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Brianslawn
02-02-2006, 08:48 PM
im taking a former customer to court for an unpaid bill. the customer claims they gave a former employee of mine cash at the time of each mow (4 times). the employee who serviced that account never turned any money over to me or said anything about it. after dropping the client for unpaid bill for the month, the employee disappeared.

could this be an excuse from client? did he really give employee cash and employee steal it? is client still responsible to pay me for the month? or am i at fault for hiring a possible thief?

grass disaster
02-02-2006, 08:51 PM
cash is non-tracable

did he get reciept. if not then what says he payed you?

i think you would win easily

Precision
02-02-2006, 08:51 PM
im taking a former customer to court for an unpaid bill. the customer claims they gave a former employee of mine cash at the time of each mow (4 times). the employee who serviced that account never turned any money over to me or said anything about it. after dropping the client for unpaid bill for the month, the employee disappeared.

could this be an excuse from client? did he really give employee cash and employee steal it? is client still responsible to pay me for the month? or am i at fault for hiring a possible thief?

the critical question here is why was the client paying cash?

Cash gets lost. either by employees or by you (not reporting).
Not trying to be an ass, but, If I was the judge, I would laugh at you and send you on your way, perhaps with a fine for wasting the court's time.


If it isn't documented it didn't happen.

mcwlandscaping
02-02-2006, 08:54 PM
Maybe the employee told the client that they should just pay him and hell bring you the money... I dunno, just throwing out my thought

Brianslawn
02-02-2006, 09:05 PM
the critical question here is why was the client paying cash?



probably because the employee told him the same thing she told me. "that she was a devote christian and could be trusted." she probably even said a prayer with him after taking his money. suppose she gave 10% to the church?

not wanting to turn this into a religous argument. just providing some info on employee so you can determine who sounds more trustworthy.

kc2006
02-02-2006, 09:21 PM
LMAO if this isn't a bobby thread and a half! You getting paid too to make posts to attract attention?

Judge is going to tell you to get lost.

HOOLIE
02-02-2006, 09:46 PM
A classic case of their word against yours. Could go either way, you definitely need to bring your employee as a witness for you, otherwise it will just come down to who the judge believes more.

The customer should've asked for a receipt...

HOOLIE
02-02-2006, 09:48 PM
Ahhh....I just saw you said "former" employee...better be nice and believable. Maybe give the judge the link to Calendar Girls, can't hurt :p

lawnman_scott
02-02-2006, 09:52 PM
probably because the employee told him the same thing she told me. "that she was a devote christian and could be trusted." she probably even said a prayer with him after taking his money. suppose she gave 10% to the church?

not wanting to turn this into a religous argument. just providing some info on employee so you can determine who sounds more trustworthy.People that have to tell you what great Christians they are usually do this type of thing. I would say its a toss up for you. May not want to offer any info on the employee unless you are asked. Saying she disappeared doesnt look good for you.

Brianslawn
02-02-2006, 10:14 PM
People that have to tell you what great Christians they are usually do this type of thing. I would say its a toss up for you. May not want to offer any info on the employee unless you are asked. Saying she disappeared doesnt look good for you.


yes. there are many good people out there, but its the ones hiding behind religion as they committ their crimes that upset me the most. good news is, i know the judge outside of court and he knows me well. ive also been before him successfully on several occasions prior. he was also the judge that laughed at the lawyer i sued last year, before ruling in my favor. just wondering if anyone has been in a situation like this before.

Brianslawn
02-02-2006, 10:18 PM
LMAO if this isn't a bobby thread and a half! You getting paid too to make posts to attract attention?

Judge is going to tell you to get lost.


i wish i was making what RB does. :p

6'7 330
02-02-2006, 10:26 PM
What business owner is idiot enough to let ANY employee collect cash for them.

The judge will probably throw your ass out of court, fine you and then admonish you for stupidity.

HOOLIE
02-02-2006, 10:34 PM
Most customers tend to pay the same way each time, so if you have records of her past payments, i.e. check#'s, bring those to show she always paid by check up until this latest "transaction"

Brianslawn
02-02-2006, 10:41 PM
they arent suppose to be collecting cash and this was a new client at the time. its still unknown if he even paid any cash at all, or if hes lieing.

