charge without telling them?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    i just sent out my billing. my clients who are on a "per cut" billing system, all got a "debris" surcharge added to each cut, for the last 2 weeks of october. most were only $10 a week, but some, as high as $50. here is what may cause a problem: contracts changed in wording around mid may. the old contracts had nothing concerning a debris surcharge, the new ones did in fact adress the issue of an extra fee for debris on lawn, such as the leaves that have been dropping. well, i'm not going to knock on each door when i arrive, and forwarn each client that todays visit will be extra due to the debris on the lawn, nor, am i going to call them. i think they most certainly should expect to pay extra for the grasscut, if there are branches and leaves on the lawn. i added the surcharges, and will hold firm if the complaints come in. will they pay without questioning it? or, will i once again be forced to use strongarm collection tactics? i did roughly 1/3 of my billing today(30). i bet all but 3 will pay, without questioning it. opinions?
     
  2. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    explain more on the old and new contract situation bobby. If the new contracts say a debris charge, then you are right in charging a debri charge. But if people did not receive or sign the new contract, and the old one said nothing about additional charges, then you can not charge under the old contract
     
  3. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    well, the way i see it, i had a choice. #1- mow and leave crap all over the lawn. or #2- tripple cut therefor mulching the leaves, for an extra few bucks. or #3- drive away, and tell them to clean the place, b4 i mow, and charge them for the trip over.
     
  4. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    Do you think that you would lose customers over this bobby?

    When not call up the customers and tell them about the situation. If they complain about the price then just tell them, "ok, your lawn will look like crap then." I guess that it all comes down to the contract. That is why I have in my contracts that if I run into situations like this I charge additional fees.
     
  5. hole in one lco

    hole in one lco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,793

    My contract states that leaves are extra and will be billed hourly. If you don't wont the charge they better be gown when i get their on your cutting day .
     
  6. sailinstud420

    sailinstud420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 343

    what do you guys bill for leaves (hourly) ?? Do you add this on top of what the clients are already paying for lawn care?
     
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Man now I might give new customers H3ll so to speak... Really I'm not a bad guy but the comedians and the jokers and the gimme-something-for-nothings are out there a dime a dozen and idunreallygiveaf about any of them. 9 out of 10 prospective clients are just not for me, is another way to say it and I have no problem wasting NO time with them. I am short, to the point, and outta there before they realize, THIS guy really does NOT need us!

    But from time to time I run into a good-to-perfect match. My senses tell me there is nothing wrong here, nobody is trying to get over on me or get a better price than they should pay or any of the bunch of day-to-day bs I run into with most new callers. That is the kind becomes a regular customer BUT it is their choice as well. This is called weeding out the bad apples and both myself AND my customers DO it, to be quite blunt.

    For these reasons, I find GOOD regular customers are HARD to come by but once I got me a bunch, doesn't matter if it's 10 or 50, the regular customer comes first and foremost and is worth their body weight in 18k white gold!

    The regular customer pays on time, everytime. 200 dollars in non-payment issues this year, and I WOULD've gone after it but I get tired of that as well...
    ALL of those came from new folks where had I listened to the bells ringing in my head, I COULD'VE seen it coming! None of those non-payers are with me now, I did lose a few this way and that, but overall out of the original 56 or so, I got 48 or so left at the end of the year. Is that so bad? ahhhh .... maybe I lost 2 or 3 I shouldn't have... ok...

    Other than that, I get a few hairs up the arse here and there a slight emergency and sometimes a pita job... But it spreads out, everybody has those things, it's not ONE customer doing me, they ALL have their issues and SO DO I !!! So if THEY can tolerate ME when I get you-know-how-I-get, you bet your @$$ I tolerate some solid crap in return as well.

    I would NEVER charge extra to a whole bunch with that the-devil-may-care attitude AND not at least asking if it would be ok. I do what I got to do, if it takes longer, so be it... There are times (like in summer) when I'm In and Out of there in HALF the time they're paying for so gee if it takes a LITTLE bit longer in the fall cauz a few leaves have fallen, BIG DEAL !

    Some guys on here act like this Leaf situation is unreal... Well y'all ain't seen SCHITT yet!!! The leaves haven't even STARTED to fall right so if you think THIS is bad, you got something else coming in a few more days, week or two at the most. I suggest taking care of this tiny bit of early-bird leaves and suck it up, THEN when the leaves REALLY start to come DOWN, you can talk about some clean-up stuff and what-have-you.
     
  8. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    Topsites...you say you are short and to the point...c'mon man have you read your own posts?? :D

    Bobby get that shovel sharpened and warmed up.
     
  9. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,413

    how do you change the rules in the middle of the game if they are under a contract ? if they didnt sign the new contract then you dont have a leg to stand on . you can remove debris without telling them but if they didnt want it done or dont want to pay then you just did it for free.
     
  10. sailinstud420

    sailinstud420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 343

    I still would like to see what some of you guys do for an hourly rate for cleanups. I bill for 8 months, (april through November) and I give them one cut in November as part of the contract, however, I give them just what I said, a cut, not a cleanup. So if they want leaves sucked up they are paying extra. How do you guys work this out? I will admit, throughout october, (this season) I picked up leaves for free, they are late coming down this year and it wasnt much extra work to pick em up. I cut once without the catcher, than went back a second time (I usually double cut anyways) and picked up the leaves. let me know. bobby you are the man.
     

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