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View Full Version : Can we talk about this Bill please?


grasssin
08-30-2004, 02:07 AM
Long and short of job done:

Starts out with cleanup of property, could not even see the azaleas that were 15' tall because of wisteria. Charged $750.

Customer says "That looks so much better, could you install edging and landscape fabric in front garden followed by cypress mulch?

WOW that looks incredible!!!!
Could you do the side yard where there is ivy growing that you just cleaned out?

No asking of price.

WOW that looks outstanding, I cannot believe how good it looks, could you do the front by the mailbox and the little side gargden?

Yes Ma'am, by the way I am going to drop an estimated bill by tonight all right?

Tonight: Got a call from her wanting to meet with me about it tomorrow, cannot believe how the bill went from $750 to $5000.

Materials Alone: 22 yards of bagged Cypress Mulch: $850
Metal Edging:$$355
Fabric:$450
Misc: $300

Total:$1955 without labor involved!!!

And to remove ivy by hand is a B@@@ worse than the orginal cleanup ....

GrazerZ
08-30-2004, 09:51 AM
First is your bill itemized? if not do that for her, be very detailed. Second don't ever in the future just do the work without telling them that it will be more money, at least say it will be time plus materials. Third, if you did the work and can prove it with hard numbers, stick to your guns. Maybe offer to break it into two payments.

Ken Kesey
08-30-2004, 10:22 AM
Dear Scrub,

Why did you not inform your customer of the price throughout the project?

22 yards of bagged mulch? You should always buy in bulk if at all possible.

You knew your customer didn't ask for a price, and you didn't bother to inform her and keep her up to date.

That's always a huge mistake.

Take it from any number of similar posts here and see why these guys are coming up short on getting their money due to examples just like this.

Even though you may not have had a contract (I'm assuming you didn't or there would not be this problem) you still could have written down an outline and given here a ballpark estimate as the projects were added on.

If you don't get the money you bill for then you deserve not to get it.

Same old song and dance.

This MB needs a topic called, "I got burned because I'm a scrub"

grasssin
08-30-2004, 10:56 AM
Hey Ken

1st off jack, no one sells BULK cypress any where near me, I am talking the nearest place to deliver is 75 miles away. I said that in the first post.

2nd off that is what I have just done, I am only half way through the project and gave her an estimate bill to give her an idea of what to expect in a few days. SHe keeps coming out and likes what I am doing,so she keeps adding more and more. SO to cover my butt, NOT LIKE A F**** scrub I gave her a itemized bill for her to look at. To give her an idea of what this is going to cost.

3Rd Before you start looking down your nose at me why dont you just shut the F$$$up. I have kept her up to date on everything that was going on, and you have pissed me off so much I cannot even talk.

I am going to attend college classes right now, something you probably no nothing about do you ken?

At least if you do you skipped over ethics then...

Ken Kesey
08-30-2004, 11:07 AM
"Tonight: Got a call from her wanting to meet with me about it tomorrow, cannot believe how the bill went from $750 to $5000."

From $750 to $5,000 is a big jump that she obviously didn't count on from what you said.

I'm just going on the info you posted.

Do you have a contract with this customer?

I'm betting no.

Please don't get your panties in a wad or be late to class over little old me.







Oh, and don't forget your #2 pencil.

grasssin
08-30-2004, 11:13 AM
First I hate school, taking forever to get out.

Second no I do not have a contract with her but I have kept her up to date on the materials I have needed and the problem with bulk mulch.

I am just saying in her eyes she doesnt see how a simple little cleanup of her property that cost her $750 could balloon into that . I have told her I have spent $1800 on materials so far and she was fine with that. I dont know what she wants. If she doesnt agree to the bill I am stopping where I am and getting compensated for work already done.

Ken Kesey
08-30-2004, 11:26 AM
Keep an open line of communication with her.

Don't show her your invoices but make her one that is detailed with material marked up and labor separated.

You'll be smart if you don't work any more without getting paid for what you've done already.

With a contract, you can spell out specifically the price for the service and have it in writing. That way there is no blood loss or tears on either side.

Also, she can make a deposit payment to you so you can fund the job with her money, not yours.

Then as the work is completed more payments will come with everyone on the same page.

If she decided to not pay you for work completed then you can look up the contract and say this is what you agreed to, pay me or I'll else. (That part up to you).

Coffeecraver
08-30-2004, 05:22 PM
I would not itemize the bill anymore than this.

The bill may look like this:

1) install edging and landscape fabric in front garden followed by cypress mulch?
2)do the side yard where there is ivy growing that you just cleaned out?
3)do the front by the mailbox and the little side garden?

