Customers' family wants to go every other week

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by gdguth, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. gdguth

    gdguth LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 442

    I have an elderly customer who has recently gone to the nursing home for some time. Now her family sends me my payment and says they want me to mow every other week for the rest of Sept. and October. I am a little mad as this is a weekly customer and has been for about 5 years. Has always paid on time and very litttle trouble.
    Now keep in mind that i don't use contracts. Should I just send them a letter back stating that there will be a price increase if I go everyother week. Or should I just forget about it for the rest of the year and make sure they know next year.

    Sidenote, we have had a very wet year and have not skipped anything yet. Most likey will start to go everyother week buy the middle of October, but has shown no sign of the grass slowing down that much yet. Sometimes I will get a mowing in in November.

    Also this is a customer who lives next door to a yard I cut, but that house just got sold and I will only mow it for maybe a few more weeks till it is sold. So this yard will be less profitbable as it is, because I was giving a better deal since there were two in a row. There use to be three that I did together but that house sold as well. Also I have already mowed it twice this month and would get in one more at the end of the month. Plus get 2 cuttings in October. So that isn't so bad.

    Anyway, Should I send a letter with increase for biweekly or should I forget about it?
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
  2. flatlander42

    flatlander42 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,239

    I'd be careful and be glad to have half the money instead of No money......And yeah, it may be a good idea just to talk to them over the winter and let them know way ahead of next fall. They should have no problem just make sure you explain yourself good. There is extra $ involved with any bi-weekley mowing, and it is only natural to charge a lil more. and with it being wet, it should only be that much more Obvious.

    I'd just be glad to get money, even if it is'nt the great deal anymore....if you are busy enough and don't mind the one leaving you, go ahead and let them know where you stand now.

    Good Luck.
  3. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,977

    I've had similar situations with family members taking over the finances when the customer is unable to, for whatever reason. I've had more than a few pay for a month and then get behind and never catch up. I've also had them never pay at all. Getting your job cut is bad enough. But never getting paid after they negotiated you down will leave you steaming.

    If we are talking a standard residential lawn, I'd probably drop it. But if you must, increase the price per service...and do not let them slide behind. If you send them a bill every month for the two cuts, send that bill out as soon as you can.
  4. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,700

    It's really up to you. If you don't mind loosing the money then let it go. We're at the time of year where most jobs are going to once every 2 weeks anyway so it's not that big of a deal. Bear in mind. THEY DON"T CARE WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE. They just want the grass cut. Don't go to any great efforts to please them. Just cut, trim and get out.
  5. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,151

    Do what this dude says and then next spring send em a contract with a weekly and bi weekly option.
  6. lawnkingforever

    lawnkingforever LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,280

    For the rest of the season, just deal with it. It is not worth the hassle to deal with it for just a few more mowings. But next year I would fully explain to them the situation. Or if you have a full schedule, tell them you can't go bi-weekly now and see where the cards fall.
  7. W.L.M.

    W.L.M. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    I would tell them now, that you will go every other week for the remainder of the year but if they wish to stay with that plan next year there will be x increase because of the extra time and effort it takes when you skip a week.
  8. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,128

    What he said. This time of year I'm all about client retention and making sure things are going as smooth as possible into the late fall. I'm not going to make waves over a few dollars per cut for the next month or two. Just get things in order and make sure they realize that the price will go up next season if they elect to stay bi weekly and make sure they understand the reasoning behind the increase.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I don't sweat stuff like this, maybe years ago I would, but for a longtime elderly client, I give the family the benefit of the doubt and just go with the flow. I've had one family stiff me for $150, and another give me a $100 tip at the end, so I just take my chances.

    Like someone said, they're no longer looking for high-quality service, keep that in mind and just do the job and go.

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