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View Full Version : Does anybody charge an Environmental Fee?


mngrassguy
10-02-2008, 11:33 PM
My sister in another city hired an LCO to mow her lawn. They quoted her over the Internet $40.00/cut. It took them 2 weeks to get out and her bill was for $121.61. Sound a little high to me and I cut grass!!!

Mow tall grass $ 103.40
Fuel Surcharge $ 7.24
Environmental Fee $3.99
Sales Tax $ 6.98

Runner
10-03-2008, 12:00 AM
I would tell them to bite it. They can't charge like that unless she agreed to that price. that is THEIR problem if they didn't get out there.

topsites
10-03-2008, 02:01 AM
Honestly speaking, how tall was the f'n grass and did your sister INSIST on a quote over the phone?
The only reason I mention this is because we know why that doesn't work, someone here might have been looking
for a bargain price and I hate to say it but if that was the case then she about got what she deserved too because
I hate that schitt lol

On the other hand, mofo asks me to quote them a price on the phone and I have done did it this way,
that is when I pulled up I saw the job it was a PITA nightmare I wouldn't be able to stick to the quoted price regardless,
it did piss me off royal the guy had pulled this crap on me but I also got right back in my truck and kept on driving,
so in terms of a loser you have to cut your losses short and leave it at that.

Because...
If they quoted $40 for the grass cut, and that was the agreement, then to the best of my knowledge the only thing
they are allowed to do is charge sales tax in those states that require it.

What you speak of, and there have been cases here, is quite simply against the law.
We can not, while running a business, quote one price and charge another.

Now...
What your sister needs to do is call these folks and ask them what the deal is, explain that she agreed to pay the $40
and that if it did turn out to be more that they should have called her to discuss this first, and whatever comes of
it you tell these folks that you had an agreement and like it or not but you be a man of your word and don't be
backstabbing folks like this because it just ain't right...
As for paying it, that I couldn't say, I don't know the situation.

But good luck, hope it works out for y'all, some kind of way.

mngrassguy
10-03-2008, 02:13 AM
Thanks Topsites, Runner, I'll pass on your opinion and post more info when I get their response.

ALC-GregH
10-03-2008, 08:54 AM
I can see them raising the price some as it IS a estimate. At the same time, I can't see them raising the price by what, almost 75%? I don't think a business can go over 15% of the original estimate. I could be wrong.

mngrassguy
10-03-2008, 02:00 PM
Thanks ALC-GregH, I agree.

Here is a copy of their explaination:

"Substantially rising fuel prices and environmental compliance-related costs are something we cannot fully control. The Environmental fee is meant to help cover these ever increasing environmental compliance-related federal, state, and local governmental fees and costs.

Fuel is one of our greatest expenses, gasoline and oil is what our company operates on. From driving trucks and trailers to your job site, to nearly every service we provide, we are dependent on gasoline and subject to increasing fuel prices. Our Fuel Surcharge is meant to help us cover a portion of our increased fuel costs.

The additional charges are only per month.

Thank You,"

Richard Martin
10-03-2008, 04:35 PM
I can see them raising the price some as it IS a estimate. At the same time, I can't see them raising the price by what, almost 75%? I don't think a business can go over 15% of the original estimate. I could be wrong.

286% to be precise. :)

I didn't include the sales tax since they have no control over that.

People pull all kinds of scams. This is just another one.

mississippiturf
10-03-2008, 09:18 PM
This kind of schit is what gives the legitimate guys in this business a bad name. I've screwed up on some bids before, but I took the hit. Anyone who quotes one thing over the phone (dumb idea) and then charges another AFTER the job is done needs their azz kicked!! If they exercised any type of professionalism they would have re-quoted the job before they started the work. Makes my blood boil!!

mngrassguy
10-04-2008, 12:34 AM
So far, I don't hear of anyone charging an environmental fee. I don't like fuel surcharges but I think one more fee is WAY out of line. JMO I think their explanation is even more bogus.

"ever increasing environmental compliance-related federal, state, and local governmental fees and costs." What kind of BS is that?

topsites
10-04-2008, 01:31 AM
"ever increasing environmental compliance-related federal, state, and local governmental fees and costs." What kind of BS is that?

I know what that is, I'll get to that but basically it's a load of crap they could get in serious trouble for.
You see, they're trying to play it off as IF it's a federally mandated fee
(such as those which the electric company might charge), but it's not.

