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Who does charity / freebee cuts? Why?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by BAMARED, May 5, 2002.


    BAMARED LawnSite Member
    Posts: 206

    Just thought I would check and see how many of ya'll do charity or freebee cuts for others on an occasional basis and the reason(s) for doing it. I'm talking about cutting other people's grass that can't cut there own. Examples could be elderly on a fixed income, someone that's wheel-chair bound, and I'm sure the list could go on and on.

    I'm calling you out - so now's the time to toot your "good deed horn" and let us know about it!

    I have (2) customers that I cut at a very reduced price due to the fact that you would offend both of them if you offered to do it for free. One is an 83 year old lady that's as sweet as the day is long. She cut and maintained her own yard up to last season when she finally gave it up and hired me. I basically charge her 1/2 price. The other customer is a wheel chair bound young fellow.

    We all work hard for our money doing this type of work and I know that we would go broke in a hurry if all we did was these type of good deeds - but, nevertheless, I feel like there is a place for this in our line of work. Thoughts?


  2. MikeLT1Z28

    MikeLT1Z28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,732

    not to sound like a prude, but i won't be doing it. no one pays my bills or meals for me so i gotta make it somehow. also if you do it once....
  3. Mykster

    Mykster LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 668

    I agree with MikeLT on this one. Just sent off a bid to a elderly couple who's husband is parapallegeic. I felt bad for her and her husband but, can't afford to be cutting prices just to help her out.
  4. wolfpacklawn

    wolfpacklawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 120

    I do three places for free. All widows that do not have family who can help. All of them started as paying customers. One of them actually pays when she can but I never send her a bill.

    The reason- They need it done and they really can't afford to pay someone else to do it. One lady (in her 70's) has to work at a fast food joint to make ends meet. I figured it takes her 4 hours of work to pay for what takes my crew about 12 min. to do. I've been helped by others in my life when I was in need and I like to pass it on when I can.

    Even better than being independent (which seems to be your point) is understanding interdependence. Everyone needs help at some point in their life. Its not like these old ladies or disabled people are leaches on society. Someday you may need help from someone else who is in a position to help you. I hope they help you out.
    I'm not saying you're wrong, I would just hope that when you feel you are doing well in your business that you may consider having a little charity.
  5. MikeLT1Z28

    MikeLT1Z28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,732

    well, i am for helping everyone i can. at this point in business i can't afford to as we have noted. what i am saying is that if one person is getting it done cheap/free and other friends or customers find out, then they want it that way and want to know why they can't have it. some people would understand the situation while others just want to save a buck.

    i hate seeing anyone in a bad situation, health or financially, but sometimes you just can't help. at this point in business, i am one of the ones who can't help. now i would recommend them to someone who could save them some money or do it for free if i knew anyone who would. even if it meant not having them as a customer. yeah i know not having them at all would be even less profitable than doing it cut rate, but i'd rather wash myself clean of the situation if i were in it.
  6. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    I don't do ongoing cheap or freebies. If its a regular job then I must be at a certain level. But, when someone is in need and its 1 or maybe 2 times, I'll take care of it. I've done a few in the past. Honestly, it takes longer to warm up a mower than to cut a 2000 sf front lawn.

    I do understand people not being able to do this. Heck, nobody depends on my income but me. But, it just always seems to work out in the end. A good deed never goes unpunished (ok, unnoticed). ;)
  7. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    I put in spring and fall annuals for my development entrance and another one up the street...charity? not really...but when I have some free time I take care of it...it costs me little, I feel good about it....oh and did I mention I have gotten 6 jobs from it????

    2 of those 6 in fact told me they were impressed with my 'community spirit'...tee hee.....bet they voted for Clinton/Gore....."takes a village" and all that nonsense...

    But like Wolfpack said, we're all gonna need help somewhere down the line...most wise lessons in life I have learned from old people...so if I can help one out occasionally I will...but I wont make a habit of it...
  8. I try to keep personal matters separate from my business.
    It's tough enough trying to maintain a professional business like image without "giving away the store".

  9. P&J Lawncare

    P&J Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 531

    If I have a customer who has passed away them I always cut it one last time for free. This helps out the family in their time of need and it shows that we do care about our customers.
  10. Brickman

    Brickman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,249

    I used to mow free for a church, it wasn't but every other month. They had two LCOs mowing and we traded months. I have never sent a bill to a pissed off customer. I figured the fight wasn't worth the money. But I don't try to go out and mow for free, but would consider every job on a case by case basis. With me having a rider that cuts out a ton of the broke old ladies, they couldn't afford a big house, and lawn to start with.
    Now I have worked for a few single gals that they would have gotten away free if ....................................

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