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View Full Version : Loam Install- HELP!!!!!!


Jamesgateslandscaping
12-02-2005, 04:06 PM
At the end of September I did a lawn renovation. It involved tearing up the old sod with the york rake and putting down 25 yds of new soil. I qouted the guy $950 in labor and $500 for loam. I had a signed qoute from him to do the work. I brought in the loam during the week while at school, he had a pH test done on it, perfect. It was a perfect sandy loam mix, very few stones, etc. Well, I send out bills last month (I know Im late, busy with school and cleanups) and I recieve a call 10 minutes ago of him claiming Im scaming him on labor (spent 4 hours there, with tractor and 2 with laborer) and that the product I brought it was atleast 50% sand and full of other junk. He pretty much flat out yelled at me on the phone and said he was very disadisfied. He said hes pay me $1000 for it or take me to court. I told him to just send me the check but am regreting it. Should we just take this to court? He was happy with it when we left, even out there with us as we were doing it. He put down his own seed, we did NO seeding.
I NEED HELP???? WHY THE HELL DID HE WAIT 2 MONTHS TO COMPLAIN???????:realmad:
THANKS
James

Need a Little Trim
12-02-2005, 05:04 PM
He signed the quote and agreed to everything....By any chance did you take pictures of finished project (your part)?? He hasn't a foot to stand on. If you sent the bill late because your busy. Then you gave him extended credit.

Need to put a clause in your quote or contracts that state complaints need to be made in blah amount of time.

yrdandgardenhandyman
12-02-2005, 06:53 PM
At the end of September I did a lawn renovation. It involved tearing up the old sod with the york rake and putting down 25 yds of new soil. I quoted the guy $950 in labor and $500 for loam. I had a signed quote from him to do the work. I brought in the loam during the week while at school, he had a pH test done on it, perfect. It was a perfect sandy loam mix, very few stones, etc. Well, I send out bills last month (I know I'm late, busy with school and cleanups) and I receive a call 10 minutes ago of him claiming I'm scamming him on labor (spent 4 hours there, with tractor and 2 with laborer) and that the product I brought it was at least 50% sand and full of other junk. He pretty much flat out yelled at me on the phone and said he was very dissatisfied. He said hes pay me $1000 for it or take me to court. I told him to just send me the check but am regretting it. Should we just take this to court? He was happy with it when we left, even out there with us as we were doing it. He put down his own seed, we did NO seeding.
I NEED HELP???? WHY THE HELL DID HE WAIT 2 MONTHS TO COMPLAIN???????:realmad:
THANKS
James



Why do people think that just because someone is young, they have license to abuse them? If you have a signed estimate, and he approved the work, he has no recourse but to pay you what he agreed to. DO NOT cash that check. Especially if it says "paid in full" or something like that. Just another case for the lien and small claims court. Obviously I am not an attorney and I'm not sure of the laws in your state but you may be able to cash the check IF he doesn't put anything on it stating "paid in full". Then sue him for the balance. I wouldn't negotiate anything about the price at this point. The price was negotiated before he signed.

And I think the statement about giving limited time for conflict resolution is a valid one. I guess implied warranty may apply??


See if you can get some pictures of the job too. May help to alleviate any of his complaints.
Psst. You maybe need to brush up on your spelling a bit too. :waving:

Jamesgateslandscaping
12-02-2005, 07:52 PM
Sorry about the spelling, I was quite pissed off:realmad: . Still exploring my options.
James

impactlandscaping
12-02-2005, 11:07 PM
Don't cash the check..call him and tell him it's the full amount due IN FULL, or you will take the signed agreement and proceed to file charges against him in local court. It's holiday time, and the jerk probably can't pay up or doesn't want to pay up. $450.00 isn't a few bucks, you know.

stumper1620
12-02-2005, 11:16 PM
He signed the quote and agreed to everything....By any chance did you take pictures of finished project (your part)?? He hasn't a foot to stand on. If you sent the bill late because your busy. Then you gave him extended credit.

