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Billing error.. What do I do?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by 1BadHawk, Jun 10, 2005.

  1. 1BadHawk

    1BadHawk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 127

    Im doing a lawn renovation for a property of 1200 sq ft. along with mulch installation. The original estimate has everything involved, materials and labor, listed and priced. The total should be 1160.00 , but the software (excell) spreadsheet I used, did NOT add all the subtotals, omitting one item at a cost 350.00. Therefore the total listed on the estimate is 790.00. Like I said, everything is listed, broken up into catagories with sub totals and then a grand total.

    What do you think I should do. Bring it to the customers attention, explain that its was a software mathamatica error, and ask for the correct amount?
  2. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,619

    You can explain it to the customer but I doubt they will give you the difference. The customer selected you biased on what you quoted.
    Not sure how far you are into the project but can you bring back the materials and eat the time your already have in the project? Would it be cheaper to just stop working on the project vs. keep going if the customer doesn't give you the difference?

    Looks like you learned a lesson to recheck your figures manually. Spreadsheet software is only as good as the person who sets up the calculations. It could have been a whole lot worse.
  3. 1BadHawk

    1BadHawk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 127

    The project is finished (today). Eating the cost would mean making $14hr at the screwed up price, or $35 hr for the correct price. Id hate to eat the whole thing, and thought about bringing it to her attention and see what her reaction is, and based on that then offer to split the difference with her if need be. Taking the loss completely would be a real bummer since Ive probably got about 20-25 hours in on this job.

    What would you all do?
  4. rgjlawn

    rgjlawn LawnSite Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 84

    EAT IT :cry:
  5. mastercare

    mastercare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 289

    I like your idea of splitting the cost with her. Explain that there was an error ,and show the original estimate. Show that the numbers don't add up. Explain that you don't think ti would be fair to ask her for the full difference even though it is separated into the correct amount. And, since its your error, you wouldn't think of asking her to pay that much difference from the total, but I'd be willing to split the difference with you. Please understand that I'm actually losing money on this, and only want to recover the cost of some of the materials I quoted you for.

    Try it. If you ask for all of it and they say no, you won't have much luck asking for part of it. Appologize over and over, and try to make yourself look like the hero by not asking for the WHOLE $ amount of the mis-calculation.

    Good luck to you.
  6. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    they will think you are dishonest, or inexperienced...... either one is not good...... id explain the mistake, let them know what happened, and that i am going to stick to my agreement since i am an honest man, they may offer you the difference, but even if they dont, you will improve the image of your company
  7. Dogbonz

    Dogbonz LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 389

    Ditto! :cry: :p :eek: :mad: :drinkup: :drinkup: in that order!
  8. lawnservice

    lawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 589

    you got everything itemized with the correct sub-totals and just the grand total got screwed up?
    then i'd just say 'oopps, look what happened'
    thats an honest approach (at least nothing dishonest about making a mistake)... explain the situation and collect the funds

    to let it go would then make you look like an idiot. i mean if the homeowner does her own math (which I'm sure she did) she will realize the error in the grand total....and for you to say nothing, in my opinion, makes you look foolish, inexpereinced
  9. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 4,205

    Bottom line..........the customer looked at the total and made a decision based on that, going back and trying to correct that mistake at this point will most likely prove to be futile.

    I would explain the mistake and note the initial reaction to it,(the initial reaction will be the most telling) with the expectation that they would be paying the total originally quoted on the bottom line,........if they "understand" and are willing, you may get more..........

    Alway double check..............
  10. naturescaretaker

    naturescaretaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 854

    Chalk it up to experience and move on. You'll have to eat that one. Maybe you can generate some referrals to make up for the loss.

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