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Job already done...

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by topsites, May 18, 2006.

  1. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Little frustrates me further than getting the all-ok for some work, then going out a few days later to do it, and upon arrival finding someone has already done it. What I hate the most is apparently folks in general can't find it in themselves to send a courtesy call my way, a few do but most don't.

    Get this one job involving mulch... Good thing I couldn't remember for sure how much I needed so I thought I'd better stop on by to double-check how much I needed, and yes of course, the job is done.

    That's the scary part, once I get my trailer loaded with mulch there is little can be done other than it has to come off, and the trailer doesn't dump so regardless, I'm out of at least the purchase price and time and fuel.

    Grass-cutting and other projects frustrate some as well, enough to where once somebody does this to me a few times I usually drop them. It doesn't happen to me a lot but it does happen on a regular if occasional basis.

    Has anyone had this problem, and what do you do?
  2. freddyc

    freddyc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 578


    Why do you let them do it to you a few times before dropping them? Just curious.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Oh in the case of mulch or anything involving a bunch of materials or rigmarole, first time is the last time unless they've been customers of mine forever, and then it's a maybe.

    With grass-cutting, I do have to find out the deal... I have 2 or 3 customers who get antsy if I don't show up exactly on time, they will cut it themselves but this is not to save money, once I adjust the schedule and make sure to show up either on that day or even a day early, it doesn't happen no more.

    Then you get other crazy crap, like the truck parked smack in the front yard and stuff like that - Again, you can do this to me maybe once / year but any more than that and it's over. I do give some tolerance, hate to be totally anal about it.

    But you are right, most of these folks I am crossing off the schedule faster and faster when this happens...
    I was just wondering what anyone else does in these cases.

    Especially with mulch but does anyone ever charge a flat fee for cancelling without notice or anything like that?
    Because I am so tempted somedays...
  4. StBalor

    StBalor LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 798

    The grass cutting thing bothers the hell out of me. Or at least it use to. We made an agreement for me to cut there grass and when i get there, they already cut it. Man this use to piss me off big time. But not anymore. I had all my customers sign an agreement and in it it states, if i come to the property and cannot perform services for some reason like they already cut it. They still pay me regaurdless.
  5. Landscapes-r-us

    Landscapes-r-us LawnSite Member
    Posts: 35

    Hell yeah I'd charge them, especially for a job where materials were already purchased.

    Last month, a homeowner called and wanted some tree and bush installs, it was a monday that she called, I went and gave her a price on tuesday and told her that I would be back on Friday. I came back with almost $800 in materials only to find trees and bushes already in the previously bare spots. I knocked on the door and they said "oh, our son came home from college and was bored so he offered to do it." I said "That's fine, but you will still be paying $1,000." (Job was for $1500 but I cut it down to just $200 for the trouble of coming out.) "She was shocked and said I don't think so." So I left and before I could even start my car, I had my lawyer on the line. A couple phone calls and a letter from him and guess what, my check was in the mail.

    I also had this one customer who was pretty wealthy, she'd call me wanting me to come cut the grass, and leave a message. I'd head out there a few hours later and it would be done. First time I let it slide but was pissed, the 2nd time I knocked on the door and demanded my $35, she reluctantly paid and I told her not to call me again.
  6. Brendan Smith

    Brendan Smith LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,196

    just shoot them.
  7. Brendan Smith

    Brendan Smith LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,196

    oh yeah - after you get the material payment up front
  8. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,879

    This woman lived out of the way. I drove out there to mow her 2 acre job. There she was mowing the back. I just saw red:realmad: She was not paying my going rate for such a big job to begin with. She said "I just wanted to see what it felt like to cut grass again. You can just do the front yard" I was still being nice when I charged her for time plus 20$. She looked at me like I was crazy to charge that much. I said well you know I drove all the way out her just for your yard. You should have called me and cancelled. I knew she was going to start mowing it herself again anyway since she just retired. All these years of cutting her yard for less and she send me off like this..what a bummer. Never heard from her again.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Just a though, but if you show up on time to cut the lawn you would not have these problems, NO?
  10. martinfan06

    martinfan06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 631

    contracts! agreements! contacts! As for major jobs such as mulch or landscaping 1/2 cost of materials up front. I may sting but a few bad apples spoil the whole bunch. But in my experiance good people dont mind.

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