Need to put a clause in your quote or contracts that state complaints need to be made in blah amount of time.

excellent post, I'll add if you don't have pics, go buy one of those throw away cameras and ride over in the middle of the day and start snapping pics. from the road of course, don't need a trespass violation. then go pick up the papers for small claims and a lien. that way you are ready to go if you can't get it out of him before the need arises.

sheshovel
12-02-2005, 11:16 PM
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book,he's trying to scam YOU by scaring you into paying his amount.
Do NOT FALL FOR THIS!As far as I am concerned this guy got one heck of a good deal from you ,the soil was approved and the work completed as agreed.
Take him to court or tell him you are taking him to court unless he pays you the full amount .He got a deal for what you did.An anntenna should have gone up when he had a PH test done on the soil..that would have been a red flag for me.
Next time on a job such as this one was
get your money when the job is complete hand them the bill and wait tell they wright you out your check,before you leave the job if possible or hand deliver within a day or so of completeing the work.
Do not eat it because this guy is scamming you big time.

SodKing
12-02-2005, 11:38 PM
Jim, I have to aggree with sheshovel. He signed the quote authorizing the work to be preformed at an agreed rate. He owes you the full amount due. There is nothing wrong with a sandy loam and he apparently had a soil test done indicating the soil was fine, though ph is only one part of a soil test. That being said I can grow grass on my warehouse parking lot and that also has a neutral ph.

In the end, he asked for, signed for, received and approved for sitework, he owes you the money.

If you need any help give me a call. My number is on the website on my profile.

Erik

garth1967
12-03-2005, 12:41 AM
dont let this guy intimidate you he is a crook as all the above said he signed the quote thats good enough in any court i no its tempting to just cash that money but he has no leg to stand on call his bluff

Jamesgateslandscaping
12-03-2005, 01:00 AM
He was the one threatening to take me to court because I didnt forfill my obligations, THIS IS AFTER HE OK'D EVERYTHING. He said I didnt scrape the old sod off, I DID, (dumping it over the bank where he told me) and he was out there are my brother (using a shovel and rake) and I (on tractor) were spreading it.
I know my soil and it was good stuff. I had used this supplier for all of my bulk orders and have had good results with it. He is also mad because I gave a lump sum bid for the labor of $950, took 4 or 5 hours to complete and hes bitching about how much it is. I cant take pictures because its a long driveway and I do not want to get arrested. What really PO'd me is that he waited 2 months to tell me. After we layed the loam out, raked it with the york rake and raked by hand, he gave us the OK. He was applying his own seed also. I think hes trying this because we had 2 solid weeks of heavy rain and hes complaining about all the rocks now:angry: ...ofcourse there is going to be rocks coming to the surface after it rains. I have been in discussion with my parents and I will be sending a certified letter to him asking about all the complaints in writing, giving him 10 business days to send it back. He prob. will have his lawyer write one, oh well, but if he doesn't respond within 10 days its looking like a easy case in court if it isn't settled outside of court. This is the second time this year a "older" person has complained after the OK when the job was complete. Things are going to be more different next year:realmad:

Jamesgateslandscaping
12-03-2005, 01:00 AM
Sorry, I double posted.

Need a Little Trim
12-03-2005, 01:15 AM
Don't waste more money and time sending and writing a certified letter. He has every right to take you to court no matter how idiotic it may seem. However, don't let that be a scare tactic into making you take something that wasn't agreed upon.
Call his bluff and tell him no other communication should be made until lawyers are contacted. Sue his a$$

LawnscapeMN
12-03-2005, 02:19 AM
I have an idea....Get the check and cash it...then call him and tell him that it really would be in his best interest to pay you the rest, or else his nice lawn might end up looking a little yellow.....then if he doesnt pay, you go to his lawn at night, with some grass killer, or gas....apply a good amount to the whole yard.... leave....then you still get some of your money, he must pay someone to do it again, and if he calls you tell him that it was bad karma, and he shouldve paid you....and he has no proof that you did it, so there ya go....haha

p.s.
or else just do a few dognuts on the lawn, maybe he will like that better...;)

sheshovel
12-03-2005, 02:42 AM
Bad Advice
do not do that.
Trespassing,vandalism,and you could get shot
just remain calm and follow our advice.You have a witness to the amnt of work performed.You don't have to do it by the hour..you can do it by the job.
You are in the right..the judge has seen this attempted many times before.Just go in there and explain to the judge what happened and be confident and calm and polite.

