Are people really this stupid???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    The longer I'm in this business, the more I continue to learn. Some people are just STUPID!

    I keep getting the same call from clients:

    Client: "Yes, this is so and so and you guys trimmed my shrubs last week. The amount you charged my credit card isn't matching up with what I'm coming up with based on the slip they left on my door. Can you help me understand the charges?"

    Me: "Yes, ma'm, let me look that up for you. Ok, here it is. Looks like we had a two man crew out there from 3:25 to 4:36 @ $36 per man-hour."

    Client: "You mean you're charging me $36 per hour on each worker?"

    Me: "Yes ma'm. It's $36 per man-hour."

    I mean, seriously, auto mechanics are getting $98 per FLAG-hour, phone company techs were getting $85/man-hour when I worked there 7 years ago.

    Are they really that stupid to think I'm gonna roll a truck to their house and GROSS $36 per hour on a two-man crew? Honestly, I can't even believe I have to answer these phone calls. It's getting harder and harder to maintain a polite tone of voice with these idiots.
  2. buttaluv

    buttaluv LawnSite Senior Member
    from MidWest
    Posts: 533

    I know what you mean...People are getting harder and harder to deal with, I don't know if it's the economy, prices of everything going up or what...but geez!!
  3. Dunn's

    Dunn's LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,546

    Thats Ok someone called us sunday and asked if they gave us $40 dolars could they borrow one of our trucks to move their stuff from one house to another. LOl and they couldn't understand why we wouldn't. Oh yeah and this was not a customer that had ever even used us before.

    Oh yeah and about theprice of things going up. yesterday I went to Vitamin world to get some whey protein powder. and the price had went up to $72.99 from $36.99. Talk about price gouging. They said it was because of the cost of milk, gas, and minimum wage rising. But none of those has risen enough to justify that kind of price hike. Get ready for a rough winter with these tactics being used by companies. To get their CEo and shareholders bigger bonuses.
  4. JFGLN

    JFGLN LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 954

    I have had trouble with this, I don't think most home-owners understand the concept of "man hours".
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    The thing I'm having a real time dealing with right now is this:

    The customers with the really nice desirable lawns, for a portion (not all, but some):
    > Tend to or can act like it is a privilege to allow us to work on it, dote on us, patronize, treat us like their slave.
    > Can act like they know way everything better, then enforce this as how it is to be done.
    > Or, they're picky, always really picky, calling 3-4 times in the 1-2 days before it's on the schedule anyhow, you know, "Hey I'm just checking to make sure you are really coming out"
    > But, their lawn looks good (usually), most of the time an above average turf, the envy of the neighborhood.

    Then, on the flipside, the customers who almost never act like that, their lawn looks like crap.
    > Never spend a dime above and beyond, it's like pulling teeth just to get 5 bucks more out of them.
    > Make a long story short, they're ok for the most part, just the lawn looks like crap, now and forever :laugh:

    Of course it's never half way between, if it looks decent but not great it's usually on its way to one or the other.

    This is very frustrating for me, I am having a very hard time accepting this as just an inevitable part of the yin and yang of things.
  6. grasswhacker

    grasswhacker LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,873

    Then stop giving hourly rates and # of hours and just quote the job. I would never let the customer know what I charge per hour, never.
  7. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,378


    You mention hourly rates here and the customer imediately compares their $15 hour pay to your hourly pay per man hour. You want to avoid that at all costs.
  8. OSCLandscaping

    OSCLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60

    Why would you not want your customer to know what you charge, when I am on the other side, thats one of the first things I want to know. I do agree on giving them a quote instead of hourly price but I would never hesitate to let them know my hourly charge.
  9. mag360

    mag360 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,446

    DFW has built his company (modeled after justmowit's) to be the McDonalds of lawn care. Setting basic pricing standards allows the company to do much more work without the owner continuously running around on estimates (wild goose chase). That $36 per hour is a little on the low side for most of us but it doesn't require any unbillable hours by the owner (other than the occasional phone call).
  10. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    Ah, I've been absent somewhat for a while, and come back to one of DFW's refreshing anti-customer rants....

    Maybe YOU are crazy to think that every customer should understand what you mean when you say man-hour.

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