Register free!

The Green Industry's Resource Center

Thread Tools   Display Modes
Old 01-25-2000, 09:44 AM
NateinAtl NateinAtl is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 121
I have a question for the gurus. We recently had an ice storm here in Atlanta. Because of this, one of my customers has a bunch of limbs fall in here lawn. Here's the kicker. I'm scheduled to be at her house tomorow for a "normal visit"--Clean up, blowing, trimming. What should I do about charging her? Do I just bite the bullet and treat it as part of the normal visit? Or do I charge her a more for the extra work that I will need to do? What is considered ethical? Thanks a bunch. But the way, it sounds as if there will an extra hour of labor, and I charge her $35 per visit under normal circumstances.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2000, 10:42 AM
geogunn's Avatar
geogunn geogunn is offline
LawnSite Gold Member
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: TN
Posts: 3,049
nate--I suggest that if the lawn is littered with limbs from the storm you are justified to ask for an additional charge because of the extra time for the clean up above what a normal clean up is. if it's just a few limbs, you should probably eat it, but, let her know that you did the extra work as a courtesy. if you have to break out more equipment, like a chain saw, then it should be a definite extra charge. what about your cost for disposal? this response assumes, of course, that your agreement with her doesn't include the unexpected.<p>as for the extra cost to her, before you start, discuss it with her. if the storm clean up is going to double the time of the clean up the double the cost of the job.<p>I think the larger operators on the forum will probably disagree with my logic on this, but there is room here for everyone's opinion.<p>good luck.<p>GEO
Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2000, 11:24 AM
AandB AandB is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Houston
Posts: 17
I agree with GEO 100%. We are not in business to give away services--unless it is something very minor. Customers understand that they have to pay for extras--even though they often pretend that they don't understand.<p><br><p>----------<br>A and B Lawn Services<br>
Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2000, 11:35 AM
GroundKprs GroundKprs is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: South Bend, IN
Posts: 1,969
Ditto on above 2 replies. Even on our flat rate 8 mo and 12 mo contracts, any storm cleanup over 5 min is charged extra at hourly rate for that property.<p>----------<br>Jim<br>South Bend, IN
Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2000, 11:35 AM
Keith's Avatar
Keith Keith is offline
LawnSite Gold Member
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 3,821
We have a lawn that has stuff constently falling out of the trees, so that is part of the monthly charge. We had a pretty good deal of wind during a storm a while back, and we had to go there the next day. When we got there, it was a mess, and they were there when we got there to show us the entire mess. All we did was clean up the debris, we didn't mow or anything. They gave me an extra $50 on top of the our normal charge. I didn't have to ask for more. I think most people understand this is not a normal part of your service and will understand. <br> <br>The Exception<br>Where we tend to have a lot of trouble is with customers in the summer. We have quite a few that go up north in the summer. They are not here to see the wind damage or whatever, so it is hard to find a way to get them to pay for extra services if they are not here to see what it looked like. Actually that same customer I mentioned before went to North Carolina for a few weeks during the summer one year. We had a large thunderstorm with a lot of wind while they were gone. They arrived home on a Thursday, we go on a Friday. When we got there the guy asked &quot;what did you do while we were gone?&quot; I was like &quot;what do you mean?&quot; He said, &quot;it doesn't look like you did anything the four weeks we were gone.&quot; He thought the stuff had accumulated over the month because he wasn't there to see it.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2000, 06:10 PM
curlawngreen curlawngreen is offline
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: central fl.
Posts: 309
I have had this problem. In my new&quot; contact &quot;<br>mother nature is covered. In my old it was not. Some old custermers understood that all those limbs would have to be picked up by someone for the regular fee, I on the other hand felt there trees should have been maintained. In the future, I will bill for <br>EXTRA clean-up.By the way some ex customers did not say thank you.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2000, 07:31 PM
HOMER HOMER is offline
LawnSite Gold Member
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Alabama the Beautiful
Posts: 3,183
Well, I guess you will have to call me an old softy! Storms are an act of GOD! There is nothing that can stop them. I have some older customers on fixed incomes. Yes, it is more work, true it takes more time and disrupts your schedules, but how can you ask an 85 year old lady to cough up 50 more $ for something she really had no control over. <p>This to me would be a case of the haves and the have nots. I would not hesitate to ask for a little more from a guy I know is making a good salary, wife works, etc. <p>I guess it all comes down to how you feel in your heart about it. Being generous at times might benefit you more than that extra few bucks in your pocket!<p>Business is business, but the ones that can do and don't have to try and sleep at night. I fall out when my head hits the pillow!<p>Homer
Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2000, 08:28 PM
yardsmith yardsmith is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Ohio
Posts: 626
many good points here- depends I guess on your background, convictions, & what others do in your area.<br>Myself, I would call first or talk to the customer when you pull up before you do any work. Come to some sort of agreement beforehand! That way, there's no &quot;what's THIS bill for?&quot; (you all know what I mean). Also, this may be a good time to get some word-of-mouth advertising out of this. You could go half & half on the costs (give a % off) due to the unexpected storm. That way you still make some thing, & your cust. feels good that you didn't use this storm as a reason to make money off them just for the heck of it. But I would try to come to an agreement, then everyone's happy, & no surprises when you hand them the bill.<br>Smitty ô¿ô
Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2000, 01:25 PM
Charles's Avatar
Charles Charles is online now
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7,316
Homer, I bet he or she gives the money they saved by not paying you for extra work to their Church. Oh well better that Jim and Tammy Faye have the money than your family. Don't be fooled by some seniors. Alot of them have more money than they have time to spend it in savings. You wouldn't know it by the way they live or poormouth or look. I have heard the fixed income speech to where I hear it in my sleep. I have one woman tell me she has to call me because she can't afford to pay me regurally. Most of the time she forgets until it gets knee deep. Or she was in Ireland on one of her many trips.<br>I charge for extra work by the hour. Because you can't never tell how much money anyone has by looking at them or listening to them. And too most of my customers are seniors. I would be working for free most of the time if I didn't charge for extra work. Everything is an act of God. The grass growing is an act of God, etc.<br>
Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2000, 02:21 PM
lawrence stone's Avatar
lawrence stone lawrence stone is offline
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: anthracite valley, commonwealth of pennsylvania Winter residence: Charlotte County FLA
Posts: 2,079
Lawn mowing and the pickup of deadwood is an act of man and if you want the man to act you have to pay him.<p>List of the worst lawn care customers <p>1. senior citizens<br>2. Condo assoc. full of seniors<br>3. Condo assoc.<br>4. slumlords<br>5. renters<br>6. cemeteries<br>7. section 8 apartments<br>8. church all faiths<br>9. any lawn less than 10,000 sq ft.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Layout Style:

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012,™ - Moose River Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:45 PM.

Page generated in 0.10825 seconds with 7 queries