What would you do??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by KirbysLawn, Jul 6, 2001.

  1. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Messages: 3,485

    This is my situation. I have mowed for 2 years now for a guy that had a stroke and is paralyzed and a neighbor asked me if I could "help out". They were getting medical bills out the...well you know, and since he could not mow anymore they would need a lawn service. The lawn is about 18,000 sf and has a considerable amount of trimming, I am doing it for $30.00 per mow, takes 50-55 minutes most of the time. The home is on a golf course and is worth about $400,000.

    One of the "perks" of mowing this lawn is I get good golf balls in the back lawn when mowing, about 7-8 a week. Well 2 weeks ago he asked my cousin if we would bring all the balls up to the garage, he wanted them. He said he wanted them to "give back to the golfers" and had a trash can full of them, no kidding!

    I'm doing this lawn for about $10 less per week than I would normally would, and it just irritates me that they would ask for me to pick up and carry the balls to the garage since I'm doing the lawn at a discount price.

    Any opinions?
  2. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    You say he asked your cousin? Is there two of you spending the better part of a hour there? If so, I would say they are in line for a hefty price increase.
  3. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    I'm sure they don't realize your are given them a good price. I also hate when people put you in an uncomfortable position. They make it hard to say no. I have a yard similar to this. A pain in the butt to do and I can't figure out why I'm even doing it. Probally because he is a super nice guy and a good customer. I think I just need to raise him up a little. I wish I had a good answer, sorry. Good luck.
  4. poghead

    poghead LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    No,I would not give him back the golf balls. Consider what would happen if you ran over one and it hit someone in the head on the golf course. Much less if it went through someones window or damaged your mower.
    He should have a member of his family pick them up before you go to mow. If you have to police his yard for golf balls you should charge for that service.


  5. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    If I find a golf ball it goes in my pocket. We're collecting them for my son..........just because. Every day he asks if we found any golf balls. He's up to 90 something now.

    My son is more important to me than a rich old ex-golfer. Mine mine all mine. I figure if I left them on the ground they would get hit anyway............might as well get em.

    You could line em up in a row, aim your chute at the mans house, holler 444444444444444444444444444444444444444444 and start chunking them one after the other with that Great Dane riding golf club ya got there Kirby.

    Big Bertha ain't got nothing on a mower blade.
  6. Charge what you're worth without apology!

    The nerve of those people, living in a half a million dollar house and asking you to give "em a break on cutting the lawn! It seems to me the more you bend over backwards to accomodate people like that, the more they ask of you. Like they really need the other ten bucks a week. They're just rippin' you off for the fun of it.

    There's lots of pittiful people out there in terrible situations, but they're not your responsibility. Your family is your responsibility. You'd be taking from your own kids to give to these people!

    When you're rich, then you can be charitable. Hopefully more charitable than those creeps you're dealing with now.

    Personally I'm working on my second million dollars, 'cause I had to give up on my first million.

  7. Craig Turf Management

    Craig Turf Management LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    I wouldn't let the golf balls be a factor in my decision. I have some older folks that I give a really good deal to because I know that they really can't afford my regular price. It makes me feel good to know that I'm helping out.
    If it makes you feel good to help this fellow out for 30.00, then mow him for that price. Good deeds earn you heaven points in my opinion. Give him back his golf balls. On the other hand, he lives in a home on the course and can probably afford the 10.00 per price increase. If mowing this property for that price is bothering you, raise his price. Don't let him know that the golf ball deal is the reason. You have been mowing him for less than the market rate while fuel, insurance, whatever have been steadily been costing you more money. He'll probably eat the extra cost, you'll earn more money, and buy your own balls.

    Just my opinion, Bill Craig
  8. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,232

    I agree. You're running a business, not a charity. You can choose how to operate it, obviously, but if it's something that's aggravating that costs you more than it's worth, why do it? My 2ยข.
  9. roscioli

    roscioli LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 749

    Do you golf? Man o man, the good golf balls these days go upwards of 3-4 bucks. Multiply that by 7-8 and you are making up the difference from $30 that you mow for to $40 that you should be mowing for. Sell them all for $2 a piece, or have your kids do it. Or, steal this guys trash barrel full, and sell them! I would definately not mow for 30 if you have to pick them up. Tell him that after 2 years time, prices have just gone up, and that you have to make $40, and be honest about the golf ball situation. Tell him straight out that before, when you could keep them, it made it worth picking them up, but now, with insurance regulations, and increases in costs, either he will have to pick them up, and spend another 10/ week, or he will have to find the neighborhood lawn boy, becuase that is the only dip that will mow for $30 these days.
  10. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    I have a current OLD customer that tells me she can't spend the $20 each week for me to cut the lawn. "She's on a budget". The new caddy in the garage pisses me off each time I see it. No golfballs though. Forget the golfballs, look at the home, he isn't paying for that with "no money". Its all about priorities. Your not a priority to pay. Go up on the price. Get the revenue. Give him a couple of golfballs each week. Keep the rest. Or, just ignore the request for the balls and go on taking them home.

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