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Miken Constuction - Subcontracting lawns

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by guyinmichigan, May 6, 2011.

  1. guyinmichigan

    guyinmichigan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    Just putting this out there for reference in case anyone else gets the call.

    Got a call in January from Miken Construction... they are in CA and manage Bank of America repo's. Anyway they find lawn guys in areas and subcontract lawns to them.

    The Basics:
    33 pictures per service!!! No joke... 8 before, 8 during, 8 after, street sign.. etc.. on EVERY SERVICE AT EVERY HOUSE...
    Make you sign an 8 page contract before starting, including an addendum that you can't take them to court... mediation... hmmmm
    Lot's of rules that if you don't hit exactly you get dinged... $$$
    - Mow, whip, clean-up.. no edging required.

    The Good:
    - Lots of lawns.. they gave me 43 to start the first week... not bad, I told them we could handle up to 150 so 43 in week one was a good start.
    - They pay every two weeks.. I got my check as promised... so they are legit.

    The Bad:
    - In CA... getting ahold of someone wasn't always the easiest.
    - 33 PICS! and the rules are something else.

    My experience:
    - I went through the entire application process... prove insurance, prove references, sign a ton of forms, it took about 2 months to get approved as a vendor. I took the first 43 and went to it... it was raining on a lot of them so I got a $15 trip charge to go take pics of puddles...
    - Every property has pictures uploaded and a property form scanned and sent... this takes awhile per property.
    - The rate when I went through authorization was $35 for properties under 15,000 sq feet. After I was approved as vendor, one week before mowing started they dropped price to $30 per service... Not cool with me.
    - So I gave it 2 weeks to see how it went and the work was to much to make $30/lawn worth it.

    I run my lawn company as fun money... (don't kill me)... I have a full time job that pays all the bills and insurance... If I was full time lawn guy I would have tried to make it work, but I'm not that guy.

    Overall it is a lot of hassle but they are legit.
  2. guyinmichigan

    guyinmichigan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    JUST FURTHER... here is the last email I got when I decided it just wasn't worth it to me.

    Dear Valued Vendors,

    We are having some issues with the Grass Crews. The following list is some of the problems we notice from the first grass route distribution cycle. Please note we have made some changes that are to be applied in the upcoming cycle two of the 2011 grass season.

    · Bad address – We need a photo of a post office, police station, fire dept. (Not of a street sign)
    · Grass clippings need to be picked/cleaned up before taking the after photo
    · Leaves need to be picked up from the lawn & flower beds even when the grass is limited growth
    · Before, interim & after photos not matching
    · Do not submit cell phone photos
    · Not completing the completion report completely (must have lot size; grass height; reason grass was not cut; how many cyds of debris; etc…_)
    · If the crew is not going to complete the work order due to rain or cancel a work order or decline a work order they need to let us know by e-mail and not just state it in Field-Comm
    · If a padlock is on a gate crew needs to remove and replace the padlock with A389 padlock only if there is no pool present in the back yard. If a pool is present the crew needs to notify us on the completion report unable to access property due to pool is present.
    · Do not submit time stamped photos
    · Anytime a crew is unable to reach their destination due to flood; perimeter blocked off; bridge fell; etc… crew needs to take a photo showing they are unable to get through and they will get a trip charge
    · Rulers, measuring sticks needs to be on the ground not stuck in ground/or folded over to show a higher grass height (falsifying grass height)
    · Occupied property please complete occupied property document or report how the crew knows it was occupied. Example: utilities are active; yard is being maintained; informed by neighbor (needs neighbors address); noise is heard on the inside; people outside; personal property inside or outside
    · After photos can not have any person or equipment in the photos
    · On the completion report explain why the grass was not cut. Example: limited growth; too wet to cut; debris all over grass; locked gate with pool in back yard
    · Too wet to cut properties need to show the grass is wet (need to see water) and we also need photos from all angles of the property; lot size; grass height; bid items
    · We now need measurements of windows, doors, crawl spaces that are open and leaving the property unsecured

    These came every other day... something else to make note of... I never thought the pita old lady would be something to look forward to! :laugh::laugh:
  3. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    No Freakin way would I deal with all that.
  4. they will just go to the next sucker.
  5. WorldsStrongestLandscaper

    WorldsStrongestLandscaper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 243

    Fing db's. Pencil pushing scumbags!Good luck with that crap! BIG STEVE B CT STRENGTH WSL
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. Lawn Dog2001

    Lawn Dog2001 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,027

    Pull down your trousers. Bend over. Have a friend take a photo from 8 different angles. Then fax it over to the main office and tell them thats where they can stick their nonsense.
  7. guyinmichigan

    guyinmichigan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    Again... I have nothing against this company... this is just reference for those that are contemplating working for them in the future... I keep emailing them saying to take me off their email list but apparently they are not getting the message...

    Here is the last email that I received today:

    Pay stubs for ck run 5-04-11 will be mailed out shortly. Accounting was experiencing some technicall issues with our email on Friday which caused a delay. Please note that checks were mailed out on Friday, 5-06-11. We thank you for your understanding and patience and we apologize for any inconvienance this may have caused.

    Thank you,
    PPO - Accounting Department

    Looks like checks aren't as reliable now.... oh no....
  8. DavesLL

    DavesLL LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    I'm small and only two months into the life of my biz, but I would NOT be very interested in dealing with those types of payment delays and 30+ pictures of each property I cut for them; that's just crazy talk. Especially since I saw they refuse to accept cellphone cam pics. Why would I want to invest $100+ into a proper camera just for that requirement?

    Anyway, how can it realistically require 30+ pics per property anyway? 4-6 max for before and after, if you take from different angles ... and requiring pictures DURING the work is just stupid.

    My $0.02.
  9. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,351

    Damm man you put up with that for 2 weeks that is so impressive. There is no way in hell I would even apply if some one showed me those rules. I dealt with one of those moronic operations once. You had to notify the store manager you were there then you had to do the work then you had to go fine the manager again and have the manager sign off and it had to be faxed in with in 8 hours and then they took 5 months to pay and stiffed me on the last 8 cuts. But those stupid rules were child's play compared to what you just posted. Never again I don't care what major account they represent its not worth it. We turn down about 3-5 of these stupid offers a year now they always sounds great 10-30k a year accounts several in my area and then comes the rules page.
  10. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,062

    No thanks, IK would rather sit on my @$$ then deal wih that.

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