M RASCOE&SONS
12-03-2005, 05:07 PM
save yourself some trouble and next time get payment upon completion . no-way would i leave the property when i was done without getting paid,for instance you go to ford to get your truck fixed before you can pick it up you have to pay for it.the only service i give and bill for is mowing ,everything else is payment in full upon completion.let customers now up front and if they have any problem with that you dont need to do the job and have to hunt and fight to get your money.skip over the scare tactics and get legal stuff started on this bozo.

SodKing
12-03-2005, 08:38 PM
I have an idea....Get the check and cash it...then call him and tell him that it really would be in his best interest to pay you the rest, or else his nice lawn might end up looking a little yellow.....then if he doesnt pay, you go to his lawn at night, with some grass killer, or gas....apply a good amount to the whole yard.... leave....then you still get some of your money, he must pay someone to do it again, and if he calls you tell him that it was bad karma, and he shouldve paid you....and he has no proof that you did it, so there ya go....haha

p.s.
or else just do a few dognuts on the lawn, maybe he will like that better...;)

Good god are you serious? Go play in your sandbox!

Jamesgateslandscaping
12-05-2005, 10:17 AM
Talked to my english teacher today, she is also a lawyer, she said send a certified letter and if he does not pay within 10 days, sue him. She then added in that she would not mind representing me:cool: .
It is going to get interesting;) .
Thanks
James

SodKing
12-05-2005, 05:29 PM
James, If you need an expert to testify at all give me a call. I can go and view the site, test the soil, and provide an affidavit from an industry professional. I would suggest getting a soil sample from the loam you spread, Lesco can run some good tests on it and they are in Manchester, and North Hampton.

You bid $950 for the labor and overhead, whether it took 3 hours or 10 hours, he should pay every penny since that is what he authorized.

impactlandscaping
12-05-2005, 08:38 PM
James, I just saw you were still in school. This guy is trying to intimidate you because you are young. Take the advice of taking him to court, but be careful of involving your teacher, whether she's a lawyer or not, you have an existing relationship, and it could be construed as conflict of interest in court.

SodKing
12-05-2005, 09:27 PM
That would only impact him on the school side not the court side. Also, he is in college not highschool. I would suggest that you ask her about that James.

Jamesgateslandscaping
12-05-2005, 10:14 PM
She already brought it up. She does not know the gentlemen, meaning that she can be involved in the case. I think the guy is mad because the week following the job, we had 2 straight weeks of rain, bringing all the rocks to the surface...(we raked every little rock out before we left) and now hes complaining. I think this will be an open and shut thing(hopefully my qoute will hold up, its it kinda shaky but I do have his signiture to authorize the work). Im just worried that this will effect my name and my company, and also give me a bad rap in the community. It has taken quite some time to build my clientel and I do not want some idiot bad mouthing this job:angry: .
Thanks
James

SodKing
12-05-2005, 10:21 PM
He isn't arguing apples to apples. He said he was upset with the labor price and yet he makes a comment about the stones. A 1/2 inch screened loam is going to have 1/2 inch stones in it. I have always been of the opinion that a little stone in the loam is fine for a lawn.

Markf
12-05-2005, 11:04 PM
At least in Connecticut, you can cash the check even though it says "Paid In Full". On the endorsement side of the check you write "Accepted Under Protest" then sign your name. This will protect your rights. The reason why I say this is because I am a graduate of a law school. Not blowing my own horn, but to let you know where I am coming from. Good luck.
Mark

Jamesgateslandscaping
12-05-2005, 11:09 PM
He was complaining about the whole thing. It went from a "you did a great job" to a "it looks like ****, your screwed me over on material and labor". This A-hole has really ruined my week and last weekend, good time especially with finals right now:angry: .
Thanks
James

Dirty Water
12-05-2005, 11:41 PM
This is why we have contracts with our bids stating exactly what services are going to be performed. If the customer signs it, he is legally binded.

On a side note, perhaps you should switch to a finer screened topsoil? The stuff I get ($17 a yard) has absolutely no rocks or sand in it at all.

