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Leaf job for a current customer?????

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 65hoss, Nov 29, 2000.

  1. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    I have a current customer that I cut his and his neighbors yard all year. They live on a lake, but the lawns are on some serious slope with lots of trees. 28 trees on one lot alone and they are only 1/2 acres. Very difficult just to mow, because I can't get my Z in the back yards and they are a real pain to cut. They want me to continue to cut or should I say bag their lawns while the leaves are falling, but for the same price. I have already decided to not continue their lawns next year because they take alot of my time and I actually dread going there. But I still consider them my customers for this year. Should I discontinue service now since I know they don't expect to pay more?

    And yes, we have almost 80% of the leaves still on the trees here in Memphis.
  2. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Do you feel as though you owe them something? If not then call them and explain to them that you will no longer be servicing their accounts. You should never service an account that you don't want to.
  3. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    HOSS--have you been bagging all summer? if not, tell them that bagging will cost more because of..., and list the reasons why...time, trouble, lower profit, etc.

    you should not quit them now unless your agreement with them is that you never bag and they wont have it any other way.

    I practice what I preach. one of my accounts wants her yard RAKED! I told her I don't rake.

    she said "if i pay your price all summer to cut my yard, then I expect you to rake it when I want it raked"!

    I told her "NO WAY JOSE!". I don't even rake my own yard and no way was I gonna rake hers. I offered to mulch or blow the yard as often as sh could afford but NO! she had oak leaves and wanted 'em raked.

    I figured I was history but she called back the next spring.

    HOSS- you ought to keep these two accounts, just refine your agreement with them.

    BTW--I didn't know there were any hills that steep around memphis...?

  4. Ocutter

    Ocutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 314

    If they were my customers I would simply say that there would be an extra charge for the bagging. For me its Lawn cut plus 40% or if you know your overhead do it by the hr. Keeping them next season is in your hands. If you see yourself spending time with bigger projects to a point where its a hassle to hook up a trailer and cut then cut them loose. Otherwise hold onto them.
  5. Skookum

    Skookum LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 675

    If bagging already not agreed upon for normal cuts, then they need to pay more. Only way is if it is a real money maker for you now and you wish to off set the time from what you have all ready made from the account.
  6. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Let me re-define the problem. I don't have a contract with this person. Been cutting it weekly all year. Now that leaves are falling they want me to continue cutting and bag it. They wanted it bagged all year, but it got mulched most of the time. They are trying to get the leaves picked up for the price of the cutting. But as I stated before, its not a very big yard, but it has 28 large trees. Cutting this yard to bag the leaves for them would take 3 times as long, and take lots of bags. I already made up my mind to let them go for next year. Leaves are not grass, and as you already know, they always are a huge hassle. If I let them go, he will pay a lot of money to get them up. But they expect me to handle it for peanuts. Most of us here at lawnsite would probably get between $150 and $200 for the job. Why should I do it for $40. I have one tomorrow that will take me about 1 hr and make $90. This one yard will take about 3 hrs and they will want to pay me $40.

    BTW, yes we do have hills around here.
  7. jrblawncare

    jrblawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 445

    I would call your client and tell them that because of the extra time and laber involved, you will be charging a little extra for the leaves,based on time spent on the job.This has worked for me here,If this does not work,stop mowing and offer them a one time clean-up at the end of the year...you will still make your money one way or another,hope it helps JOHN
  8. Tomslawncare1

    Tomslawncare1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 47

    Hoss, I really don't think any "reasonable" customer would think that you were trying to "rip them off" if you explain the situation to them. Explain what your rate is for fall clean up vs. mowing grass. They obviously know that it would take you more time with that amount of leaves on the ground to bag the clippings as well as the leaves. Ask them how they want to handle the fall clean up. Do you want me to wait until the last leaf has fallen to pick up the leaves. Or do you want me to do it as I go then once the last leaf has fallen do a finish clean up. Then discuss charges accordingly.
  9. Mark

    Mark LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 723

    Hoss they expect you to clean up those leafs for $13:33 per hour/plus your overhead, I guess if you have been cutting the lawn all yr for a profit thats fine, but its your business charge a fall clean-up, at least $125 for as many times as it takes. Remember you work hard for your money and that price is even cheap, I would atleast try and negotiate a fair deal.

    BUSHMASTER LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 519

    everyone has great points....BOTTOM LINE... someone is going to bag them if not you a lowballer or which it dosen't sound right but maybe the owner...ha.....bid it fairly...make money...after all you get what you paid for,,,
    i always bring this subject up in the summer time when i first pick up an account they all know up front that it cost more in the winter for service and maybe your cutting to cheap in the summer if you don't want to even go thier$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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