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Got a compliant! Did I charge too much??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by all degree, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. all degree

    all degree LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 344

    Did a hedge job a few weeks ago. Basically all 15-18ft Arbs surrounding a pool deck. Almost growing into a hedge. Dimensions were 40ft across back of property 65ft on one side and 20ft on the other side. All three sections needed to be done on the back and fronts of plants. Also trimmed a hedge that was wrapped around the front of the house low to the ground but still 30 ft.

    It took two guys 2.5 hours total to finish so say 5 man hours and we took the debris with us. Difficulty factor was high due to the size of the arbs. Charged $400

    Now I am getting the whining act. It took the last guy 8 hours. Well the last guy was using an electric hedge trimmer and was one guy. We had two pole trimmers and two handhelds. Last guy also charged $400. So in my opinion I am punished for being faster???

    What do you think?? Am I wrong? Still wont ruin my day:D
  2. WigginsLandscaping

    WigginsLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 103

    Ask him to go and get his car worked on. Mechanics get paid by the flat rate scale. Meaing a water pump on an XX car calls for 4.5 hours labor. If the mechanic gets done in 1.5 hours he still get paid for the 4.5. If the mechanic takes 12 hours to complete he still gets paid the 4.5. This is a standard practice. The man should get a grip. Would he have paid more if it took you longer to do? Nope. Yes I agree with you 100% that you are getting punished because you actually know what you are doing. Just my opinion as this one hits home. The samething has happened to me only when i was a little smaller using a push mower on a yard I charge xx amount for this customer. But after I grew a little and got a WB with sulky and cut my time in half he asked if the price goes down now that i am doing it faster. I of course said no. I still have this man as a customer. But the nerve to say the least. Sorry about rambling. BUT JEEZZZ. Some people.
  3. twins_lawn_care

    twins_lawn_care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 932

    you are not wrong at all.
    You did the job for a certain price.
    The only way I can see he complaining is if you agreed to a certain amount per hour for a fee, which I doubt.
    Sounds like he's one of those who complain about everything, just to see if he can save $20 here and there, and get a free topping in his pizza, just for asking!

    get your money, you deserve it!
  4. lawnjockey51

    lawnjockey51 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 132

    or you could get a little more personal ... Sir, if a brain surgeon operated on your brain and it took him two hours, and the next brain surgeon did the same operation on your brain in one hour, would they charge you differently? Oops, sorry, wrong question ... you don't have a brain.
  5. Remsen1

    Remsen1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    I agree with you All Degree. It's still the same job even though you can do it faster, easier, and probably better, so why should they expect you to charge less. The customers way of thinking would be like paying a college kid $100 to dig a large hole by hand and it takes all day to do it vs. $100 for an excavator to dig the same hole in 10 minutes. Would they expect to pay the excavator less for the same hole since it took far less time?

    These kinds of customers have no brains.

    They are the same ones who want us to charge $10 since we can cut their lawn and be back in the truck in 20 minutes with our ZTR compared to paying Jimmy $20 bucks for the same job cause it takes him an hour and a half with his 21".
  6. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,905

    No, that kind of customer is what I'd call a cheap swindler. I have 1 bi-weekly elderly lady that grumbled and complains that I can now do her lawn in 1 hr VS. the 2.5 it took me before with a 21". I told her if she didn't like it to feel free to find some one else to maintain her property.. If I let her she'd nickel and dime me with all sorts of "extra's" for free. As soon as I have more work to replace her, she's history.
  7. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    do the right thing. offer no explanation, just a bill, payable on reciept.
  8. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    4 bills, 5 man hours and you took the stuff away? Sounds reasonable to me.
  9. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,075

    You have done the right thing. Take the nice guy approach and try and explain the reason for the cost to the customer as previously pointed out. Some customers need pictures to understand.

  10. NNJLandman

    NNJLandman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,306

    Your right on man, I did almost the exact some job last week, and your price is like right on with mine so who cares. You gave them a price, they agreed to it, you finished the job.....done deal. Now pay they man.


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