OK.. make it $65 and you can find someone else

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jbell113, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. jbell113

    jbell113 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 654

    I gave a bid on a small commercial property about 7 weeks ago. About half acre of grass, some big bushes and lots of trees and a ton of cars to work around. I was dealing with the front desk clerk who answers phones and basically just sits there all day. Any way she was the one that oversees the landscape management part of the business and gives out the check. I told her my monthly rate for this property and she said there building a new building next door so she dont want to do a contract till after its built...I said fine. She tells me the last guy was mowing the grass for $65.00 and that she would pay me that for now and I said fine. I show up the next day and mow and as I was in the back of the property I noticed a bull dozer starting up right in the middle of where Im going to mow and the guy says dont worry about cutting all this back here cuz we are going to tear it up any way. So I finished the rest of the property and had a small amount leaf clean up involved in this also. I figured the extra work for the leaves was justification for not mowing in the back and I went and collected my $65.00. Came back in 2 weeks and did the exact same thing except double the amount of leaves this time so I charged her $70.00 and she paid it. Come 3 weeks later and double the leaves on top of last time and went to collect and told her $70.00 she paused and said it had come to her attention that I was doing less work and charging more money. I said the whole extra five dollars Im charging you is for leaf clean up that takes me an extra 30 min to do. She said the owner is not willing to pay more than $65.00. I said OK give me the $65.00 and you can find somebody else. The nerve of some people
  2. crawdad

    crawdad LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,938

    There's your first mistake. When they say, "the last guy did it for..."
    the correct response is, "Where is he now?"
  3. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    #2 Mistake --- always tell them about the extras before you do them for free.
  4. cush

    cush LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 352

    Don't let customers tell you your price. Heck even Wal-mart knows that.
  5. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,775

    Never let a client negotiate your pricing unless they do your books! Good rule of thumb. Also, always get authorization from a representative in writing when a change order affects the quality of your performance.
  6. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,095

    I would have been out of there when the customer was telling me how much she would pay. Just out of curiosity, what price did you have in your mind for the mowing and such.

    I think I know why they were looking for another lco though, they probably got dropped by the last several for being a pita.
  7. Prestige-Lawncare

    Prestige-Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 753

    This was where your mistake was. You agreed to $65.00 ... and the very next cut you raised it to $70. No matter if the work was more or not (actually you were mowing less anyway because of the construction) ... you agreed to $65., am I correct?

  8. jonim

    jonim LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I totally agree with Prestige! I read the post on this forum almost all the time and every now and then I cant help but to share my .02! It sounds like you had a verbal agreement to the $65.00 just by reading what you wrote! Always get the ok first from your customers before you surprise them with a price change! I personally would not like it if I got a qoute from someone doing a service for me and when I got the bill it was more than what was agreed upon! Also, You tell the customer what you charge! Not the other way around.
  9. Oh! I don't agree with Prestige. Or jonim either for that matter.

    Sure the lawn mowing was for $65. But what about the leaves? Are they FREE! just because they weren't mentioned?

    The work needed done. He did it for a reasonable rate. Bill them for it!

    BTW I don't give any discount for having construction in progress. It's actually harder to mow with construction going on. Though I do try to mow around the site as best as I can.

    I don't agree with this attitude that if you can slip something past the LCO they should do the work for free.
    And I don't have much respect for the customer who hides behind the receptionist either. Oh! that wasn't "approved" so it must be free. Give me a break!

    Believe me, they would have ben just as upset if he'd done nothing with the leaves.

    Free leaf control....Come on!
  10. grass disaster

    grass disaster LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,776

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