cut following a one-time skip request will be charged at a bi-weekly rate.

Now what reasonable person could argue with that?
Wow, I keep having to copy/paste. Every time I see a new policy, it looks better than the last one.
Thanks

Precision
07-08-2006, 12:37 AM
Now I've just got to figure out what to do with the customers who call on September 15th and don't want us to mow any more this year. Also, same problem with "Don't cut it until April 1st" or ""We'll call you when its time to start regular service."

I think dropping them is the solution, but until the schedules are full I can't justify turning down 6 months worth of business.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper
Anyone who calls on sept 15th for no more cuts has canceled. I just thank them for their business and hope to see them again next season.

Anyone who waits a month over when I start mowing gets charged accordingly. You have it right in your policy. Hourly rate mowing.

I recently cut a yard that had not been cut in 4 months. $175 for a .17 acre gross dimension lot. Helps that the city red tagged them, but I find those types are not the ones you want anyway.

recently had 3 others wanting overgrowth taken care of. Sent out the commercial crew to do it at $40-60 for the first cut. of course EOW service is desired. Then 10 days after the first cut they are complaining that the yard looks like hell. Well DUH, it has been raining almost daily for 10 days or course it is over grown.
Then they want us to cut it shorter or some other stupid crap to save them money.
Next.

churn is not always a bad thing.