Yep - that's right. As of today, we've lost 90 customers to scrub lowballers this year. Our business is down about 15% and we're tightening belts even further. We've already cut back on employees and are cutting costs at every opportunity. This is the worst I've ever seen this business in the 20+ years I've been in it. Just a heads up to the rest of y'all. We're here in Detroit/Metro and the slumping economy has hit us particularly hard = every idiot with a pickup truck and a craftsman mower has decided to hang out a shingle and go into business - deep discounting labor so much so that the market is flooded with "companies" so heavily that I'm seeing prices under what I charged 20 years ago!! Forget that angle about being insured and paying taxes and liscenced etc.... the only thing people in this market see is the botom line. "If I can get it cheaper........ that's all that matters!" These lowballers have screwed the market up here so bad that it will take years to recover. I've never seen a market fall apart so quickly. It's absolutely depressing and scary as hell. I can only hope that what's happening here in Detroit doesn't spread to the rest of the country or pretty soon we'll all be washing windows at intersections - because it pays more than running a landscaping company! Just a quick aside - We were underbid ( and I was really low-bidding to get the account!) by a bunch of school-teachers that run a lawn service in the summer. When I pointed out to the lady that these guys probably weren't insured, didn't contribute to the economy by paying taxes on their "side" income and wouldn't be around to handle "full service" needs (such as Fall/Spring clean-ups, any installations, mulch deliveries etc...) - she just said "Yeah but they're cheaper!!! Ha ha ha. " (we bid $23 they bid $20). Needless to say they got the job. I can only wonder how they'd feel if I went to the local high-school and offered to teach their classes for half price, cash . no benefits, no vacation pay, etc..... They'd probably be really pissed that their livelihood was being screwed with by scab labor that was willing to under-cut them in order to make a quick. - Yeah feelin' your pain!!!!