Angry Client

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by raschmid07, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. raschmid07

    raschmid07 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 122

    Last year, when my company was much smaller, I typically employed one person to help me with my landscaping. Keeping in mind that I am only 17 now, my company was obviously much smaller. Last summer, I completely weeded and pine strawed a client's yard. I have always had a good relationship with this client, never having any previous problems. This spring, the same client decides that they would prefer black mulch instead of pine straw this year. The client had not touched the yard weed wise since I had cleaned it up last year, so needless to say there were plenty of weeds. Myself and two of my employees weeded the yard last week and put down 6 yards of black mulch. With a total of 7 hours on the job for the three of us, I wrote her a bill for $40 an hour for the work. Well, a day after I delivered the bill, the client leaves me a message saying that they would like to talk about the bill. When I call them back, they say that my prices are over 100% more than last year, and that the bill was unfair. I countered with the argument that it was only two workers last year compared to the three, we used more equipment this year, I have to pay taxes for my business license now, and I gave her a quote for around 6 hours of work. They still want me to bring my price down, but with no contract I don't really have much room to negotiate. What should I do regarding this situation in your opinions?
     
  2. smarino21

    smarino21 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 345

    i say it depends on the client. If it were me i would tell them no _uck you i did work for this and i get paid for this if they pay you a less amount. I would tell them no way unless its under 50 $ i would just eat it but if its over that make a big deal and say **** about court possible you can scare em a lil ya no
     
  3. smarino21

    smarino21 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 345

    i say it depends on the client. If it were me i would tell them no _uck you i did work for this and i get paid for this if they pay you a less amount. I would tell them no way unless its under 50 $ i would just eat it but if its over that make a big deal and say **** about court possible you can scare em a lil ya no
     
  4. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    Nope DEMAND payment or tell them you'll see em in court, and gosh that was cheap $280 come on for 7 hours work.

    You don't need a contract to take some one to the local authorites for non payment. Usually when they get served with the papers they know you mean business, and pay right away. If you gave them a quote they have no reason to complain.
     
  5. FSully

    FSully LawnSite Member
    Posts: 81

    $40 per man hour= $120/hr or $40 per hour for the 3 of you?


    If the latter...she got a hell of a deal and you left some money on the table. Mulch alone I would have been over $500.
     
  6. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,413

    it is cheap ,for me it is anyway .i worked for 1.5 hours yesterday on one job and made 353.00 .... different area i guess.
     
  7. agm

    agm LawnSite Member
    from NM
    Posts: 167

    I agree with everyone else. You did it for DIRT CHEAP!!!!!!!!!!!! I would definitley demand payment for the work done. And if I were you, there aint know way I would lower my price.
     
  8. raschmid07

    raschmid07 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 122

    I appreciate the opinions, and as I get into the business more and more, I realize more and more the money I leave on the table. However, can you imagine how pissed they would have been if I would have gone up to $50 an hour. Anyway, as much as I hate to do it, I think I'm going to threaten them with court if they do not pay full price. I hate to do it because they have been easy clients to deal with, adding to their kindess with plenty of work. I'll update the situation in a couple of days once it's resolved.
     
  9. southernlandscapespecial

    southernlandscapespecial LawnSite Member
    Posts: 118

    I agree with everyone else also, if you were charging only 40.00 an hour for 3 men she got one hell of a deal.. I am willing to bet she is probably filthy rich and is trying to take advantage of you. Stand your ground young man!!!
     
  10. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    I think its the way you present it. If I understand right, you have a total of 21 man hours, 3 men at 7 hours each. You should present a 13-14 per man hour rate rather than the crew hour. Also Did you make any $$ on the mulch? What about dumping fees? A good way to present bills is to unit price things then the client has to do some more math to really figure it out and they don't know your discount etc. So if you had given her a bill with 6 yards of mulch at 40.00 per yd (Don't know your costs just tossing around # for an example) and 4 hours for pulling weeds at 14.00 per hr and 15.00 dumping, oh don't forget the delivery there is another 25.00 You probably could have gotten the same amount of $$ without the hassle, maybe not. If I am doing things on the fly with no contract I always look at the bill like a consumer. How would I react to the bill? The more line items the better.
     

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