View Full Version : Customers changing schedules
08-08-2000, 04:23 PM
I was wonderng if any others go thru this. There are a few of my customers that agree to a weekly lawn cutting in spring. Later around July they call and say they want to go to a 10 day cut until fall starts. Some lawns can be passed but with all this rain we've been getting in the NE its a foot tall in some spots and I'm stuck doing the extra work for the same $.
I dont mind accomodating a few people but it seems that more and more are jumping on the wagon and its tough to schedule these cuts. Some customers (the rich ones it seems) do it only this month due to the extra week. I dont bag, but still my "name" is on the lawn and I dont want to leave the lawn in bad shape.
Next year I'll tell all of hem that they have to stick to the schedule
08-08-2000, 05:24 PM
I also had this problem with new cust. that i picked up last year. He wanted it cut every two weeks the whole year, I told him thats ok, but will have to charge 35 more per cut, the norm cut is 40. He decided to stay with the weekly cut. Also had 4 cust. wanting me to do at 10 day intervals, told them would have to almost double price because of rain, and growth, extra time to get there, etc. They all stayed with weekly cutting.Too much of a hassle to do 10 day intervals,& if they want that way they should pay more,why should you have to try to save them money, with equipt.,etc. costs raising??
[Edited by mow money on 08-08-2000 at 08:27 PM]
08-09-2000, 12:01 AM
I went with an hourly rate this year for several reasons.With all the rain we are getting my schedual is out the window.I am covered for extra grass,streached out mowing intervals,picking up toys and hoses and other items left out by the home owner,also leaves in the fall as they start to drop.Also,new added obsticals such as lawn chairs and tables,new flower beds and shrubs.I have one lady that just can't understand why it takes an extra half hour to move and go around the 8 new items on her lawn.This year I am smilling, next year I may not miss her lawn.Most customers are very understanding.
08-09-2000, 02:57 AM
just did one of those types today, & she will be getting a call tomorrow. I am going to either go back to cutting weekly or charge 40% more to stay at the 2 week interval, because your cutting 2x the growth for the same price, so you're actually working for half price. If she wants to save money then she needs to do her own lawn.
08-09-2000, 08:32 AM
I've got a couple that went to the 10 day and every two week schedule. When the grass gets high and starts to clump - just let it. When they see the quality of the cut go down hill and they will - explain the reason. Most will go back to every week.
08-09-2000, 10:00 AM
"Later around July they call and say they want to go to a 10 day cut until fall starts."
A customer cant change your schedule; you are the one who can change the schedule, the customer can only ask for a change.
I actually rely on switching some lawns to a 10-day schedule during the summer to allow me time to trim hedges, take day trips with the family, etc. No go this year.
If you want to be a nice guy, tell them it all depends on how fast the grass grows more than the number of days between visits. If the grass isnt growing, okay, 10 days it is, but they asked you to keep the yard looking good and as your responsibility to do that, you will be coming as it needs mowing, which now is every 7 days.
08-09-2000, 07:18 PM
check out the posts on double cutting, this is one of the main reasons i want to go 12 mth contract with me deciding if it needs to be cut. I have people pulling this crap every week, crying it didn't need to be cut,i had one lady complain because we skipped her one week her grass was short but the weeds were sticking up, told her we will cut every week unless she calls, haven't heard from her yet. We've been getting at least 2 good rains every week except 1 or 2 since April so they can't skip too much, last year was a drought and very bad for people pulling this.
I don't have a problem with this when the season is coming to an end and the grass is about done growing. When our customers do this mid stream, we tell them if it takes longer we charge on an hourly rate. They soon find that weekly mowing programs are much cheaper.
08-11-2000, 09:00 AM
I just cut a lawn yesterday that the customer changed to a 10 day schedule. We have had about 8" of rain over the past two weeks. The grass in some areas was knee high, I needed a combine instead of a 12.5 hp Kawasaki on a 36" Toro walk behind. I need to make clear to my customers that change to a 10 or 14 day schedule,that in the event of heavy rains or extended rains that I will make the call to go back to a weekly schedule when needed. Either that or charge like Gene and go to an Hourly rate. Although I was impressed with what my 36" was cutting thru - it would be in both parties intrest to have cut the grass a few days earlier.
[Edited by DBALLARD on 08-11-2000 at 12:04 PM]
AGG Lawn Maintenance
08-11-2000, 09:33 AM
It seems that old people are good for that. "Don't mow it this week maybe next week". I have one lady I cut on Mondays call me every other weekend and say don't cut it this week. If it's dry I don't cut but if its growing then we cut. I skipped one week for her so she can see how long it gets. Now she wants it every week. My advice is let them see how it clumps up and tell them you can only cut it one time if you have to cut it two times you will have to charge them for it. It's one thing if you have to cut twice because of rain but if its because they didn't want it cut charge them for it. Travis AG&G Lawn Maintenance
08-11-2000, 01:55 PM
I want to re-emphasize what Bill (THE LAWN GUY) Said in his reply.
YOUR CUSTOMERS DON'T CHANGE THEIR SCHEDUELE YOU DO!!!! If your not on a written agreement with them, this can turn into a battle, but remember who's business it is!!! You may have to put your fot down and refuse to move it to a two week scheduele, and explain the resons.
But I think the best way to deal with this problem is this.
(YOU)Mr. soandso customer, I'll charge you $30 per week for your lawn.
(CUSTOMER) Oh, well can you cut it every other week.
(YOU) Sure I can, no problem that will be $60 every other week.
Your doing twice the work, why not get paid twice the ammount??? You can be making that ammount if you were on a profitable account, why not put your foot down and start choosing your customer base??
08-12-2000, 02:15 AM
I agree with both the lawnguy and guido.I don't do this full time,so scheduling with the rain in the NE is tough.I basically spelled it out to my customers while landing the account-weekly cuts while it's growing.They had no problem with this,although now with all the rain they could actually be cut every 5 days!Had a lady ask me to cut her lawn because her prior service went awol.Did the lawn and she was quite happy-could I pick her up? Told her okay,cuts weekly while it's growing.She said she would rather have it cut VERY short, every other week. Then told me a kid down the street did it this way. Told her to give him a call, thanks and goodbye.
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