The electric company (phone co. too) has these charges, and there really is nothing
they can do about it because the government did put those regulations in effect and
thus they are not just forced but entitled to pass it on to us.
Not only that but the regulations themselves address the telco's and energy co's directly,
in no uncertain ways and in very direct terms these regulations pertain to them, and them only.
In ways it's still a bit of a marketing trick when they speak of "29.99 telephone service"
and then stick around $15 worth of those fees in there, but the fees really are put
upon them by the government and we don't have to like it but that's how it is.

But in landscaping there is no such thing, although they did stop JUST short of saying it was a
mandatory regulated thing, had they said that they would've been in a world of deep poopoo.

No argument that there do exist laws that affect our business, but these laws were never put
into effect just for the landscaping industry sector, thus it does not pertain directly to us, or only to us.

Now then quite simply put they're sticking it to you, it ain't right, and the finely circumvented
heavily thought about cute play on words isn't helping my sense of humor either.

dishboy
10-04-2008, 09:39 AM
My environmental fee goes right after my tractor wash fee, my parking fee, and my trimmer reload fee and I almost forgot my administrative fee :laugh:

topsites
10-04-2008, 11:00 AM
My environmental fee goes right after my tractor wash fee, my parking fee, and my trimmer reload fee and I almost forgot my administrative fee :laugh:

Don't you have a bank deposit fee, a sharp blade fee, and a re-fueling fee?

White Gardens
10-04-2008, 12:21 PM
Environmental Fees, surcharges, ect... I just think you need to charge for the job accordingly to cover your costs, and not try to pass it off as an extra charge. Unfortunatly fuel prices aren't going down, so I feel the time for the surcharge to go out the window in estimating new accounts.

Adding something not discussed earlier into the final invoice is just shady business. Even if your cost exceeds the estimate, it should be discussed before any work has started.

Home owners need contracts for work as much as the company needs them. Getting things in writing is a win-win for everyone.

Charles
10-04-2008, 07:29 PM
I agree, their fault for waiting 2 weeks. Their original estimate should stand. Anybody takes a chance with phone/internet estimates. Just a scam is my opinion too

Roger
10-04-2008, 08:33 PM
...

Here is a copy of their explaination:

...

Fuel is one of our greatest expenses, gasoline and oil is what our company operates on. ....

This is an untrue statement, at least for most of us. The percentage has been discussed here many times. Many have cited numbers about 7-8% of expenses, but in the past year, with the change in fuel costs, some have cited just above 10%. I am doubtful of the "one of the greatest expenses..." statement.

Ooomwizard
10-05-2008, 07:22 PM
I could definitely see someone quoting a normal fee over the phone then adjusting the price according to the actual work involved.

Extra fees are BS and are usually there to increase profits.

Hummm, if it works....

txgrassguy
10-05-2008, 10:53 PM
The only time my company has charged an "Environmental Fee" occurred during a landscape/irrigation install. The crew found several old car batteries, several leaking 5 gallon pails of used motor oil and a few tires buried by the builder.
The state required a certain clean up and disposal process above simply removing and properly discarding the items.
The whole thing couldn't have been more contentious with the client, whom is an attorney. The client said my company was responsible for the clean up costs, I said nope and when he became insistent I pulled the crew. Enter the state that hits the attorney with a cease and desist order so he calls me back.
I ended up getting paid for the install, the clean up plus environmental fee plus re-mobilization costs to return to the site.

Michelle7564
10-06-2008, 05:56 PM
Thank you all for your posts. After reading all the replies, I felt that the fuel surcharge and environmental fee was unethical. Below is the response that I sent...wish me luck.

Randy - thanks - you're the best big brother!

I believe that you should have disclosed the 2 fees to me. I checked with my brother that lives in the metro area and owns a lawn care service (not close enough to mow weekly) and said that it didn't seem right. He even went so far as to create a blog and ask people in your industry to comment (see link below). I called one of your competitors; their price was lower than yours and they do not charge anything additional except tax. Even though many of the comments on the blog relate to the fact that one mowing was over $100 and you quoted $40, I will chalk that up to me being a stupid consumer and believing that if they had to "mow it twice" as you explained, it would be $40 x 2. Be that as it may, I refuse to pay the add on charges. I will pay for the mowing plus sales tax, and I ask that you remove the fuel surchage and environmental fee charges from what has been invoiced, and not charge in the future. If you are unwilling to remove these 2
fees, please cancel my lawn service immediately. In addition, in either case, please cancel the snow removal services I signed up for before I received this bill. I can only imagine what type of add on fees you will charge and I am not willing to find out.

