how's this for rationalization?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Nov 27, 2004.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    when we do our leaf cleanups, we charge a flat rate for the cleanup. if we come once a week, once every other week, whatever, it's the same price. well, this one customer was quoted $200 for fall leaf cleanup. we were there 10 days ago, and did the bulk of the work, as 90% of the leaves were down already. we arrived today, to finish up, and found the place spotless. i knocked, wtf?? she came out and said that she decided to do it herself. over the last 10 days, she picked up a little bit every day. she did this three times. NOW, since she did 3 cleanups, and i only did one cleanup, she felt she only owed me 25% of the total fee ($50). how does this sound?
     
  2. SSmith

    SSmith Banned
    Posts: 447

    Kinda sounds like a mis-informed customer. I'm curious to know how you handled the situation and how you handle other situations where people are hesitant to pay the money they owe.
     
  3. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,913

    Should have asked her for her EIN number n proof of insurance
     
  4. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    really? how so? how do you anylize this, and conclude it's a misinformed client?
     
  5. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,648

    I would probably tell her since she went off the aggreement you will bill her at an hourly rate without discounts.

    or

    Bill her the full amount and when she doesn't pay return her leaves to her.....
     
  6. SSmith

    SSmith Banned
    Posts: 447

    Mis-informed because she hired you to do a specific job which you completed 90% of and came back later to finish up and she "did it herself." She kinda sounds like a cooky old lady...which there are a lot of. I'm not sure most customers would think the way she does. I agree with Sod...deliver the leaves back to her if she doesn't see eye to eye with you. What did you work out with her?
     
  7. Mueller Landscape Inc

    Mueller Landscape Inc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 489

    Bobby,

    Why do you have so many problems?
     
  8. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    this is what i "worked out." kooky, is putting it mildly by the way. i wasn't going to argue with her. she's nuts, and a heavy drinker. i did recieve payment in full, back in april, for a fertilzing program. these people have no idea what you are putting on thier lawn. i save the final fert, and lime, untill after the last cleanup is complete. and in some cases, a herbicide treatment. in HER CASE, i withheld a grub treatment, a fert, and a lime. trying to be more ipm oriented, i skipped the grub treatment, because there was no need for it. i planned on applying this overpayment to her next seasons program. the way i see it, she owed me at least $180 for the leaf cleanup. she paid me $50. that leaves a balance of $130. i think we're about even.i told her if she wants me next season i'll demand all mowing fees be paid 30 days in advance, as well as my fert program. leaf money is due october 1st, in full. she just looked at me, as i walked away.
     
  9. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    problems occur when you don't let people walk on you. when you allow the client to dictate terms of service, and you oblige, you will never have a problem. however, when YOU set the rules, and ACTUALLY ENFORCE THEM, friction occurs. i have many customer problems because i refuse to do business like the other lawnboys they have been exposed to. i actually have policies, set by me.
     
  10. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Posts: 1,237

    If you explained it to her just as you did here, I think I would would charge her for the 180.00 (90%) and be done with it.
    If she refuses to pay, and dump the leaves on here lawn, she might take you to court or at the very least, tie you up for a half a day.
    It sounds like if she signed an agreement, she would have to honor the whole thing but I would bet a judge looking over the bench at a little old lady would tell you 50% would probably be fair. I would really like to hear how this turns out.
    Of course...there is always the old letter-to-her-with-the-fake-cc-attorney trick. :cool:
     

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