View Full Version : Stop fees added to application fee

11-05-2002, 01:00 PM
I have been asking some of the guys in my area that apply pesticides are now adding a stop fee charge. The fee is anywhere from 10 to 20 dollars above the application fee.

They are also raising the application fees. Right now I am at 3.00 per K more or less.

Some of the guyshave raised to 5.00 per K on small area under 15,000 sq ft.

I was wondering what other areas are doing??????

11-05-2002, 01:24 PM
What do you mean by a "stop fee charge"? Do you mean that if a customer decides not to use your services anymore, you will actually charge them for that???

If that is what that means, I have not heard of it. If this is similar to cell phone contracts, that means you are using a yearly contract and there is an early termination fee?

I would think that would be bad publicity. If that is what a stop fee charge is.

11-05-2002, 03:36 PM
What I am refering to is a fee that is added to the application charge.
For example ..
Customer A has a 10,000 sq ft lawn that you treat. You have a 5 round program. For every round you have a stop fee in addition to the treatment fee.

The reason for this stop charge was due to the increase in gas prices last year.

11-05-2002, 06:54 PM
It seems to me that labor should be $4/M regardless of material expense. That goes on top. To charge to stop the truck in front of someones house (whether you get out & walk around or not) goes without saying. If that truck & driver cost money (and they do), then someone has to pay for it.

The concept of NOT raising prices when every expense a business incurs has increased, is insane.

Don't think for a second that your customers are able to "negotiate" a better deal on even one of the other property expenses that they incur.

Ever try to "negotiate" a lower price with a mortgage company? How about insurance? Water bill? Electric? Heating oil or gas?

Whoever dreamed up the concept that service providers should consider themselves less important should be drawn & quartered. All the way to the bank too, I'll wager.

Don't sell yourself short. Have some bal-s & charge whatever your time is worth. How you itemize it on the bill is your own business. but a flat increase of the service cost is the most forthright way to recover additional expenses. The cost of fuel has always been a part of all of our businesses. Today is no different than yesterday.

We always charged for the stop if the customer canceled or delayed the application. We'd go to small claims court if they wouldn't pay & won about 3/4 of the time too. It was in the signed contract that written cancellations had to be received 48 hours prior to the truck rolling.

That was 12 years ago. Did our industry get soft? When you need to, just raise the price. It works for every other expense a homeowner has. Why must we be different?

I'm in the other side of the lawn care counter today. Starting the first of the new year, oiur Urea costs go up. So does the price of fertilizer.
Shouldn't it?


11-05-2002, 07:08 PM
Call it what ever you like but that is more or less the way I do it. It covers the cost of of loading, mixing, driving etc. You have those costs no matter what.

I charge $35 for the first 5K total. Surprsingly, on lawns larger than that the production time remains pretty constant per K. No matter whether it is 15K, 30K or 75K you only have 5K of aggravation or slow down app work. Of course there are ALWAYS variables but it has been going pretty smooth like that. I charge about $3k over 5k basic.

dan deutekom
11-05-2002, 07:58 PM
We Have a minimum charge of $40.00 for anything less than 5k. Then we charge a per K over the 5.

11-06-2002, 11:08 AM
$35 minimun for 3K, then $5 per K thereafter ...., it used to be $30 for the first 3K until we were required to do the 48 hour Neighborhood Notification thing for sprays.

11-06-2002, 11:13 AM
This last leason I price $3-$4 per thousand (depending on dificulty/shape/amount of weeds) plus $15-$20 (depending on how much hard surface there was to blow off) for each step.

I am going to try to get a little more scientific/accurate in my pricing next seasson, but will probably have a similar system.

11-06-2002, 01:14 PM
Unfortunatly I would like to be able to charge $30 to $35 for a 5K lawn but the standard in this town is almost $25 for a 5-6K lawn. We have one company that charge extremely low prices across the board for the apps and areation.

For the same lawn that I charge $25 to mow they charge $20 to aerate the lawn.:angry: The deal with this company is that they have over 150 customers and they have been around for over 10 years. I just wish that they would start to charge national industry standards instead of the low prices that they do.

11-06-2002, 08:49 PM
In my area (southern ohio) big green will do a 5 k lawn for $24.95.Try to compete with that.

11-06-2002, 09:11 PM
Hey, if anyone can charge $25 for 5k, and make decent money ... enough to cover their overhead, time, repairs, insurance, license, certification and whatever product it is that they are applying for that round, great. Personally, I wouldn't bother at that price, nor would it be financially beneficial to me in my market when just about everyone else is charging at least $28 for 3K. I know that I am a bit higher, never said I wanted to be the cheapest ... but I am not in competition with TGCL which charges $40 for anything up to 10k, every time they show up, even if it is just to spray some weeds. I at least include that in the program.

11-07-2002, 12:28 PM
Some folks just want to work for low wages. It costs me an avg of $1.50/k per appl for materials. How much can one make on a 5k lawn at $17.50 for the loading, driving, appl time, clean up, record keeping, overhead, etc?

Don't anyone tell me about volume or any other mumbo jumbo. The guy is an uneducated fool wasting his life away. When your tooo cheap your too cheap and 5,000 lawns won't make any money either.

11-07-2002, 12:43 PM
i think what you are getting at is this:
$20 to stop the truck and $3k
thats what we we do
am i close?

11-07-2002, 09:56 PM
i am $37.00 for 5/m and under.
7500 sf=45.00

11-08-2002, 03:48 PM
Sorry guys,

I have been out of town for a few days. I was reading the replies.
I do have a min. It is 35 per K up to the first 10 k. Now some of you guys have been discussing 5k for $25. That is not bad. My calculations that is 5 dollars per K.

I have plans to raise my fees this upcoming year.

11-11-2002, 03:53 PM
$4 and $5 per k? am i reading this right? and u r not kidding? we charge $12 per 1000 sq. feet, times 6 apps. we get paid for the whole program in advance.

11-11-2002, 07:30 PM
Good job Bobby.

It's a matter of pride & priorities.

You can make lots of money playing the numbers game. But you will never have less than 20% turnover either. So eventually you will run out of prospective new customers. Then what? Buy someone elses hard work? Then what? Ruin it? If that's what you're into, good luck. It's not working for UKNOWWHO.

In my opinion, it's better to charge top dollar up front. Include everything concievable that "might" need doing. Then when it something unusual does need doing, & it will, there's no surprises. And no dead grass or list of stupid excuses for the customers to ponder while they thumb through the yellow pages looking for a new LCO.

Just my stuck-up opinion though.