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SangerLawn
09-19-2007, 11:10 PM
I have a customer that has been with me all summer long. I showed up today to mow but in this drought he asked me not to (first skip on him this year). He continued to say that he had a tree in the back yard that he would like taken down. I told him since he has been a great customer this year I would do it for less then I normally would. Normally I would have charged about $250.00 but I did it for him for $185.00. The tree was pretty well trimmed during its life. There were no branches exempt at the top. Even at the top I think there was only like 5 branches.

Because of close quarters I had to take it down in levels. The top half went great! The middle went great! Then I got to the bottom 7 foot. The inside had steel all over the place. Come to find out there was a fence there when this property was a farm, years ago. There were nails all threw out the trunk and an old metal fence post. There were no signs of these objects on the outside of the trunk! A 2 hour job turned into over 5 hours and I destroyed to chains for my saws trying to find places I could saw threw.

Here is my question? I already agreed on a price and had the job almost done when I brought the customer out to show him the problem. Should I have raised the price? I didnít but was expecting some kind of tip. Didnít get that eather?:cry:

MowHouston
09-19-2007, 11:15 PM
You're asking the right question right now because you need to learn from this.

Next time you are asked or you offer to do a job like this, give a quote for them and state that this quote will stand as long as you don't run into any scenarios like this.

Ask them if they have any recollection of stuff being nailed to this tree or it being near a fence. If not, warn them that if that is the case when you get to that point, it is going to have to be more because it is a more difficult job.

The customer will realize that you are already giving them a deal. Even if another company did it at their regular price, the customer would still have had to pay more when that company hit steel.

DillonsLawnCare
09-19-2007, 11:16 PM
i dont take trees down, but whenever i price someone, whether theyre family or friends or great customers, i never slack off on the price. i know you were trying to be nice but you usually get screwed when you try and do something nice like this. it sucks but its life. things like this are hard to say. i would have told the guy what was going on and made him pay for my chains, and kept the price the same. i dont know much about chainsaw chains. JMO

shane mapes
09-19-2007, 11:26 PM
bglc good answer sounds pretty close to what i was going to say . also it was a good lesson to learn .

jbannick18
09-19-2007, 11:35 PM
how would you go about quoting tree work? This area has be confused, i never know what to price

SangerLawn
09-19-2007, 11:50 PM
well..... since all the replies are about the same... now i feel like an idiot lol... anyway, now i know...not many things i know but now i know this will never happen again, thanks for the help

topsites
09-20-2007, 02:39 AM
You might want to check out arboristsite.com, few of us here get into tree work because gen.bus.liab. insurance doesn't cover that.

But they're right, chalk one up to experience, you did it to yourself trying to be a nice guy, heh...
This is one aspect that led me down one long road filled with frustration, tears, anger, and insanity.
It's a hateful thing, almost like we have to go through this, but I about believe there exists no other way.
That's how I grew stronger, that's what gave me a thick skin, that kind of Bee Ess.

What would I have done?
Sure, no problem (and price comes after I'm done).
But I wasn't able to pull that one off until about my 3rd-4th year, I had to have the customer's trust first.
Today I do it even to brand new customers, just got the skin for it I guess.

One thing that works halfway is a range estimate...
Like 180-260...
You should be able to start getting away with that, it helps buffer the bs.

Stillwater
09-20-2007, 03:02 AM
I have a customer that has been with me all summer long. I showed up today to mow but in this drought he asked me not to (first skip on him this year). He continued to say that he had a tree in the back yard that he would like taken down. I told him since he has been a great customer this year I would do it for less then I normally would. Normally I would have charged about $250.00 but I did it for him for $185.00. The tree was pretty well trimmed during its life. There were no branches exempt at the top. Even at the top I think there was only like 5 branches.

Because of close quarters I had to take it down in levels. The top half went great! The middle went great! Then I got to the bottom 7 foot. The inside had steel all over the place. Come to find out there was a fence there when this property was a farm, years ago. There were nails all threw out the trunk and an old metal fence post. There were no signs of these objects on the outside of the trunk! A 2 hour job turned into over 5 hours and I destroyed to chains for my saws trying to find places I could saw threw.

