Jump to content
Bart90

Existing Customer:- "Your hourly rate is too high"



Recommended Posts

Bart90

People never cease to amaze me.  I've been doing a big job for well to do folk for about 4 years.  Every now and then they'll ask for an extra.  Was there last time, and they asked for the inside of the conservatory to be done and a roof section which is only accessible from the inside and has two windows + a raised conservatory roof thing with no pvc just about 20 panes.  Hadn't been in done in 12 months but wasn't that bad.  Left them a bill, charged £30 extra for both which i thought was a bargain.  Get a text later in the day saying they think I overpriced and my hourly rate is too high?!  

 

I do quite a few extras for people and charge more than that on some but was really surprised because they've been great customers up til this point.  It's really strange how some people think as I'm earning the same or more p/h on the windows than i do on the extras on this particular job and they've never complained at that!  I love my job but some people really rub me up the wrong way at times.  

 

Any other similar stories out there?

Share this post


Link to post
Clearview Lee

Stick to your guns, Bart. I'm presuming these are windows you've done aren't accessible for the custy to clean themselves? If not, then a premium can be charged imo.

 

The only job that springs to mind for me, and it is partly my fault, is when my local newsagent, who's windows and flat above I've been cleaning for them for years. Really lovey Indian family that I get/got on with really well. Anyway, they had a big renovation/referb job on it which took 6 months to complete.

They had just one extra window by the time is was complete, but it was a builders clean for the initial clean as the windows were caked in dust, plaster and cement  etc. It's an hour job usually, but the clean-up took me 3 hours.

 

Get this - I really do consider them as friends as I've known them for 20 years, so I only charge them £20ph, but they refused to pay any more than what they normally paid. £20.00 This was a few years ago btw.

 

In hindsight, I should of said it'll take me a lot longer than normal, but as I knew them I just assumed that was obvious, and something that didn't really need explaining. I was very wrong.

 

I live & learn. I still want to egg em, but won't! haha...

Share this post


Link to post
Bart90
Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, Clearview Lee said:

Stick to your guns, Bart. I'm presuming these are windows you've done aren't accessible for the custy to clean themselves? If not, then a premium can be charged imo.

 

The only job that springs to mind for me, and it is partly my fault, is when my local newsagent, who's windows and flat above I've been cleaning for them for years. Really lovey Indian family that I get/got on with really well. Anyway, they had a big renovation/referb job on it which took 6 months to complete.

They had just one extra window by the time is was complete, but it was a builders clean for the initial clean as the windows were caked in dust, plaster and cement  etc. It's an hour job usually, but the clean-up took me 3 hours.

 

Get this - I really do consider them as friends as I've known them for 20 years, so I only charge them £20ph, but they refused to pay any more than what they normally paid. £20.00 This was a few years ago btw.

 

In hindsight, I should of said it'll take me a lot longer than normal, but as I knew them I just assumed that was obvious, and something that didn't really need explaining. I was very wrong.

 

I live & learn. I still want to egg em, but won't! haha...

No they're not really unless they wanted to go scramble out on the roof.  Like you, I just didn't expect it from these customers as they've been great and the job is great, completely hassle free.  I've stuck to my guns, will see what happens, haven't heard back so who knows. They've paid, no issue there, it's just awkward when I go back lol but then I didn't create it.  I'll let you know how it goes next month 😄 

Edited by Bart90

Share this post


Link to post
Tuffers
Posted (edited)

I think you might lose that one Bart. 

 

I remember in the the early days I cleaned the windows of a house regularly for £20. One day the bloke wanted me to clear the gutters too. The gutter clear took me ages and it was dark by the time I'd finished. I knocked the door and said £20 for the windows and £30 for the gutters. So the wife gave me the £50. Happy days so I thought, until I saw the husband a few days later. He was angry that his wife gave me £50 and he thought that it should have been £25!! So I ask him if he thinks clearing his gutters out for a fiver is fair? Tw@t. I never went back obviously. The 

Edited by Tuffers

Share this post


Link to post
Bart90
3 minutes ago, Tuffers said:

I think you might lose that one Bart. 

 

I remember in the the early days I cleaned the windows of a house regularly for £20. One day the bloke wanted me to clear the gutters too. The gutter clear took me ages and it was dark by the time I'd finished. I knocked the door and said £20 for the windows and £30 for the gutters. So the wife gave me the £50. Happy days so I thought, until I saw the husband a few days later. He was angry that his wife gave me £50 and he thought that it should have been £20!! So I ask him if he thinks clearing his gutters out for a fiver is fair? Tw@t. I never went back obviously.

I have that feeling too.  I would be disappointed to lose it but I've been in this business long enough to know there's plenty more work that will pay for extras with no issues. 

Share this post


Link to post
Incheck

Many people are only loyal to one thing sadly mate, and that’s the price. I would have clearly stated what the extras would have been before doing the additional work, that way you wont put your foot in it. All they have to do then is say yes or no.(inform them of the bill before giving them the bill basically)

 

it happens often though fella to us all i’m sure.

 

“£60 to clean my windows?! You must be mad”

 

you’re there thinking to yourself

Hmm...they haven’t been cleaned in years so its been pretty “inexpensive” until now.

so hmm let me see it could take 1-2 hours to clean them, (a man at the bottom of the ladder so i dont fall to my doom) cleaning agents for the pvc - pink stuff, de-greasers, microfibres, blade scrapers, a £500 pole, £100 backpack, resin & d.i. Filters. Oh yes and then there’s the insurances, taxes & van services. And they’ll probably leave it another few years once they’re clean before calling somebody again

 

but we don’t really tell them this do we.

 

The next words we are likely to hear are

”I’ve never paid that before, and my neighbors certainly aren’t” 

and you’re thinking to yourself...yes the neighbors pay less on a regular schedule because they dont let them get to this stage 🧐

so...we get back in our van, close the case, and trundle on...it’s all we can do fella. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Bart90
Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Incheck said:

I would have clearly stated what the extras would have been before doing the additional work, that way you wont put your foot in it

Totally agree mate, this probably would have been the best way to go about it and would have nipped it in the bud at the beginning.  On some jobs though I prefer to bill at the end so you don't get caught out and knowing these customers thought would be fine but I will be a little more careful in future! 

Edited by Bart90

Share this post


Link to post
Incheck

There’s better days ahead mate. Windows can cost 10-15 grand to put in, & they’ll worry about an additional few quid on the cleaning bill. We all know that philosophy doesn’t make sense buy hey ho, don’t worry lol. 

Share this post


Link to post
Tuffers

It's good to tell a customer that the price isn't all profit.

Share this post


Link to post
Cookie
16 minutes ago, Incheck said:

so hmm let me see it could take 1-2 hours to clean them, (a man at the bottom of the ladder so i dont fall to my doom) cleaning agents for the pvc - pink stuff, de-greasers, microfibres, blade scrapers, a £500 pole, £100 backpack, resin & d.i. Filters. Oh yes and then there’s the insurances, taxes & van services.

 

Also as self-employed we need to cover:

  • Holidays
  • Bank holidays
  • Pension
  • Sick pay

I reckon this must add 20% to the price. Those who are employed just don't recognise this... So it's not comparing like with like.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Incheck
5 minutes ago, Cookie said:

 

Also as self-employed we need to cover:

  • Holidays
  • Bank holidays
  • Pension
  • Sick pay

I reckon this must add 20% to the price. Those who are employed just don't recognise this... So it's not comparing like with like.

 

 

I don’t know how you worked this out fella but id day it’s more like 3-4 times the living wage we need to aim for. (Not that i earn this by a long shot) I’m just doing the best i can.

Weather needs to be accounted for as well, im looking at 2 possibly 3 days off this week as its blowing 40’s and 50’s out there...van service next monday too.

gotta make ££££ while the goings good in this game...im not winning this month though lol

 

Share this post


Link to post
ks789

Also I tell em about the day a week I spend at home producing the water which I dont get paid for. Its yet another reason why people who dont charge enough really could be better off in a factory or such.

Share this post


Link to post
Adman

I bought a small round local to me about a year ago.  It was trad and fairly low priced, but it's in my village and I just went at it with the pole and waited for any issues.  One of the first houses on the run came out and asked about it, seemed fairly happy that the upstairs windows above the Conny would be done and the frames kept nice.  On about the 5th time back they asked if I could do the Conny roof, I said yes and got on with it, from memory about 12 panels with both sides awkward with large step ladders required. I cleaned it well and squeegeed it all off, charged them the usual £10 for the windows (id charge £15 if pricing today) and £20 for the roof (Id normally charge £40-50).  They paid, I left thinking I'd done myself but am still trying to be nice to these people as they all are local to me.

 

I turn up on Friday last week to do the windows and the fella comes running out, I thought here we go "it's going to rain later", but no. 

 

"I don't think we'll have it done today!".

 

"any reason?" I asked

 

"We just not happy with how you do it and the cost.  We're pensioners"

 

"Has there been any problem with the quality of the work, do you have any specific issue ?"

 

"No, it's fine you're just too expensive."

 

"But I charge what the last guy charged and prices haven't changed in 5 years"

 

"But £20 to clean the roof was too much, we can't afford it"

 

"Ok.  Bye"

 

And I had someone last week run out saying "why are you cleaning the windows in the Rain?"

 

The sun was shining.  I didn't really know how to respond other than to state the fact that it wasn't raining, and the sun was out.

 

People are weird.

Share this post


Link to post
Clearview Lee
6 minutes ago, Adman said:

I bought a small round local to me about a year ago.  It was trad and fairly low priced, but it's in my village and I just went at it with the pole and waited for any issues.  One of the first houses on the run came out and asked about it, seemed fairly happy that the upstairs windows above the Conny would be done and the frames kept nice.  On about the 5th time back they asked if I could do the Conny roof, I said yes and got on with it, from memory about 12 panels with both sides awkward with large step ladders required. I cleaned it well and squeegeed it all off, charged them the usual £10 for the windows (id charge £15 if pricing today) and £20 for the roof (Id normally charge £40-50).  They paid, I left thinking I'd done myself but am still trying to be nice to these people as they all are local to me.

 

I turn up on Friday last week to do the windows and the fella comes running out, I thought here we go "it's going to rain later", but no. 

 

"I don't think we'll have it done today!".

 

"any reason?" I asked

 

"We just not happy with how you do it and the cost.  We're pensioners"

 

"Has there been any problem with the quality of the work, do you have any specific issue ?"

 

"No, it's fine you're just too expensive."

 

"But I charge what the last guy charged and prices haven't changed in 5 years"

 

"But £20 to clean the roof was too much, we can't afford it"

 

"Ok.  Bye"

 

And I had someone last week run out saying "why are you cleaning the windows in the Rain?"

 

The sun was shining.  I didn't really know how to respond other than to state the fact that it wasn't raining, and the sun was out.

 

People are weird.

you really do get all sorts.

Share this post


Link to post
Bart90
7 minutes ago, Adman said:

People are weird.

Amen.

Share this post


Link to post
THL4KEL

If any of my customers ask me to do any addon I always give them a quote via text or letter (old people that dont use mobiles)and tell them to contact me if they want to proceed and I will book them in at the earliest opportunity. 

 

Puts them under no pressure to proceed if they're not happy with the price of that  service. 

Share this post


Link to post
Clarkus84
25 minutes ago, THL4KEL said:

If any of my customers ask me to do any addon I always give them a quote via text or letter (old people that dont use mobiles)and tell them to contact me if they want to proceed and I will book them in at the earliest opportunity. 

 

Puts them under no pressure to proceed if they're not happy with the price of that  service. 

Yup. Have to agree with you there. Always say you will take a look and either a text or note through the door. Saves you from having them trying to haggle you down on the spot

Share this post


Link to post
THL4KEL

I never ever do anything on the spot. They all have to make a booking whether existing client or potential new client. 

Share this post


Link to post
Davy G
Posted (edited)

I'm always polite and friendly but firm. I won't do any work unless and until the price, and what exactly I'm going to do is agreed. Where extras such as gutter empties or washes are concerned, I itemise everything in shorthand on my notepad for my copy, and write it down in long hand for them. I then tell them they can have all of it some of it, or none of it. I also tell them I'm happy for them to think about it for a while and I have no problem with them getting further quotes. I'm probably not the cheapest, I don't aim to be. Quotes for windows, empties and soap washes take just a few minutes, and everyone knows where they stand. It's important to stand your ground. For instance, a customer I'm going to tomorrow asked by text if I would remove a plant growing from the end of his gutter. He was no doubt thinking perhaps a fiver, I'd guess. I told him that when the ladder comes off the van the price for a gmt (my shorthand) is £3 per metre and I charge for the full length. He has agreed. There's very rarely an empty gutter, and I always charge as if full. You are the business owner, don't forget that. No one has the right to ask what your hourly rate is. I bet they'd have something to say if you asked them what there income is. 🙂

Edited by Davy G

Share this post


Link to post
Iron Giant
9 hours ago, Adman said:

I bought a small round local to me about a year ago.  It was trad and fairly low priced, but it's in my village and I just went at it with the pole and waited for any issues.  One of the first houses on the run came out and asked about it, seemed fairly happy that the upstairs windows above the Conny would be done and the frames kept nice.  On about the 5th time back they asked if I could do the Conny roof, I said yes and got on with it, from memory about 12 panels with both sides awkward with large step ladders required. I cleaned it well and squeegeed it all off, charged them the usual £10 for the windows (id charge £15 if pricing today) and £20 for the roof (Id normally charge £40-50).  They paid, I left thinking I'd done myself but am still trying to be nice to these people as they all are local to me.

 

I turn up on Friday last week to do the windows and the fella comes running out, I thought here we go "it's going to rain later", but no. 

 

"I don't think we'll have it done today!".

 

"any reason?" I asked

 

"We just not happy with how you do it and the cost.  We're pensioners"

 

"Has there been any problem with the quality of the work, do you have any specific issue ?"

 

"No, it's fine you're just too expensive."

 

"But I charge what the last guy charged and prices haven't changed in 5 years"

 

"But £20 to clean the roof was too much, we can't afford it"

 

"Ok.  Bye"

 

And I had someone last week run out saying "why are you cleaning the windows in the Rain?"

 

The sun was shining.  I didn't really know how to respond other than to state the fact that it wasn't raining, and the sun was out.

 

People are weird.

1


Have they got mixed up and or have you missed something, were they thinking the roof was going to be done on a regular basis which bumped the regular price up by £20.00 every 4 weeks.

 

I started off in the village I grew up in and came to regret it they didn't like price increases and the previous windys who were also local didn't increase the prices and the other guy hadn't increased his prices for years over the years my round dwindled away, I would start expanding as fast as you can and gaining better-priced work. 

Share this post


Link to post
Clearview Lee

👆🏻Spot on!  I had a customer three weeks ago ... she is a regular, but messed me around at Christmas saying the windows looked alright.  Come January she was texting me and I said I was too busy,  and that I will do her next month instead. Anyway, I turned up and she quickly popped out the door to pay me and said do you see that plant growing out of my gutter - can you take that out for me?  I said my ladder might reach it but I can have a look.  With that she said thanks and closed the door. Like I was doing to do it for free!!! 

I don’t want to lose the job, as it’s in a unique plush location with just 6 houses with their boats at the end of the garden onto a canal. This one is always a bit private and doesn’t really engage with me like the others. Anyway, that peed me off a bit, so I sent her a text saying my ladder was just too short for my reach, which it actually was. I then told her I shouldn’t really be going up ladders like that (health & safety blah blah) and that I have a gutter vac and do it professionally at weekends. She had other growth sprouting out in other areas, so I told her I’d do the lot for £80. 

 

I heard nothing back. 

Share this post


Link to post
Adman
1 hour ago, Iron Giant said:


Have they got mixed up and or have you missed something, were they thinking the roof was going to be done on a regular basis which bumped the regular price up by £20.00 every 4 weeks.

 

I started off in the village I grew up in and came to regret it they didn't like price increases and the previous windys who were also local didn't increase the prices and the other guy hadn't increased his prices for years over the years my round dwindled away, I would start expanding as fast as you can and gaining better-priced work. 

 

I don't think so. I told them it was £10 for the windows and £20 for the roof when I asked for the money, and we discussed window pricing when he was moaning at me but I suppose it's a possibility.  The read guy never did the roof every time, and I never suggested it but he's clearly a moron so anything's possible.

 

My round is pretty much full with better prices stuff so now I have to increase prices on the old stuff.  I know I'm going to lose some, there's houses a £6 in there lol!

Share this post


Link to post
Green Pro Clean Ltd

If you don't give a quote first then the fault is all yours. 

 

You wouldn't engage a tradesman without wanting to know the prices first would you? 

Share this post


Link to post
Bart90
Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Green Pro Clean Ltd said:

If you don't give a quote first then the fault is all yours. 

 

You wouldn't engage a tradesman without wanting to know the prices first would you? 

The tradesman is already engaged and the extra work is charged at roughly the same hourly rate as the outside of the windows.  The customers issue  was with my hourly rate! Not to mention I'd done both these jobs before and was only charging an additional £8 on the roof due to how long it had been since I last did it. People's perceptions are strange. I concede though, a quote before hand would have prevented any issue arising but for the difference of £8 you'd hardly think it necessary.

Edited by Bart90

Share this post


Link to post
Davy G
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Bart90 said:

The tradesman is already engaged and the extra work is charged at roughly the same hourly rate as the outside of the windows.  The customers issue  was with my hourly rate! Not to mention I'd done both these jobs before and was only charging an additional £8 on the roof due to how long it had been since I last did it. People's perceptions are strange. I concede though, a quote before hand would have prevented any issue arising but for the difference of £8 you'd hardly think it necessary.

I know what you mean. You would hope it wouldn't be necessary to have to spell things out. Unfortunately, from my experience with people in general, I've come to realise that what should be obvious, to some people just isn't. The guy I went to today ("Can you just nip up the ladder and pull a plant out of the gutter"), tried it on "I'm not paying twelve pounds" even though it was explained to him yesterday that I won't deploy the ladder without being paid for the emptying of at least one run. He didn't get away with it. He was told politely he had two choices... make one of them. I was less than five minutes on the ladder at a cost to him of a four metres empty £12, on top of his regular window clean. He was not happy. I explained to him that one mistake by me, one fall, and that could be the end of my career. That should not need to be pointed out but I did need to. 

There's almost never a day I don't have to stand my ground with someone. I'm well able to. But it does get tiresome at times. 🤔

Edited by Davy G

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.