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Old 01-10-2020, 08:21 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by 427Vette View Post
Rather then complain or rudely short them on their payment why don't you simply call them and have a polite conversation and ask them about it? I am thinking that they wouldn't intentionally be trying to take advantage of a good repeat customer. You will get further this way then taking matters into your own hands and shorting them.
I agree with this. In my post, I pointed out that the main thing that needs to happy is to get clarity on these kinds of things. Do they consider it a monthly rate that is paid even if a week is skipped due to holidays, etc.
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Old 01-11-2020, 04:12 AM   #22
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Yes, indeed, I do know how to be polite I called when they missed Christmas week, remember.

But, frankly, there are communication issues. There is only one person to speak to, the owner. His English is not great and my Spanish is rudimentary. When I call with a question or concern, he just seems to want to get me off the phone as fast as possible. He talks faster and faster until I'm not sure what was said, and if I politely ask him to repeat himself, he talks even faster.

So how do you handle such situations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 427Vette View Post
Rather then complain or rudely short them on their payment why don't you simply call them and have a polite conversation and ask them about it? I am thinking that they wouldn't intentionally be trying to take advantage of a good repeat customer. You will get further this way then taking matters into your own hands and shorting them.
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Old 01-11-2020, 05:32 AM   #23
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
This makes sense. The last time we used a lawn service here in South Fl the agreement / price was monthly, and the frequency of cuts and varied during the year. Much slower this time of year, much more frequent in the summer / fall months. As long as they pick up the pace when the lawn needs more frequent cuts, I’d just pay and not worry.
This is common here in North Fl. and we pay about $250/month too. If you have ever lived in a sandy environment with St. Augustine grass you would appreciate the effort it takes to mow this kind of thick and dense grass with tough, meandering above ground stems. It will take a toll on both your equipment and your body.

We had a great service for a few years by a group of older men who did a great job including trimming shrubs, edging, etc. Unfortunately they retired and sold the business to a young man who did not do a good job so we had to let him go. I went through another service that I also had to let go. Now we have a one man service who does a good job. On a couple of occasions he missed the mowing day. Once to take care of his mother who had to go to the hospital and another due to heavy rains for a few days (not good to mow in soggy ground anyway). The cost has been about $250/month for any service. Some of our neighbors pay a bit more for companies with fancy trucks and shiny equipment.

I would not let an off day bother me. There are too many other important things to spend my time on.


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Old 01-11-2020, 05:40 AM   #24
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In Tampa, we pay $185 a month for cutting and fertilizing a medium size lawn and we think that is high and am looking to lower it. St. Augustine grass.
They cut it bi-weekly in the winter.
I would let it go.
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Old 01-11-2020, 07:00 AM   #25
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
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I would not use a landscape service if there was no way to communicate effectively. I do my own landscape maintenance. But DW and I help DMIL coordinate with her landscape guy. DMIL cannot hear very well and it's worse with a strong accent.

They are a father/son team with some other helpers. We can communicate with the son but not the father, who is the owner/decision-maker. This is cumbersome at times but always works out. Without the son, whose English is not good but functional, we'd have to get a different service. We have special requests from time to time that would be impossible otherwise. For example, they also do minor maintenance and seasonal adjustments to the sprinkler system for her. But we have to communicate when there is an issue. Same for weeding beds.

She pays $150/mo year-round for about 1/3 acre lot. It's well understood that she pays $150 every month regardless of how many times they come out. They come every week April through October. Less in November through March, but usually every two weeks or as needed. Every time they come, they mow, trim, and blow. But the monthly cost also includes trimming shrubs and trees as needed (typically 4-5 times per year), fertilizing twice a year, mulching beds once a year, weeding beds as needed, and adjusting/maintaining the sprinkler system as needed. The only extra costs are if we ask them to do some new plantings or if they have to replace some parts on the sprinkler system.
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Old 01-11-2020, 07:41 AM   #26
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Seems like a lot of money for a little work but I don't know how much landscaping is really involved. Regardless, the "contact/agreement" is 250 for 4 visits... They had the nerve to bill you for all 4 visit when they only came 3 times. Then it's a no brainier IMO, that you should only pay them for 3... I'd tell them why, either verbally or in writing but I would not argue... Any pushback and I'd find another landscaper... Maybe one that speaks English this time.
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Old 01-11-2020, 08:00 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
Yes, indeed, I do know how to be polite I called when they missed Christmas week, remember.

