quick work, price, and customers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by NateinAtl, Feb 11, 2000.

  1. NateinAtl

    NateinAtl LawnSite Member
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 121

    I need some help!! This morning I did an out of season aeration job for this man. We talked on the phone the other day, and agreed upon a price, $50 which is my minimum.<p>When I got to the job, he was gone to work, but his wife watched me do the job. After completion, she went off on a hissy fit. Unhappy that they were paying me for only about 15 minutes of actual labor.(I was there for a total of 50 minutes due to complications with my aerator) I asked her if their was a problem with my work. There wasn't. Just the fact that i was there for only a short amount of time. I explained that i have a lot of costs that she needs to factor in plus the fact that her husband and I agreed on a price for his lawn to be aerated, not for the time I planned on being there. She wouldn't listen to me. Just kept repeating that I was being paid &quot;$50 for 5 minutes of work&quot;--her words.<p>I left without getting through to her. It really bothers me that either I wasn't explaining myself or that she wouldn't listen.<p>I called her husband at work. He chuckled and told me he already heard from his wife about our exchange. He told me that he explained that &quot;if this guy did a satisfactory job, that is what I paid him to do. It's OK that he bought fast equipmetnt to aerate the lawn.&quot;<p>That made me feel much better, but I am still upset that I had words with this lady. <p>How do you guys handle these situations? What else could I have said? With technology advances, we are seeing lawn care becoming much more efficient than it has been. And I for one don't want to do any extra work or spend any extra time on a property than I have to.<p>They just started with ChemLawn. I would love to here her reaction when they spend 3 minutes on her lawn and charge her $35 bucks.<p>By the way, did I mention that she lives in a $500,000 home in an expensive Country Club?<p>Please help me!!
  2. bdemir

    bdemir LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 610

    Nate,<br>I once trimmed bushes for a lady and she went inside and i had the $35 job done in 8 minutes. She was speechless. Then she told me to do another thing while i was at it and i said ok then she came out and said trimm those to you only worked for 5 minutes only. Then i told her look lady i told you a price you told me what you want done and i did it and then some. She insisted for me to do more. So i said fine but it will cost you 50 . Then she said well i was going to pay you that anyways. She had a baby on the way but she was rude as can be. she had me cut down the fallen limbs into pieces and she said i shouold take them away too. i tried to explain to her that i cant haul away wood for nothing but she just kept insisting like she was getting a bad deal. Anyways after doing all this work she made me take out her garbage too and i demanded the money and she insisted i put the wood in a pile.I did that too. then she said i should take them away. This is when i stood my ground and blew up i told her shes to get my money for what i have done (and then some) and pay me what she promised to freagin pay. Next time when they come out and are startled at what you did just look at them in the eyes and say you will do no more and no less and need to get paid NOW! She paid me and said thank you in a bad way and i left there felling like very pissed off like i had been totally screwed by a pregnant lady. I think next time you tell them up front and when you meet resistance just stand your ground and be firm dont compromise because some people will treat you how ever they think THEY should. Sorry if i sound angry but i am still mad about that lady.
  3. Retro67

    Retro67 Banned
    Messages: 207

    My best customers are at work while I am working. I think you can sometimes run into problems with people that have too much free time on their hands. They will want to talk, etc. I am friendly, will wave, smile, grab the paper/garbage cans, whatever, but talking is one thing I don't get paid to do. I learned this when I was a lawn-boy in junior high. &lt;p&gt;I had a customer that was challenged, so to speak. She always wanted to hang out and talk and do everything, but let me do my work. I felt bad for her plight, but eventually, stopped working for her.&lt;p&gt;Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I wouldn't discuss issues related to the services, I do. I just can't listen to the Story about Aunt Glady's hip replacement surgery when there is money to be made.&lt;p&gt; I would not take it personally that this gal took offense to your charges. Some people just don't realize how good they have it. That price is a reasonable price for a minimum on aeration. It sounds like to me, she has it in her head you were pushing a $99.99 piece of equipment. The way I see it, it's not really your fault, and not really hers.&lt;p&gt;John
  4. Lazer

    Lazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,446

    I don't think it's wise to engage these customers. Just shake your head and say &quot;Oh, I know!&quot; and &quot;I hear ya&quot;. It really doesn't matter. They guy'll write the check and you can forget about it. <p>Send them a proposal for next year.<p>
  5. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 10,862

    This is the exact reason that I charge most of the time by the hour when possible. Especially if the customer is there while you are doing the job. THat why most welders will not jump on the job when you bring it in. They don't want you to keep up with the time it takes them to do the job. They want you to leave and come back. But since y'all did give a job price. I would have stuck to that price and NOT have done any extra work. Just held my hand out and waited her out. An agreement is an agreement and she was taking advantage of you. I tell people they will come out better if they pay me by the hour. I give them a choice up front. Because I work FAST. So If i do give them a job price and get it done quick. I can remind them of that fact. AND THAT I WANT MY MONEY. If you do work by the hour tell them that you charge a minimum service charge if the houly comes out to less than you charge just to come to someones house example: $45 service charge. $25 per hour. If you finish at 45$ worth of work you take that. Ifit is less than that you still take that $45 minimum. Communication is the most important thing. When you get half way through let them know how much money they have spent up to that point.<br>
  6. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    Since it was the husband with whom you made the deal with, all the wife should have got from you is a big stupid grin, plenty of head nodding, and lots of &quot;no habla ingles&quot;...<p>This is why you try to do the job when nobody is home, and especially not on weekends.<p>Bill
  7. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 10,862

    Ha ha lawn guy. Or you can tell them you don't have time to argue because you have to report to your probation officer by a certain time:)
  8. NateinAtl

    NateinAtl LawnSite Member
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 121

    I feel a little bit better about this useless situation. I guess I didn't make myself clear that the husband already left a check for me on the front door. So I wasn't worried about getting paid. I just don't like that someone who presents themself as being a wealthy individual can balk at my price compared to the time I spent on the property. What is going to happen when I have a less wealthy family hire me to do maintenance? I hope someone out there can tell me what to do when these situations come about. I mean, I buy better equipment to be more efficient, then get verbally abused for being more effiicient. What gives? Some have said to try and do the work when the homeowner is away. That can't really happen for me. Most of my customers wives' don't work. I guess I need to just forget about it. But surely someone has something good to say when they are being abused by such customers. Please help!!
  9. Nate your min. charge is way too low.<p>If the homeowner wanted to do the job with<br>a rental aerator it would cost him $40-50<br>plus sales tax, plus he would have to make<br>two trips the rental place plus wash the unit after using.<p>Chem lawn has a $100 min. try charging $75 next time and don't ever pay any attention<br>to housewifes on prozak, zanix, and paxil.
  10. ashlandscaping

    ashlandscaping Banned
    Messages: 113

    From what I have seen and learned from these type of customers is the ones with money are always the ones to Bit-h. About something at all and most times its stupid bs things they yap about. But it makes them feel that you earned your money. We mow in an area that is mostly homes $ 300000 to 1.5 mill. and all we hear is yap yap yap. Most times its some little thing that once they are done all is good and then they pay. Other ones I have had alot of bad luck with is old timers. If it not we used to have to work for are money or you want how much. I got to the point one day with a older lady that she and a problem with the 52 walks on her lawn and wanted the 21 push mowwers used instead. She thought we were riping her off since the crew was in and out in less than 8 mins. Well I gave her a price to use the small mower and she freaked. Then I showed her what the walk behinds sell for and she was just blown away at the price. Then I pointed out her look their is 4 mowwers on that trailer so add it up then add in price for truck and trailer and weed wackers and ect. So she did when it was all said and done it added up to like $ 55000 in all. Then I said to her now we have 2 set ups like that. After all that she never btch again and started to add a tip to each bill. Worst part of it all she was worth millions. And I mean Millions they owned lots of farm land and made major money when they sold it all off but still count for ever penny. SO nate its not you.

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