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Old 08-07-2000, 09:23 PM
lbmd1 lbmd1 is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Coastal NH
Posts: 461
Hey Bill and you other Northeast Mowers,

With the last 10 days of rain, are you guys double charging for the extra time to clean up the mess of lawns that are over a foot high? Here's my dilemma. We have 9 homes side by side that are all charged from $100-$130 a week for mowing. Their properties are quite large and normally take about 45-50 minutes to mow. They were due for cutting on the day the rain started a week ago, thus resulting in a another week's delay, causing growth of over a foot high. These same lawns now have taken over 2-3 hours apeice,to get them in the shape prior to this mess. Because we missed a mowing charge from the week before, and then spent an enormous amount of time on them this week, what would you guys charge them? I would say earlier in the year that it's the cost of doing business so when the slowdown occurs, we'd make it up, but it hasn't slowed down! Would you charge them one and a half mowings, one mowing or two? Your input would be appreciated. We have never charged an extra fee in all the years I have been doing this and would like to be in line with other cutters. Thanks!

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Old 08-07-2000, 09:33 PM
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Twotoros Twotoros is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Yakima,WA.
Posts: 494
Seems since the homeowners did not have charges from last week and you spent triple time for the work that the owners should have to pay double . Explain to them "triple time for me same charge this month for you". You eat the difference after all it is not their fault or yours Blame mom nature .
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Old 08-07-2000, 11:48 PM
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Runner Runner is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Flint, Michigan
Posts: 13,504
If I am charging by the cut, and I am not there on time, even because of the rain, that is MY problem. I do what ever it takes to make it look right for the price of the cut. You can't penalize the customer just because of bad weather. I would say cut it, do all your trimming, thus allowing the grass to dry a bit, and mulch it up! it doesn't take that long because you don't have as much detail around the perimeters, and around trees, etc. Not only that, but your only trimming once. Eventually, the customer will wise up to that. Afterall, part of what we do is KEEPING the grass looking nice. Sometimes this is unavoidable, but if you take your car through a car wash, and it doesn't even come out clean, would you expect to pay again to accomplish what should've been done the first time? Just a view on service........

Thank you, Dad - for always being the dad that you were. You truly are my hero. You always were.
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Old 08-08-2000, 12:19 AM
BRL BRL is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Somerset, NJ
Posts: 1,211
I was going to post the same question because I'v been debating it in my head every day as I try to peek over the top of the grass. Most of my mowing accounts are on the monthly payment set up, so if I missed a week on one of those I'm still getting paid for the extra time spent. But the per cut ones I was thinking about charging more. However, I agree with Runner's comments so I probably won't. I only had 5 or 6 lawns get pushed off for an extra week. The problem is the grass is growing so fast that they should really be cut every 4 days now. I've been mowing in the rain just to keep the schedule from getting more messed up, and putting off other stuff that I was going to do these past couple of weeks. Last year we had a bad drought & didn't mow for 7 - 9 weeks, which made those monthly accounts very lucrative. This year its my customer's turns to make out on that deal I guess. What goes around, comes around!
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Old 08-08-2000, 08:05 AM
eslawns eslawns is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Portsmouth, VA
Posts: 712
What are you doing that takes so long? I've been cutting jungles for two weeks, but they don't take that much longer. I don't know how you guys cut, but I just mow a bit longer, then mow, do trimming and edging while clippings dry out, then go ever the lawn again where the clumps are. Whatever the mower doesn't chop, rake up. Spend the most time on the front and where your client spends their time. That's what people will notice. Just a different way to skin the same cat.
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons. Because you are crunchy and taste like chicken.

Endless Summer Lawn Care
Portsmouth, VA
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Old 08-08-2000, 08:11 AM
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jeffyr jeffyr is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 876

I don't agree about your statement "You can't penalize the customer just because of bad weather." I don't think this is penalizing the customer....but making compensation for a more difficult job. What if you are charging by the week and there is a bad storm and you wind up picking uo branches and debris for 30 minutes prior to cutting? My argument with this is that a week was skipped. If this is the way we can work billing by doubling up, why don't we go to all our accounts by weekly and charge double ? Perhaps an extra charge for extra dumping fees would work, or 1 1/2 the normal rate. I think double will get you some flack from customers. But I am curious to see the outcome.

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Old 08-08-2000, 08:18 AM
Scraper Scraper is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: SE Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,656
If I have to double cut (which is happening a lot with my customers who insist on fertilizing themselves), I charge for the double cut. No complaints as yet! I do discount the price. For example if a full service job is $50, I would charge $30-35 for the second cut. I look at it as it took me more time than usual, so why not get more? If a plumber comes to your house to unplug a drain and the last time he was there it cost $50, this time it took him twice as long to fix the problem, do you think he'd still charge you $50 because that's what he charged last time?
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Old 08-08-2000, 08:26 AM
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lawrence stone lawrence stone is offline
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: anthracite valley, commonwealth of pennsylvania Winter residence: Charlotte County FLA
Posts: 2,079
Mike you are a fool to piss these people off!!!

You made a ton of money from those (homeowners)this season so just eat it
and go about you business to get back to a 6 day of so mowing cycle.

What would a commercial/industrial account think of you actions of demending more money over the contract (which you wrote and they agreed to).

Get all your long term accounts on a yearly total with
8 monthly billings. That way you won't get hurt by NEXT years drought.
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Old 08-08-2000, 12:02 PM
Guido Guido is offline
LawnSite Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: North Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 2,085

I'm suprised it took 9 posts until someone (Stone) brought up yearly billing. If you bill them a certain amount a month, you would have gotten paid for the week you didn't cut because of the rain. (Which equals the double price for one cut your trying to get now) This billing system really covers your a$$ because whether its the weather or another reason why you can't make a cut, you still get paid!! I think its a good idea to spread it between 12 months for mowing and add in additional services to those bills. This way if you don't get any snow, or a slow winter changing to spring, the income is always rolling in.

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Old 08-08-2000, 12:27 PM
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KirbysLawn KirbysLawn is offline
Millenium Member
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Just east of Charlotte, NC
Posts: 3,486
If you bill by the cut, charge for 2 mowings. No, the customer should not be penialized for the week of rain and you should not be either!

Bill monthly and you would not have this problem. This is a topic I got slammed on a few weeks ago by a few with some saying I was screwing myself for doing it this way and I should bill by the cut. It really suprises me that Stone is now saying bill monthly when he was saying bill by the cut?

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