Customer wants it cut ''now and then''

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Expert Lawns, Aug 8, 2002.

  1. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,660

    i just got a call from an old lady that wants her lawn mowed when her grandson can't get to it. this could be once a year or once every 2 weeks, who knows. the hassle is that i can't put her on my normal schedule if its gonna be hit or miss mowing. on the other hand, its right across the street from a lawn i already mow.

    i told her i'd put her on the friday schedule and if her grandson mowed it to call me and let me know. she said no, that she'd call when she NEEDED it cut.

    i feel that this will be a PITA and that its fair to charge a bit more. what would you do? :dizzy:
  2. rkbrown

    rkbrown LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    If I took it, I would charge a minimum of 1.5 times my normal rate...maybe double. I imagine by the time you are called and able to schedule her in, the grass will be longer than your regular properties. Extra charge for wear and tear on equip and the pita factor with your schedule.
  3. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,660

    thats what i was thinking. she'll call when her grandson hasnt cut it for a month. 1.5 seems ok to me
  4. thfireman

    thfireman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 541

    I have a deal just like that. I explained why I was charging a higher rate and they understood. It is a itty bitty lawn that takes me 10 minutes to finish and I cut 2 on that street anyway. Even if they dont call me untill the night before I can knock it out and not get behind schedual.

    Charge them 1.5 your normal rate and they can take it or leave it!
  5. MPhillips

    MPhillips LawnSite Member
    from zone 7
    Messages: 94

    do you need to commit to her? She's not committing to you. Can you just tell her to call you when it needs it and you'll schedule something then?
  6. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,660

    the only reason i'm hanging on to her is because i've had really good luck with older people. i mow for 4 elderly ladies. they pay me up front for one month of mowing, they payyou to do all their yard work...weeding, mulch, hedges etc. plus they refer me to their friends. so i guess if i have to struggle a bit with her at first but i get a lot of work out of it and a few referals, its worth my time. :p
  7. As said above if you have time fit her into schedule best you can when she calls.

    Like others I'd also charge more than weekly rate, you know its going to take extra time to make it look good.
  8. TurfGuyTX

    TurfGuyTX LawnSite Senior Member
    from DFW
    Messages: 648

    If we take on any lawns in similiar conditions, we are around the 1.5 rate. We make sure to explain that if we don't get the proper notice, we can't schedule correctly. What kind of job is the grandson doing? It's something you should think about. If passerbys see you there one day, then later the lawn is all hacked up by the grandson, some people will think you hacked it up. Does the grandson maintain an edge on the lawn. If not, it'll be more work for you also. Just some thoughts. Good luck.
  9. Dennis E.

    Dennis E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    You are running a business. Right? Like mentioned charge extra for the service.
    I turn those away now. It may not be professional but it really throws the schedule off when you have to deal with people like her. Its not fair to the year round customers to have to make room for a "maybe,maybe not".
    The first thing I tell people now that call for a estimate is that all we do are year round agreements.That sends the "tire kickers" somewhere else.
  10. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    When she says "I'll call whenever I think it needs it." ; then you say. "O.k., I'll charge whatever I think it takes".;)

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