View Full Version : Refuesed to Sign Contract

04-11-2005, 10:25 AM
This guy calls me the other day wants an estimate for clean-up and regular mowing. I show up write everything down on a proposal sheet, he signs it with out blinking. The next day I show back up to do the clean-up and have a contract in hand. I go to the door and as soon as I mention the words "sign a service agreement" he becomes real uneasy and begins to sigh real loud. He looks at the paper and with in a few seconds, he says, "I'm not signing this" I ask why. He says he doesn't want to sign anything that will "come back to haunt him", which i don't see how it can. After little more discussion, I said, well sorry, maybe you can find someone else and begin to walk back to the truck. He says, no wait, I'll pay in advance. He went inside and came back with $125.00 cash for the clean-up, so i went ahead and did it. At this point he still wants to be a regualr maintenance customer. We haven't started cutting yet, so should I just let this one go? BTW: its only a $25.00 grass cut, so losing it wouldn't really be much of a loss.

04-11-2005, 10:29 AM
To start out with bad vibes is not a good thing. The only way i would do it would be if i was paid in advance. After a while if I felt better I would then switch to monthly billing but andthing other then grass cutting would have to be paid in advance.

Tn Lawn Man
04-11-2005, 10:35 AM
I have had similar things like this happen before. I chalk it up to the fact that we are living in a very cautious/suspicious society today.

So in those cases I say I will perform the work but it is in a pay in advance format only.

My real concern with service agreements is getting my money anyways.

Insurance takes care of the rest.

04-11-2005, 10:36 AM
I have a few customers that were uneasy about signing a service agreement none have turned out to be a problem.Most of them were older people and turned out to be very nice people and paid pretty quick.If the customer rubs you the wrong way than i wouldnt do it without a contract.Sometimes you can get a feeling just by talking to them if theres going to be a problem.

04-11-2005, 10:37 AM
No.There is a reason he thinks it "will come back to haunt him".He won't pay down the line or something else.
Tell him you need proof that you are allowed on his property.A service agreement is proof.Tell him it "will come back to haunt you",if for some reason your insurance company has a claim filed.
Scenario:You run into his brand new BMW with your mower.You call up the insurance and tell them their was an accident.For some reason,he says he never gave you permission to mow his grass.He sues you for damages and mental stress caused by you damaging his manhood(BMW).Your insurance company says,"Sorry dude,you didn't have permission to service his property.We're not paying anything."
You lose your home,mowers,vehicles,etc.,,just because someone didn't want a signed service agreement.
(It's a bit extreme,but in this day,there are all kinds out there)Protect yourself first.

04-11-2005, 02:11 PM
Thanks for the input guys. He did offer to pay in advance, so i will definatly hold him to it.

Nick N,
He did sign the bottom of the proposal sheet so I assume that will count as permission to be on proporty.

04-11-2005, 02:18 PM
Did you explain to him the contract benefits him too? Its to has advantage to sign it. $25.00 dollars a week adds up quick if this guy decides to burn you. I wouldn't go more than 1 week without getting paid. With no contract. you are looking at $100.00 a month. Your time. I would take the money and run. Move on.

LawnScapers of Dayton
04-11-2005, 02:19 PM
but does it mean you can be there every week for mowing??????

No service agreement.......no service from me.....anyway....


04-11-2005, 02:46 PM
but does it mean you can be there every week for mowing??????

No service agreement.......no service from me.....anyway....


Yes. If he pays for 4 weeks in advance then he gets the 4 cuts for the month.

04-11-2005, 02:48 PM
<i>I show up write everything down on a <b>proposal sheet</b>, he signs it with out blinking. </i>
<p>He signed the propsal sheet,which simply means he agreed to your price for services.He didn't sign a contract allowing the services to be rendered.There's a difference,unfortunately.A contract should contain the price,materials,time to begin work,time frame to complete work,payment terms,etc.,,The proposal is just an estimate.The contract is the agreement.
He may end up being a fine person to do business with and some just don't like to sign a contract,but,I'd never perform work without one myself.It's just like insurance.There when ya need it.

04-11-2005, 02:48 PM
Yes. If he pays for 4 weeks in advance then he gets the 4 cuts for the month.
Yeah, thats what I had in mind. He said he has no problem paying in advance.

04-11-2005, 04:03 PM
Had a regular customer say he wasnt going to sign this year. Not sure why. Have had him 3 years now and he signed every other year. He does pay in advance every 6 months. Oh well I have had him this long with no problem.
Just gets me he signed the last 3 years. same contract just different numbers.

04-11-2005, 05:42 PM
does everyone here use contracts?
i think its a good idea

04-11-2005, 05:44 PM
I started using them this year on all but 5 customers. I also now use subcontractor agreements. I used a combination of a couple guys posted on the site.

On a side note I'll get my lawyer to look over the contract once to make any changes he feels neccasary and I'll then post it up for all to use.

Green Pastures
04-11-2005, 10:55 PM
Do NOT work without a signed contract.

04-11-2005, 11:12 PM
Right cuz when he signs that contract he is buying himself time in your schedual. He's taking the time away from your schedual that you could fill with others who are willing to sign.Then he drops you without notice and you could have had that spot filled and secure.Know what I mean?

04-11-2005, 11:22 PM
I would just point out that if he doesn't sign prepaid or not he carries the liability if for some reason you are injured on his property, If he signs it relieves his responsiblity and transfers it to your insurance.
Take the impression of the nightmare down the road out of his mind and give him a different view.
I bet once he realizes it benifits him as much as you it would go over better.
most home owners don't understand the insurance or liability issues, no matter how that actually works, he wont know, look how many hire uninsured.

Texas Mowem
04-12-2005, 08:38 AM
Do NOT work without a signed contract.

Why not ????

LawnScapers of Dayton
04-12-2005, 08:57 AM
Why not ????
Read the last 2 posts before you.....thats why......

People don't understand that it is good for them to sign the agreements liability-wise.....


04-12-2005, 09:09 AM
Coming from a rural perspective I know the words contract or service agreement make many of my residential customers uneasy, some seem to be offended. Unless I'm in a larger area population wise say Iowa City, Muscatine, etc. I don't push it with the residentials and have had no problems so far this season. I do use contracts for the commercial accounts I have and it is for the exact reason someone else described, it shows I'm allowed on the property and insured, etc.

Looking at my residential customer base the larger percentage are older as in seniors or close to, this likely has something to do with this attitude about contracts. I do feel fortunate to live in this area, so many members seem to live/work in large metro areas where I guess you don't know your customers that well, thats to bad.

Anyway I work with a contract when I can for residential but don't get in a twist about it, always for commercial there is a contract.