lawn maintenance contracts

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mgmlandscaping, Jan 26, 2007.

  1. mgmlandscaping

    mgmlandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 25

    This will be our 10th year for lawn maintenance and was wondering if anyone has any suggestions or feedback regarding a problem we seem to face every year. We send out contracts spelling out the cost for each visit, what we will provide, and length of contract. The problem we have is they call and ask to be skipped and most stop weeks if not months before we stop. What can I put in the contract to let them know that we are going to charge them for the entire season unless we feel the property needs to be skipped? Thank everyone in advance for any suggestions
     
  2. abcfamily

    abcfamily LawnSite Member
    Posts: 240

    We mow at our discression due to the fact that the way your yard looks reflects what is said by others about our service!
     
  3. jbailey52

    jbailey52 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,089

    Our contracts look like this

    Lawn service price per visit: $67.00
    Cuts per season: 30
    Total maintenance cost:2010

    --------

    Then at the end of the contract it says:
    Total maintenance charge :2010.00
    Tax:140.70
    Total:2150.7

    Down payment of 10% 215.07

    remainder of 1935.63

    Billed at 215.07 a month for 9 months.




    This is the CONTRACT... if we come more.... or less.. they owe us 215.07 for 9 months..... thats why it is a contract... they cannot call and say they dont want it cut... Now thats not to say we dont change it ourselfs if we deem to skip a house or what not... but if we needed to.. this is what they owe us!
     
  4. mgmlandscaping

    mgmlandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 25

    Do you get alot of customers that still call to skip a week or stop early with the monthy payment plan. I would like to see how the contract is worded that the customer doesnt flip out when they see that no matter what they will be charged for the entire contract.

    Thank you for your responses.
     
  5. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,201

    I have residential customers call a couple of day's before their mowing if they don't need to be mowed. Commercial accounts are another story and alot more money so I take the time and fire up the bike and take a nice ride around to all of them and see what needs to be done for that week. All of my commercial accounts leave everything up to me and if I see something that needs done I just do and send out the bill and likewise if it doesn't need anything we skip it for that week. That kind of personal attention has gained alot of trust over the years with my accounts and I have many. It may take some time out of your day to do this but the payoff I believe is worth it. I have a 100% commercial customer retention.
     
  6. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,320

    When you set up the contract you sell them on a monthly amount. Then you specifically state in the contract that if they cancel early you will figure the amount they owe based on a slightly higher charge for each mow. You have to be clear about what you are doing in contract!! They generally find that if they cancel in October they will end up paying more than if they stay for another 4 months.....learned this from TG they have it in their contracts. They never talk about cost for each mowing but a cost for each visit.
     
  7. jbailey52

    jbailey52 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,089

    MGM.. your missing the point here... A Contract.. is a legally binding document... There is no reason for a contract if customers can just say.. ahh skip it this week.. and when you cut it next time it takes you twice as long = Less profit.. Now this isnt to say We dont when it is very dry out dont skip lawns and not charge.. but a contract is just that... you owe X amount a month for X amount of months... regardless of whatever...
     
  8. mgmlandscaping

    mgmlandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 25

    jbailey, Thank you for your post. I am going to try to set up this years contracts based upon monthly fee, and see what happens. Thanks again...
     
  9. wowmowwow

    wowmowwow LawnSite Member
    Posts: 209

    wow. a lil heated in here. lol
     
  10. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Posts: 1,657

    I skipped a few weeks last year because it didn't rain and then they liked the New bill so much when I started cutting again some wondered why its full price again.

    This year its going to be like snow removal. I get paid by the month and if they say it didn't snow I tell them, its an average thing and nobody pays me extra when I go out ten times.

    For lawn I'm thinking of going along the lines of its an average thing, or if they go bi weekly I'll charge extra 7$ or something. One thing is for sure, I feel stupid mowing grass that hasn't grown and is barely green.
     

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