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Am I getting ripped off?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tuffguy23, Jul 28, 2007.

  1. tuffguy23

    tuffguy23 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Hi, I hired a pro landscapers worker ( as a freelancer ) to remove some shrubs for me. On the phone I asked what his rate was and he said $45 per hour. I said fine, come on out.
    He and his helper spend 3 1/2 hours here and does a fine job. I say whats the bill ( guessing $45 x 3.5 ) and he says "well we spent time to get here and we will need to spend time to dump this debris, so the charge is 5 hours. I am slightly surprised by the 'travel' charge but I go in the house to get the $225. As I hand him the money, he says "Umm, you know it's $225 for EACH of us". So he's wanting $450 for 3.5 hours of shrub cutting. I am totally taken by surprise by his double pricing per hour. Shouldn't he have told me the rate is $90 per hour plus travel??? I gave him the $225 and told him I'll have to send him a check for the rest. I feel bretrayed and taken advantage of. I'm tempted not to send the check, but I'm not that type of person. Just needed to vent.
  2. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    Well, $45 per hour would be awfully low for 2 people, especially, I'm guessing, in your area, so maybe you should have figured it was going to run more.

    However, the guy should have made sure you understood the pricing system, and that travel time would be included in the final bill. That is just good business.

    From your standpoint. Lesson learned. I'll bet you'll ask a few more questions next time. :)
  3. Nosmo

    Nosmo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,216

  4. OMG

    OMG LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 275

    It's certainly a fair rate. I'd be chapped about the travel pay without it being disclosed initially, but you're definitely not overpaying.

    $60-$75 per man hour would be more in line.

    I will agree the worker wasn't very upfront.

    Personally, I would offer $45 x 3.5 x 2 + a fair amount for disposing of the shrubs and be done with it. I don't blame the guy for charging a fair amount for disposing of the shrubs.
  5. coif_kid

    coif_kid LawnSite Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 93

    To be honest I would feel really bad if you got ripped off and so I hope you stand firm on this. What you agreed to was $45.00 per man hour (you both should have specified the number of guys to be working, but to late for that now). Now, you certainly aren't going to pay for their travel time to get to your job. The $45.00 per hour needs to accomodate their expenses for the travel time. So definitely take off the travel to the job.

    For the dumping, you should only pay one guy to go dump the stuff. Paying two guys dumping stuff is rediculous because it is extremely inefficient (an obviously they are padding the numbers there).

    So you have 3.5x2 (Actual hours worked) + 0.75*1 (Plus the dumping for one guy).

    So 7.75 hours is what you should be on the hook for. That said though, I would be extremely upset that they sent two guys with there rather than just one guy. One guy is going to get the overall job done faster in man hours than two people. However, like I said that it is your mistake. If you pay for anything over the 7.75 hours then honestly your letting yourself be suckered. In the future however, get the job quoted as a job, not by hourly. In the end hourly rewards slower and inefficent uses of time. This hurts you and hurts the workers as well (the harder you work the more you should be rewarded not by slacking).
  6. Mancinioldhorse

    Mancinioldhorse LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    Yep that guy is ripping you off...3.5 hours @ $90.00 when he specifically said $45.00 per hour is on him....Did he tell you that it was $45.00 per person? It's not up to you to figure out what he meant...A busness man has to be explicit....also...You don't pay travel time to the job...but you do pay him for time going to the dump & dump fees. so basically you should be paying for 4-to 4.5 hours at $45.00 per hour plus a dump fee.

    It's guys like that that will give us all a bad name.
  7. tuffguy23

    tuffguy23 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Thanks for the replys so far. I'm gonna call him and explain my point of view again, see if he compromises at all. If not, no problem. I'll pay him. I just won't use him again. You guys are right. Next time I will ask more questions.
  8. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Messages: 1,657

    Per Man hour!!!!

    "oh I thought you meant.." I hate hearing that crap.
  9. turfcaster

    turfcaster LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    He forgot to charge you for gas money and mileage. Whos been suckered now?
  10. Dunn's

    Dunn's LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,534

    I am I the only one who read the entire post here?

    It sounds like this guy works for a company you use and you asked him to moonlight. Sounds like you got what you deserved by trying to rip off the company you normally do business with.

    And that guy needs to be fired by his company and you gotten rid off as a customer. In our contracts it states that customer will not solicit employee's during and for one (1) year after the term of the contract,customer will not solicit the employment or employ the company's personnel, without the company's prior written consent. This may or may not result in Theft of service charges being brought against the customer and employee, depending on the circumstances.

    That's what you get for being a snake in the grass.

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