i'm not happy with my cleanup

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Apr 24, 2005.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    ok, try to follow me. the guy signed up this year. pre pay for ferts, and mowing. declines spring cleanup. then he calls, and asks for a cleanup. ok, i do the cleanup. the way the payments for the ferts and mows work, is they get totalled, and divided by 10. the payment is then the same each month, for 10 months. we don't start mowing till 3rd week in april, but his payment are due march 1st, april 1st, may 1st, etc. the cleanup, which he originally declined as part of the package, was billed separately, with a quoted fee of $50 per hour. so, he paid his march 1st bill, and his april 1st bill, and then recieved a bill for the may 1st payment, as well as an additional bill for the cleanup($200). he calls up, irate, saying why is he getting all these bills? he is billed so far for $600 , plus a $200 cleanup fee, and all i did so far was put down one aplication of fert, and the cleanup. "what kind of flim flam operation is this", he says to me."you are asking for $800 of my money, and you havn't done anything to earn it!" now, i can't make it anymore clear, than a 3 page written contract, which he recieved, signed, and returned. i ask him if he read the contract, then told him DO NOT call here in a rage, and DO NOT call here again, until you have reviewed your contract. then he says he is not happy with the spring cleanup, and that i quoted him $50 for the cleanup, why is it $200?. nice try, it was done 3 weeks ago, and since then we've had breezy days that blew some leaves off his roof, and out of the surrounding oak trees, onto his lawn. this happened yesterday. these people love to try and get thier hand in your pocket. how would you handle this?
     
  2. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    Did you quote him $50? I would have told him why it would be more. That is what sent him over the edge, and now hes complaining about everything.
     
  3. Sweetwater

    Sweetwater LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    Last year I started adding a "clean-up" clause to contracts. I state a minimum and maximum cost for those clients that do not include the clean-up service in the yearly agreement. That way I can review terms and know if I am getting ready to launch them into the stratosphere with a high bill. Of course, if they don't read the clause then they could flip regradless...
     
  4. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    i quoted $50 per hour. i never quote hourly, but i didn't want to go do an estimate, then schedule it for the next day, etc. so i told him $50 an hour. he asked what took so long, i told him it was windy. well, it was windy, i could have been out of there in half the time if not for the wind. but, i don't make the weather. then he says he thought i mean $50 for the cleanup, blah blah blah, he's a scammer, he picked the wrong lawnboy to try and scam
     
  5. martyman

    martyman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 220

    This year I decided to do my clean-ups by the hour...I charge $40 an hour and give a rough estimate of the time I think it will involve, so far I've lost a few clean-ups but it's a great way to weed out the cheap customers.
     
  6. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,442

    Your system for billing could be confusing but I'm sure if he would of actually read the contract he'd realize it, too many people just don't read it or skim threw it as I'm assuming this guy has. I think you did the right thing by telling him to review his contract. As for the cleanup i had the same situation last year, this woman mixed up everything i said and freaked out on me. I wrote out a reciept demanded to be paid for the materials that i delieverd and the labor i had in it, got the payment and left, she was literally crazy.
     
  7. yrdandgardenhandyman

    yrdandgardenhandyman LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 953


    Watch out Bobby. This one just may have a shovel too.
     
  8. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    I had a simialr guy a couple of weeks ago. I was prepeing and seeding a new lawn. He wanted an exact pprice. I told him I could give him an exact price on the seeding and material but the prep work would only be an estimate. Alright how long do you figure it will take he asked. Since the lawn to be was covered in huge trees that I couldnt convince him to cut, I told him probably 12 to 14 hours just for prep. He replied can you do it in one day, sure I can but I dont set a clock, I work daylight to dark. He says well 8hrs is one day so it should cost this amount, I said yep, if I can do it in 8 hrs but it would probably take longer. He says OK go ahead and do it. I did and it took me twelve hours to prep it. He called me at home before I completed seeding and said he was going out of town and had left me a check. I asked him how he knew how much to write it for since I hadnt completed the work. He said I wrote it for your estimate. I told him and estimate is just that, an estimate of the cost not the bill for services. I didnt go pick up the check but waited until he got back in town and went over to see him. I took a copy of the orginal estimate which clearly stated the estimate was for 8 hrs prep work and a copy of the bill for the total amount of hours actually worked. He started to hesitated but then decided to pay, I had my Bobby Shovel in my hand, and then gave me the original check he had written and another check for the difference. Must of been the shovel. It couldnt of been the fact that I acted professional and took the time to explain why the bill was different from the estimate.
     
  9. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    well mudd, in this case, it sounds like a misunderstanding, and your professionalism worked fine. but when some is simply trying to rip you off, the shovel works better
     
  10. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    I dont use a shovel, I catch them in a crowd of people and embarass them by demanding my money in front of a large group of people. I get pretty loud and they usually payup just to get me to shut up.
     

Share This Page