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myrlin
06-30-2006, 06:16 PM
I'm not sure if I am posting my question in the right board.
Most of our lawn mowing customers on a yearly contract but I bill them monthly. We have stated in the contract that either party may terminate with 30 days written notice. What do other LCO do if the customer wants to stop service but doesn't give 30 days notice? I had a customer give us only 1 week notice. Do you still charge them for the next month? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I also have another question. We just started a promotion where if the customer signs up for a yearly contract, their 1st month is free. We don't want them to get their 1st month free and then decide to drop us. Should I stipulate that they can't cancel within the 1st 6 months or something to that extent? Not sure how to word the contract while giving 1 month free.

Thanks,
Myrlin

tiedeman
06-30-2006, 09:07 PM
I feel 30 days is 30 days, but it also depends on when they cancel I guess. For example, if you bill monthly and they paid their June bill, and cancelled like the first week of June, then I would let them go without charging them the July bill

myrlin
07-01-2006, 11:44 AM
Yes I guess I understand what you are saying. In our case, the customer called 6/26/06 and said they wanted to cancel. They had already paid for June. I am wondering if we should charge for July because they only gave us 1 week notice instead of 1 month notice? Or should we add up the total cuts they had and charge them the difference between that and what they paid on a monthly basis. I probably am making this more confusing than what it needs to be. Just not sure what good a contract is if the customer wants to cancel anytime they want.

Any suggestions on wording a contract when giving 1 month free?
Thanks....Myrlin

Steve
07-02-2006, 05:36 AM
Hi Myrlin,

I would just charge them for the work you have done and move on. You don't want a customer who doesn't want you.
Joel LaRusic who wrote the book how to start and run a landscaping business told us in an interview podcast you can listen to here (http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST&f=1&t=1713&st=&&#entry9482) that he doesn't use contracts and it's worked fine for him for over a decade.

Something to consider.

tiedeman
07-03-2006, 06:34 PM
I agree. Just move on. If they already paid for the month, and they reall owe nothing then move on. I can understand that you are kind of left in a bind for a while to cover the next months possible income, but in the long run, it's best to just let them go. Make sure to tell them too that you are going to give them a break and not charge them for the next months services even though you can because it's in the contract.

myrlin
07-06-2006, 12:57 PM
Thanks for all your responses. We are taking your advise.

Steve
07-06-2006, 06:26 PM
Quote[/b] ]I also have another question. We just started a promotion where if the customer signs up for a yearly contract, their 1st month is free. We don't want them to get their 1st month free and then decide to drop us. Should I stipulate that they can't cancel within the 1st 6 months or something to that extent? Not sure how to word the contract while giving 1 month free.

Have you started this yet? How has the response been? How are you promoting it?

myrlin
07-06-2006, 08:49 PM
Hi Team Gopher,

Yes we started the promotion about 2 weeks ago. We added it to our regular weekly ad which we have in our local advertiser. Out of the last 5 phone calls we received, only 1 person mentioned it. I know that all 5 calls came from that advertisement because I always ask how they heard about us.

I guess some "free" promotions aren't always so important to everyone.

Steve
07-06-2006, 09:09 PM
Nice work!

The one who asked about it, are you going to perform that promotion for them?

myrlin
07-06-2006, 09:28 PM
Yes we are. I just received his signed contract back yesterday. He will receive the month of July free.

Steve
07-06-2006, 09:34 PM
What inspired you to try this promotional idea? Did you see another lco offer it?

Why did you choose a month versus 1 or 2 cuts?

myrlin
07-06-2006, 09:46 PM
We were talking to a friend in Upstate NY who was in the business a few years ago and he said to try it as a promotion.

Most of our customers are on monthly contracts rather than a per cut basis. We found that if we just do lawns on a per cut, we would starve during the winter here. This past winter some of our lawns didn't need cutting for 5-6 weeks. The majority were only cut 1x a month. We had such a drought for so long.

Steve
07-06-2006, 10:00 PM
Have you thought about any upsell ideas you could possibly offer your clients during their free mowing to make money from them?

myrlin
07-06-2006, 10:09 PM
No, we haven't really. My husband works solo so he probably wouldn't have time for any thing other than mowing. We haven't given it much thought though.