LwnmwrMan22
10-06-2008, 06:23 PM
Thank you all for your posts. After reading all the replies, I felt that the fuel surcharge and environmental fee was unethical. Below is the response that I sent...wish me luck.

Randy - thanks - you're the best big brother!

I believe that you should have disclosed the 2 fees to me. I checked with my brother that lives in the metro area and owns a lawn care service (not close enough to mow weekly) and said that it didn't seem right. He even went so far as to create a blog and ask people in your industry to comment (see link below). I called one of your competitors; their price was lower than yours and they do not charge anything additional except tax. Even though many of the comments on the blog relate to the fact that one mowing was over $100 and you quoted $40, I will chalk that up to me being a stupid consumer and believing that if they had to "mow it twice" as you explained, it would be $40 x 2. Be that as it may, I refuse to pay the add on charges. I will pay for the mowing plus sales tax, and I ask that you remove the fuel surchage and environmental fee charges from what has been invoiced, and not charge in the future. If you are unwilling to remove these 2
fees, please cancel my lawn service immediately. In addition, in either case, please cancel the snow removal services I signed up for before I received this bill. I can only imagine what type of add on fees you will charge and I am not willing to find out.

Michelle -

If you're on the north east side of the cities, I'd be willing to come and look at what you've got.

I won't even charge you the sales tax, just one flat fee. :rolleyes:

topsites
10-06-2008, 07:03 PM
My sister in another city hired an LCO to mow her lawn. They quoted her over the Internet $40.00/cut. It took them 2 weeks to get out and her bill was for $121.61. Sound a little high to me and I cut grass!!!

Mow tall grass $ 103.40
Fuel Surcharge $ 7.24
Environmental Fee $3.99
Sales Tax $ 6.98

Oh wait a second, I didn't see that it took THEM 2 weeks to get out there!
I thought Michelle called these guys one morning and got them to quote her a price over
the phone, for example, and they show up that afternoon and the grass was up to their knees!
Because that's what usually happens to me in these situations :p

But I too have an Internet form customers can fill out.
Once I check my email I either call them or if they left the address I drive past and take a look, then call them and give them an estimate on what it would cost AND the time-frame they're looking at (usually in days).
So the estimate is good for that amount of time, that is, if I said within 3 days and I don't get there until the 4th day I can't and don't charge extra.
Matter of fact I'm just glad if they didn't call someone else and they're still happy about the service, shoot.

So I am sorry I went on like I did but then I didn't know the whole situation even now, I think now
maybe you were too nice to them although the point did get across in the letter you sent.

And, if it matters, might pay them the $80 since it might have cost that much in that time frame anyhow
(for 2 cuts thou not 1) although legally speaking you don't have to pay a penny over $40 (except sales tax).

Peace out

nobagger
10-06-2008, 07:13 PM
The only thing I can see charging an enviromental fee is maybe for keeping and disposing of fert or chemicals. I charge dumping fee but that is what it says it is. Funny thing is, we got a bill for our waste management company today and it had a enviromental fee on there for $7.58. Must be a new way to squeeze out a few more bucks from people.

mngrassguy
10-07-2008, 12:40 AM
Had my propane tank filled today. They charged me an environmental fee.:cry::cry::cry:

I give up.lol

Michelle7564
10-07-2008, 04:56 PM
I do not live in nord'east ...exactly opposite - south west. Thanks for the offer.

BTW - they did agree to waive the 2 fees. Yeah for me!

pinto n mwr
10-07-2008, 05:57 PM
The only thing I can see charging an enviromental fee is maybe for keeping and disposing of fert or chemicals. I charge dumping fee but that is what it says it is. Funny thing is, we got a bill for our waste management company today and it had a enviromental fee on there for $7.58. Must be a new way to squeeze out a few more bucks from people.

I think here in min-da-sota we don't get charged for disposing fert and chem. I believe the ag dept is more than willing to accept it for free. There philosophy is better to take it than have is go down the drain.