How would you respond to this customer?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by lawnsaspire, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. lawnsaspire

    lawnsaspire LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,687

    I mow for an insurance agent at his place of business. Last month he asked me to trim some tall weeds that were overgrown thru a sidewalk in front of the business lawn. I charged him $10 extra for it, as they were very overgrown. I consider that an extra job on top of mowing and regular edging and trimming. Every month since I've worked for him, I've had to spend a considerable amount of time picking up sticks and limbs that drop from a large tree on the property. This time I charged him $5 for this as there weren't many but it did add to the work for the two times I mowed in Oct.
    He sends me the check today with this note which in part reads:

    "I do not agree with the charge of $10 to trim the front of the lawn along Broadway. It should be part of the trimming you do anyway.

    I also think $5 to pick up a handful of sticks is a bit much.

    The company that mowed before you never charged me to pick up sticks or trim entire yard including front."


    Keep in mind that I do trim the etire lawn every time, but I don't do those extra things unless he asks me to b/c I know how stingy he is.
    This letter made me hot. Just the idea of it. How would you respond?
  2. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,511

    If I know I am dealing with a stingy person I always get permission to do extra work and make sure they know they will be paying extra for it. I would also charge extra for those services you mentioned.
  3. South Florida Lawns

    South Florida Lawns LawnSite Platinum Member
    from usa
    Messages: 4,784

    Next time factor all these things in your bid. Usually on commercial accounts they want full service where they pay x amount for everything, that way its all kept tight and clean looking.
  4. LouisianaLawnboy

    LouisianaLawnboy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,199

    My response would depend if I want to keep him or not.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. lawnsaspire

    lawnsaspire LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,687

    I only have 36 lawns, so I really want to keep everybody.
    But I can't believe this rich ardvark would gripe about 5 bucks!
  6. gunsworth

    gunsworth LawnSite Member
    Messages: 81

    you should chrage enough that these little jobs arent a big deal. Also dont let the weeds get overgrown I have a few accounts like this and I just keep on the weeds every couple weeks and its not a big deal. as for the sticks that just goes with cutting, however I do have a clause in my contracts that say I may charge an additional fee in october if they dont sign up for a Fall clean-up.
  7. LouisianaLawnboy

    LouisianaLawnboy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,199

    You should have talked to him when he asked you to trim the weeds and before you raised his bill.

    I personally hate it when anybody raises my bill without telling me first.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. If the LCO does not trim the weeds growing up through a sidewalk then who's job is it? The question is, how do you consider it a complete job if you leave weeds in such a noticeable area? The business expects for their property to be maintained well and acceptable to their customers. Bid the job to include a necessity like weed removal from the sidewalk and try not to alienate your client by giving them an unexpected charge. Trim the sidewalk occasionally and use Roundup or a cheaper equivalent as needed.
  9. South Florida Lawns

    South Florida Lawns LawnSite Platinum Member
    from usa
    Messages: 4,784

    Exactly people don't want unexpected expenses or a surprise.

    I personally hate the guys that trim or take care of something when it absolutely needs it and then charges for that separately for the task.

    You could look at all my accounts and you won't see one weed in a crack or an over grown hedge. I include it in my mowing bill for all services and my all mine are pristine.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Ask him what happened to the previous company, why aren't they doing it anymore?

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