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Jedi (me) landscaper got burned HUGE today...long.

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Liquidfast, Jul 13, 2006.

  1. Liquidfast

    Liquidfast LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 739

    Okay, I call myself a Jedi cuz when it comes to the B.S. of customers I can pride myself im spotting it a mile away. NOT THIS TIME BUBBA!

    I did a HUGE job for a print shop who in turn referred me to another customer for both weekly cuts and a fairly large landcaping job. Both were satisfied enough to refer my services to yet another customer.

    This one was different. She drives a Mercedes (close to the top of the line) and her husband a spankin new BMW. Nice house too. Anyway, she asks me for suggestions which I refuse to do to protect myself from the window shoppers looking to do the work themselves. SOOOOOoooo.. I install black mulch ($55 plus 3 man hours) at her request and when she comes home....so HATES it. We uninstall at OUR cost and replace with brown mulch which she picked the day we did the re-install. Keep in mind, her estimate is for $4480 which included 88 shrub plantings, a small river rock job, a tree straightening (her hubby screwed that up), mulch install, levelling of two trees that were done incorrectly and sodding. Materials for all of the above = $2200 the rest is labour.

    Today I get a call asking when we will complete the job...it rained two of the last 3 days and I say saturday..."Why do you only work on weekends?..she asked. I reply, "You are not our only client and it rained a fair amount recently pushing everyone back...your project will be completed on saturday"

    "Well, my hubby is not happy with your work and doesn't want you to complete the job cuz he said you will charge me about $2000 more than the quoted price"

    Keep in mind, EVERY STEP OF THE WAY this customer was involved. I choose to have the customer at home and in most cases with me when choosing plants, shrubs, flowers etc....I even had her stand there and approve EVERY planting of every shrub SHE chose. The whole process takes a few minutes cuz we lay out everything prior to involving the customer.

    I explain to her that I told her son that we were under budget by $460!!!!

    She then says "Oh, okay I'll talk to my hubby and you guys just go ahead and continue, just make sure you are finished by saturday". I am so far behind, I was greatful to get out of this job so I told her no. I said she deserved better treatment and perhaps another co. could provide that to her.

    I had a feeling it was about the money soooooooo, I had my partner drop off her final bill for the stuff I wasnt charging for originally and her son says "I guess you guys arent continuing with the work...my dad is weird, he figures that since you guys did the hard work of installing the soil and mulch, he could just do the rest himself to save the money!!!!

    I wish I had of been there for that one. I really like her son, he is a good kid but I would have taken the invoice back and padded it for sure. Anyway, thats my story. No deposit (first time in 3 years) and no contract due to third generation referral. The hubby takes credit and all he has to do is install the rest of the shrubs.
  2. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Posts: 2,419

    I'm sure the wifey will be calling you to come out and fix her shrubs that her hubby put in upside down.
  3. DodgeTruckMan731

    DodgeTruckMan731 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 414

    hahaha, thats funny
  4. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    install black mulch ($55 plus 3 man hours) at her request and when she comes home....so HATES it. We uninstall at OUR cost and replace with brown mulch which she picked the day we did the re-
    Big mistake..don't do this again she requested it you installed it she dosen't like it tuff luck!she's gotta pay to remove and replace it.
    About the rest? Even if he finishes the job you charge for the full amount agreed verbaly. Nothing pisses me off more than people trying to pull that crap.
  5. lawnspecialties

    lawnspecialties LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,513

    I second everything She just said.
  6. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Be happy if they pay what your charging for. Attorney fees and courts have a way of eating up profits fast
  7. zim bob the landscaper

    zim bob the landscaper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,707

    that just happened to us he was driving a benz too! in 2 days on this 3/4 of an acer we got a spring/summer cleanup,fertilizing,spraying weeds,weeding the beds which was 80-100 wheel barrows full,trimming shrubs pruning shrubs,and 7-8 yards of mulch done in 2 DAYS!!!! he calls us that night saying "you guys are to slow and you aren't landscapers" because we had the mulch delivered
  8. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    I third this statement. If you don't invoice them for the agreed amount then you're a push-over. No offense intended. Your sweat has a value and a verbal agreement is good as long as you have photos or paperwork to show that you did the work and had no personal interest in the development of the property. I can't stand PITAs like this. Why is it that people can't understand that this is THEFT of services. Not only is it illegal, but it is immoral and until we unite as a whole in agressively demanding payment for our hard work, there will always be these PITAs looking to steal our products.
  9. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    Again, another idiot. I guess the car lot isn't really a car lot because they don't deliver their own vehicles. Or maybe Best Buy isn't really Best Buy because they sub out their delivery work too.
  10. Signature Landscaping1

    Signature Landscaping1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Posts: 1,497

    Some people like that are really really cheap. I got a call to come out and cut 9 trees( good sized oaks) and then chip brush. Of course the neighbors see us and want stuff done to. So I left to go look at a tree the neighbor wanted cut, just basically dropped, no chipping. So i go over and quote them $100. The wife says thats way to steep. Out of te corner of my eye i see her husband pulling out in his Ferrari. Then next thing you know her daughter pulls in the drive in her escalade. Then i say what the heck how bout $50, she still thinks thats too steep. She calls her husband over he gives me a lecture on how even though they have a big house and priceless cars, they dont have that much money to pay for a tree to get cut down............ He says how bout $10, and i just walked away.

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