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Customer wants billed every 4 mows

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LawnGuy35, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. LawnGuy35

    LawnGuy35 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 159

    While mowing yesterday, a customer (who I just picked up this year) came outside with mail in her hand and said, "You haven't sent me a bill in a while and I don't want to get it and have it be too high. You've mowed four times since the last bill and I don't want to pay for more than four mows at a time."

    I said, "I bill monthly and bills for May services just went out last night, so you should be getting it in a few days."

    I then went on to say, "Just as a heads up, since today's June 1, next month's bill will include five mows. And, weather permitting, August will probably be the same."

    She said, "Oh no, I don't like that one bit. I'd like you to bill me every 4 mows. I don't want to pay for more than 4 mows at a time."

    I asked if she'd like to pay me on each visit, but she declined. So, being that I'm happy with my weekly charge there and because it's in a small suburb where I have 9 other customers, I agreed to bill her every 4 mows. I don't like it, but wanted to work something out to keep her happy.

    I understand some people live on a tight budget, but she lives in a nice house and is constantly spending money on new plants, flowers, outdoor furniture, landscaping, etc. Plus, her adult daughter lives with her, and I know she has a good job that pays well. So I just don't get it.

    Anyone else ever have customers with requests like that? If so, did you say, "too bad, my terms" or did you agree to it?
  2. GravyTrain

    GravyTrain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    First of all, if you bill her every four mows, she won't be saving any money. she'll just be paying every four weeks (assuming you are on a weekly schedule).

    For me, I have had several customers say they want cut on the 1st and 15th only. Or, bill me monthly, cut it every two weeks, but don't mow more than 2 times a month.

    For each of those customers, I simply explain that they will run into months where the days fall just so, and they will have to pay for an extra cut. That then allows me to offer my averaged payment plan which would probably be a lot easier for you since you are on a strict weekly schedule. I mow on average between 16 and 17 mows per year. So I take my per cut rate (between 40 and 55), multiply by 16.5 and divide by 8. Then with a little bit of rounding, they owe me X amount from March 15th through October 15th. This works well for everyone (assuming they take it), and at that point, I honestly never have to even talk to my customers again, unless it is absolutely necessary.
  3. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    These are the type of clients i replace.
  4. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,780

    I don't see the big problem? Every 4 weeks, mail an invoice. It means you will maybe print 3 or 4 more invoices in a year. I'd complain about customers that want to pay me less often, rather than more often. :)
  5. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    so why not do that with every customer and see how much you enjoy it. Some at every 2, every 3, every 4, every cut. Fun is.
  6. nolanjim

    nolanjim LawnSite Member
    Messages: 192

    No big deal. She pays her bills so make her happy.
    Posted via Mobile Device

    DIXIECONTRACTING LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 283

    There will only be three maybe four months that you will have to charge for an extra cut so why not just send her one extra bill at end of season to cover those so that your monthly billing does not get screwed up?
  8. GravyTrain

    GravyTrain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    Good luck with that one. Immediately the response you get from the customer is "you didn't mow this month, why am I being charged?". That's the very reason I only charge customers March through October...to many people have NO common sense to understand how simple things works.
  9. Ijustwantausername

    Ijustwantausername LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,711

    I guess it's your preference. Honestly with new customers unless they are under contract, I require prepayment or payment on site as soon as I am finished. People like to "forget" to pay you a lot these days, beware.
  10. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    I mow ever 7 days. Each customer besides a commercial place pays per cut. They leave a check in a given place at each. The commercial is billed monthly. I get a check for the coming month usually before I start the first mow of that month. No getting stiffed from them. In reality, I owe them each month.

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