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free side work?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnboy82, May 20, 2001.

  1. i cut a lawn for this guy. i told him it would be 55 a cut. he gives me 65 each week. however he doesnt want to pay for side work. he says that one hand washes the other. i never have problems gettin paid for the lawn or anything. but he wants these trees cut down for real cheap that are right over the septic. 2 trees, 1 pine 1 ash. i had another person go last year and they were paying 90 per cut. it was 90 per cut, and every time the leaves got cleaned up was another 90. big place. i raised them to 150 a cut. they too did not want to pay for side work. what do you guys do in a case like this? i am sure that you have all come across this before. ** they dont want to pay for it, but they still ask for it.
  2. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,117

    I now always give a monthly price which lists all of the services provided for the agreed price. At the end I list additional charges for anything not included in the monthly price. Makes it black and white for the customer.
  3. turfguy33

    turfguy33 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 121

    I have one residential customer like that. He pays $15 more a week, and about once a month, I weed out the flower bed, in the late fall, I clean out his gutters, and about twice a year, I prune about 8 boxwoods. And I do leaf removal at the end of the year. It seems like I do alot, but considering that his yards original price was only $25.00 per cut and he usually gives me $40.00 per cut, it actually balances out.
    Average weeks mowed (33 weeks). 33 mulitiplied by 15= $495.00 more per year.
    If I billed separately for all of these services, it would come out to about the same, maybe just alittle less, but after all, he is paying in advance, kinda.
  4. yeah but i mean this guy first wanted mulch spread. then he wanted fertilizer put down, then he wanted stumps ground, and now he wants the trees down he wants to pay half of what they are worth. he also wants this one area cleaned up. some bare spots reseeded. stuff that is worth a lot more than the extra 280 he will give me for the season.
  5. turfguy33

    turfguy33 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 121

    Well, I guess I would do either 2 things, either tell him that he can pay a little more each month, and when he wanted something extra done, just figure up the amount of extra money he has gave you and subtract that from the bill for the extra work performed, or just simply,............drop him.
  6. that was what i was thinkin. but it is a 60 dollar lawn account right next to another one that is 60 per cut and will be up over 125 once the lawn grows in. so i am kind of hesitant about dropping him for right now. i think i will just put off whatever he wants done for as long as i can.
  7. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    no way! people who ask for extras and dont ask how much will it cost are a pain in the butt. give a nice job at a fair price, charge for everything. i hate it when they pay extra, like u do a cleanup and charge them $100, and they hand you $130, this makes pricing future work for them very awkward i think. whenever they say can u do this or that i always say, well let me figure out the price first, ill let u know
  8. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,516

    I have a customer that has a condo and they don`t want to wait for the lco that does the condo complex to do trimming bushes,plant anuals,etc. They have me do it and I charge them a hourly rate for doing the work, last year they wrote the check for 30.00 more than the charge was:), and when I finished this year, they wrote a check for 75.00 more:). I tell them my hourly rate and we agree and I do the work. I also don`t think it would make pricing future work awkard, because i would tell them my rate has gone up,and when I finish the job they can always write the check for more,no problem here :) lol...I agree that in no way would I want to give a customer a break for all the extra work like lawnboy82 said,just because they were giving a little more money for each mowing.
  9. Chopper Lover

    Chopper Lover LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 288

    Avoidance won't work. It will just tick him off and he may start badmouthing you. That could be bad for business. I would consider approaching him in this manner:

    First, "stroke him" a little. Explain that he has been a good customer and apparently believes you provide a good service or he would not keep you as his Lawn Care Provider. Every week he adds additional money above the billed price and because of that you give special care to his yard that others may not receive. This would include a small amount of extra work, but does not come close to covering all the projects he wants completed. Go on to explain that the extra $15 every visit will not begin to cover the time and/or material expenses for all the additional services he is asking for. Give him a proposal for the additional work he has requested. Maybe fudge a reduction (or apply the "tips" he has freely given you) from the total price since he has been a good customer and valued customer, blah, blah, blah...

    Second, try to make him understand that you are a business, not a kid down the street. (Unless you are the kid down the street. If you are maybe it is time to point out you are growing up!) You have expenses for equipment, laborers, insurance, fuel, dumping fees, kids to feed, mortgage payments to make, etc. Remind him that nothing is inexpensive anymore and although you can agree with the idea of "one hand washes the other", it does no good if you can't afford to buy the soap and water to wash with!

    Good Luck and let us know what you decide to do.

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