Perth Gardens – How We Work
Thank you for choosing Perth Gardens to help maintain your garden. Our aim is to delight you with our service whether it be a one off job or regular garden management.
The following information is provided to answer some initial questions you may have.
We arrive ready to start work straight away, so we consider a job started from the time we arrive at the work site. We note our start time when we arrive and will show this on your invoice.
When we have packed up and are ready to depart we record our completion time to the nearest minute. At this point we will let you know we are leaving and provide you with a printed invoice if you need one.
We consider a water break of less than 5 minutes each hour to be acceptable and necessary for the well being of our staff. If longer breaks are taken this time will be deducted from your bill. In other words you won’t be charged for time our staff are not working.
The time you are billed for is the total number of minutes elapsed between Start Time&Finish Time, rounded to the nearest 15 minute increment less any Break Time. Note that time spent loading and unloading tools is included in billable time.
An example: If we arrive at 8:03am and depart at 9:14 this is a total time of 1hr 11 minutes. This gets rounded up to the nearest 15 minute increment, so you will be charged for 1hr 15 minutes.
Chatting With Staff
We love to chat with you, especially if it’s about your garden and how we can help you make it perfect. Please be aware though, that we often schedule multiple jobs in one day. Part of our service guarantee to our clients is that we will arrive at a job within 30 minutes of our agreed time. This means that we must consider time spent talking with you as part of your billable time. It’s just not possible for us to stop the clock and add time onto the end of our visit. If you’re aware of this and still want to chat, then by all means, go ahead!
Fees & Payment
Standard Hourly Rate
Our standard hourly rate is $55/hr unless otherwise agreed. We may offer you a discount for long term garden maintenance arrangements and for bigger jobs. Where GST is applicable this will be added and identified on your invoice.
Our fee for removing garden waste is $40 per ute load to the tip
Where we supply garden materials or parts, we will list these on your invoice.
Chain Sawing Extra Conditions
Jobs that require extensive chain sawing are extra hard on our tools and require us to spend extra time servicing our equipment – like cleaning & sharpening. We will either do this on site (as most companies do) or will add one hour to your invoice per 8 hour of service time.
We also charge a slightly higher rate for jobs that are predominantly chain sawing. This higher hourly rate (as shown on your invoice) covers consumables such as chain bar oil and petrol.
An invoice will be provided to you at the end of each visit. If we have your email address we’ll send a copy in PDF format on the same day as your service.If you prefer a printed copy we can usually provide this to you on completion of our visit.
Your invoice will show a detailed breakdown of services provided to you. Even if you don’t require an invoice for taxation purposes, this invoice is produced so that we both have a record of the work that has been done in your garden. We find it very useful to be able to refer to these records, particularly if we have an ongoing garden maintenance arrangement with you.
How to Pay Your Invoice
To simplify our service and keep costs down we ask for payment to be made on the same day as service is provided. Your invoice details how to make payment. If you receive an emailed invoice it will have a link to make an online payment by credit card. These are the payment methods we accept:
- Credit card – we can process your MasterCard or Visa card payment on the spot or email you an invoice to pay at your convenience.
- Cash – generally we don’t carry change, but if you have the correct money cash payments are fine.
- Direct Deposit – you can deposit funds directly to our Westpac business account. The account details are at the bottom of your invoice which will be emailed to you.
- Cheques – we prefer other forms of payment if possible, but will accept cheques made out to Virtuosist Pty Ltd (the company which owns Perth Gardens).
- By 14 day account – this option is available to Property Management customers only.
We will gladly provide an estimate of the number of days or half days required to complete a job at our standard hourly rate, but cannot guarantee completion of work within a fixed amount of time or for a fixed price.
Generally we find that quoting for jobs has several serious downsides:
- It delays the actual work getting done. We’d need to schedule a visit to quote then a visit to do the work.
