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How Would You Handle This Situation?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by hoyoman, May 11, 2007.

  1. hoyoman

    hoyoman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Been mowing for 11 years now and usually do not mow for neighbors...always had plenty of other clients outside my immediate neighborhood. Last week a neighbor right next door called and said he had not been feeling well all week and would I have time to mow his yard. I said that would not be a problem and gave him a very reasonable price. It now turns out he is in the hospital and may have a long term illness that will not allow him to do his own yard at all, perhaps for the rest of the season. His wife has asked me to continue mowing until things get back to normal. Would you do the mowing at the price quoted to him earlier, or because of his illness and the fact that he is right next door, would you give him a better deal or maybe even do it for free? (I can do it when I do my own yard.) Any thoughts on the matter?
  2. dcgreenspro

    dcgreenspro LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 688

    if it's not a big yard and right next door = free.
  3. hoyoman

    hoyoman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Yeah, that was my gut feeling, too. Takes about 20 minutes to do the whole thing and I've got the equipment out to do my yard anyway.
  4. Sandgropher

    Sandgropher LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    Are you a charity or a business ? I would stick to the reasonable price , dont ask me why but free stuff always bites you on the @ss later.
  5. lawnMaster5000

    lawnMaster5000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 591

    I agree this can be a very difficult situation. Personally, I wouldn't mind giving my neighbors free services every once in a while. However, like you, I have a large number of clients very near my house. If I give this guy free services, what about his friend, living across the street, who I have always charged, and the other 15 people on the street I mow for. I can't give free services to all of them.

    The way I would handle it is to continue charging the good rate you gave them previously. If something comes up to where they are not able to (or struggle to) afford your services you may reconsider your options.
  6. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    This is a bit of a sticky situation. When I started out I was giving my friends and neighbors breaks on pricing and I did come to regret it. One or two cuts at a reduced price is one thing but when you have to give a couple of hundred cuts at a reduced price it starts to get expensive. It took me years to get all of those reduced prices up where they belonged and I never did get a couple of them all the way up.

    Your situation is a bit different since the guy is unable to do it himself. Look at it this way....

    If it was somebody that you didn't know and the job was on the other side of town what would you do?

    2 years before I moved an elderly lady on a fixed income moved in next door to me and inquired about my services. I gave her the standard rate that I would give anybody else but I did throw in some stuff for free like fert and Roundup once in a while.
  7. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    I would at least cover my expense
  8. hess

    hess LawnSite Member
    Messages: 208

    I agree just enough to cover expense
  9. hoyoman

    hoyoman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Thanks to everyone for the input...each of you made some good points to consider...I'm sort of leaning toward charging the original really good price I gave him at first, then if his condition does not improve and I must continue mowing for the rest of the season, I'll adjust the price to cover at least my costs.
  10. petekief

    petekief LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    it would get to me over time if it were costing me money - my time i can give - but cash money out of pocket i'm a little tight with - i know time is money - but . . . look ms.soenso $15 will cover my expenses if thats not to much i'll be glad to . . .

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