6'7 330
02-02-2006, 10:50 PM
I have to assume you are very intimate with your employees, since they know what you are chargeing your customer, if they did collect the cash.And that they would feel they could take it upon them selves to accept it.

K.Carothers
02-03-2006, 12:19 AM
What business owner is idiot enough to let ANY employee collect cash for them.

The judge will probably throw your ass out of court, fine you and then admonish you for stupidity.

What?:dizzy: :dizzy:

I guess Coca-Cola is one of those dumb ass companies also that allows drivers to collect cash and the list goes on.

It comes down to daily accountability. I hope this employee of yours was on the books. As mentioned before, did this customer always pay by checks? What are the paying patterns? You need to take to court all your daily, route sheets and any other documentation that shows a how you document daily/weekly/monthly activity.

Good luck,

kc

6'7 330
02-03-2006, 12:32 AM
What?:dizzy: :dizzy:

I guess Coca-Cola is one of those dumb ass companies also that allows drivers to collect cash and the list goes on.



kc

Whatever works for them, no employees of our's are going collect money,and be in the position to know about our charges ,or in a position to steal.That includes checks ,cash any form of payment.Our customers, send in by check or cc card,no employee's collect anything.

But I'm engaged in running business, treating employees right,but not being in a position to collect money.It is called common sense.

Eclipse
02-03-2006, 01:30 AM
Your word againt theirs. New customer with no payment pattern available. And with your employee not present to testify on your behalf, you'll lose. If I were you I would not waste your time even going to court.

sheshovel
02-03-2006, 01:50 AM
I would tend to believe that your new client is telling the truth here.Because your employee disapeared.
Why you allowed it to go 4 weeks without contacting the client personaly..unless you bill monthly.If you do bill monthly and the client signed a contract stating that..the client should have not given the employee any cash...but the employee could have easily lied to the client convincing them to pay week ly cash .This is a common rip off in this industry and happens all the time.Comes down to your loss I am afraid.Your employee did it I would bet $$ on it.

6'7 330
02-03-2006, 02:02 AM
.This is a common rip off in this industry and happens all the time.Comes down to your loss I am afraid.Your employee did it I would bet $$ on it.

Never happen's to our company, employees in the field do the work, not collection's.Every customer signs a contract and are fully made aware, payment method, check or cc card, and where the payment goes to.

The only on sight collections we do, are collected by me, myself and I.

olderthandirt
02-03-2006, 02:12 AM
Never happen's to our company, employees in the field do the work, not collection's.Every customer signs a contract and are fully made aware, payment method, check or cc card, and where the payment goes to.

The only on sight collections we do, are collected by me, myself and I.

Thats the only way to keep honest employees. You can't have employees knowing what your charging and doing the collecting or they will be your grass cutting competition the following week.

Lawn Masters
02-03-2006, 02:12 AM
after dropping the client for unpaid bill for the month, the employee disappeared.


That says it all right there. employee was getting cash, took the money, when you dropped the client, they disappeared because they couldnt line their pockets with your earnings.

Sorry to say it, but I think you're kinda screwed here.

6'7 330
02-03-2006, 02:48 AM
they arent suppose to be collecting cash and this was a new client at the time. its still unknown if he even paid any cash at all, or if hes lieing.


I did not catch this post.When the customer signed the contract, Was the customer informed about payment method,and where and who payment was to be remitted to.Or does your company have a policy of employees collecting ? The concept of employee laborers working in the field collecting money, is a foreign one for me.

Brianslawn
02-03-2006, 05:47 AM
at the time (before i found this site) we werent using contracts and billing monthly. bobby has taught me well, though. we now only accept credit cards charged day of service. the client was never told to give money to any employees. i dont know if he asked woman about paying weekly and she saw an answer to her prayers, or if its another customer scam. all are res yards are about same size and price. and price was printed on flyers in past. almost my intire workforce from now on will be h2b. i know others here that refuse to hire anyone from this area, and i think after my luck with locals, that will be a new policy for me, too.

thanks for everyones input.

