Customers using others for misc. work on your job!!!!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by johnnybravo8802, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. johnnybravo8802

    johnnybravo8802 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Ga.
    Messages: 2,313

    I need to get an opinion. I'm starting to run into my long....time customers trying to cut corners and save a dime. While I know it's their property, I'm wondering where the loyalty is?!!!!! Pinestraw for example:There is a group of guys who go around town every year and put out straw for $4.50/bale. I am at $5.50/bale which is the industry standard in my area and has been for 15 yrs!!!! I do a very high quality job and the guys at $4.50/bale do really bad work..the customer isn't saving anything. What gets me is that my customers will overlook that I've been working for them for 12 years and do really quality work(These are customers with some serious money, I'll add). They'll step all over our relationship to save $1!!!!!!:hammerhead:I've even had one customer say that the $4.50 guys look like a bunch of criminals but their cheap.:confused: I don't want others thinking it's my company doing the work, and the sloppy work is on my property!! How do you approach the customer about this? After 12 years, shouldn't you just be able to do the job and send them a bill? What am I missing here? In my opinion, if a job is MY contract, I don't want to see another company anywhere near it!!!!!!!!! Help me out fellas...
  2. Southern Pride

    Southern Pride LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Memphis
    Messages: 1,382

    Well. Are you on a contract to install pine straw for them?

    I know what you mean though. New customer of mine (rich guy) has me come do small cleanups, but then hires one company to do a big cleanup and another to install his $2,500 irrigation job. He even told me they quoted higher than me for the SAME work on the irrigation job. I wanted to drop him right then but I just had to hold it in.
  3. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    yea, from time to time some of our customers use others. it's a PITA,
    we had a customer use a tree service and they came in and rutted up the lawn. left a mess.
    in our contract we have an area that states: any unforseen issues, such as storms. Pest, and human damage,

    this is about the only way I have worked around it.
    I really dont think you can hold then to JUST you.

    Best of luck
  4. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,966

    I had one like this before, several properties, and she would have others come in for half the going rate for projects. They would do a half rate job and then she wanted me to come in and clean it up. This happend twice and I dropped her and never looked back. I hate to give someone good service and then get screwed over in the long run. I think on your pine straw installs that I would walk at $5.50 a bale unless you're getting it much cheaper down there. My cost on pinestraw is $3.87/bale and that doesn't leave much for profit. I'm in a little better market as not everyone is willing to do straw, I usually get $8/ bale installed if less than 15 bales, $7.5 16-35 bales, and $7/ bale over 36. I prefer the straw as I make almost identical to mulch without having to deal with all the weight, shoveling and wheeling it around.
  5. johnnybravo8802

    johnnybravo8802 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Ga.
    Messages: 2,313

    Yea, I have to pay $3.25-$3.50/bale here in Ga. I really don't make any money at $5.50/bale and to have someone do it for $4.50/bale......It's one of those things that's automatic with my do the straw. It's not actually in the contract(Separate cost) but pinestraw is an understood service of ours. I like to do it because it's easy and it makes a place look better quickly. I have one contract that I've done for 12 yrs and I've always done the pinestraw. All of a sudden, a new company does some work at the property and they want to use them for the straw because they are a little cheaper. Again, where is the loyalty at? Maybe I need to start doing contracts that automatically include straw and snuff out anybody else on the property.
  6. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    although i can plenty understand your dilema, for the future start contracting the work, that is what we started doing. we also gave preferential pricing on the mulch for those that signed up for recurring service.

    things to consider......purely express your concerns about the quality of the job vs yours and you valued the business but the cheap guys are lowballers for a reason.

    not in those words, but a very short conversation that either they end or continue to make a longer proactive conversation. i think it is of no harm when done with couth.
  7. johnnybravo8802

    johnnybravo8802 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Ga.
    Messages: 2,313

    Thanks for the advice.
  8. landers lawn

    landers lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    i live in ga to. i get slash for 2.90 a bale . spread for 4.50 a bale.
  9. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    also, re checking your wholesale pricing, you can usually find a lower price. it is all about volume
  10. johnnybravo8802

    johnnybravo8802 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Ga.
    Messages: 2,313

    I have found some for $2.90/bale but it was poor quality and it wasn't worth it. Yea, these people want the highest quality straw at the cheapest price.....who would have figured!!:rolleyes:The thing is, you can't make any money at $1.60/bale, especially with the cost of fuel rising. Why do something if you can't make money? I already have one hobby...don't need another.

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