But, frankly, there are communication issues. There is only one person to speak to, the owner. His English is not great and my Spanish is rudimentary. When I call with a question or concern, he just seems to want to get me off the phone as fast as possible. He talks faster and faster until I'm not sure what was said, and if I politely ask him to repeat himself, he talks even faster.

So how do you handle such situations?
Use Google Translate to translate what you want to say from English to Spanish. Copy and paste the translation into a Word document and print it out and hand to them. If he is talking faster and faster perhaps you are, too, and his rudimentary English skills cańt keep up.

When you meet with him in person have your smartphone or iPad on hand and Google translate up. He can do the same. Íve used this approach when traveling in Mexico or even with my maid here in the US.
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Old 01-11-2020, 08:12 AM   #28
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If me I would complain and pay what you feel is a fair shake. That is only fair to both of you.
If he argues back and doesn't understand your concern then I wouldn't have him back on the grounds.
I help out two elderly ladies do their yards etc.. I do it for the exercise and takes about 2 hours each week for the both of them for about 4 months. I charge them 20$ for an hour of work and do all kinds of maintence or landscaping tasks.
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:23 AM   #29
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It depends on your "contract", either written or understood. If you pay $250/mo. every month for a well trimmed yard and shrubs 24/7/365, pay the $250 if your yard and shrubs did not become "untrimmed" during the holidays. If the bill can vary due to piece work or seasonal reasons, then deduct what you think is fair and explain it on a copy of the invoice. Be prepared to find a new landscaping service, if needed.
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:52 AM   #30
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We pay 140 a month and our shrub trim / mowing / tree trimming is quite big. $250 seems like Daylight Robbery!

We are in FLA so 12 month Growing/Trimming Season.
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Old 01-11-2020, 11:06 AM   #31
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We have a landscape company that trims our small lawn and shrubs once a week on Wednesdays for $250 a month. They did not come Christmas week, and didn't come till late Friday the following week. When I called the owner, whose English is slightly better than my Spanish (meaning I don't always understand him), he didn't apologize - just said they were not coming on Christmas week.

I got the bill for $250 today. Is it worth complaining and trying to get a 25% reduction, or should I just pay?
It depends on your contract. Our HOA's contract with the gardening service makes it clear that over the Winter and on a few holidays, they may skip service some weeks. During the Summer, they may spend more time on the property. The monthly payment stays the same as it all works out on a yearly basis.
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Old 01-11-2020, 11:35 AM   #32
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I don't understand this logic. You say that it's next to impossible to find a reliable, high quality, reasonably priced landscaping company in your area. The OP is apparently happy with the service person they are using but should be prepared to get fired for not paying a bill in full. Wouldn't this then subject the OP to the task of locating another service provider that they can trust and does quality job? This could take a long time and require a ton of effort and may end up going through several before a quality provider is located. It just doesn't seem logical for $62.00. It would be much easier to make a simple phone call and see if a resolution can be reached.
As OP has pointed out (see below), a phone conversation has already taken place and didn't yield any results. So not sure how it would be "much easier to make a simple phone call" at this point. But I do agree that if OP is generally very happy with the service (other than this one issue), it might make more sense to let it slide rather than risk losing this landscaping company... but ONLY if it's difficult to find other reliable, high quality ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
Yes, indeed, I do know how to be polite I called when they missed Christmas week, remember.

But, frankly, there are communication issues. There is only one person to speak to, the owner. His English is not great and my Spanish is rudimentary. When I call with a question or concern, he just seems to want to get me off the phone as fast as possible. He talks faster and faster until I'm not sure what was said, and if I politely ask him to repeat himself, he talks even faster.
I imagine this might be a tactic. Especially if there is high demand for landscaping companies in the area, and he knows that most people will just pay rather than deal with the repeated aggravation of incomprehensible, unproductive telephone conversations.
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:53 PM   #33
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OP I understand that you feel cheated as you only received service 3 days in December, however, do you pay more during the 4 months a year when there are 5 Wednesdays in the month? I think not.
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:00 PM   #34
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Hard to say. On one hand I would feel annoyed, but on the other hand, if you live in places (like I do) where reliable, dependable and reasonably priced lawn/gardening services are in very short supply (and the ones that are around are not taking new clients because they already have enough work), I'd probably just consider the extra payment as their Christmas "tip" and leave it at that.
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:23 PM   #35
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I would just consider the price $250/month and pay it. Think of them as salaried employees rather than time card people who must account for every single minute.
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:43 PM   #36
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