To think you wouldn't expect this service for free?

(95 Posts)
littleladyluna Sun 24-Jul-16 10:58:17

I am currently house and cat sitting for a client for five weeks. I met the next door neighbour while in the garden yesterday who asked if I could water her plants while she was away on holiday for four weeks. I told her I'm sure I could, and that I'd drop over a client enquiry form the next day. As I was already at the house next door for the duration I told her the charge would be £5 a day.

She said nothing, but the look on her face and the sound she made when I told her there would be a charge told me that she wasn't expecting to pay.

AIBU to think you don't expect 60 potted plants in your courtyard garden to be watered everyday for four weeks for free?

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sun 24-Jul-16 11:03:01

Whilst I don't think you should do it for free, I think your prices are steep.

That's £140!

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sun 24-Jul-16 11:03:56

Cheaper to let the plants die and buy new ones grin

TheImprobableGirl Sun 24-Jul-16 11:03:57

Couldn't you water them every three days or something.... For £50?

mrgrouper Sun 24-Jul-16 11:04:01

5 a day is very reasonable
I was going to offer my next door neighbour 10 a day to feed the cat, dog and fishes.

NewNameNotTheSame Sun 24-Jul-16 11:04:52

£140 quid to water some plants.. I feel a new career coming on grin

OlennasWimple Sun 24-Jul-16 11:05:28

60 potted plants is probably 20-30 mins work, so £5 isn't extortionate

Watering plants for a couple of days is a favour, for four weeks is a chore

Of course she shouldn't expect you to do it for free!

motheroreily Sun 24-Jul-16 11:05:31

Yes I think that's reasonable. It's only a lot of money because she's going away for so long.

Summerwood1 Sun 24-Jul-16 11:05:37

I agree with the previous poster. That's a lot of money.

oldestmumaintheworld Sun 24-Jul-16 11:06:16

There will always be people who forget that others have to earn a living. You are NBU to expect to get paid for a service you provide since you are working at the house and you are not the NDN.

It might be different if you were at home and your own NDN asked you, but when you're at work, no.

This happens to me all the time and sometimes I humour people, but mostly I don't. I work for a living and need to get paid for my time and so do you.

Timeforabiscuit Sun 24-Jul-16 11:06:24

That sounds right to me, she can alway get a timed system installed as an alternative.

Or ask someone else to do it, watering some elses garden every day for four weeks is a big ask!

littleladyluna Sun 24-Jul-16 11:07:12

I'm in Zone 1 in London if that makes any difference. My rates are in line with other plant waterers/cat sitters etc.

Iggi999 Sun 24-Jul-16 11:07:40

Is that the price you would charge if it wasn't next door, or have you given them a reduction?

SavoyCabbage Sun 24-Jul-16 11:07:43

I'm surprised she thought you were going to do it for free as you are a house sitter.

I agree that £5 a day sounds like a lot though.

MrsJayy Sun 24-Jul-16 11:09:04

£5 a day is a bit steep to waterplants is it a huge garden ? But it is your prices so she will either pay it or not.

MrsJayy Sun 24-Jul-16 11:10:36

Oh she was cheeky to think you would do it for free though

MrsJayy Sun 24-Jul-16 11:12:26

Ah I see it is 60 plants not sure how i missed that

littleladyluna Sun 24-Jul-16 11:14:45

It's a reduction on the basis that she wouldn't need to give me keys and I'd water the plants twice a day.

Usually I charge a bit more and I usually have keys. I visit twice a day - first thing in the morning and at dusk so I don't scorch the plants. I open and close curtains and shutters, clear away post, generally keep an eye on things, and will get milk and bread in for the client's return. If preferred I will time my visit to coincide with an online grocery order and will put most things away ready for their return.

Sgtmajormummy Sun 24-Jul-16 11:16:39

Maybe she thought you were a friend staying to keep an eye on the house and cats. In that case her "funny" look was just processing the new information. No drama.

Chikara Sun 24-Jul-16 11:18:58

It will take at least an hour of your time to water 60 potted plants. It takes me 20 minutes to do mine and I have about 20.

Going in, unlocking door, filling and re-filling the watering can, putting can back. You also have responsibility for her keys and for her house.

It also the sort of thing, like putting the bins out or doing the ironing that you think:" Oh no... I 've got to do X", just as you sit down.

Minimum wage is over £7 per hour now. You are presumably self-employed so tax, NI, pension, sick pay, holiday pay etc all have to be paid by you.

I am sure that all these employedpeople or partners of employed people would be fine with being asked to work for practically nothing. You also earn no "brownie points", career advancement, experience or time off in lieu.

I am self-employed and am regularly shocked that people expect me to work for nothing when they would be up in arms themselves if an employer asked them to do the same.

Neighbour has a choice. She can say yes or no. Simple.

littleladyluna Sun 24-Jul-16 11:19:10

As I am next door anyway I'll likely offer to water the plants every three days for a lower rate, however I'm sure I spotted young tomatoes which may suffer.

KeemaNaanAndCurryOn Sun 24-Jul-16 11:19:31

Did you explain the full service you offer for that £5?

To be honest, if I'd asked if someone could water my plants, I'd expect the, to do it once a day and nothing else, as I'd not asked for a full on service.

Her face was probably down as it sounded a bit steep to run a hose over some plants once a day. But I have no idea how things work in London. In Cumbria, you wouldn't need your outside plants watering as nature does it for free.

OhTheRoses Sun 24-Jul-16 11:22:09

It sounds excellent value to me.

RaptorInaPorkPieHat Sun 24-Jul-16 11:22:54

Maybe the NDN thinks you're house/cat sitting for their neighbour as a favour and didn't realise that it's your job?

£5 a day seems reasonable to me for 60 plants, it'll take time to water that many properly.

AnotherPrickInTheWall Sun 24-Jul-16 11:22:55

I think £5 per day is too cheap. In hot weather they will need to be watered twice a day.
There isn't just the watering; dead heading too.

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