Jamesgateslandscaping
12-05-2005, 11:46 PM
No question on my material, it is the best around. It had virtually no rocks in it. We york rakes it and hand raked it, barely any rocks. You could take a hand full of this stuff and you'd have a hard time finding any rocks.
Thanks
James

nocutting
12-05-2005, 11:54 PM
He was the one threatening to take me to court because I didnt forfill my obligations, THIS IS AFTER HE OK'D EVERYTHING. He said I didnt scrape the old sod off, I DID, (dumping it over the bank where he told me) and he was out there are my brother (using a shovel and rake) and I (on tractor) were spreading it.
I know my soil and it was good stuff. I had used this supplier for all of my bulk orders and have had good results with it. He is also mad because I gave a lump sum bid for the labor of $950, took 4 or 5 hours to complete and hes bitching about how much it is. I cant take pictures because its a long driveway and I do not want to get arrested. What really PO'd me is that he waited 2 months to tell me. After we layed the loam out, raked it with the york rake and raked by hand, he gave us the OK. He was applying his own seed also. I think hes trying this because we had 2 solid weeks of heavy rain and hes complaining about all the rocks now:angry: ...ofcourse there is going to be rocks coming to the surface after it rains. I have been in discussion with my parents and I will be sending a certified letter to him asking about all the complaints in writing, giving him 10 business days to send it back. He prob. will have his lawyer write one, oh well, but if he doesn't respond within 10 days its looking like a easy case in court if it isn't settled outside of court. This is the second time this year a "older" person has complained after the OK when the job was complete. Things are going to be more different next year:realmad:
1st,,,,,make a photo copy of ck,,,,,,,,,,2nd,,,,cash it & give you bank time for it ta clear.......3,.,,if it clears send him a final bill-showing 1st payment made on its date.......4,,,,,,no further payment / send him a "Demand Letter" ....5.....still no payment?, file in small claims court for the Full amount of the job ....at small claims they'll make the adjustment in the end [ unless your over the limit].....If you end up in court, dont sweat it, he can rant and rave, but they are only intrested in the facts........they're gonna onder why he even paid you alittle/ and it just confirms there was a contract between you and him.......In my bizness I take all kinds of attorneys, Doctors, ect to court, try to find 1 that has a day session[ they really hate it when they have to take time off from work] and they look really foolish tryin to stiff some poor landscaper....Good Luck:waving:

Jamesgateslandscaping
12-11-2005, 12:57 PM
I will sending certified letter out monday written by my lawyer(english teacher) threatening lean on property and court action if not paid the balance of $570(recieved $1000).
Thanks
James

yrdandgardenhandyman
12-11-2005, 03:00 PM
I will sending certified letter out monday written by my lawyer(english teacher) threatening lean on property and court action if not paid the balance of $570(recieved $1000).
Thanks
James



It's too bad we have to go to such lengths, play hardball, become very very aggressive, just to get what we have coming to us. Go get 'em bro. I don't think this'll give you a bad rep except with the jerks who would try to rip us off.
When I got rid of all the bargain hunters, my profits really improved and I could afford to lower my prices a bit.

Jamesgateslandscaping
12-15-2005, 01:39 PM
Letter was sent certified yesturday, just a matter of time before I either get a checkpayup , a phone call from my lawyer :rolleyes: or a screaming phone call from the customer:mad: :realmad:
Thanks
James

stumper1620
12-15-2005, 01:53 PM
Letter was sent certified yesturday, just a matter of time before I either get a checkpayup , a phone call from my lawyer :rolleyes: or a screaming phone call from the customer:mad: :realmad:
Thanks
James
Have the tape recorder ready and, announce at the beginning with the recorder running " this is an attempt to collect a debt, this conversation is being recorded and any information collected will be used to collect said debt."

Jamesgateslandscaping
12-16-2005, 11:18 PM
Oh boy, did I get the phone call today. He just couldnt understand the term please address my lawyer. He is scared really badly and doesnt know what to do. He wouldnt liston to me and wanted to "talk it out". I will update later more later on guys...I think its only getting started:rolleyes:
James

SodKing
12-16-2005, 11:42 PM
Stand your ground James..."Talk it out" is synonymous with "lower amount"...payment in full! Last week I was paid by two people I demanded payment from and wouldn't take a penny less...

Stand your ground.

Jamesgateslandscaping
12-17-2005, 01:29 PM
Im not moving. He is scared, threathed to report me to the chamber of commerce and Better business bureau...bad news for him is that you cannot report me to the CC or the BBB (Not a member of the BBB so it doesnt matter and CC does not take complaints:gunsfirin ). He also informed me that he "knows" people in the industry...the sad part is I know a ton more people than him that will stand up for me and help me out:rolleyes: . Ill keep you all informed.
James