The Ethical Lawn Turd???

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by Landscape Poet, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    So here is a question for you guys. I have a feeling the responses will vary so I wanted to see what you guys would do in this circumstance.

    You go to give a sod estimate. After visiting with the HO it starts raining before you get everything measured. You do not know it at the time but your measuring wheel sticks and at times instead of getting a measurement of say 15 foot, you get 30 foot because despite hitting the reset button it did not reset. You again did not catch this.

    You total your figures and figure you will need 7 pallets of sod to complete the job. You charge $350 per pallet. You inform the HO, he/she accept your bid at $2450.

    You go back to paint out the areas to be removed for the sod crew. While looking at it in the daylight you notice it does not look like 7 pallets of work so you go to the truck and break out the wheel again. You will only need 5 pallets of sod including waste and cut outs. The homeowner has already given you a check for 50% of the cost of the bid.

    So here is the deal. You can tell the home owner and tell them that their project is going to cost a lot less. You are the hero. They are not regular clients of yours but you will most likely get good word of mouth from them for your good deed, but nothing is guaranteed. If you were short they most likely would of refused to pay for extra sod right! If you tell them that is $750 pure profit out the door on top of the $865 you would make off the other 5 pallets.

    Or do you say nothing. You bid the job at $2450 and they accepted. You walk with $1615 profit - they are happy as the lawn is replaced and looks good.

    What do you do and Why?:dizzy::dizzy:
  2. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,338

    Bill them for 5 instead of 7, let them know of the error. Whatever you do today, you have to sleep with tonight.
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  3. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    Measure twice and everything is nice.

    Similar story only with tree removal after the Hurricane. I gave an estimate of $ 250 to remove 1 fallen Royal Palm and haul it away so the customers and that one pointing to a second one in the back yard. Again I said $ 250. Then he ask about two smaller citrus trees which were very full and I said $ 250 again and the customer assumed it was for each citrus tree not both. As we were cleaning up he came out and gave me a check which I slid in pocket without looking.

    Later that day I pulled the check out and saw the amount was $ 1,000 instead of $ 750. I took it back to the customer and explained he had over paid me and the Citrus tree bid was misunderstood by him. He Tipped me $ 100 for being honest but the big issue was his telling the story at the Country Club which really was great word of mouth.

    The other side of the coin is if you under measured or bid a job, You eat your mistakes. In the case of sod measurement, one day the customer is going to look at a Property Plot and realize you over charged him and his word of mouth is not in your favor. Remember the TG/CL salesman's favorite trick is to under measure to get a lower price and get the commission because he doesn't have to spray it.
  4. rob7233

    rob7233 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    > Or you can do this Mike - I need to ask- Who's taking care of the new sod after it's down? Why did the HO lose the lawn in the first place.?

    Give the HO the option for refund or cash towards annual maintenace service.

    The HO might really appreciate not having to cut/care for the landscape in this heat and not have to pay for it for a while. If he accepts this deal, you can paid some more!
  5. Is this really a question?
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  6. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    Ric makes a great point. The if you came up short on the sod - would not the HO insist that you complete the job for the agreed upon amount? In this case the agreed upon amount was $2450 to repair the front lawn. If the job gets completed to their satisfaction does it matter that less sod was needed?

    How would this be different than a applicator charging the client for lawn care....the lawn is weed free....he never needs to spray a post emergent spray....the lawn still looks great anyway...does he need to give a refund on the years service? Was not the agreed upon amount not the agreed upon amount.
  7. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    Not actually a bad idea Rob. The HO does currently have a service and appears to be happy with him. Property looks in good shape overall...nothing he should be concerned about. The lawn got nailed with cinch bugs...lost the entire back lawn and like I said 5 in the front and in all reality the guy was not doing anything either himself or with a service to prevent damage so it was likely to happen sometime. He is in a neighborhood that I would not mind being in but am not in yet.
  8. This is different bc you are talking about materials. If you needed 3 more pallets than what you quoted would you not want to get paid for the additional time and materials?? I always charge for what I use. If I quoted 7 pallets and 5 was needed, they get charged for 5.
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  9. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    This is not a question you should be asking us. This is a question for yourself are you a honest business man or a dishonest businessman. I am a bottom line kinda of guy, if you need to ask or wonder what to do well then......
  10. Exactly.
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