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mowerman90
06-29-2001, 04:24 PM
OK guys, here's the situation: a local bloodbank needs to find a new lawn service company and I was reffered to them. I meet with the branch manager and we discuss the specific problems at their site and I submit my contract for approval. The branch mang. tells me she has been authorized to sign the contract and I go up there and have a sitdown with her and we sign the contract (on Wednesday) and everything is good. I'm supposed to start maintaining this place on Monday. I get home this afternoon and the phone rings and Mr. Corporate Pencil Pusher from their corporate office tells me that 1. The branch manager was not authorized to sign. 2. They need to reword the terms (my terms were "statement will be mailed at end of month, payment due upon receipt with 15 day grace period"). They want 30 days net.

I understand the 30 days net (meaning I'll have to wait almost 2 months from the first cut to get paid). But my problem is that they want me to go ahead and cut starting July 1st without a valid contract and wait up to 2 weeks until they can get back to me with wording and terms that agree with their corporate lawyers and accountants. I'm not sure I want to wait. I'm not even sure I want to even get involved anymore with this company. Oh, buy the way, the branch manager is off today, so I can't even talk to her about this.

What should I do come Monday morning????:confused:

Fantasy Lawns
06-29-2001, 04:58 PM
"Net 30 days" is a credit term which means the net amount of the invoice is due 30 days after the invoice date ...so if invoice is sent to be recieved say ....July 1st payment is to be in your office by August 1st ...not so bad ....we bill on the 1st due on the 20th ...some commericals we have 30/n ....and on our largest we bill bi monthly ....1st due on 15th & then the 15th due on 30 ...

ANY contract can be broken ....someone may pay fore it ... all the have to say is "they didn't weed wack to good or blow this or trim that" .... Yes I have contracts with ALL my Commercial .... but that does not ensure I'll keep the job ....the service does that on our side ...n them paying good & on time from their side

as far as the account ....with out "contract" ...your going to here this that ...be this way ..... do that ...... just go cut the property Monday ....you have a verbal with the bean counter....n a written with the branch manager ....whom is an officer of the company so it would hold in court as far as payment issues ....get the "new contract" on the 15th and be happy with a new account ....if problems occur by 1st billing (won't pay).....drop her n get a lien ....good luck ;->

Lawn Dog2001
06-29-2001, 06:01 PM
First off, you need to decide if you want the account or not. If you really want the account then being flexible with your terms should not be a problem. But it dosen't really sound like you care either way. If thats the case, then tell them those are your terms, the contact has been agreed to and signed, and you will not service they're property until you are reassured that the original terms have been agreed to. This kind of problem right off the bat with a new account would make me nervous about the future with them. It might be worth it to you to find out what company serviced them before, and ask them a few questions about any problems they had with these people.

Fine Lines Lawn
06-29-2001, 06:21 PM
yeah, what Steve said.

Charles
06-29-2001, 06:27 PM
What they said and leave them an bill each time you cut so there will be a written record of your work.

mowerman90
06-29-2001, 07:20 PM
Thanks for the quick responses guys. I've got the weekend to think this over. This is one of the reasons I don't go after more commercial work. All my residentials pay me "in advance" for the month and are under a 12 month contract which keeps my cash flow the same winter and summer. Since this property isn't a "gem" to begin with I may just pass on it.

Fantasy Lawns
06-29-2001, 08:22 PM
that's always a final kicker .....the over-all job site in the first place ...may be hard on you n equip .....or not the best place to be seen working on :->

Freetime
06-29-2001, 08:54 PM
Down the road with them, stick with the residential accounts and leave the commercial wasteland to some one else. You are not Burger King and should not allow a bean counter to dictate terms of the contract.

(my opinion)

Lady is probably fighting with corporate so and so to have the work done, so she says “well I will do it anyway” calls you and it’s “lets make a deal” without any power behind her.

What happened to the last company?

How far out is the lawn 2,3,6 weeks?

Sorry, commercial is to iffy with minimal return (in some cases)
:angry:

lawrence stone
06-29-2001, 09:15 PM
Originally posted by mowerman90

Since this property isn't a "gem" to begin with I may just pass on it.

Since they already broke one contract these people have no credibility.

If it's just a little job walk away before they get a chance to
get in your pocket.

I would not sign the customer’s contract unless we are talking
$1k+ per month revenue.

geogunn
06-29-2001, 09:54 PM
I say for what you have to lose vs. the potential that things will work out, you should go for it.

if it doesn't work out, cut 'em loose and march on. 'till then, do the job, the checks will start showing up in the agreed time. good luck.

GEO

gusbuster
06-30-2001, 12:17 AM
This won't help you this month as they wish to start monday, but future net 30 bills, just bill them 30 days in advance. I do this with about 5 of my commercial accounts I take care of. The commercial(not small property companies, but bigger property accounts and chains). I do 2 K.F.C's. I state on the bill for service from 6-1 - 6-30. Just another thought on how to do this. One thing to keep in mind, everybody knows everbody. It can prove a profitible venture if you handle it correctly.

