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Bit by the scrub bug!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by HOMER, Aug 18, 2001.

  1. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    I'll try to keep this short.

    Had an account for the last 3 years, school.

    Went up last year $15.00

    Sent letters out end of June requesting another increase----bigger this time.

    Principle calls and say's he wants to keep me but can't afford that much increase.

    We strike deal, do a little less work and increase it by $50.00 a month..................I'm happy:D

    Cut it through July and invoice him.

    1st week in August I go by and it's already cut!:confused:

    Looked like shik so thought he had janitors do it for some odd reason.

    Go by next week, cut again. I did notice that it had been edged and the curbs trimmed...............janitor's don't do that....more:confused:

    Make a call to princ. to get the 411, secretary answers. She ain't got a clue......................ya right.

    Call dudes house.................get answering machine.

    No call back

    A few days later call him at home.

    Keep in mind that we had an agreement...................verbal, but with witnesses and a handshake..............I'd been doing this place since '98.

    Tells me that another guy came by and offered him $150.00 a month...............I had him up to $250.00..............for a month anyway.

    He couldn't refuse that offer so he says........................I asked him when I was going to be let in on the secret! He said his secretary was supposed to call me. Remember what she said?

    Turns out I know the guy quite well who wound up offering the the cheaper rate so I called him. He tells me that they said they could only go $150.00 a month...................Principal say's the lawn guy bid it at that! Something is stanky.

    Either way old Homer got the shaft. I think I could sue. We had a verbal agreement, he didn't have the gonads to even call me and let me know I was out and the scrub was in. School looks terrible now, unlevel decks really don't cut that well!:D

    I know, I know...............should have been on paper. Funny thing is the lawn guy and I have talked about charging appropriately, now I know the real deal.

    Yep, bitten by the scrub bug for sure.
  2. Sorry to hear about your misfortune, Homer. Seems some guys will do anything to save a buck. Now the other guy needs to go back to the principal and tell him he needs more money.

    Oh and next time get it in writing.
  3. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    I would think that a man that say's he's happy with his own agreement would stick to it longer than a month.

    I think it's more of a blessing than a misfortune. It was just a money generator, not a profitable account.
  4. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 564

    Boy, I'd really like having that principle influencing my child everyday! " O.K. kids... it is a good thing to lie and break your word if it means saving a dollar..."
  5. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183


    My son goes there!

    On the first day of school he (principal) avoided me like the plague. I knew something was up then but just bit my tongue.

    I went to this same Elementary school and so did all my kids, got one left there so I'll have to get over it.................which I am!
  6. Mike (MLC)

    Mike (MLC) LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    It was probably a good thing you don't have this account anyone. Seems like this principal would have screwed you over eventually. He was just looking for the right guy to mow it for such a low price. Now he can deal with his cheap crappy looking yard. I am sure people are real impressed with the nice botched up job the guy does. Maybe it will win a beautification award. Not!!!:p
  7. crazygator

    crazygator LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,048

    Bad thing is, this principle just made the school system liable for damages if someone is injured. If the botched job covers a hole in the ground or some other things and a kid gets hurt, its up his yazoo. He will learn, probably the hard way, but he will learn. Something else will folow Homer, it always does as you very well know!
  8. leeslawncare

    leeslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 649

    Like "ol skynerd said" Should have signed a contract.....we all know the rest of the song . Man i have been the b-4 my self but not this year . Thanks to this site I have put ALL new clients on a contract not just to cove my a&$ but to cover theres too. .
  9. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    This IS a tough break, and the same thing could have happened to me just as easy, if not easier. June, however is a HARD time to present increases, especially on a commercial job. Even after negotiating it down to $50.00 a month, it is still an increase after a budget was set. (I know the time we were having with gas price increases and all) And then, he was also taking into account (even subconciously) that he was getting less work for that amount. (These words can be damaging. If you have to increase prices, try to convince the customer that they are getting MORE somehow or the other, even if they really aren't.) Granted, this was not the best way for HIM to go about this, as he should have informed you, even if it would have came in the form of an ultimatum. (That's part of negotiating, I guess.) As far as the seceratary goes? It sounds like SHE played it off just as an experienced seceratary would. NOW, comes the FISHY part! He says this dude came by and OFFERED to do it for this rate? First of all, what would have prompted this guy to just "come by" and offer ANY price? How well do you know this dude, and did this guy know that you were doing this school "when he was called"? That's not to lay it on this dude, because he may very well have been called to this property. OR, did this guy just come in and lowball you? (Although that seems more unlikely). It sounds to me like the best standby you have now is to remind the principal of what he is getting, quality wise, now, as opposed to what he WAS getting, and yes, bring up terms like "liability insurance" and experience. As far as pricing goes, doesn't the board of education have the say on this? Good luck with it, and moniter it closely, as this guy may not last too long anyway. If he is cutting like this, and finds that acceptable, he is probably compromising in other aspects of the service as well.
  10. vipermanz

    vipermanz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,773

    Sorry about that homer:(

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