- It encourages too much focus on getting the cheapest price. Of course we understand you want to get the best price, and sometimes this is in fact the only way to even get other gardeners to give you price! We don’t work like that. Our hourly rates are clearly stated and fair for the work we deliver, so we won’t competitively reduce these rates to beat other quotes.
- It distracts from other important factors – like quality & efficiency. We guarantee your absolute satisfaction with the quality of our work. Others pay lip service to this, but we offer this as a carved-in-stone, cross-your-heart-and-hope-to-die, scouts-honour promise!
- You never know if you are getting good value. With Perth Gardens, you pay for the labour you see with your own eyes.
Cancellation by Perth Gardens at short notice –
Who Will Be Doing Your Gardening?
You are assigned a Garden Manager. Your Garden Manager will be the one person you should direct any requests or enquiries to. They will respond to your emails and phone enquiries, and will work with you to develop any ongoing garden management plan.
Two Person Team
We may work as a one or two person team on your garden. The hourly rate is always the same for both team members. The amount you are billed will be the total number of hours spent by all team members multiplied by the agreed hourly rate. So a half day/four hour job may be completed by one person working 4 hours or two people working 2 hours.
Having a 2-person team is a positive thing for you and us. Here’s why:
- Gardening requires both expertise and hard work. We balance our teams so that you receive efficient, knowledgeable management of your garden.
- Some tasks are simply easier and more efficient when two people work together eg lifting heavy items
- Jobs are completed in half the time which means that breaks fall naturally in between jobs – ie not on your time. This also lets our gardeners have more energy for each job they attend.
- Different team members will have different interests and areas of expertise
One issue with having a team is that this naturally invites comparisons ie one person may appear to work faster or harder than the other. This is to be expected and we hope you appreciate that all of our gardeners bring unique value to the team.
Perth Gardens is fortunate to have expert consultants on our team in the areas of soil science, native plants and water wise gardening. We personally discuss your garden with our consultants as needed.
Liability, Risk & Insurance Issues
Liability For Damage
We cannot be held responsible for underground damage to pipes or services unless you have made us aware of their existence prior to our work.
Perth Gardens maintains a five million dollar Public Liability insurance policy through SGIO. If you notice any damage which you believe has been caused by a Perth Gardens team member please inform us immediately so that we can fix it, investigate it or arrange for an insurance claim to be made if appropriate.
Please keep dogs away from the area we are working in. This is for the safety of both our team members and your pets, and allows us to focus on completing your gardening job efficiently.
Pesticides, Herbicides & Fertilisers
Wherever possible we use organic products which are safer for you, your family, your pets and the environment. However there is usually some degree of risk (however small) associated with all products. Part of our commitment to you as our client is to minimise this risk. We will:
- Provide full information on the benefits and risks associated with products we intend to use.
- Ask for your permission before applying products we recommend
- Supply you with written material safety data sheets if you request them
- Inform you in writing & keep a permanent record of what products we have used, what quantity and where.
- Give you specific advice regarding precautions you should take (eg Keep your pets off the lawn for 2 days).
Our Service Commitment
- On time guarantee – Although we do our best to stick to a schedule we may be delayed by up to half an hour. If we expect to be later than this we will let you know. If we’ve made you wait around then your first hour is free.
- Absolute satisfaction guarantee:Your satisfaction is paramount. Please let us know if there is anything you’re not entirely happy about and we’ll fix it or refund your money.
- Environmentally sound. We recommend and use organic soil & plant management methods wherever possible.
- The easiest, best service experience ever! – Email us and we’ll get back to you the same day. Phone us and we’ll call you back. Request a job and by default we’ll treat it as urgent. Book online, pay online – fast!
Your recommendation is valuable to us. We intend to provide a service that you’ll be happy to tell others about. And if you do so we’ll reward you both for helping us grow our business.
Testimonials help new potential clients to see that we are a company of integrity who offer good value, quality service. We can say it all we like, but it’s even better when someone else says it for us. If you’re willing to give a testimonial we’d be most grateful.