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bobbygedd
12-16-2004, 03:12 PM
what is the procedure here? no bashing, no bickering, i need answers. we have a client who we service on a regular basis. there is a 150 ft long hedge on each side of the property. not even sure what kind. it's decidious, i think it's refered to as "privot." now, in the past, there would be tons of leaves that get into the hedge line . we simply went onto the neighbors side, and blew the leaves onto our clients lawn, and sucked them up. here's the problem. from the last time we were there, to now, the client had a solid white plastic fence put up. this eliminates the possibility of blowing from the neighbors side. the fence was put up right against the hedge, there is no room to get between the fence and hedge, and blow the leaves out. the only way to get this clean, was to get on our knees, and crawl like reptiles and hand pick the stuff. this added easily over an hour (2 man hrs) to the time of the cleanup. do you approach the client, and tell him you need more $$? do you say screw it and dew it? do u expect a cookie, and a patt on the head for your extra effort? thank you in advance

rodfather
12-16-2004, 03:25 PM
I would explain to the customer how you did the leaves prior to the fence being there and now what the situation is like. Document with them the additional hours it now takes to do the same job as before.

I'm sure they can see your additional effort bobby even with out mentioning being on your hands and knees. Good luck...btw, the extra $$$ will buy me all the cookies I need for the time being.

out4now
12-16-2004, 03:38 PM
I think you should go with what rodfather said. They've really created an obstacle for you. Guess those leaves will be considered mulch now. If they really want them out you'd have to charge more.

brinlee lawn
12-16-2004, 04:28 PM
Yeah no doubt I think you have to charge more, time is money

Turfdude
12-16-2004, 04:36 PM
there would be tons of leaves that get into the hedge line . we simply went onto the neighbors side, and blew the leaves onto our clients lawn, and sucked them up.


Wow, stand back ... BG does do some things the right way - kudos


Now In this case, if you gave a quote for clean-up and were not informed about the fence install and you were faced w/ additional time for the clean-up why yes, by all means, charge for your time. Actually in your case for effort since you don't charge hourly :D .

YardPro
12-16-2004, 05:00 PM
of course charge them.

launboy
12-16-2004, 05:04 PM
charge more. its like going to house with a huge back yard. usually you just take the 52in. ztr back there and burn it out in 25 min. Next week you go back; new fence so the pooch won't run away and a gate that is 38in. The 36in mower takes 45-50min. and you have to walk.
That yard is going up, why ? more time to cut and more physical labor=$$$

bobbygedd
12-16-2004, 05:08 PM
Wow, stand back ... BG does do some things the right way - kudos


Now In this case, if you gave a quote for clean-up and were not informed about the fence install and you were faced w/ additional time for the clean-up why yes, by all means, charge for your time. Actually in your case for effort since you don't charge hourly :D .
ok, ok. now, SUPPOSE, i made the trip there, saw the new fence, realized it was much more time consuming, customer wasn't home. NOW, do i do the work, and charge him extra, OR, do i leave, and reschedule. if i reschedule, it means i have to charge a sevice fee for the "dead" trip over there today. please advise

rodfather
12-16-2004, 05:11 PM
Reschedule without the dead trip surcharge. Period

brinlee lawn
12-16-2004, 05:12 PM
Yeah forget the dead trip

launboy
12-16-2004, 05:15 PM
do the work and the explain the increased bill. it really shouldnt be all that of an increase, besides its a justifyable increase. Another thing you said all of your accounts are within 3 mile radius of your home, is that 3 mile drive really going to cost you.

bobbygedd
12-16-2004, 05:21 PM
forget the trip? i wonder if my employee will forget his pay? or the gas station will reimburse me for the fuel i burned. or the overhead came to a screaching hault, because he failed to notify me. what about the "stop fee"? time is money, right? i'm confused :dizzy:

YardPro
12-16-2004, 05:28 PM
ok, ok. now, SUPPOSE, i made the trip there, saw the new fence, realized it was much more time consuming, customer wasn't home. NOW, do i do the work, and charge him extra, OR, do i leave, and reschedule. if i reschedule, it means i have to charge a sevice fee for the "dead" trip over there today. please advise

if it is a repeat customer, do the work and then present the bill. just tell them that it is more due to the neighbor's fence.

launboy
12-16-2004, 05:33 PM
ok you see the fence, think to yourself about the situation(say 5 min) if you don't want to do it go to the next house, that is if your week is planned out.
you wasted 5 min. your employee 5 min and 3 mi of gas. how much would that cost you. im not starting a fight just want to know why it cost so much to move on to the next house and come back at the end of the week. as long as nothing else goes wrong your following weeks clients will not be effected and your current weeks clients will just have it done earlier.

YardPro
12-16-2004, 05:34 PM
good point launboy

launboy
12-16-2004, 05:38 PM
sorry i meant to say NOT starting a fight my mistake

richard coffman
12-16-2004, 05:40 PM
forget the trip? i wonder if my employee will forget his pay? or the gas station will reimburse me for the fuel i burned. or the overhead came to a screaching hault, because he failed to notify me. what about the "stop fee"? time is money, right? i'm confused :dizzy:

time is money Bobby, you didn't exspect this to happen, extra time was needed for the job. but what i can say is that even thou you've done this yard in the past, I would have still checked it all out before i did it. customers change things around, there have been times when i didn't exspect obsticals to get in my way, but i still had to deal with it. I never charged a customer extra due to poor planning on my part. It's lessons like this that make us smarter with our businesses.I'm not putting you down, I'm sure I've made the same mistake before.

