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Fuel Surcharge Letter

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by IN2MOWN, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. IN2MOWN

    IN2MOWN LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,993

    Im sure most of you are going to be sending them out and I was wondering if anyone wanted to post theirs.

    I have not written one yet but basically mine will say what the increase is and why its going to happen.

    Anyone want to share? Id like to see some to make sure all my bases are covered.

    Mine is going to be a flat fee of $3.00 per month per customer. Opinions?
  2. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    I raised all my prices 6-15% this spring. One accounts that are between $300 and $500 per month, this means roughly $25-50 / month.

    That was my answer to a rise in fuel prices.

    No surcharge letters.

    My opinion.... you're only a month or so into the season and you already have to raise prices on your customer??
  3. IN2MOWN

    IN2MOWN LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,993

    Im not raising base prices this year for my customers. Im thinking of adding a fuel surcharge.

    I raised prices last year on 75% of my customers so I was going to keep them at the same this year but the cost of gas is really putting a dent in my income.

    I thought $3.00 per customer would be enough for a weeks worth of gas for truck and equipment but would only come out to about $.75 a week extra for them.
  4. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 829

    My personal opinion is I would not actually do a surcharge. It's not a bad idea, but I would rather just raise my prices to cover my additional costs. If you do a surcharge, customers will expect you to drop the charge when and IF fuel prices ever go down. My price increases will be permanent. I don't know if $3 per month is enough either. Maybe $2-3 per week, or per service. Oh well just my 2 cents...
  5. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    To me, maybe not to them, if you're talking about adding on $3.00 per month, why wouldn't you just do $5.

    You say yourself that a $3.00 service charge would only cover 1 weeks fuel for the truck and mower. So you're not going to cover it all?

    I don't understand.....
  6. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,920

    I agree with this assessment. The rise in fuel prices is no surprise to anybody. To send a letter only a short time after setting the seasonal prices would not go over well with customers -- at least in my opinion. If there had been a sudden increase in September, that is one situation. But, we are early in the season, soon after having agreed upon a seasonal change, or unchanged (as the case may be).
  7. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 829

    Well, I see what you guys are saying, but, he may be like me. I don't send letters at the beginning of the season to set prices or anything. The price in the spring is usually the same as it was before. My prices don't go up automatically. Only as needed. It's needed now....:laugh: or maybe :cry:
  8. IN2MOWN

    IN2MOWN LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,993

    So when would be a good time to do it?

    Im not going to raise prices because I sent out my spring letters 2 months ago and they said I would not be raising prices. I wont go back on my word.

    I thought a surcharge would be a better way to get some extra money without raising up their base price for mowing.
  9. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    I don't send out a letter in the spring. I make it a point to meet my customers face to face (as best as possible) and explain the situation. I feel a letter isn't personable enough.

    I want the customer to feel like they're firing a person if they're getting someone else, not just firing a piece of paper.

    You've got to call your customers, right? Or do you just show up at the yard, start mowing, and hope they really wanted you to cut the grass again this year??
  10. Frue

    Frue LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,472

    I send a letter at the start of the season that states whats new and the current pricing plan.

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