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What fees do you add to your contracts

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by toptech72, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. toptech72

    toptech72 Member
    from 21078
    Messages: 61

    I was asked to give a price today to plow a lot next year. And after i gave my price i was asked by the property owner if i had a contract that he could look over so i went out to the truck and printed him one up. After he read through it he told me my price was a little higher than he was currently paying. So i figured it was a waste of my time but hey you cant get every job you bid.Then he asked if he could sign the contact now for next year. So then i figure my price had to be better than he was paying this year. So i asked why he would want to change contractors if the other company was giving a better price. Was it because they were not providing good service? He said he was happy with the service but not with the contract. And i told him i really didnt understand what the issue was.And he stated he didnt like all of the fees they charged.So he showed me the other companies contract and couldnt believe all of the extra charges that were written into the contract. They had the price for plowing as normal ,which was $60 lower than the price i gave. But they also stated that in addition there was a $7 fuel charge added to the bill for every time they had to service the lot. This is the first time i have seen a fuel charge for plowing. We always had a fuel charge that was added to our bills for our towing and road service business but i have never thought about charging it for plowing. And then there was the $3 billing charge. I didnt understand what a "billing charge" was but the property owner explained that every time he was sent a bill it cost him $3. He was told it was to recoupe the cost of the materials it cost to make the bill ( envelope -stamp -paper -ink for the printer). And the one that always get me the " credit card processing fee" which i believe was 3%. And i do understand that it cost to take a credit card about 1/3 of my customers for my auto repair business paid with credit cards. I just found that offering a discount for paying cash cut down on the amount of credit cards that got used.When ever i bid a job i make sure i bid enough to cover my other expenses i just never thought about listing them all in the contract. And i guess this time the fact that i didnt list every fee and keep my contacts simple got me the job.
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    I guess this guy was taking a page from the utility companies ,The have a billing fee to. As for the 7 .00 fee what did it add up to every month? Depending on what it was your price may of been cheaper. Now if this guy wants to get back at him all he needs to do is call his credit card company and complain about the 3% fee ,that is against your contract with the cc company and a big no no!
  3. augerandblade

    augerandblade PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,054

    And why not a debt reduction fee/ how about a depreciation of equipment fee/ recruitment fees/ training fees. The other guy there is doing what is typical by some in this business Quote low, come with all kinds of BS fees. If there is a loophole in the contract for service, use it milk it for all its worth. I dont think so............ GLAD TO SEE THE DUDE LOSE HIS JOB THERE, HE IS GETTING WHAT HE DESERVES FOR HIS GREEDY BUSINESS TACTICS. Price your work (all of it ) in the contract. Live up to the specs, put in clauses then. Do the job well/ get paid and youll probably be working there for a long time.
  4. RepoMan207

    RepoMan207 PlowSite Fanatic
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,039

    lmao, that's just messed up.

    I only put late fees and bounced check fees on mine.

    Fuel surcharge isn't a bad idea though.....hmmmmmmm :laughing:
  5. Mike N

    Mike N Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    Nothing boils my blood quite like the monthly gas & electric bill. I love all the additional charges they tack on........ bill issuance charge, customer charge, meter charge, and (quite possibly the best) delivery charge. Really? A delivery charge?? I didn't see the truck back up the driveway and drop off my electricity! WTF?????? :angry:
  6. mtk469

    mtk469 Member
    Messages: 57

    We have fees for late payment and bad checks but thats about it.
  7. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    We have fuel surcharges if prices raise over $4US a gal, running around 2.55 GAL, and has been most of the season, 2 years ago was over $3.75 so I think it's reasonable. We also do late payments and bounced check fees, but rarely actually use the late payment fee.
  8. the new boss 92

    the new boss 92 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,989

    i see if there was a fuel charge on it if fuel was over 4 dallors a gallon but a fuel charge is crazy!
  9. treemd298

    treemd298 Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    $3.00 billing charge? I've never heard of that one before.I can't imagine what reaction i'd get out of my clients. :realmad::laughing::waving:
  10. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    Sounds like my old boss, guy woulda charged his own mother for christmass dinner..........
  11. NW Snow Removal

    NW Snow Removal Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    In the fine print of our old bosses contract it had a 15$ lot checking fee. He checked every lot every night below freezing. 105/week / property. clients were not happy. let's just say I don't charge lot checking fees.
  12. Pristine PM ltd

    Pristine PM ltd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,891

    It is all about keeping clients happy at the end of the day... that kind of thing would only piss 99% of people off.

    Even a fuel surcharge is a bit much, the truth is that you really are not spending that much more per property when gas goes up like crazy.
  13. augerandblade

    augerandblade PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,054

    And no one could verify if he was there or not............another loophole I say.
  14. JMR

    JMR Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    All of things are a cost of doing business and should be taken in to consideration when you determine what you need to charge a customer to plow his lot.
  15. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    I hope more people add little charges and surcharges.

    means more paying work for me.

    I got a couple good paying acreage mowing gigs (what we do) last summer, where the people freely admitted I was a little more, but they were so mad at getting boned by imaginary "fuel surcharges" the year before (that they had not agreed to) that they weren't going back with the others.

    One price, that's what you'll pay, no matter how long it takes us, no games, no gimmicks.
  16. Pristine PM ltd

    Pristine PM ltd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,891

    exactly, people are not stupid when it comes to you taking their money... most of the time anyway.
  17. snowman55

    snowman55 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,071

    fees are great. client thinks I'm cheap because they don't read the fine print. fuel surcharge, salt surcharge, billing charge, lunch break charge, delivery charge, putting my boots on charge, watching the weather charge, set up charge, phone minutes charge, pita charge, overtime/holiday charge, truck washing charge, my favorite- shop / environmental charge (I hate paying this at every dealer), plowsite chat time charge, new gloves because calcium ate them charge, loss of sleep charge, crappy diet charge and finally the .I didn't make enough money misc charge.

    I only bill $15/hr for my blizzard plow trucks but make it up with about $150 in surcharges
  18. Maine_Train

    Maine_Train Senior Member
    Messages: 462

    Don't forget the battery-charge charge. That electricity costs money too, ya know. :p

    I like it. How much would you charge for a copy of that "Make Big Buck$ With $ly $urcharge$" business plan? :jester:
  19. snowman55

    snowman55 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,071

    I'll send you a copy for only $.01

    + shipping&handling + billing charge + paper charge + autograph charge
  20. cda817

    cda817 Senior Member
    Messages: 284

    We only have a 6% fuel surcharge on our invoices if Diesel fuel exceeds 4.00 per gallon. I'm glad we had because when fuel went from 2.80 to 4.50+ a couple years ago it helped alot. Without it I don't know if would have been worth it to keep servicing alot of our clients. My annual fuel usage is somewhere in the $8-10,000 range at 2.80 per gallon approximately 3,571 gallons. I don't know about you guys but when I bid a year long contract you typically build in a 3-5% buffer for inflation. A 6% fuel surcharge may seem like a lot if you are just looking at your fuel bill but when it went up but we were getting hit everywhere mulch that we picked up had a surcharge, plants, our fertilizing sub added it to his invoices and it wasn't in his contract, electric went up, everyone you could think of jacked up there prices. All of those costs have to be passed on to the consumer.