nmurph
02-03-2006, 12:39 PM
you are sueing the client, not you former employee. do you have invoices that prove that you billed the client? if so, then the burden of proof that you were paid resides with the customer to prove that he paid you. he has two ways to do this 1) provide a receipt or cc statement or cancelled check, or 2) supoena the person that he was supposedly paying. can't provide either?????? cha ching........verdict for the plantiff........or at least that's the way they do it on tv......lol

sheshovel
02-03-2006, 01:15 PM
Was the client ever told NOT to give money to employees?

nmurph
02-03-2006, 01:36 PM
Was the client ever told NOT to give money to employees?
i'm not sure that matters. does the customer admit that the service was rendered? if so, then it is incumbent upon the customer to prove they paid by producing a receipt, cc statement, cancelled check or a witness.

CHRIS MELROSE
02-03-2006, 01:49 PM
Its the classic argument-"I paid in cash"....Well even when you pay in cash they give you this little thing called a RECEIPT! And if you are to stupid not to get a receipt regardless of what your purchasing then you deserve to get sued, especially how sue happy people are today. Just going off the court shows I see every now and again but anytime some fool says they paid their bill in cash the judge will ask- "where is your proof"..i.e-RECEIPT! Your employee might have taken it, and you will never find that out, but I think the judge would see in your favor.

yrdandgardenhandyman
02-03-2006, 02:41 PM
Your word againt theirs. New customer with no payment pattern available. And with your employee not present to testify on your behalf, you'll lose. If I were you I would not waste your time even going to court.



I think the judge is going to ask the client for receipts. Then the client will say that your employee didn't offer one. Could go either way. I'm afraid that with the "disappearance" of the employee, it's your word against them.
Do you feel it is possible that the client is telling the truth?
I'd probably fire off letters to all your clients that they are not to pay your help. Pay by check, cc, or even money order. That way you are both covered.
Since it seems to be in the works, I'd go to court and take my chances. That is if you're sure that the client isn't telling the truth. If you think it's possible the employee did run off with the money you might want to talk to the client. If you want to keep this client, that is. payup

gramps
02-05-2006, 04:32 PM
A classic case of their word against yours. Could go either way, you definitely need to bring your employee as a witness for you, otherwise it will just come down to who the judge believes more.

The customer should've asked for a receipt...
the judge will ask payup for the receipt. you win

richard coffman
02-05-2006, 08:49 PM
Mmmmm, after chatting with the cutomer over the phone and the customer quoting that they had payed your lawnguy in cash, i would have called the employee in your office. if he denided, you would think someone is lying. i would tell the employee that we're going to the customers house andget this all cleared up, most likely in a situation like that, someone would fess up and tell the truth.if you found the employee actually lied to you on this, that's grounds for firing and theft charges to prove a point.

in the future, let all your employees and customers know that if paid in person, checks will be only accepted and a receipt of such transaction must be given to the customer.

sometimes, you have to deal with this kind of situation by simple means.


respectfully,

richard coffman
owner:cool:

LandscapePro
02-05-2006, 09:30 PM
You're taking a customer to court because you had an employee take cash and run.

Chalk it up to a learning experience and get on with your business.

The bad "word of mouth" you're going to get for hauling this customer to court will FAR outweigh what ever amount of cash your talking about here.

Without regard to the outcome, you'll be the badguy in the court of public opinion. Don't forget who pays your bills. When it all boils down, "Joe public" pays them.......

Toss this in the "for what it's worth" catagory....

Mike
La. Landscape Contractor #2576

J&R Landscaping
02-05-2006, 09:36 PM
IMO, If this is an honest customer who did pay SHE WOULD have asked for a recipt if she did not pay you! I have had it happen with 1 of my new customers at 1 point. When my helper went to collect the money, I was blowing off the driveway. The customer waited until I was finsihed and loaded up and approached me and asked was it okay to pay my helper. I said I would prefer that she pay me so I know. No matter how good you know your employees, if they collect the money and don't tell you you can;t prove it! When they pay you, YOU know about it and can mark it down!!! I wouldn't want to be the judge on that 1!!! If you don't mind saying, how much does she owe???? GOOD LUCK!!!!!

JD GROUND SERVICE LLC
02-05-2006, 10:10 PM
Never have the client pay your employees. Invoice or pick it up yourself.