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Missing some money

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by NNJLandman, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. NNJLandman

    NNJLandman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,306

    Got myself a problem guys, what should I do? Got a call from a person I did a cleanup for last year to do it again, I go over meet with him tell him $285.00, last year it was about $300 so i told him $285-300, I knew i had the job but i thought itd be good business to give him a few bucks off. Whenever I give a cleanup estimate I give them a price for the labor to do the cleanup and tell them the cost of vacumming the leaves is extra. Anyways weather complications hold the job up, I send all the cleanups i didnt get to a letter explaining there delay etc call if you still want service, He calls yea go ahead....weather again FINALLY we get a beautiful weekend, he calls me on a saturday say today would be a good day to do it, but I already had things scheduled figured I would do it the next day, go there sunday no one was home nice day out...had help...PERFECT(took us 4 hours $60/hr x 4 = $300), couple days later get the leaves vaccumed out for $250...final bill $550.00. Send it out, get a check for $275.00, I send him a notice about his balance, and i get a nasty call saying, i never ordered you to go ahead with the work, your a joke, I'm not paying you etc....so here im out $275.00 HE ONLY PAID ME HALF. What do i do, i was so pissed i was ready to get a load of leaves and put them back where i took em from, should i go to the police and put in a theft of services report....I need some help. Thanks

  2. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,332

    Ok Jeff, let's figure some things out here..You told him $ 285-300.00, and he said OK, but the weather kept delaying the cleanup. You get a nice day, go do it in 4 hours, 4 hours at $ 60.00 per hour is $ 240.00...Then, you need to charge extra for the vac service, and he's not around to OK it, but you do it anyway. He flies off the deep end at a 550.00 bill, expecting a 285-300.00 bill. If you had no written agreement and a change of work order for the extra charge for the vac service, I think you are out $ 215.00. Regardless if you worked for this guy last year or not, you need a written agreement stipulating exactly whta will be performed and at what rate. Did you charge him $ 550.00 for everything last year, or just the $ 285.00...that's what is losing me here...:confused:
  3. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    I'm sorry but I have to agree.When you tell someone you'll do a clean up for a certain price and give them that price..it should include removal of the leaves ...
    to me that is part and parcel with the "clean-up"
    You can't tell somebody something will be xtra then it doubles the price of the clean-up.If it is going to be that way you need to inform your customer before doing the work and get approval.

    TURF DOCTOR LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,138

    On there side, 4 hours at 60 bucks is 240, you quoted 285 that's what the bill should read,on last year's bill you stated $300.00.
  5. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,503

    Honestly I would just eat the vacuming and take it as a lesson learned, when giving a price for a clean up to either itemize a qoute, or if you give a price, give it for the total bill. And maybe if a price or qoute is over 30 days old, then touch base witht he client and let them know whats going on

  6. cwlawley

    cwlawley LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 470

    I would eat that money as well. Dumping a trailer of leaves back on his yard would really be quite funny though.
  7. NNJLandman

    NNJLandman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,306

    Listen last year he didnt have any problem with the bill, I charged him $300 plus the cost of removal of leaves. This property is all down hill to a lake meaning there is a lot of labor involved, tarping, his yard is a mess, tree limbs, its a real difficult cleanup. $60/hr for 4 hours = 240 then another $60 for time spent helping vacumming, which acctually took about 2 hours. In all my estimates for cleanups...I tell the customer that the vaccumming will be extra, due to gas prices and increased dumping fees in my area the price went up. Bottem line he called me and said he wanted it done, after everything was in writing. Im gonna tell him that the guy who sucked them up is pissed cuz I didnt pay him yet and he said that he was going to dump the leaves back on his property, maybe thatll get him to pay me. We'll see what happens, he might jus wake up one morning with a large amount of leaves in his driveway again.

  8. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    So last year the vac cost him $120.00 and this year it cost him $250.00?
    but the labor for the clean-up was pretty much the same?
    Mustuve been about the same amount of leaves this year as last cuz the charge was the same correct?Your not making any sense here with your charges
    I think you need to think this through a little better 1st.You asked what to do so that is my opinion.
  9. freddyc

    freddyc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 578

    It appears that he told you to go ahead based on a $280-300 number...not $550 or whatever. The amount of effort or time isn't the issue for him. Also, if you did the same exact thing for him last year, it doesn't matter either. The AGREEMENT you seem to have is for a total cleanup for $285.-300. If you put yourself in his shoes, you will see he was expecting a lower bill based on your conversation....one other question....he indicated that Sat was OK, ----did you confirm you'd be there on Sunday instead or did you just take it for granted it would be OK??

    There seems to be a space between your assumptions and the agreement you made. Tell me if I'm wrong, but if I'm in his shoes, I think I'm getting taken for a couple hundred bux.
  10. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,503

    What was his total clean up bill for last year? You never told us that, just that the labor was about 300 plus leaf removal


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