Respectfully,

Richard/Owner :D :D :D

bobbygedd
12-16-2004, 05:42 PM
"poor planning?" i was there 3 weeks ago!!!!!!! there was no fence!!!!!

launboy
12-16-2004, 05:45 PM
3 weeks is along time. why didn't the client tell you about the fence.

YardPro
12-16-2004, 05:46 PM
i thought you did not clean up leaves after dec 15 th????

bobbygedd
12-16-2004, 05:47 PM
someone tell yardbird i can't see anything he's typing. thank you

coastallandscapesolutions
12-16-2004, 05:49 PM
I would explain to the customer how you did the leaves prior to the fence being there and now what the situation is like. Document with them the additional hours it now takes to do the same job as before.

I'm sure they can see your additional effort bobby even with out mentioning being on your hands and knees. Good luck...btw, the extra $$$ will buy me all the cookies I need for the time being.


Great Answer!!!!

coastallandscapesolutions
12-16-2004, 05:51 PM
ok, ok. now, SUPPOSE, i made the trip there, saw the new fence, realized it was much more time consuming, customer wasn't home. NOW, do i do the work, and charge him extra, OR, do i leave, and reschedule. if i reschedule, it means i have to charge a sevice fee for the "dead" trip over there today. please advise


That is a tuff one. If it is a long standing customer I would go ahead and do it becuase we have a solid relationship with them... they would be ok with it. However, if it is someone new... I would call them and speak to them first before doing the job. As you know, none of us work for free or to lose money. I would rather not do the job then to lose money or break even.

coastallandscapesolutions
12-16-2004, 05:53 PM
forget the trip? i wonder if my employee will forget his pay? or the gas station will reimburse me for the fuel i burned. or the overhead came to a screaching hault, because he failed to notify me. what about the "stop fee"? time is money, right? i'm confused :dizzy:

This is well taught in business schools and from accountants. It is called "the cost of doing business".

oldturf
12-16-2004, 05:55 PM
Go ahead, do the job, charge a reasonable amount for the obvious extra work, explain on the invoice and chances are, no problem. If it becomes a problem, handle it at that time. Easy!

richard coffman
12-16-2004, 05:59 PM
That is a tuff one. If it is a long standing customer I would go ahead and do it becuase we have a solid relationship with them... they would be ok with it. However, if it is someone new... I would call them and speak to them first before doing the job. As you know, none of us work for free or to lose money. I would rather not do the job then to lose money or break even.

Bobby,
even the day before i do the job, i still will go out to the site and make sure everything is as i have planned it to be. yes it costes me time and gas money but as i've learned, it's better to be prepared than not. Just tryin to help you out. Didn't say you we're a poor planner or anything like that, not my business to put others down.

Respectfully,

Richard/Owner :D :D :D :D

bobbygedd
12-16-2004, 06:18 PM
ah richard, ya know i love ya buddy, but that is a bit insane, making one trip to "investigate the site", and another to do the work. we are talkin lawn/leaf maint here. how do u justify the costs of the extra trips? charge them for "pre job" viewing?

YardPro
12-16-2004, 06:23 PM
why all the drama??
did you already give them a price without looking at it???
or is it just a repeat from last year.
it it's a regular customer, do the job and charge appropriately.

richard coffman
12-16-2004, 06:27 PM
When i bid for a job, I'll have that allready figured in, i don't tell the customer that, all they see is the finall bill. I probably don't do as much work as you do bobby, so I got extra time to make sure I've got all my ducks in order. I'm solo and don't have the overhead with having 2 employees as you do, even thou here in the future, I'll need to hire someone.
This i do under landscape maintenance. There is no need for me to do a checkup for mowing or fertilizing. I'll call the customer the night before and make sure they have there gates unlocked and pets are put away in a kennel or indoors.

Ric
12-16-2004, 07:30 PM
BooBy

Everyone is making a big deal out of nothing. A change in the hardscape calls for a change in the greenscape.

Just talk to the customer about making a mulch bed under the hedge row. Charge him a one time landscape fee and continue to cut the yard at the same price without having to take the time to blow out the hedges. Once a year when you do leaf clean up refresh the beds with mulched leaves and you and the customer will be both happy because he is pay no more money. You are making more because you are spending less time.

All this talk about charging more is a good way to loose a good customer to the guy cutting next door. Customer are looking for professionalism and solving a small problem like this one is professionalism. Customer are just like you, they are willing to pay for quality work, but there comes a point that it is more than their budget. You must look at your service from the customers point of view. Is it worth what I am paying for.

Lux Lawn
12-16-2004, 07:56 PM
Reschedule without the dead trip surcharge. Period

I agree with Rodfather don't charge them for a trip charge and tell them you came buy to do the clean-up and noticed the fence and wanted to speak with them before any work was performed because you need to charge a little extra for your time.