Time and material client complaining

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Mitty87

LawnSite Gold Member
Large planting or large topsoil installs are a couple of the things where we get the highest man hour rate, maybe $1-200 if everything goes well. I agree there is a lot of hassle with planting jobs. If there is a landscaping job which involves plants, I will spend 5 minutes and pick a list of plants that I like for their job. If they want to make changes, then there is design costs, or if they tell us what to plant we can just quote it.

We normally do not have problems with complaints about the planting jobs. I have driven by a few where the plants died, but everyone agrees to the no warranty before hand. If they have a proper running irrigation system we can replace the odd plant in good faith but it's rare.

I will say I have had a couple complaints about the leylandii hedges. Sometimes people think they will have a full hedge with no light penetration. Now I make it clear that they need time to grow and send pictures beforehand.

On this job, there is just no excuse why her complaints should have been held back as the woman wasn't shy about questioning the employee and watching her throughout the day. I'll just take it as a lesson and do the free hour and make the terms clear if we ever do the time and materials job again.
 
OP
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Mitty87

LawnSite Gold Member
You didn’t give a time an material quote
You gave a per unit pricing
So
1) how long the employee took to plant the tress should have been irrelevant
2) time is $65/hr per person
If the customer wants more they pay more that’s the benefit to an hourly agreement

3) never work for a customer who bought their own material
Unless you’re desperate and baby needs new shoes
Just don’t do it
$75/hr
 
OP
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Mitty87

LawnSite Gold Member
That’s not what you said
You said you told them a price per tree installed

that’s a per unit price
Not a per hour price
I gave them both options. Though we agreed on day rate. The per tree would of ended up costing more if they agreed to it. They only were billed 3/4 of a day, $450. The per tree would have been $500 plus another $2-300 to move a few cedars and the irrigation work.
 

Hayduke

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Oregon
Some times gotta eat it and sometimes stand your ground. In a similar boat right now. Finishing a fence for a client, hand stained #2 grade cedar 1 x 6 boards as specified in the bid.
After all were installed, she said she 40 or so of the 230 boards were not up to the standard of the rest of the boards and she wanted them replaced.
I agreed that some of the boards had some more "character", but they were #2 grade as specified in the bid....She is expecting them replaced for free...
 
OP
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Mitty87

LawnSite Gold Member
yes I definitely don’t have a problem eating it sometimes. It’s usually worth it. This was just a special circumstance where if it’s just time, we need to be allowed to bill what is needed to finish properly. They can fire us at any time.

In this case we did go and spend the hour and made her happy to get paid.
 

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
I gave them both options. Though we agreed on day rate. The per tree would of ended up costing more if they agreed to it. They only were billed 3/4 of a day, $450. The per tree would have been $500 plus another $2-300 to move a few cedars and the irrigation work.
Ok
So don’t do day rates
Per man per hour
And give them a minimum
Like $75/hr and a 4 hour minimum

but in the case that they chose the hourly rate
There’s in no warranty
If they want something that’s not done
They pay more
It’s simple
You said you wanted us to leave
You said it was done we left and stopped the billing at that time

it’s like 1900 porn numbers
You want more you pay more
You want to stop paying hang up
Didn’t get what you were looking for?
Dual back

Always have cc on file
Don’t send a bill for hourly later
 

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