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Need fall cleanup advice ASAP Please!!

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by shovelracer, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    OK so I have this customer that last year spent $1800 cleaning her leaves and woodsy areas around the house. About 3/4 of an acre. 40% woods with approximately 30 mature oaks and about 15 other various trees. This year she signed on to my fall clean up program. We spent a total of 25 man hours cleaning and removing her leaves over a span of 3 visits. We removed a total of 40-50 yards of compacted, shredded leaves.

    My rate is $40 per man hour plus actual disposal cost which is $37/ ton. So she spent $1000 on labor and $81.72 on disposal plus tax. A bargain from last year. We use Redmax 7000 & 8000 Series blowers, a 52 Lazer HP with leaf plow, 2 - 10 HP ground blowers, and a Truck loader. I figure my profit to be somewhere around $7.00 per laborer after all expenses, plus I charge for myself. I am usually the loader. I usually run 3-4 man crews and we use any combination of the available equipment to get the job done as quick as possible.

    The majority of the expense is incurred during the woods section clean up, the lawn is not very big. The reason she feels she needs the woods cleanup is because her child got lymes disease a few years ago. I am not one to ever argue with the customer, as I make them feel that they get what they want.

    Today I get an irrate phone call from her yelling about how unhappy she is about her invoice for $1200. She said she couldnt be happier with the service, but couldnt be unhappier with the price. She also said that she will find someone else. She has signed a legally binding agreement with me to pay for my services as described.

    I will not budge on my price as I feel it is more than fair. I dont however want to loose her as a customer. What do I say to her in order to get my money, make her happy, and keep her business? If I must lose her so be it, but I dont see why all of a sudden there is a problem. Especially since she knew the info before she signed up.
  2. crzymow

    crzymow LawnSite Senior Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 378

    I say stick to your guns, you hate to lose a good customer, but you cant let them call the shots either.
  3. Stafford Landscaping

    Stafford Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 121

    I agree don't budge, if you bend over for her now. Expect to keep doing it from here on out.
  4. LawnScapers of Dayton

    LawnScapers of Dayton LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Dayton, OH
    Posts: 2,574

    did she give you any details on what she thinks is wrong with the price??
  5. DuallyVette

    DuallyVette LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,159

    $1800 sounds too cheap. Making $7 per hr for equipment, fuel, travel time etc. etc. etc. I feel like i'm santa claus at $65 per man hr. & $120 per hr for the truck vacuum ( $20 goes for the recycling ctr.)
  6. Ric3077

    Ric3077 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,113

    I don't get it why is she mad? She spent $1800 last year and only $1200 this year right? So she is mad about saving $600?! I am confused...maybe she would be happy charging her $1800?
  7. charmill26

    charmill26 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 369

    im not quite understanding but she paid more last year and is unhappy this year for the cheaper price?
  8. Ric3077

    Ric3077 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,113

    I'm lost too Charmill :dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy:
  9. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    Doesn't make sence to me. Maybe someone was watching you while you were working & said they could do it for less. Stick to your guns. Remind her of your agreement & show her if necessary.

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 834

    I'm sorry, but don't any of you see what's happening here. It's just a strategy she uses to get money knocked off the bill. Don't fall for it.

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