Gas surcharges

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by machsixer, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. machsixer

    machsixer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    I've just let my first customer this year know that I'm adding a fuel surcharge every time I mow and trim. He grumbled a bit and said the gas prices are not much higher. I reminded him that when I began mowing in April, the prices were 20-30 cents less. Has anyone else added a fuel surcharge this year? How do you delicately inform the customers their fees are going up without offending them? And yes, I did retain the customer.
     
  2. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,466

    My surcharge is:
    3.00-3.50 1.00
    3.51-4.00 2.00
    4.00+ 3.50
    per cut
     
  3. machsixer

    machsixer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    What do your numbers represent? Hours worked equals a certain surcharge?
     
  4. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,466

    Sorry, it's the price of gas.
     
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,311

    Some customers have a BIG problem with a fuel charge unless it was included in the contract. TG used to have a clause addressing cost of labor and fuel..
     
  6. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,466

    I have it right in the contract also i actually started it last season.
     
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Nowadays if I need to raise a price, the next invoice is a bit higher and that is the end of the story. Yup, just raise it.

    You can use certain reasons to justify the increase, but I found that using the price of fuel as a reason later results in some of those same customers dropping you (and wouldn't you know it, they give you the price of fuel back as the reason). So I don't care to use the price of fuel during conversation anymore :laugh:
     
  8. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,466

    The only problem with that is they never know what you'll charge them the next month.
    With the surcharge they know what their base price is and if gas goes down (ya right) no extra charge.
     
  9. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,466

    I forgot at the end of June and through July no surcharge.
     
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    True, but then I only raise my prices mid-season for customers / yards that I simply can no longer tolerate at the current rate. It is rare that I do it at all, like you said, I don't just go raising my prices every month, for one thing I don't penny-ante my customers, a raise is 5 bucks so one time and we're done for a while (usually at least a few years, if they don't drop me but then that's par for the course).
     

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