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View Full Version : upset customer - who is out of line?


surfsk869
05-22-2007, 02:00 AM
today my crew and i did completed a decent sized job at one of our clients houses. i billed her and all i got was a response saying how she thought it was too expensive. what do you guys think is the best course of action for this situation? here is the work we did

- edged 30 yds of beds
- cleaned/weeded beds and laid total of 4 yds mulch, of which we delivered and installed (cost of mulch is 43 dollars a yard at the local nursery)
- mowed lawn and weedwhacked ( 1/3 acre)
- 4 labor hours cleaning random brush/debris from yard and driveway

total bill = 598

what do you think?

Midwest Lawn Services
05-22-2007, 02:38 AM
didn't you quote her an initial price...or give an estimate the both of you agreed on?

sheshovel
05-22-2007, 04:00 AM
I think you did that job too cheap. You of course should ALWAYS give an estimate in writing to your client and have them sign it and get an ok to go ahead. That way they have at least an idea ahead of around the amount they are going to have to spend.
Regardless of that, that you are more than fair on your price. Insist on payment you performed the work requested by her and she has to pay you now. Simply tell her that. You can also tell her that you did not charge her for p/up and delivery and you did not mark-up your material like is the norm. Also you probably did not charge her removal of debris and dump fees either.

AGLA
05-22-2007, 07:42 AM
Labor charges should run 35-50 in MA (140-200), mowing 1/3 Ac might be $40, mulch delivered and placed is about $65 per yard. You might be a little high. If your laborers are slow or inefficient, you might be charging too much.

You should also buy your materials from wholesalers to reduce your overhead.

Doster's L & L
05-22-2007, 10:46 AM
If you didn't give her an estimate IN WRITING that the both of you agree on, then this lady is taking you to the school of hard knocks. So take notes and study up boy. :))

Plant Buyer 83
05-22-2007, 10:51 AM
SheShovel & Doster L&L are right, NEVER do any job unless you give them a estimate and they have signed it. But otherwise I hope this gets resolved (in your favor). Let us now how it turns out.

Matt

GreenN'Clean
05-22-2007, 10:53 AM
I never do any job unless the customer agrees to the price and signs an agreement

capetan
05-22-2007, 11:18 AM
if you gave even a verbal estimate for 600, she shouldnt be upset, if you did the job without any type of estimate you might not be getting paid :(, even if she does pay you, DONT DO ANYMORE WORK FOR HER, stuff like this will always come up,
a signed written agreement before the work and half down to start the project is normally a good start,
*i just had a similar experience with a job for a "friend of a friend", it was a several day project, i took no money down.............. let just say my backside got tilted

Stillwater
06-03-2007, 05:52 PM
today my crew and i did completed a decent sized job at one of our clients houses. i billed her and all i got was a response saying how she thought it was too expensive. what do you guys think is the best course of action for this situation? here is the work we did

- edged 30 yds of beds
- cleaned/weeded beds and laid total of 4 yds mulch, of which we delivered and installed (cost of mulch is 43 dollars a yard at the local nursery)
- mowed lawn and weedwhacked ( 1/3 acre)
- 4 labor hours cleaning random brush/debris from yard and driveway

total bill = 598

what do you think?

your price seems fair but like sheshovel said you appear to be a little low 2 men on a job for 4 hrs. is 8 man hours. you do realise that right? mulch mark up is 15 percent you should have added 17.20 to your cost of the mulch.

DBL
06-03-2007, 05:55 PM
43 dollars a yard for mulch does it have gold in it

forestfireguy
06-03-2007, 06:02 PM
We get prepaid or a deposit of at least 50 percent to show up, then another 30 percent b4 a shovel/machine hits the ground. 20 percent final payment leaves our labor / materials and overhead covered. I leave it up to the quality of our work to make our profit.

ALarsh
06-03-2007, 06:10 PM
You need to find cheaper mulch and you will make quite a bit more. We get it for $20 a yard which I still think is high.

forestfireguy
06-03-2007, 08:20 PM
What kind of mulch are we talking about? We pay 12 Per cuyd for double ground hardwood. Considerably more for hemlock,cdear and dyed types.

Lawnamus
06-03-2007, 08:51 PM
Actually, if you do it by counting man hours, your crew I assume like the above mentioned is at least 2 so that would be 8 hrs. + your 4 hours so thats really 12 man hours. 8hrs. at $30-$45 and your 4 at $50 plus materials and mark up and like the mentioned delivery etc. With all of ours expenses growing exponetially with gas rates up, insurance out of control etc., you did need to charge more, but it is what it is. If she doesn't pay you, perhaps you should tell her about the mysterious fungus going around ruining lawns in splotches (round up ballons). Just kidding. You don't have to give away your secrets, but being up front about costs tends to add an element of honesty and an easier solution.

AGLA
06-03-2007, 09:37 PM
Well, the OP says he pays no taxes, no insurance, no workman's comp,..... and only works with his brother on another thread. I think he should do pretty well on what he is charging.

Focal Point Landscapes
06-05-2007, 01:37 AM
I think he said he was running his business ' under the table ' - maybe its just me , but this approach to business is inconsistent with the idea of being a professional and helping him to fine tune his pricing practices feels like assisting someone in breaking the law - I'm going to the heavy equipment section :)

Stillwater
06-05-2007, 02:07 AM
I think he said he was running his business ' under the table ' - maybe its just me , but this approach to business is inconsistent with the idea of being a professional and helping him to fine tune his pricing practices feels like assisting someone in breaking the law - I'm going to the heavy equipment section :)

Ya, I got reamed hard for helping him I personally did not realise he was operating off the books, I don't mind helping these guys if they are actively in the process of jumpin from off to on the books but I was told he was bragging about it.