Customer is nuts

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LCME, Sep 3, 2004.

  1. LCME

    LCME LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    OK I need to vent a little. Customer wants weekly mowing and hedges trimmed monthly. I trimmed hedges last month. She called me the day before I was to trim hedges this month and said do not trim hedges. Maybe next month. I reminded her that I quoted the cost based on monthly maintenance. Not on-call. And, if she wants hedges trimmed once in a while the cost is per man hour. Well, she did not like that. Almost demanded the same rate. PITA. Also, she wanted flower bed weeds pulled in a small area. Then, she calls me the next day saying I missed the whole area. Well, I reminded her she only wanted that area done. Nope she says, I want all areas cant you see all those weeds over there!. PITA. Fine, I pull all weeds everywhere and charge her accordingly. Customer want gutters cleaned in fall. She said, the last guy who cleaned did it for $50. I told her I will have to measure and give an estimate. She said, fine as long as it's no more than $50. I measure the gutters to be 175 FT. My estimate, 175 FT X 0.75 per FT. comes to $132. And, round up to lets say $150. OK I feel better now. Thanks for listening.
  2. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,009

    You guys that pressure wash and clean gutters are the reason we're called lawn whores.Wave money at them and they'll do anything.Either be a landscaper/lawn guy or be a handy man.
    I think I'm gonna call my cable company and demand they repair my broken faucet,at the price I tell them to.May even get them to take out the trash while they're there and bring me my newspaper.
    A bit harsh,but it's the truth.Tell her you don't do windows or gutters.
    Also,you should have had a contract stating work to be performed,specifically.
    (I think Bobbygedd is transmitting signals to me)
    I really don't mean for it come out that bad,but ya gotta admit,it's the truth.
  3. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Pita customers come once in awhile. The main thing is, is to have the communication clear at the time. Sometimes, you get the ones that say. "That's not what I said". Or, "That's not the price we agreed on."
    As far as the gutters go, we do them all the time as part of the fall clean-up. The money is too good not to. I think $150 is a bit extreme, though. $50 is reasonable, since it takes less than an hour, and in most cases, takes less than 10 minutes.
    jbt likes this.
  4. mastercare

    mastercare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 289

    Gutter Cleaning can be good quick $$$. I'll climb a ladder to the roof with my BP Blower. I can clean ou 175Ft of gutters in less than 10 mins, and probably get $50-100 for tohse 10 mins. I agree about the power washing, but gutters are an extra service I offer, as part of Fall Cleanup.

    As far as contracts, its much easier (here comes the bashing) to not have a contract for you to argue with your customers about. Give them their weekly price per cut, and send them bills. When they want extras, price it as you go. It's more of a PITA to give an estimate every time they want more work done....but its better than spending time arguing about what is and isn't included in a contract. I would much rather do one job at a time, and give a price for each job (or hour). That way, you're never doin more work than you're getting paid for, and the customer can never say that you didn't do as you promised.
  5. parkwest

    parkwest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 678

    Make sure you break out your worker's time for doing gutters since your worker's comp will need to be adjusted for working off the ground.
  6. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,009

    <i>Gutter Cleaning can be good quick $$$</i>
    See what I mean?
    <i> As far as contracts, its much easier (here comes the bashing) to not have a contract for you to argue with your customers about.
    Yeah LCME is having a grand ol time not arguing about the weeds he didn't pull up.A little time writing up an estimate for add ons is a small price to pay for clear communication with your customer.It also is more professional.
    If you had a plumber come out repair a septic tank,do you think he would repair the faucet too without an add on to the invoice as well as telling you what the new price will be?
  7. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,009

    BTW,if this thread goes over 30 posts,I'll let Sean know where to send my check :D
  8. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    no way nick, you aint movin in on my scene.
  9. dkeisala

    dkeisala LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 911

    I don't even like cleaning my own gutters. I'm certainly not going to crawl around someone else's.
  10. LCME

    LCME LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    Thanks for the tip on how to handle extra work. From now on, just the mowing. And, if customer wants extra work I will write up an estimate first. Then, go over with customer. Work the extras only if the customer signs the agreement.

    The power washing was a one time thing. Customer wanted siding washed. I needed the extra money for equipment soon. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    Thanks for all the replies. The knowledge out there is sinking in.


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