customers trying to wheel and deal?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by sodgod, Apr 29, 2005.

  1. sodgod

    sodgod LawnSite Member
    Posts: 107

    I am trying to take on more mowing accounts like ussual. but i'm doing it to thin out the ones that arn't making me any money. twice this year i have had customers say well i'll pay you 20 this week for mowing and then 15 the next. This lady asked me las night and i said i can't do that...i'll be paying her to do the lawn. It should be a 20-25 to begin with. has anyone had this problem? Some people just don't understand the cost in running all equipment and man hours.
  2. grasswhacker

    grasswhacker LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,873

    They start dealing , I start wheeling............right down the road.
  3. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,781

    I have that a few times each year. We do a number of condo units - the old lady ask not to mow her back yard b/c ............ ok, after that we don't do it and ready to leave, she ask that will be cheaper right? I or crew guys tell NO, more hassle to go around your backyard then to actually mow it. In fact had one yesterday!
  4. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    I don't deal. I know exactly what my costs are. I know exactly what I have to make. I give a fair price. Not a penny less. No negotiation. Its a take it or leave it offer.
    Although, I did on a few occasions go up. That will be $40 per week. I'll give you $35. I'll take $45 per week now. WHAT???
    Then I explain to them the reality of contracts. See when you counter offer, you make the first offer I made invalid. The new offer(counter offer) is the only legit offer. The first one I gave is now been declined. So that gives me the legal ability to go up. So I do.
    Its fun to watch peoples faces.
  5. br549oicu8

    br549oicu8 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,230

    That is why we use contracts (Proposal and Acceptance Forms).
    We spell out the price and that WE decide when it needs cut.
    No service!!
  6. elamey

    elamey LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    I had a new client I picked up. Quoted him $50 for a good sized lawn. He didn't call back. His house is on one of my routes and I noticed he had it cut 3 times then guess what...he called me back. He said "i'd like you to start mowing my lawn..." I said ok, i'll be there I get there, mow about 3 passes, he come out to "talk." Says, hey ol' buddy ol' pal how's it going boy that's a great's cutting great... you're a real pro, not like those other guys i've called..., how's about a favor this week Ol' Buddy, Friend, Pal O' much to just mow the front and trim the whole lawn. I say $35.00, that is my minimum for any lawn. He says BUT YOU"RE CHARGING 50 FOR THE WHOLE's about $25.00 ol' buddy, ol' pal o' mine? I say no, he says, well i'm not paying you $35.00 for 1/2 a lawn and I want to do the back...blah blah blah

    He was in mid sentence, when I fired up the mower, pulled it on the trailer and left his lawn with 3 nicely cut passes which I did for free and a very large area of un-mown, over 6" tall grass (even though it had been cut, his lawn was growing fast and it was deep". That looked great in a neighborhood of half million dollar homes....

    While loading up of course, he asked, in a rather heated tone, "where are you going? Don't you want to fiinsh the front for $25.00? YOU"RE ALREADY HERE!!! YOU MIGHT AS WELL DO 1/2 THE LAWN AND TAKE THE $25.00 I said "Nope" as I fired the truck up...luckily my old truck (1977 Chevy, 350) has a nice set of duals and glass packs, so I can make some noise. Revved her up, got the heck out.... NOTE: You all should think about a set of duals and glass packs for just this situation.

    My point, i'm a little guy who needs the work but I WILL NOT lowball or be played. It's evident this guy knew and worked this scam before. My guess, is he had another lawn company do his lawn 3 times and either didn't pay them or tried to pull the same scam. So I fired his a$$....he had the most surprised look on his face....and darn it I forgot to pull out my cellphone camera for the occation. Next time, i'll get the cell phone out and ready before firing someone.

    I'm pretty new to this board but not to life. I'd urge all of you to not let people get away with this sort of thing. I'll take some heat and do some extra free stuff like pull the garbage cans in for old lady's. That's just being polite. But when someone is trying to play you like a violin, break thier bow!!
  7. logan

    logan LawnSite Senior Member
    from FL
    Posts: 315

    One of my customers which I bid a little to low ($160.00 a month) told me how much he would pay yesterday. It takes 40 minutes to mow,& 20 minutes to trim bushes. It takes 20 minutes to get there, with no other lawns near his. I wrote letters out to all my cheaper customers that there would be a price increase to keep up with rising costs. Since he was a 3 year customer i would go easy on him and thank him for his business, MISTAKE! I raised him from $160 a month to $170. He called and said that by hiring me, he was paying 320 a year more for lawn service, and by me raising the price now he would be paying even more per year. He was paying $40 per cut with no hedges included. He has 3 lexus's in the garage and a convertable BMW. He said why don't you keep your price the same or charge me by the cut. I said thank you for your business and I hope you can find someone to mow your lawn for your asking price. I am just trying to advance my business. I said so long and just picked up a lawn one the same street as mine for $110 for a 25 minute mow,blow and go. :p
  8. ICE

    ICE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 148

    ATTA BOY!! I love it! HAHAHHA
  9. marko

    marko LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 963

    Its the scrubs! By scrub I mean someone who does not pay: Insurance, licenses, taxs, etc. They can mow a lawn for $15 where we have to charge $25-$30. They are in business just long enough to set the price in an area, then they go out of business and the next low guy comes around. My new line is: I know my expenses with insurance, workmans comp, etc. I would love to compete with the uninsured, but I can't. I am competitive on a fully legal and legitimate business and if things change or you are unhappy with your service, please give me a call, you have my price" I had one yesterday that called, easy yard, $25 for 30 minutes at the most. Gave her all my prices and she said I got another quote for $18, would you do it for $20? Gave her my speech, left on a positive note, and I bet she calls back after a couple of weeks.
  10. Itsgottobegreen

    Itsgottobegreen LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,177

    Same here.

    Its my rules and my price. If not, go find a scrub.

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