"We're getting other estimates......."

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Schlepie, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. Schlepie

    Schlepie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    Aquired a new client at the end of the season last year, in walking distance of 2 other exsisting ones. Told them I'd charge $25 mini for theirs. It would be more for the leaf cleanups. She said "OK" Did 2 cleanups, one at $35 and the last leaf cleanup at $55 (spent 1.5 hrs mowing, raking and blowing). This season she hasn't returned any of my calls, finally I reached her today and she said basically, " the amounts on the invoices were more than you quoted us. We're getting some other estimates but you can come out and do a cleanup for us now." What?......... figuring she wanted me to spend almost 3 hrs of work for $50 the last 2 times, geez Sooooo..... do I just blow her off, send her a can't continue service letter or do the job, around $30 or so and hope they still use me? Job is so small why waste my time in a bid war?

    Schlep: :confused:
  2. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,267

    If it is in walking distance stick to the price you want if you don't get it move on there plenty more out there.
  3. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,009

    Man,from someone who's been burned lately,take it from me.RUN THE OTHER WAY!!!!!
  4. CoultersDFW

    CoultersDFW LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    I agree. Run the other way. Clients that want to bargain/dispute/etc. should be dropped in my opinion. I'd still explain to them how it works, and that you cant spend hours on end on their property for next to nothing.
  5. PaulJ

    PaulJ LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,774

    Talk to her and explain to here just like you did to us that the mowing is the quoted price and the cleanups are more. Here is a paragraph I added to the back of my mowing agreements this year:

    "Mowing and Leaf Season:
    The usual mowing season runs from late March/early April through October. A spring cleanup will be done at the first or second visit of the season. During leaf season I will continue to visit your lawn every two weeks or so to mulch and/or bag your leaves to keep them under control. A final fall cleanup will be done at or about the last visit in the fall. The extra time involved with spring cleanup, and managing leaves and fall cleanup will be billed at the standard hourly rate of $XX/hr. If you do not want me to manage your leaves or do a fall cleanup just tell me.

    Spring and Fall Cleanup:
    *Spring cleanup includes: blowing or raking leaves from landscape beds, trimming back any plants that require it at that time, cleaning leaves and debris from window wells and any corners where they have collected over the winter, picking up any sticks or debris from the lawn, finished with standard mowing and bagging.
    *Fall cleanup includes: cleaning gutters and downspouts if requested and if accessible, blowing or raking leaves from landscape beds, trimming back any plants that require it at that time, cleaning leaves and debris from window wells and any corners where they have collected, finished with standard mowing and bagging.
    *Cleanups are priced at the standard hourly rate of $XX/hr for the additional time involved above the time of an average mowing. This is usually 1.5-3 times the regular mowing price.
    *Dethatching can be added at the time of spring or fall cleanup at a reduced price."

    Had one call last fall after they got their bill very upset that I charged what I did for picking up leaves. They thought that since she had racked some into piles that it should be less. I talked to her and explained that while I appreciated them raking the leaves, I still had to go over them with the mower and bag them up. If I were to just pick up the piles and dump into the truck, my truck would have filled up with her yard alone. After I explained this she calmed down and I think I will get the account back this year.
    Sometimes they just don't understand how our pricing is done. I always try to make sure that they know anything outside the regular mowing is at an extra cost . Heres another paragraph from my agreements. :

    "Additional services:
    Unless otherwise specified, all additional services will be at the standard hourly rate of $XX/man hour plus materials. This includes but is not limited to: picking up an abundance of sticks, branches, or trash; trimming bushes or branches; landscape service; sprinkler maintenance; and others. If you need something just ask."

    Iam trying to cover my butt more this year.
  6. swim

    swim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 357

    Possibly there is just a misunderstanding. Try explaining that the 2 times that you came last fall were cleanups and that it takes longer, that is why the extra charge. Sounds like she thought they were regular lawn services to me. Let her know that you are sticking to your price for the regular lawn cuts but that the cleanups are just more time consuming and that is why the extra charge.

    Don't write her off without at least trying to explain. They are very close to the other accounts and getting them tight can be very profitable. Don't loose what may become a good account over a misunderstanding.

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