View Full Version : The pita factor

01-16-2004, 05:15 PM
I had one client from last year who constantly griped about everything.... a real pita ( she was elderly) so at the end of season i told her she needed to find someone else to do her lawn. Basicly i fired her , well she called this week and begged me to put her on the route again this year and being the softy that i am i agreed with one minor change that being i was raising her rate by 30 % and add to that the pita surcharge of 10 % more and she agreed :confused: Didnt really want her back but just threw the numbers at her and she bought it, well guess i will just have to never take the peltors off when mowing her lawn .This is now a 35.00 lawn for 20 min work :)

01-16-2004, 06:16 PM
Probably should have been that from the beginning.

01-16-2004, 06:28 PM
Or more....

01-16-2004, 07:29 PM
You think she complained at $20, she'll drive you even more crazy now that she's paying more. Just the nature of the beast.

01-16-2004, 09:34 PM
whats a pita? i havnt been on this site since hearing eric elm died. So i guess im a little behind on the times.

01-16-2004, 09:44 PM
Pain in the $ss.

01-16-2004, 10:45 PM
You guys down on the coast of north carolina must get alot more than we do up here in cornfield country because thats better than a dollar a min now . I try to avg a dollar a min and cant seem to get much more than that , maybe if i was around a big city yes or out in jersey but not out in rural indiana , fsm whats your avg seeing you are up here in indiana ?

01-16-2004, 10:58 PM
$ per minute rule can be skewed if you are talking about small accounts. The minimum rule comes into effect. I have some cupcake accounts that take me 15 minutes and I get my minimum, $30. Yes that equals $120/hr but that's not my average rate. Minimums can carry those larger accounts where you are there for 2 hours and get $100.

01-17-2004, 12:24 AM
When I was younger I worked down the jersey shore during the summer in a sub shop. When the vacationers came down their were ones you wanted to throw through the wall b/c they were so downright rude. So, we decided to charge "a$$hole tax" for certain pita customers. We'd accidentally ring up another item or overcharge them a few bucks just for being so rude.

I guess you could call what you did "pita tax." I like that and should use that for one of my customers.

01-17-2004, 08:11 AM
Hereís some residential lawns I have had/currently have:
17 min. $25
22 min. $27.95
20-25 min. $32
25 min $25 (using 21Ē on that one itís so small and cluttered)
40 min. $37.95
35 min. $40
20 min. $25
20-25 min. $25
30 min. $25 (on a good day itís 30 min, sometimes alittle less)
30-35 min. $40

When giving them a price on one I try to shoot for $1 a minute on site, that way after my travel time Iím around $45/hr which is where I want to be for a 52Ē w/b and sulky, solo 16 year old. Works for me. Some I made more on, some less but I did end up with about $45-47/hr after travel most of the time. Some of them are a little bit cheaper because they were close to another (not side by side but only a couple blocks away) or because they were easy ones or I felt like the person needed a small discount as bad as they needed the lawn mowed. Some of them are a little bit higher because that customer either told or gave me the impression that they would pay alittle more than they had been if I in turn provided them with better service. I lost several of those accounts because people moved, one couple finished college and were able to do it themselves, one had too many medical bills, etc.

01-17-2004, 09:01 AM
No matter how small $50.00 starting rate will not unload for less
that kepts the pita at bay they don't bother you they don't want there money at work to go to waste.

01-17-2004, 10:46 AM
Ahh I see! Well PITA customers go way above 50.00 per service for sure! We had a guy that no matter what we did he was not happy with us, this was a 7440.00 a month service at a senior rec center. So needless to say we didnt retain a new contract! Turns out the new company is having the same problem only worse! so now that i know what PITA means im gonna use that alot!

Critical Care
01-17-2004, 11:46 AM
I think that what really gets me are clients that are too critical of your work and who want everything absolutely perfect, yet at the same time ignore or fail to see that they are too lazy to pick up after their own dogs. So here you have what would be a wonderful looking place but instead is nothing more than a minefield. Oye vey!

01-17-2004, 12:37 PM
Originally posted by FrankenScagMachines
Hereís some residential lawns I have had/currently have:
22 min. $27.95

Eric, how did you arrive at this price? Why not $27 or $28?

01-17-2004, 01:11 PM
Bob there was a thread this week about this very same thing on pricing, i think the just of it was you can squeeze a little more cash out of them because all they see is the 27 dollars fig at about 30 cuts a year here if you can get another 28.50 out of them per year times this by say 50 accounts and you get almost another 1500.00 dollars per year . just a little more pocket change

01-17-2004, 04:44 PM
While estimating your time, property layout so forth, size up your customer as well.

We had a referral last year to a neighbor across the street. I really wanted another account with the one I had. The wife was walking the property and I just listened as she described everything in detail, complaining about the previous LCO at every oppurtunity, explaining how they always seemed to 'miss some pine cones or how they would not hose off the pool patio if it had dirt from rain or something'...she felt it was unfair that her price was higher than the neighbors, but I explained I had to add the PITA variable into her price quote.

01-17-2004, 08:22 PM
I second the "Pita at $20, bigger Pita at $35" sentiment. I'd give her a chance, but if she maintains the PITA attitude I'd give her the boot.

Where in IN are you?


01-17-2004, 09:12 PM
Originally posted by bob
Eric, how did you arrive at this price? Why not $27 or $28?
Well Bob, the lady owns her own business and told me she was paying $25 but was alittle unhappy with her guy. I figured out that she would be willing to pay alittle more than she had been but that $30 might be stretching it. I thought $25 would have been fair but if she wants to pay alittle more thatís great, I can always use alittle more money. So I put it at $27.95 because thatís right between $25 & 30. Sheís been very happy with us and sheís been a great customer, never complains or nothing. Generally donít hear from her but the money is always there. Very happy with her and hope she stays on this coming season as well.

01-17-2004, 11:09 PM
grassbuster .... we are up here in the muncie area not to far from you at all. We venture down to indy to eat out once in a while .I met a guy a while back who has a lco in indy... Its called Hoosier LawnPro and he runs the Carmel area i believe where there are major dollars$$$$$$$$$