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spinoff on Weedwackers-vent

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  • spinoff on Weedwackers-vent

    The human behind the weedwacker-not the weedwacker it's self!

    I have a landscape company do my weedwacking under all my post and rail fencing and the ditch in front of the property. Have had them doing the work since '07 so this isn't something new. Anyway, the next to last time the crew was here, besides weedwacking, I had them trim back some of the bushes on the hedgerow so I didn't get cut up when I was mowing along there. I won't go into the problems there except to say they cut back quite a lot of the area about 8-10' back when only 1-2' was necessary thereby causing a much larger bill.

    There was also a significant descripancy in the billing for that and I pointed out that while the crew of 3 was there for an 8 hr pd, which would be a billing of 24 labor hrs, they did take a lunch break. I thought I was pretty generous when I subtracted ONLY 20 minutes/person or an hr for the lunch break from the bill bringing the total work hours to 23. In addition to the overbilling of work hrs they also charged an additional 1.5 hrs for weedwacking, which was done during the 23 work hours along with the hedgerow trimming. Basically there was at least a 2.5 hr overcharge and at $40/hr plus tax that came out to $108. So when I sent my check into pay for the work I wrote a letter pointing out the overcharge and paid $108 less than I was billed. I never heard word one. I don't know about you COTHer's but I sure dislike someone padding a bill.

    Fast forward to this past Friday when I had called for weedwacking to be done again. Normally, it takes 2 workers an hr or 2 labor hours ($80)for the work. Two crews show up with 2 guys each. I explain to both crews to NOT do anything on the back of the property by the hedgerow as I've used weedkiller and there aren't any weeds under the fencing. I look out as I'm washing dishes and sure enough don't I see one worker trimming the BACK of the property coming from the east side of the property and another worker trimming the BACK coming from the west side. The barn blocked most of my view so I couldn't see if they did the entire back or not. Needless to say, I was a bit pissed since they were expressly told NOT to trim back there.

    Now with 4 guys working, they should have been done in 1/2 hr easily but they were there just over an hr or ($160 cost when I'm used to paying $80). Yes, the grass was wet but that's no excuse as they've encountered that before and there was not an excessive time period between the last weedwacking and this. In addition, while we've had a wetter than normal summer, this last month or so has been pretty dry so not as much growth to the grass.

    Ok, maybe I'm paranoid but I think the owner was pissed about the last bill when I pointed out the billing 'error' and told both crews to make sure they took an hour or double the amount of time necessary thereby padding this bill also. I've decided when the bill comes, I will again write a note explaining that I told both crews to NOT trim along the back, and since neither crew could follow the homeowners instruction, I would be taking 0.5 hr off the bill. Also that I would expect the owner to reprimand the workers for NOT following the homeowners instruction. I will also point out that in all the years his crews have done the weedwacking they have never taken that long to do the work and point out to him the amount charged each time this yr alone as an example.

    Ok, vent over but I do need an emoticon with smoke coming out of my ears!
    Last edited by msj; Sep. 15, 2013, 10:57 AM. Reason: added 'dry' to 3rd to last paragraph

    I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

  • #2
    Maybe not the owner.
    He/she may have penalized the workers for claiming more hours on that last bill.
    I am assuming they earn an hourly wage, not paid by the job since you are billed for hours worked.
    So maybe this time they wanted to make up the difference by working more hours?
    Just my $.02
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


    • Original Poster

      2Dogs, that could be a possibility BUT it was a different crew this time. None of the 4 workers this past time did the previous job. But, even so, the owner should be made aware of the problem.

      One of the workers, whom I think a lot of simply because he's quite the perfectionist, did the ditch which normally would take about 30 minutes, took an entire hour. Now, there was some water in the ditch so I rather imagine that it did take him a bit longer, but not quite the entire hour. But I honestly will give this particular guy a pass because he's done a lot of work for me before.

      I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.


      • #4
        Hmmm - MSJ. Must be a Syracuse/Rochester area kind of thing. (See what you can get away with...)

        Used to live near Onondaga Hill when we first bought our cottage on the lake near here (2 hr drive). In the summertime, hired a fellow who lived nearby to mow the lawn. After not mowing it for the first 10 days after I had hired him, I did it myself, and again later that month. I went back and forth 2x a week. Ended up doing more mowing than he did.

        One Sunday morning I see his bill stuffed in my mailbox. He had charged me for 4 mowings when I had done 3 of the 4!

        Was still in my Sunday best, and I hopped in my car, drove over and rang the bell, handed him a check for mowing once, and told him I never wanted to see him again. He tried to argue that he had really done it! What noive!!
        But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson


        • Original Poster

          CVPeg, I've used this group for 6 yrs and make certain I'm always there when the work is done. Actually, the owner knows that I won't pay him if I'm not there when the work is done as I've told him. There was only one other time there was a discrepancy and the owner took my word for the amount of hrs worked.

          Considering this yr was the first yr that I had him mulch all the flower beds this spring(it took 8 guys 4 hrs to do that plus the weedwacking), and I had arranged (or so I thought ) that his crew was supposed to come back and weed every 2 wks. After 3 wks I pulled out Round Up and sprayed any emerging weeds and have continued to do so. After about 2 months, I told him not to bother having the crew come back to weed as I could handle it. I will admit this June was super wet and I suppose I can understand that he was probably way behind but.... Needless to say, I'm not too thrilled of late.

          I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.


          • #6
            It has been a challenging year weed, & mowing wise for sure. My poor little mower was totally revamped last year, and believe it will need another overhaul, or replacement for next year.

            The one good thing - great apple production! Have a few wild trees that I never picked apples from before. Have two box loads up in the kitchen right now.

            But agree with you - sometimes it's less exasperating doing some things yourself, than overseeing those assigned to do the job.
            But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson