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Gas prices rising, customer count falling?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tallimeca, May 25, 2007.

  1. tallimeca

    tallimeca LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,229

    In the past two weeks, I can't tell you how many people have been coming in to buy equipment or have equipment serviced that has been sitting for years (JUNK!!!) because they have cancelled their lawn service because it's become too expensive.

    Talking to a bunch of LCO's that come in, they said they have lost a bunch of customers this year because they went up 2-3 dollars a cut because of the expected rise in fuel costs.

    They feel like they are just weeding out all the cheap people who are gonna complain no matter what the price is. And it's allowed them to persue some new clients that might work out better.

    Does this seem to be a trend?

    Thanks for sending all the cheap people to me so I can listen to them complain now!!!:rolleyes:
  2. Grass Kickin

    Grass Kickin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167

    I've lost a couple in the past few weeks but also picked at least as many up. The rising fuel cost shouldn't really lead people doing their own lawns. If we raise prices a couple of dollars, does that prompt someone to fix old equipment to do their own lawn? Now they have to expend the time and energy, cost of fuel for their equipment and cost of repairs. Sounds like it just will cost more in the long run.
  3. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    We were interviewed by our local paper this week (picutre's and all,lol) about the rising fuel costs and the 5% surcharge we added. I havent had one complaint...yet. People have to understand why we do it, everything we use runs on fuel! And I agree with the previous statement...most people will just pay it. I could see if you raised them 10 bucks a mow then that might send them looking elsewhere but a buck or two, I dont think so. Its all revalant, people take their junk to be repaired, the dealership prices seem to have gone up, parts have gone up due to delivey prices being raised due to fuel, plus the fuel and time they use up then finally the price to repair or even buying a new mower. Our average lawns costs 30-35 bucks per week and adding 5% is only adding $1.50 a week, I think thats by far cheaper than trying to repair old equipment and do it yourself. We have become so dependent of fuel its scary! Damn Gov'ts:angry:
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Man I tell ya, it got to the point push came to shove, I definitely think there is a trend. I lost a good dozen customers but also feel I'm better off with the higher class (full service) where one high class customer spends 2-3 times as much as the cheapos, some 4-6 times more, a few 8-10x!

    The thing that got me was the cheapos never wanted to spend a dime above and beyond the absolute minimum, try and get a lousy dollar is like pulling teeth and now we get the fuel price issue and they expect me to swallow the increase whole. Out of the few who stuck it out one is in collections, another is two payments behind, you know...

    I just don't care, I have no choice, I have to charge what I do or I get took.
    Just got another 'asset seizure' letter from the IRS, they wanted $655 this time.

    See, I might not be getting these letters were I charging too much, so I have to get this money and I have to pay it, that's all there is to it. The letters don't bother me because that's how used to them I am, but they do serve as proof, I'm really NOT trying to rip anyone off.

    I raised my prices by 5 bucks across the board, I don't play with the knick knack fuel surcharge myself, 5 bucks one time and we're done. Sure enough, all the cheapos went a scrambling, but you know it's about time, tired of these 2-300 / year accounts, folks who can't afford to spend 6-700 / year or more on an Lco need to do it themselves.

    Dealer repairs? Maybe they need to do it themselves, my dealer charges right at $60 pmh for labor, too!

    btw, this is nothing new, I know 1-2 Lco's who've been doing this for close to 30 years, this same crap has always gone on, it really is just a matter of where to send the lower income class, Idk what else to do.
  5. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    I Sure DO hope this is the trend ... get rid of those cheap PITA customers n get rid of those LCO's whom can't make it thru such a lean time or rising fuel cost ....

    HA that's too funny .... going out of business due to rising fuel cost ... if that's the case ...they NEVER had a business in the first place
  6. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,085

    Actually, I lost one at the beginning of the year when I raised his chemical price by $3. He was a full service customer too. This crazy old guy thought that $18 a year was going to kill them. He was kind of a PITA though. Always wanting something for free. I think he was trying to call my bluff by saying he was going to drop me. Bye Bye. That was the only one to date.
  7. NELawnCare

    NELawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 175

    Exactly. Before you ***** about the cost of fuel, think if it as a cleansing of the lc business. The $15-per cut business is GONE. These fly-by-night operations cannot sustain themselves when it costs more per day in gas than what they are bringing in moving $15 jobs.
  8. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    Need to get rid of these clowns ....that's a boat trailer with a belt drive lesco ....pulled by a station wagon which is real new .... all the 2 cycle stuff in the back ....hope it's all leaking gas fumes into the A/C .... HA .... I'll admit he did have the windows down

  9. GreenT

    GreenT LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 42,962

    Dang, where are the cops when you need them. That load is not secured and on the wrong trailer! Insane!
  10. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    Yeah, I saw a scion pulling a trailer the other day full of equiptment and grass. I about lost control of the truck when my new employee said " what, what, what, what the heck is that??"

    I have yet to loose one, In fact I cant keep the phone from ringing.
    Good quality will keep you fed.

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