Customer questions cleanup bill

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Uranus, Nov 25, 2006.

  1. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,624

    That is the responce I have been getting from some of my buddies in the business. The list of equipment used doesn't reflect the pieces left on the trailer that were not used. I just heard his message the other day and it was in my head all weekend and that is why I posted it. I know I'm in the ballpark with the price and the only way I might be off with the price is for charging him for grass cutting during the cleanup. The way I see it is if your grass needs cutting while I'm doing a cleanup then I'm charging for it. Everything gets bagged so I'm dumping more often and sucking it up and hauling it away. I'll see the owner of the "last year company" in the morning and see if he will share a ballpark price of what he charged them last year.
  2. jrc lawncare

    jrc lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    No way is $400.00 outrageous to clean-up leaves, it goes hand-in-hand with how big the prop is, & what the clientele want. We have ones that range anywhere from $80.00, to $750.00 & up. You get what you pay for.
  3. mslawn

    mslawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from LA
    Messages: 483

    How big is the property? A 38.00 mow sounds like it is a small property. You should have given them a round about figure before even doing 2 leaf cleanups. It puzzles me to see someone go to a property and do a sh&^load of work without even being clear on the price and then wonder why it is being questioned.
  4. mslawn

    mslawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from LA
    Messages: 483

    I would tell you to get lost.
  5. Four Season's

    Four Season's LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 70

    My only thought is why you're charging $38 for mowings on 11/2 and 11/22 in addition to clean-up? The only reason I ask is because there couldn't have been too much grass to mow in late november? I can't see charging for a mowing when you're using your mower to pick up the leaves anyway. But that's just me.
  6. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,624

    Well sorry you feel that way. The 'last year guy" is a neighbor to me. Didn't know it was his account and they bad mouth him so it was free game anyways.
  7. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,624

    I cut off about 2 inches both times. On the first cut it was about 2-3 weeks since last cut and after the cleanup I called the fert company and they came out and did the winter fert the same day. Second cut was 3 weeks later, obviously it had recently been ferted and we have been having warm temps. I got a call today from a client that I mowed and cleaned up 2 weeks ago looking to see if I would cut there grass one more time before it snows. So there is still some new growth out there.
  8. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    It might be a good idea in the future to let new customers know a ballpark figure of what they're looking at for leaf cleanup before you do the job, especially if it's an hourly thing.

    I don't do these big one-time or two times a year cleanups because of what has happened here. Sticker shock. I mow and mulch them as they fall and charge a little extra since it only takes a little extra time (10-20 min) each visit, if any. No complaints. If I waited till they were knee deep I could not handle them without special equipment and time consuming hauling. I can't imagine not running into price resistance if I had to charge what my time is worth to vac up and haul off a fall's worth of leaves at once.

    This is also why I mulch leaves instead of collecting and hauling them off. It requires a fraction of the time and hence you can charge a fraction of the cost and still come out ahead. When they're paying your $20 extra instead of $200, suddenly that 100% leaf fragment free look isn't such a big priority. I see that up north collecting leaves is the main strategy. I wonder if this is because the volumes are higher, which is sometimes hard to believe (we have hardwood deciduous trees here too) or because it is seen as a lucrative revenue source in a shorter mowing season where you can use all the revenue you can get. (I'll mow cool season grass lawns once more in December here, and mowed them 2-3 times in November), and if you wind up with $100/year/customer in leaf revenue instead of $400, you're coming up short.
  9. crzymow

    crzymow LawnSite Senior Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 378

    I usually include the mowing in my hourly rate for my cleanup. As far as all the guys that just mulch the leaves up all fall, do you ever add lime to the soil? Leaves are acidic and you may have a problem over time.
  10. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,085

    In my yearly contract I have my mowing price, my hourly rate for landscape maintenance, and my price per bag for using my Walker to bag leaves. I haven't had anyone question me once in 6 years. I always get a funny look from one of my older clients, but she knows if she has a problem with it, I can unload the leaves where I got them. :laugh:

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