What would you tell this client?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    This is an actual e-mail communication:

    client I need to change my service from weekly to bi-weekly - due to the drought we are experiencing. We do not water, nor fertalize, and it simply is not growing as fast - so basically your mowing dirt wkly. Therefore I'm requesting the same amt. be charged for the bi-weekly service as for my

    Please validate this request as soon as possible. Thanks.

    me We have processed your request for bi-weekly service. The bi-weekly service
    is $5 extra per cut.

    Please be advised, with our bi-weekly mowing service, we only agree to mow
    the lawn every other week if our client can promise us that they won't be
    applying any fertilizers to the lawn between late April & mid-September. To
    understand why, please click here:


    client If I am not watering, fertalizing --- nor is the weather permitting any type of grass growth for my lawn --- would I have to pay the $5 dollar extra per cut???

    me The $5 premium isn't something that we can waive. If it makes you feel any better, we even charge the $5 premium on weekly clients who skip just one cut.

    The issue is rain and that is totally uncontrollable. Rain has a tremendous impact on how fast the lawn grows.

    cleint Yes, which is why I had raised the question. We have been in drought mode - hence your only mowing dirt, basically.

    If it was raining and new we would get some then I wouldn't even make this request. Perhaps charging when it rains - may be an alternative solution - because to charge $5 in these harsh, hot and "No Rain" conditions - shouldn't be a charge that the customer should have to make, unless weather changes and it does rain.

    Viewing the weather channel and news - we aren't going to get any rain for along while - just a lot of heat.

    So what does the typical LawnSite LCO say at this point?

    DFW Area Landscaper
  2. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    Mowing the dirt is hard on the equipment as the air filters need to be changed more often and we have more liability due to fling debris. Altering the schedule is also time consuming for the office staff. All of these factors come into play when we set our rates. I am sorry we cannot waive the five dollar charge. I hope you choose to keep our service but understand if you feel you must make a change. Thank you for your patronage.
  3. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Messages: 1,237

    "The extra $5 fee is due, in part, to the fact that when I quoted you 7 day service at a certain price, it takes into consideration that grass grows at different rates at different times of the year. Certainly you would want me to raise my prices during the spring just because it's growing faster than normal. The fee also covers the trucking charge that is incurred during my route change I must make during that time frame."
  4. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Messages: 1,237

    I almost forgot....

    This is why when everyone signs up for the year, I explain ahead of time why I charge what I charge. And also why it's based on 7 days. Then I explain to them why it's more for the 14 day service. I don't do 10 day stuff....tooo much of a pain.
  5. barnard

    barnard LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 618

    I'd say" your right" . We will waive the $5 charge due to the drought conditions.( Lets face it if it doesn't rain we won't be cutting unirrigated lawns at all.)
  6. scaper27

    scaper27 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 115

    I would do the lawn every other week, but tell them their lawn is not first priority if you fall behind when it does rain. You will be put at the end of the list and we will get there when we can.

    Works here and has happened numerous times. No problem, we will get there, obviously you are not looking into high maintenance if you want to cut every other week.
  7. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 4,205

    I want to be a weather man when I grow up...........

    I watch the weather every day, and every day the weather changes slightly.
    Pop up thunderstorms are pretty common around here, so who controls the weather?

    Are you supposed to change your billing every time it rains or doesn't rain?
    What happens when you get three days of rain?
    Is there then another price?

    Then there's the scheduling.........Do you fill the gap on the opposite weeks with another EOW client? And is this client in the same route?

    They're complaining about $5 extra for cutting their service in half, what does this indicate?
    Even wally world charges more for buying smaller quantities............
  8. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    1/2 the work for the same amount of $$$$ or charge extra for 1/2 the work and potentially loose a customer or more ????

    The yearly gross from the customer remains the same whether you fill the other week or not.
  9. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    Here is the e-mail that goes out shortly:

    We want to keep you as a client. However, we are not able to waive the $5 premium for bi-weekly service during drought conditions.

    I suppose you could look at it another way…clients who have us mow the lawn twice as often get a volume discount of $5/cut.

    We’re certain that if you shop around, you could probably find someone to mow the lawn bi-weekly for $25, but will they show up on the day they’re supposed to? Will their billing be accurate? Will they answer the phone during business hours and respond to e-mails in a timely fashion? Will they still be in business a year from now? Will anyone at that company even speak English? Will they take complaints personally and try to argue?

    The bottom line is we have to have revenues in order to stay in business and provide the reliable service that our customers demand. If all of our client’s switched to bi-weekly service every time we got a drought and still paid the same price, we simply couldn’t stay in business.

    After you’ve had the kind of experiences that many of our clients tell us they had with the last guy, you would be glad to pay our prices.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  10. Frontier-Lawn

    Frontier-Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,955

    Dear Client,
    due to differences on both sides all services is to end effective immediately and all moneys owed to joes blows landscape is due within 5 days.
    thanks for being a client of joe blows landscape.

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