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service question

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tiedeman, Sep 18, 2003.

  1. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    Here is the situation:

    one of my customers last year signed up early for one of our lawn care packages and he wanted to pay it off full in price at the beginning of the year. Basically I offered him three types of package prices, mowing every week (28 times), 1 1/2 weeks (approx 20) or two weeks (14 times) because I needed to figure out the price to charge him for the entire year up front. Well, he chose the 2 week package deal. So basically he would get mowed 14 times throughout the year.

    Well, throughout this past year due to above normal precipation in the summer, and because of requests made by him I came sometimes once a week.

    About 3 weeks ago he hit 13 times mowing so far and he only had 1 mowing let (14 times). I called him up to let him know that he only had one mowing left and asked whether or not he wanted us to continue the mowing thereafter and just charge him for it. Well, he claims that he shouldn't have to pay extra for the mowing and as he sees it he is covered up until the end of October for mowing because he chose the 2 week package based on from April until October. I explained to him about how he had us come more often than what we figured, but he still wouldn't see my way. Finally, he just said, well wait then about 3 weeks before you mow it the last time of the year. And he was all mad because of the situation.

    Now, I do admit that the pricing was based from April to October, but it was based on 14 mowings. So I do to a point see what he is arguing about, but not really. And to my bad, the contract, which was drawn up about a year ago, is really broad on what is covered.

    I want to know what others opinions on the matter is?
  2. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,194

    Mr. Homeowner sees the to and from dates, he's blind to the fact that it was for x amount of mowings. Obviously he wanted the cheapest way out, every two weeks, and typically, thought you'd just throw in the additional mowings he requested. Amazing how many people think add ons shouldn't cost them any more. You ought to try this in the building industry, head butting nightmare daily.

    You, the service provider, knows all to well it was for a given number of service trips.
    When owner requested additional service, was it pointed out to him that it was ADDITIONAL? Do you really think he even heard or understood he was buying MORE, I doubt it, they never do, only when things go in their favor.

    Whether it will make any difference is doubtful, but all I can think to do is the following.
    On your computer, print out, or if you have an additional current calendar handy, mark every time you mowed his property, x date being marked #1, next date mark #2, and so forth, also mark the additional mowings with a number in sequence AND a big red ADD ON. He and you should be able to look at and tell easily where the paid for mowings ran out. Long way of saying 'rub his nose in it'.
    Whether he comes around to your way of thinking or not, I'd hold your ground, get paid for work done.
    Would suggest making new contracts less ambiguous, don't put 'to and from dates' and # of mowings. Maybe beginning on x date will mow every x, qualify it further by stating it is for x # of mowings, additional service will be at additional fees.

    Remember, you can't please everybody no matter how hard you try. The ones you can't are usually the ones that feel it is their duty to get something free out of you before they are satisfied.
  3. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    thanks Rustic...ya the contract that was used was an old type that was used last year. I do admit that the contract should have been more specific. My contracts have since charged for this year, and I have already made changes for next seasons contracts
  4. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Messages: 1,647

    You can have the April - October on your contract

    Just have it worded that the pricing is based on # of cuts not the time span. And that any additional cuts will be billed at the end.

    This will mean accurate record keeping on your part.
  5. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    yup, keep track of all records
  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Gee, that's weird, because I only pay X amount of money per month for my cellphone service, but if I feel I need more time, or I utilize more of their service, I'm charged more for THAT, too. That's coincidental!

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