Should I charge extra for extra mowings due to warm weather?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by guitarman2420, Dec 25, 2011.

  1. guitarman2420

    guitarman2420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Midlothian, VA
    Messages: 617

    90% of my maintenance business is covered by year around contracts which specifically state that mowing will be done "through the growing season", which I define in the agreement as mid-October or early November and I price the agreements at 30 cuts. The problem is that due to unseasonably warm weather in the Mid-Atlantic, I still have clients wanting us to mow the week before Christmas. Do any of you charge extra for mowing out of season? I have laid off my off season help and put most of the mowing equipment away. My agreements are priced for 30 or maybe up to 32 mowings, not 34-36, which is where we are at now. Are any of you running into this issue?
  2. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,737

    Simple! If they want it cut, they pay for it.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    Go for it if you can, as a out of contract mowings. I'd call the customers first and see if they even want it, because the way you worded it, your techincally out of season but in actuallity your not.

    I would have add something along the lines in the contract/agreement that any mowings over ## is a subject to a out of season charge of ## if elected by the home owner to continue mowing. This desicion must be submitted by MM/DD of the year of YYYY.
  4. guitarman2420

    guitarman2420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Midlothian, VA
    Messages: 617

    I think that's a great point. I don't want to lose key clients over this; but on the other hand, I can give them a chance to do the "right thing". I think most of them will agree to the charge. I was curious to see if I was off base, or if others would ask for the extra fees too.
  5. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    If they have asked you to do work over and above what was contracted then they should be paying extra for it.

    You should also add this point to your contract for next season.

    Send an invoice and write on it, "contingent lawn cutting out of season"

    Don't take a loss or get pushed around by your clients.

    You can bend over backwards all you want and do all sorts of freebies and favors that you think will make the client happy and keep a contract longer. All it does is cost your business money. Please don't work for free. You're not a volunteer.

    The truth is, your client isn't going to work for free.
  6. seabee24

    seabee24 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    I'll say this much. 3 years ago, I picked up a 30k plus account for snow because the old contractor tried charging them 700 for a storm that was 9 days late after the contract end date. They felt it was really unfair, and that when they signed a contract it was to cover a full season of work. Since that point, they dropped him, and I have had both snow and mowing for the past 3 years
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Messages: 4,357

    You can if you like but beware of the possible fallout.

    I would ask yourself how many times in the past years have you had below the average amount of cuts. Then ask if a added cut or two will kill the bank.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    This just shows me that some clients don't care about us.

    If the last guy had a contract that defined his start date and stop date for snow clean-up, then any-thing outside of that would be considered contingent pay.

    He would require another agreement to do the extra work or there should be mention of the payment procedures in his standard contract, for contingent service. This was outside of the parameters of his normal service agreement.

    Now, it looks like he went on his own and cleaned the parking lot without being called in to do the work -post contract? Is that what you are saying?

    If so I'll bet he did this thinking he was doing it as a favor to the client, but ya...he wanted to get paid for his work. That's how the guy feeds his family.

    The previous contractor did extra work outside of the scope of the normal agreement and it appears he got burned by another unscrupulous property manager. They look after themselves formost.

    The client in my opinion took advantage of the contractor.
  9. guitarman2420

    guitarman2420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Midlothian, VA
    Messages: 617

    I think it's always a case of weighing out the alternatives. Let's face it, all of us have a client or two that we turn our heads the other way when they ask us for extras because they have taken care of us at other times. It's the client that is always taking and taking that causes me to want to play it "by the book" on their agreement.

Share This Page