Here is my question? I already agreed on a price and had the job almost done when I brought the customer out to show him the problem. Should I have raised the price? I didnít but was expecting some kind of tip. Didnít get that eather?:cry:


Ok this is one of the primary reasons I don't quote final price for any given job.

I woulden't raise my price, no way, you agreed to that price and it totally BLOWS.

for tree work I charge a hourly rate for just the saw, + my labor rate added together with dump fees ect. My custoers do not ever see my hourly rate that is none of their business. also if that happend to me I would be in good shape. Becouse I have a section on my billing called supplies and matrial the cost of the chain would be put in the customers bill not itemized just a figure. Don't ever expect tips, I have been doing this a long time and I only do set pricing on very specific jobs. if you did it my way you could have spent 10 hours and runied 5 blades and been covered. But for some reason alot of you guys don't agree with this. and dont forget you told him you would discount the price becouse he was a good customer,

Stillwater
09-20-2007, 03:05 AM
Please be a stand up guy and honor your quoted price.

Topsites suggested price rangeing this is good advice i do that sometimes.

Stillwater
09-20-2007, 03:09 AM
how would you go about quoting tree work? This area has be confused, i never know what to price

you need experience.. and your historical records as to how long jobs have taken you and you use that as a guied only. then set accordingly

capetan
09-20-2007, 07:33 PM
if i were you and i realized the tree grew around a fence pole i would have stop and told the customer......."sir i wasnt anticipating a metal fence pole being in the center of the tree, unfortunately the estimate did not include a metal fence pole removal, i can give you a separate estimate for removing the fence pole if you would like" ...... customer is left with two options, yes i want you to remove the fence pole at an additional cost or no i don't, you gave him an estimate for removing a tree, not a tree with a metal fence pole in it ........

Stillwater
09-20-2007, 08:09 PM
if i were you and i realized the tree grew around a fence pole i would have stop and told the customer......."sir i wasnt anticipating a metal fence pole being in the center of the tree, unfortunately the estimate did not include a metal fence pole removal, i can give you a separate estimate for removing the fence pole if you would like" ...... customer is left with two options, yes i want you to remove the fence pole at an additional cost or no i don't, you gave him an estimate for removing a tree, not a tree with a metal fence pole in it ........

I don't agree, it is considered a tree first. proper billing/bidding is paramount in this industry with experience comes anticipation of these issues. the primary reason my billing trys to account for all unknowns. one reason some tree and landscape contractors are very expensive.

Stillwater
09-20-2007, 08:14 PM
Capetan Made a good point their are tell tale signs that a tree will show if it had grew around something....

lifetree
09-20-2007, 08:40 PM
You're asking the right question right now because you need to learn from this.

Next time you are asked or you offer to do a job like this, give a quote for them and state that this quote will stand as long as you don't run into any scenarios like this.

Ask them if they have any recollection of stuff being nailed to this tree or it being near a fence. If not, warn them that if that is the case when you get to that point, it is going to have to be more because it is a more difficult job.

The customer will realize that you are already giving them a deal. Even if another company did it at their regular price, the customer would still have had to pay more when that company hit steel.

I agree with BGLC, it should be a conditional price if no "problems are encountered ... however, I don't get into the tree removal side of things !!

Stillwater
09-20-2007, 10:14 PM
think i could hide this job expence in the bill?

Stillwater
09-20-2007, 10:19 PM
it is not me I found the pix on the web

SangerLawn
09-20-2007, 11:48 PM
eshskis
we are talking about a tree growing around steel, not steel growing around a tree lol

Stillwater
09-21-2007, 12:30 AM
eshskis
we are talking about a tree growing around steel, not steel growing around a tree lol

imagine being that guy, i wonder what his first thought was when his brain registered what his eyes saw.

Sweet Tater
09-21-2007, 09:49 PM
I think I would have just passed out flat.
IMO on the main subject. No matter what you decide on doing in that situation in the future. Stick with your price. Its your rep your building and that is part of it. But next time ......
a fence post inside a tree??? ummm dang it...