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Ever Walked Off a Job?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by cwlawley, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. cwlawley

    cwlawley LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    I feel pretty bad about walking off a job today. I gave a woman a bid to remove a pile of limbs, branches, etc about a week ago. The pile was relatively large but I could have fit it in one 5x8/truck load, I told her $105.00...it was probably an hour and a half of work for one guy. She said that was fine but had to pickup a couple more "sticks" laying around the yard. I told her no problem that I would be there today to pick them up. When I got there this pile had gotten two times as large and the "sticks" she was still picking up turned out to be 8ft long, 5" diameter trees/limbs. The added "sticks" means two trips to the landfill, not one and about 3 hours. So I left. I called and left a message with a new estimate, but I got outta there. Was this wrong?
  2. godzilla

    godzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 400

    No, you weren't wrong. You bid one job and when you got there the job had been changed. A note on the door / garage door would have been an added bonus to the message on the phone, but I think you did fine.

    I've walked off of jobs before, and no regrets. Then there were jobs I wish I had walked off of, but I stuck them out and wasn't too happy at the end.
  3. lwcmattlifter

    lwcmattlifter LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 859

    I wouldn't worry about that for a second. That was a sneaky thing for the customer to do. I wouldn't load a single piece of debris until a new agreement was reached. By staying on the site you were just wasting time.
  4. KeystoneLawn&Landscaping

    KeystoneLawn&Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 774

    I also agree, you handled the situation just fine. When the customer does call you back, she may try to say the pile is the same as when you first looked at it. Just explain you measured the pile to be sure it fit in your truck when you first quoted the job, and thats how you know the pile has changed. Most importantly, be a professional when you speak to her. If she doesn't have you come back, thank her for the opportunity to quote her job and to give you a call whenever she needs something else done and you would be happy to give her a quote.
  5. jsf343

    jsf343 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,786

    Nope you are wrong!! just kiddin, I would have done the same thing! kind of humerous how people think sometimes. I had a guy who wanted us to blow part of the street in front of his house, said he would pay us 10 extra, I thought "wow, ok" and did it. He only paid us 4.00 extra I said "wheres the other 6.00?"he says "Oh, I'll get you next time" Im thinking uh huhhhhh. next week comes,he wants the same thing. I said "no, thats what city workers are paid for, sorry" never did get the 6.00 but sure felt good telling him that.:laugh:
  6. godzilla

    godzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 400

    My old boss had that happen with one customer... what a female dog! No extra $. She wanted the front of the property blown off with the big blower every week because of the pine needles and felt that it should be included in the price she paid. As far as I know, he no longer works for her.

    In other news, I've been on jobs before where I have wanted to beat the living daylights out of the customer, and then take off for home. I took the high road, stuck it out, and was sorry in the end.
  7. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    This is wear those digital cameras come in real handy...Picture of the pile during your estimate versus picture of pile after 'a few sticks'.
  8. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,095

    Sounds like the customer is cheap... Trying to pull a fast 1 over on you! I would have done the same thing! I would protect my a$$ for next time and soehow mark the limbs to be collected...spray the end or something along those lines! Good Luck!
  9. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    I have not had a similar thing happen to me with a customer -- oh yes, a few times where the job did get a bit bigger than first thought -- but, my most difficult matter was with a neighbor. When loading debris from my customer, a neighbor asks if he can put a few things on my trailer. "No, not a problem."

    While working at my customer's job, he comes out with big piles of debris, already loaded onto my trailer. I was not a happy camper, but I did explain it costs me money to dump this debris, and time to get it off the trailer. But, it didn't matter, he thanked me for helping him out, and quickly left. I didn't feel like dumping back onto his yard, and didn't want to irritate my customer, so I bit my tongue and went about my business.

    So, just a word of warning for "the neighbor" who asks ...

    M RASCOE&SONS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,475

    i have had customers try to pull that before and i do the same thing as you did .also like LB1234 said a digital cam is good ,plus it serves a before and after so you can show potential customers your work.i have the "sony handycam 120x digital zoom" i love it..

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