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Hate Being Lied To

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MOturkey, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    Had a lady call me the other day, and ask for a bid on her yard. Said she had "lost" her grass guy. She is located about 5 miles outside of a town I service in kind of a retirement village. Said she had 3 acres, but only mowed less than half weekly, the rest about 3 times a year. Wasn't in a hurry, as it had just been mowed.

    Yesterday, I was in the area, so went to check the place out. House is on a very steep hill, the slope of which gets less as you go down along the road, into the portion she only has mowed 3 times a year, but the front yard, sloping to the street, is, in places, extremely steep. Same with the ditches along the property, way too narrow and extreme to use the Z. Landscaped bed directly in front of the house, on the steepest part, with a rock border. Back yard wasn't as bad, with a slight slope, but some of the yard is inaccessible to the Z, and other parts would be dangerous to mow. I could just see losing traction on wet grass, or in dry conditions and sliding all the way down into the ditch.

    Probably 20 trees on the weekly mowing part, flower beds all over the place, a curb running all the way up the hill around to the back of the house (soil retention?), plus the ditches would have to be line trimmed for the most part.

    I looked the place over, and figured 45 minutes to an hour of trimming, plus mowing. The area was probably a little less than an acre.

    Went to the door to speak to the lady, and told her I'd have to have $80, which, for many of you, is extemely cheap, but this isn't a high income area.

    She asked if that was for all the property (3 acres, all wooded with a ditch along one side :)), I said, no, just for the weekly mowing part. I mentioned there was an awful lot of trimming, probably an hour, plus the difficulty of dealing with the slope. She said her neighbor had mowed it for her, and it only took him 35 minutes to mow. Possible.

    I asked about the trimming, and she said it took him about 20 or 25 minutes, but he didn't do a very good job (actually, I thought the place looked pretty good). She said something about someone doing it for $65 and that she just couldn't afford $80. I thanked her, and bid her farewell.

    No way anyone could do the trimming in 20 minutes, especially running up and down hills like that. I'm now thinking that her "grass guy" was charging $65, and decided he needed to raise her price, or went up to $65 from whatever he was charging, and she thought she could find someone to do it cheaper. Just burns me up when someone tells me something I know isn't true, trying to make me look like an idiot. All I can say is that if her neighbor did that whole yard, in an hour, doing as good a job as he did, then I hope he doesn't start a lawn service, because he'll put a bunch of us out of business. :)
  2. mississippiturf

    mississippiturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 674

    Your price is about what would be average down here for that amount of work. I'm sure she'll be able to find someone to do it cheaper. Those are the type of customers I really don't need in my business.

    Customers should expect to pay a reasonable price for expert lawn care. If their priority is to save a buck to sacrifice quality, then go elsewhere. End of story
  3. VirginiaLawnCare

    VirginiaLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 337

    I deal with that all the time I give them a bid and there like I cant afford that and they go with the guy who's 30$ less with a ridding mower. It dosn't bother me I just laugh and go on to the next customer.

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