Cut n Strut

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Midwest
You are the victim of a husband and wife hustle. They are tag teaming you, in an attempt to con you. Don't fall for it.

An above board husband would have simply told his wife " No hunny that wasnt included in the discussion I had with the contractor ".
End of discussion, you never know it happened.

They are trying to create confusion to get free work out of you.


As someone else said, the husband is your client, deal with him only. The scope of work was discussed by the two of you only.

Its not uncommon for verbal discussions to be referred to and observed by both the homeowner and the contractor. Its rare that every last detail is spelled out in the written
contract, not should it need to be.

At least that’s your speculation, they could just be crazy and not have had any ill intent or conspiracy cooked up.
 

gardiner

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
MASSILLON OHIO
Did you question him about the other areas ? Or did he tell you to only go to a certain point.
To me this is a lack of communication.& Maybe a lack of experience on you. For this type of work. To not question the rest of the property. Or educate the customer on the right time of year to rejuvenate shrubbery.
Depending on your area. You could have cut shrubbery down as far as the customer wanted. That the customer needed to understand that it may take a year or two for the shrubbery to restore shape.
For the most part most shrubbery not all . can be cut down to stubs.
 

Delmarva Keith

LawnSite Senior Member
My initial thought is identical to @gardiner — communication and experience would have prevented the issue. Chalk it up as a learning experience. Customers are not landscapers and don’t understand that when they say x you hear x, like exactly. Look at the overall situation, use your experience and ask questions, no matter how seemingly obvious. A simple “and what would you like us to do with that area over there“ would clarify things in their mind and also potentially upsell more work for you.

Reminds me of a story, a neighbor had some beds in back of his house that wrapped around the corners of the house and then up along the sides a couple of feet. He hired a local company, big around here, to freshen up and mulch the “back beds.” You guessed it, the big company did just what he asked — mulched the beds stopping exactly even with the back of the house, leaving the few feet that wrapped the corners beyond the rear line of the house untouched. It looked stupid and the reason I know what happened is he was not shy to share the story if you get my drift. The point is, he’s not a landscaper and when he said “back beds” in his mind he meant the entirety of the beds. If the guy doing the estimate or the guys doing the work had asked one simple question, there’d be no story.

A part of salesmanship is working with the customer to discover what they need and want, and then helping them to understand you can deliver exactly that at a price they perceive as fair for what you will deliver. A part of running a business is documenting the result of the salesmanship in an agreed scope of work that both parties fully understand. The whole process doesn’t have to be elaborate or take much time at all, just a conversation and write up the particulars, but it’s a good process.
 

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
Oh its the typical wife and husband didn't communicate type of customer. Yes written or emailed scope of proposed work is best, but in this case I'd tell him straight that my business and discussion was with him and not her, with all due respect. She can't go adding in a change order after the fact, on site maybe, depending on how I have my day scheduled.

That's on him if he didn't talk to her about it. I would then propose what it would cost to finish it, or just walk away, or tell them to pound sand unless they are a routine customer of mine.

But I'm getting aggravated with customers lately, so maybe disregard the last suggestion.
I agree there’s definitely some people that do this routine on purpose
 

DA Quality Lawn & YS

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rochester, MN
Agree, quote time and materials not by the job, if you think people are trying to pull the poop over your eyes.
 

Freaky Fido

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Northeast USA
Meh quoting time and materials leaves money on the table. Why leave money on the table when situations such as these are a minority
I work almost exclusively for my regular customers and T&M is my norm. I can't remember the last time that I even had to work up a price for one of them. I may not hit a home run but I know I'll make my rate and my customers know the price will be fair. All it takes is for a customer to feel that they were taken advantage of once and they're a former customer. Not saying you're wrong, but there are benefits to working on a T&M basis.
 

DA Quality Lawn & YS

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rochester, MN
Meh quoting time and materials leaves money on the table. Why leave money on the table when situations such as these are a minority

Im not saying do it all the time, just with the suspected shysters' out there.
 

Top Forums



Top