$2932.50
Materials Cypress Mulch:
Metal Edging:
Fabric:
Misc:
Total:$1955

Grand Total= 4,887.50
1/3 down or materials which ever is higher = 1955.00
Balance upon compleation = 2932.50

all add-ons will be on a signed contract

grasssin
08-30-2004, 11:34 PM
it actually looked liked this, and yes ken walked away with a $2,000 check. After talking with her and explaining to her my process and such, she wanted to add more on the backside of the house now....here is the invoice:

grasssin
08-30-2004, 11:35 PM
and I know having had my balls busted already, there was no way I could talk her out of putting landscape fabric down. So I go along with the phrase "the customer is always right"

baddboygeorge
10-20-2004, 11:09 PM
Should Have Done A Change Of Contract Everytime She Wanted More Work . Then You Have Some Grounds To Stand On .

Avery
10-20-2004, 11:23 PM
Yep. Always give a written estimate up front and get a signed change order on any variance. But you have probably learned that by now. :)

fcl01
10-21-2004, 12:00 AM
grassin----
i think you know now what to do and not to do so i wont post about your question.

however, i will say this,
Ken, this guy did not deserve to be called a scrub. that was a little harsh.
you gave good information but you didnt have to be a di*k about it. so heres a ding for ya.

Dan

tom9054
10-22-2004, 01:21 AM
Maybe you said this was just a sample bill, I didn't check back.
I was curious on the price of the fabric?
I'm getting .31 sq. ft. installed.

I notice your prices are any where from .08 - .22.

I guess different widths are priced, well, differently. But is it worth the time to break them all down or easier for 1 flat rate?

Hey, just sign me as a scrub wannabe ! :pumpkin:

Coffeecraver
10-22-2004, 06:30 AM
it actually looked liked this, and yes ken walked away with a $2,000 check. After talking with her and explaining to her my process and such, she wanted to add more on the backside of the house now....here is the invoice:

That estimate is too detailed.
Breaking into the sections as you did is ok but just put the total of each section,not the total break down.

Example:

Misc Items
3 bottles of roundup
3 bottles of Ortho Stump
5 bottles of Preen
12 bags of gravel
Total 380.00

3 bottles of roundup? don't you buy concentrate?
'''''''''''''''''''''''''' Ortho Stump seems like alot

oneandonlyjojo
10-25-2004, 12:45 AM
no offense and not trying to start anything jumping from $750 tp $5000 without asking her. wat is that 600% increase or something. even if she was a millionaire thats still something u need to tell her

Flyscaper
11-01-2004, 03:44 PM
no offense and not trying to start anything for jumping from $750 tp $5000 without asking her. wat is that 600% increase or something. even if she was a millionaire thats still something u need to tell her


Thats the way to respond to a somebody who's looking for advice. You and Ken both have no class what so ever. There is no need say something like that. Its nice to know when a guy in the industry (that we all represent) has a serious question he gets called names buy you two clowns. I don't understand the need to put somebody down for a mistake he made that he is learning from.

Shaun

pema
11-03-2004, 03:36 PM
I agree with all points made about updating the customer on progress and the additional costs. Doing so is good customer service and gives the customer the chance to stop work when they reach their financial threshold.

I think, however, it is equally important for this customers to take responsibility for her part. She, by adding all the extra jobs was handing over a "blank Check". She didn't ask the important "How much more $....?" questions. This lady has been around long enough to know better.

Think about it in terms of a house painter coming to paint the trim on your house. He finishes the job and it looks great. You and I wouldn't say "Hay! Great job, while you're here, paint the rest of the house". Most of us would ask "How Much to paint the rest of the house." Why should lawn care professionals be any different than other service providers? I have had it happen to me and have read post after post on this site from lawn care professionals being taken by customers even when they know up front what the cost is going to be.

Tell her to PAY THE BILL IN FULL! or take her to court. No discussion No Discount.

YardPro
11-12-2004, 08:19 PM
Dear Scrub,

Why did you not inform your customer of the price throughout the project?

22 yards of bagged mulch? You should always buy in bulk if at all possible.

You knew your customer didn't ask for a price, and you didn't bother to inform her and keep her up to date.

That's always a huge mistake.

Take it from any number of similar posts here and see why these guys are coming up short on getting their money due to examples just like this.

Even though you may not have had a contract (I'm assuming you didn't or there would not be this problem) you still could have written down an outline and given here a ballpark estimate as the projects were added on.

If you don't get the money you bill for then you deserve not to get it.

Same old song and dance.

This MB needs a topic called, "I got burned because I'm a scrub"

boy what a jerk
mabey this place needs a topic called " bitter, cranky jerks that need to vent"

as far as bulk vs bag
we and many others ( do some research) anve done time studied. bagged mulch more than saved the added material price in the labor it saves.

we can double out yards/ hr with bagged. not only is it easier to transport, but there is no cleanup. it is also much more accurate on the volume count, and if you have some leftover you take it to your shop and save it for the next customer.
there is no cleanup etc. that cuts into the yard/hr of bulk.

we have alot of customers that add to the original scope of work. we rarely have any problems at all.

bah humbug!!!!!!!