What do you call this fee?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by PerfiCut L&L, May 26, 2006.

  1. PerfiCut L&L

    PerfiCut L&L LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 458

    Seems this year we have had a number of customers cut their own lawns just prior to our arrival without contacting us. Therefore we dont find out until we actually get their. Ive never made an issue of it, since it rarely happened, but this year, Ive probably had 5 or 6 occurances by 3 different customers.

    I want to include something to the effect in our contract, so that if we show up to cut the lawn and its been cut by owner we still get paid for our time of coming out. What do call this type of fee and whats a fair amount? I was thinking a flat $20, but Im also considering a % of their cut price.
     
  2. nmez21

    nmez21 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 712

    Idk, I'd probably consider that to be a "traveling fee". Not sure how to incorporate it effectively though.
     
  3. Splicer

    Splicer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    Very simple and after this happening to me yesterday for the second time I have decided to fall back on my CATV days...I will charge $25 and it will be called a "Trip Charge" and applies to any account I arrive at that the owner did not call to cancel with 48hrs notice that my services will not be needed that week...Hate to do it but it costs me time, wear and tear, fuel, insurance etc to make the trip...
     
  4. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    I agree w/ above post. If you have other lawns close by though, I probably wouldn't charge them because they will probably drop you if they intend to do it often. I had a customer start mowing their own lawn this past year. Once in a while he calls me to come make it look nice & neat when he gets too busy. He knows it will cost more than a weekly mowing, but he is too busy & needs it done. I also call him about every 3 weeks to see if he needs anything. He told me a story last week... He mowed his front lawn so his wife would get off his case about exercising. Then she went out back that night to start the grill & I'm guessing you know the end of the story. The moral of the story is to have your lawn guy use a smaller mower:laugh:
     
  5. fulano

    fulano LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 319

    How does it cost you insurance? Do you pay insurance per job/trip or is it a flat fee per year? Or are you talking about rental insurance for rented equipment or vehicles?
     
  6. Audrey

    Audrey LawnSite Senior Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 570

    YES! Use a "trip charge" or "appointment arrival fee". Trip charge will hold up in court. If you get to the DJ and he is questioning you as to what a "service call" charge is, he will then bounce it. It's a trick question. The reasoning to the DJ is that you did not perform any "service" so as to require you to charge a fee. You showed up, performed no work (service) in doing so(regardless of reason) and expect to be paid for looking pretty? You may win on other fees, but a "service call" will get tossed.
    Been there, done that.... :nono: I learned the hard way.


    A
     
  7. SproulsLawnCare

    SproulsLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    from IN
    Posts: 365

    Under contract; I would charge them the full amount for the trip. After all, that is what the contract is about. As long as you are taking care of your end of the deal, they shouldn't be cutting it before you get there.

    Without contract; I would let it slide the first time, but probably the second time I would tell them they can mow it themselves if they are going to keep it up.

    I have had one customer mow half of their lawn because company were coming in for the weekend and they wanted it to look nice before my scheduled service date. I mowed on the service date and they paid full price.
     
  8. cajuncutter

    cajuncutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 626

    Insurance is nothing but a gamble. When you make a trip to somewhere you did not have to go to, you increase your chances of getting into an accident. After this happens your premium goes up ultimately costing you even more insurance and any inconveniences that accompany such a situation. I explain to all my customers if they do not call and cancel because they either mowed the yard or the yard has simply not grown and doesn't need mowing I charge them a fee.
     
  9. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    Bingo.

    but I wouldn't care. my clients pay monthly regardless of how many cuts we perform. I would look at it as a tip.
     
  10. PerfiCut L&L

    PerfiCut L&L LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 458

    I was thinking of calling it a "stop fee". A "travel fee" or
    trip fee" is fine too. But from now on it will definately be in the contracts. As for the fee itself, I was thinking a flat $20. Covers my time and fuel in the event I dont have any other customers in that neighborhood. Im not looking to piss the customers off, or make a lot on it, just to get what I deserve is all. I think 12hrs notice is fine too. I know some people may have the day off, decide they have nothing better to do, and might want to spend some time in their own yard. As long as I know about it before I drive out there is all I want.
     

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