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Customer is mad at me. Am I wrong?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnagent, Jun 5, 2003.

  1. lawnagent

    lawnagent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 531

    I have this one acount that takes over an hour to mow and trim. This property has about 50 trees on it and they drop twigs and sticks like crazy. I spend at least 1/2 hour picking up sticks every time I am there, before I can mow. This last time I filled half my full size pickup truck bed with twigs. Not 4 foot limbs and stuff but50 million sticks and twigs. I had enough. I charged her an extra $25.00 for the time spent picking up stuff and told her from now on I was gonna start charging $25.00 an hour for all this extra time spent when I could be mowing. SHE WENT OFF! I did not get fired but boy did she tell me how unfair it was. She said it was way too much and since I wasnt using equipment to do the work I should charge $10.00 an hour.:eek: Im like yeah right!:angry: So I am supposed to spend MY time that I could be mowing for 45 an hour or more, picking u sticks for $10 an hour?:confused: I don't think so! What do you all think?
  2. mrbenfer

    mrbenfer LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 136

    I dont mind picking up a few twigs around trees for my clients...... But filling a truck is to much. Maybe you should let her know that picking up sticks (filling truck bed) is not in the contract :p

    as my dad always told me "DO A MANS WORK, GET A MANS PAY"
  3. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    unless I have figured pick up time in the cost of the cut, I don't pick up little twigs or branches unless they are big enough to damage the mower or anything else.

    I just mow over them.

    if they are high enough in the grass for the blades to them, then there isn't much left when I am done.

  4. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,075

    You have to be compensated for you time spent picking up sticks in a fair manner. $10.00 an hour is not a fair compensation. If you don't want to mow over the sticks either due to the believe the finished product will not be nice or that it will damage your equipment you have no choice but to pick up the sticks.

  5. Clay

    Clay LawnSite Member
    Messages: 236

    This is an example of why 3 years ago I decided to sell blocks of time instead of duties... I set a budget with my clients and perform the services that are most in need during their alloted block of time.... plus charge extra for materials and 10.00 a gallon for sprays like roundup...

    There is never an over or underbid situation... and the amount of services performed is determined by their budget... If they want more service they know they simply need to increase the budget...

    This started because I moved to a new area and didn't really know exactly how to bid the completely different growing conditions.... It has proven very successful and is now being promoted in one of the trade magazines this month...

    Good Luck, Clay
  6. Remsen1

    Remsen1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    The only thing I could suggest is that you could have explained the situation before charging her. Or show her the sticks in the back of your truck and tell her next time you will have to charge her. Give her the option of picking them up herself, and tell her that your rate is not $10 per hour. Chances are she would do it herself or start doing it herself one time, then say BS to this and pay you your rate to do it for her without complaining.

    As for her "no equipment" argument, that's BS! Where did you put the twigs? In your truck! Where are you taking the twigs? Off her property! How are you taking them off her property? In your truck! What expenses do you have transporting the twigs? Fuel, mileage, insurance. Then when you get to the dumping area, disposal and more time! "No equipment" B S !

    If she doesn't want to pay your rate, then don't do it.

    One last thought however would be to consider how valuable this particular customer is and how good (generally) is she to work for. If you can comprimise a little to keep the customer happy, without losing your profit margin, by all means comprimise.
  7. lawnagent

    lawnagent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 531

    She is a PITA so I have a bad attitude towards it I am afraid.:D
  8. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    clay...sir, I don't understand.

    Idunno what a block of time is.

    could you splain further or direct me otherwise?


  9. LOL

    Clay some more details please, I have an idea, but want to hear yours also.

    Blocks of time cost this much for say an hour, and I will perform this and this in that hour, but once the hour is up, I am gone.

    Kind of like Ultimate Dillrods psychiatrist, when times up, he says see ya tomarrow............

    ADLAWNCUTTERS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 191

    i would tell her this is the price ,if you don't like it you better get your rake out and have fun, don't put up with anyone's bull

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