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What would you guys do if this happened to you? Am I an a**

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by r_snowrider, Aug 7, 2005.

  1. r_snowrider

    r_snowrider LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    Sorry to always bring up my hauling business, but I don't really get answers in the other threads and this just pertains to the business aspects anyway. Anyway, I was out doing a job for my buddies family. It was a full load which is 15 cubic yards. My average rates are around $250 a load depending on the circumstances (weight, accesibility, etc.) But I gave her a price break at $200. I was just finishing up my load when a neighbor came over. He started talking to her and I could overhear him talking about how he had some stuff he wanted to get rid of, it was not much about 2 arm loads. But before I knew it he was telling his son to load it into my trailer. Well this pissed me off, but since it was my friends family's neighbor I didn't want to make a fuss. Well, it kept eating at me, especially since he didn't even ask me if it was ok. If he would have asked I probably wouldn't have cared so much, or even offered me a couple bucks. I'm sure it made no difference for my friends family either way, I mean I charged for a load (sort of). I finally just told him when he was walking away that next time he would have to pay, because I can't charge one family and not another. Should I have said anything? Or should I have just let it go since it was my friends neighbor? I mean I'm sure the guy makes a lot more than me, assuming that he pays for all the toys that were parked at his home. But I am struggling to make ends meet. I am a new business and things can be difficult your first couple years. My expenses almost equal my gross revenue. I have just enough money to get by and get my business to grow slowly. What would you guys have done? I mean you have a lot of money invested into your business and I'm sure you wouldn't want to let some guy use your equipment cause his wasn't working. I am just wondering what you guys would have done. I mean even though my trailer was pretty full, it probably didn't make to much of a difference but I don't like to do charity work. People do not realize that running a business is so expensive, even something that I do. Give me your 2 cents guys. I have over 14,000 invested in equipment (which according one of the last threads isn't much compared to some of you), and this is my livelihood, atleast he could have asked. I later called and apologized for embarassing her, but I didn't really give a sh** what he thought.
  2. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,163

    I would have spoken up or at least charged the full $250 after that one.That would really piss me off. My neighbor just dumped his grass clippings into my trailer even though earler that day i told him not to. I didn't say anything but that really pissed me off. Just my 2 cents!
  3. Itsgottobegreen

    Itsgottobegreen LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,177

    I have killed for less than that. :D I would have been pissed. I would have just taken the stuff out and left it in their front yard.
  4. burns60

    burns60 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 291

    Absolutely. You can't haul for free, and you should tell him or anyone else that the way it works is............ you are offering a service and this service is just like any other business. You have to pay if you want the service. I was in the freight business for 37 years. When I had a customer that complained about the freight rates. I just always ask them if they would take it to the destination for that price. I never had a volunteer.

    Don't be shy or you will always be "hauling" something for free. You have got to make a profit or you won't be successful. You sold me, so you've got to sell your service to others the same way. "14,000 in equipment, its my livelihood" get with it and don't do anything for free. Especially while you are just starting your business. There will be time for that later.

    I wish you luck in your endeavor. A sincere prayer won't hurt either. I thank God each day for my successful business.
  5. leadarrows

    leadarrows LawnSite Senior Member
    from N/A
    Messages: 925

    No way. I would not have allowed it. I would be polite. I'M always polite when I am representing my business but I would have firmly said if you want service here's my card. If they argued with me I would ask them if they do there job for free.
    I had a over head door guy ask one of my employees to move some boxes out of a garage for him just today. LOL That employee just happened to be my son. Well he told the guy no and sent him to talk to me. A good son that one is. :)
    I just politely told the guy those boxes had nothing to do with our job and if I had my people move them for him it would take the two of them about 15 minuets to do it. I explained to him what that would cost me in wages and offered to have them do it if he would be willing to pay for it. LOL He walked away mumbling something I couldn't make out but who cares. LOL
  6. r_snowrider

    r_snowrider LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    Thanks for your replies guys. I felt that I did the right thing, but I just didn't want to embarass my customer. What an ass**** huh.
  7. i_plant_art

    i_plant_art LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 558

    dont worry about your customer stand up for yourself..... if that were me i would have taken that stuff right back out of the trailer and left it on the curb like mentioned before....... people always ask me to do things like that take this grass here or this limb and i always tell them sure for XXX.XX dollars i will, stand up for yourself and dont feel bad about it, you have to make a living and a family to support, dont worry about your client its not their fault the guy was a jerk, afterall neither one of them sit across from you at the dinner table at night..........................
  8. Thirdpete

    Thirdpete LawnSite Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 236

    i would think, being that the customer was a family friend anyway, they would be more understanding. shrug....

    get your money.
  9. yrdandgardenhandyman

    yrdandgardenhandyman LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 953

    I just charged a good customer $2.00 to cut 2 4' saplings out of his bushes with loppers. It took about 2 minutes to walk to the truck, get the loppers, cut the saplings and carry them back to the truck. $1.00/ minute. A fair price I think. I could have done it for free but I feel that everything I do has value. You do one little thing as a freebie, even for a good loyal customer and pretty soon you are reseeding small patches of their lawn for free or trimming off a few branches on the shrubs for free. The only way I do anything for free is if it's part of a promotion, like $10.00 off of the third mow with a seasonal contract for new accounts. Everything else gets an invoice entry at $1.00/ minute. I have had a couple of customers get a little annoyed but have never lost one because of it. We just can't write everything off as a cost of doing business. Advertising even gets charged back to the customer in the form of the price of my service.
    Just go into McDonalds (yuck :p ) and tell them, "Hey, you're cooking a burger anyway. How's about one for my friend for free. And could you supersize it? I mean you're there anyways and a burger doesn't cost the restaurant very much"
    I guess I would have invoiced the neighbor, separately, for the value of what they put on. Possibly $10.00. payup
  10. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,004

    was cutting tree for reg customer. neighbor came over asked if she could toss her old xmas tree on trailer. told her $10. she gladly paid and gave me many thanks. tell people if you wanted to work for free youd go to walmart and apply.

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