I do have to wait the net 30 for any extra repairs or services performed. In that case, I would try to get a purchase order number from an authorized person within that company.

john

kutnkru
07-01-2001, 09:57 PM
Ed

If you think that as most do you will have to wait 60 days because of the billing cycle, then I would ONLY take this contract if you are permitted to, and they are willing to sign a contract whereas you can bill for the first two months in advance.

As Stone stated, they are not a viable candidate for playing fairly let alone by the book (so to speak). I would make sure that if you are going to play by their rules that at least something should be in your corner.

Kris

crazygator
07-01-2001, 10:42 PM
Not taking up for the bean counter, If you go along with it ,it might work out to your advantage. They will see your flexible, and if you do them a great job, will be even more satisfied. If you do the job and you hate the first time through, then drop it and go on, lesson learned. Most business's have a net 30 clause, it's just the way business has settled. I encourage you to go for it and be happy with however it turns out and you will learn something and probably get more work from being mr. nice guy with mr. Bean! Good luck and let us know how it turns out!:)

mowerman90
07-01-2001, 11:12 PM
UPDATE:

Here's the scoop. I was able to contact the branch manager over the weekend and discovered that she was kinda caught in the middle. Her boss told her she was authorized to sign but he didn't know what he was talking about. Anyway, I told her that I was not going to do any work until I had a contract in front of me that I could read that was signed by an authorized rep from her company. I told her I'd been screwed over too many times in the past to take chances. I also told her not to expect the "new" contract from me to be the same price. If I'm going to have to abide by their rules, then they're going to have to pay for it. I told her to expect an increase in the bid price of aprox $50 for the month. She said that that seemed ok to her. So now all I have to do is wait for Mr Bean-Counter to e-mail me the revised contract. I'll review it and upon agreeing with it, resubmit my higher priced contract for them to sign. In the meantime the branch manager is going to have her son mow it with a 21" walk-behind. I figure it'll take him about 8 hours. Better him than me, the lawn is now about 3 weeks out. Stay tuned for the outcome.

Craig Turf Management
07-02-2001, 12:15 AM
I think I would have shown up on monday a.m, to mow the lawn, with the understanding that each time I mow, I would leave with a check. This would probably want to expedite the authorization of your new contract.
Are you charging them more per month for the "net thirty day" clause, or because you are angry with Mr. Bean?
I think showing up to mow on monday would be a show of good will on your part, unless you are really that afraid of getting screwed in the deal.

Good luck on this deal, let us know how it all works out.

HOMER
07-02-2001, 05:42 AM
I bet Mr. Bean Counter is gonna have a problem with the $50.00 increase. He's a bean counter. Commercial accounts are usually a little slower to pay but they DO pay, at least mine do anyway. Just the nature of da business.

mowerman90
07-02-2001, 07:02 AM
Homer

I could care less what Mr Bean thinks. If he doesn't like it he can hire the only other company to bid the job at $100 more.

CraigTurf

Yes, damn right I'm charging more for the net 30 clause. Remember, ALL of my residential accts pay in advance. The way I see it I'm breaking with tradition even considering their terms. Remember that I don't really care if I get this property or not, so I'm happy no matter what decision they make. Afraid of getting screwed? Yes, I am. I've been down that road before, once burned - twice learned.

kris
07-02-2001, 08:37 AM
I suppose since you don't care either way, you did what you think you had to do...fine... If you want to do commercial work than you had better get use to net 30 day.... I would have been there on the Monday and done it with a smile...I figure you have a couple weeks to check this property out before they sign a contract...by then you would have known if you had made a mistake....could have worked to your advantage.... don't be surprised if the managers son does it for good now.

Craig Turf Management
07-02-2001, 05:47 PM
Ed
I'm a firm believer in doing what your gut tells you. Still interested in hearing how you make out on the deal. I might get you to negotiate all my commercial bids.
Good luck, Bill Craig

ron
07-02-2001, 07:26 PM
Get a one year contract with the option to renew then make sure you have good insurance

mowerman90
07-05-2001, 08:33 PM
Hope everyone had a joyful 4th. Got home today and called the branch mngr at the Bloodbank to let her know the status of contract negotiations. Told her that Tues late afternoon I received the specific changes that the bean-counters wanted in the wording of the contract, and that I made the changes and submitted a corrected contract to them via e-mail. I also told her that I increased my price by $50 per month. She said that was fine by her. No sooner did I hang up the phone with her than the bean-counter calls saying how glad he was to see the revised contract but "why did you increse your price?" I explained that if I'm going to have to wait for my money as long as they want me to wait, then I'm going to get more of it. He replied how unfair that was. I replied that it may be unfair, but that's the way it will have to be for me to work for them under their terms. I explained that in 12 years in business no one had ever asked to change the terms of any of my contracts and that I was STILL much less expensive than the closest bidder. Needless to say, I may have won the battle, but lost the war. I'm sure he'll send orders to the branch mngr to get more bids until he gets some scrub to submit to his terms and price. As I've stated before, I'll be happy either way.

crazygator
07-05-2001, 09:58 PM
Sounds like you did the right thing. Good job on your part to think it all the way through. I still believe you will get the contract, on your terms even if they get others to bid. WHY? You were professional, courteous and complied with some of their ways. Scrubs WILL NOT be able to draw up a contract nor be willing to submit to the waiting period. Glad to here you have stuck to your guns.:)