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1MajorTom
07-10-2007, 06:24 PM
So the other day, Matt was cutting around a tree, and he broke a bird house. It wasn't attached well to the tree, but that is neither here nor there, he still broke it. He called the customer later that evening to tell her he broke it, and said to buy a new one and just send him the receipt for it. She said ok.

Today we received her payment for June, and she took it upon herself to deduct from the bill what she said she paid for the bird house. She said she bought a new one, but could not find the receipt. She said, and I quote, "if you want to check the price, you can go to lowes to find it."

Personally i think that is nervy. If she just bought the new one, there's no reason why she couldn't provide the receipt, and besides, I don't think it was up to her to deduct it from the June bill. I believe that would be up to us to reimburse her.
You like someone automatically deducting from the bill like that? She's a first year customer, not very impressed with her.

Oh and before someone asks, it was 30 bucks off the bill.

TNT LawnCare Inc.
07-10-2007, 06:29 PM
Your not impressed with what she did i know . And also having her as a 1st year costumer to? She also sounds like a little old lady ? That would explain everything LOL.

MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE
07-10-2007, 06:30 PM
NO,you tried to do the right thing you have a pita customer simple after time it will get worse.

txgrassguy
07-10-2007, 06:37 PM
I never allow for customers to "deduct" from the bill.
When asked by the infrequent customers on why I have re-invoiced them I explain that their "deducting" messes up my accounting process - not to mention my firm policy of "No Receipt=No$".
Quite obviously I do not know this customer of yours but trust your instincts in this matter - if you think she is nervy now just wait until summer time.

Albery's Lawn & Tractor
07-10-2007, 06:48 PM
She was in the wrong for deducting it upon herself, but you can't forget that one of your workers broke her property. $30 isn't the end of the world, however I might pay a little closer attention to her payments from know on. And it is already summer time.

bohiaa
07-10-2007, 07:09 PM
O please get over it.........

She saved you the drive and the time of going and getting one, then she saved you the time and a stamp of mailing her a check.......

come on, surely you have better things to do

DBL
07-10-2007, 07:19 PM
O please get over it.........

She saved you the drive and the time of going and getting one, then she saved you the time and a stamp of mailing her a check.......

come on, surely you have better things to do

a little more blunt than i would have put it but she pretty much just cut out like 3 steps in this situation so write it off in the paper work you would of had to anyway and let it pass

daveyo
07-10-2007, 07:48 PM
No biggy if your worried about it and shes not a good customer drop her. Whats the difference if she deducted it or not, personally deducting it saves you time and money. Oh yea, she had to drive to Lowes with her gas and her time and pick up a new birdhouse, I personally would have replaced it myself.

huh
07-10-2007, 10:44 PM
I would roll with the idea she did it to save you effort

the problem is with no reciept and you not paying for it now you can't deduct it

with my luck that 30 difference would push me into the next bracket somehow :cry: :dizzy:

jpp
07-10-2007, 10:56 PM
Nope I would have said I need the receipt to deduct on my taxes. She needs to produce one for you. I am sure many will disagree but I think we all get taking advantage of and this just goes to show another way to rip off the lawn maintenance man.

JP

MOturkey
07-10-2007, 11:24 PM
Okay. I'm going to go a little against the current here. First of all, in actuality, it makes no difference whether she purchased a new bird house or not. The old one had value, and as long as the amount she deducted was reasonable, it doesn't really make any difference whether she spent the money on groceries or another bird house.

As for the tax thing, unless I'm mistaken, no income equals a payout. So, if you claim only the amount paid you, the bottom line will be exactly the same as if you had collected the entire amount, and deducted the amount of the reimbursment.

Perhaps she handled it incorrectly, but it is now your opportunity to handle your response correctly. Just my 2 cents worth. Neill

DLCS
07-10-2007, 11:41 PM
Nope I would have said I need the receipt to deduct on my taxes. She needs to produce one for you. I am sure many will disagree but I think we all get taking advantage of and this just goes to show another way to rip off the lawn maintenance man.

JP


I agree with you. I would tell her you have to have a reciept or she pays the full amount on the bill.

lawnman_scott
07-11-2007, 12:16 AM
Okay. I'm going to go a little against the current here. First of all, in actuality, it makes no difference whether she purchased a new bird house or not. The old one had value, and as long as the amount she deducted was reasonable, it doesn't really make any difference whether she spent the money on groceries or another bird house.

As for the tax thing, unless I'm mistaken, no income equals a payout. So, if you claim only the amount paid you, the bottom line will be exactly the same as if you had collected the entire amount, and deducted the amount of the reimbursment.

Perhaps she handled it incorrectly, but it is now your opportunity to handle your response correctly. Just my 2 cents worth. NeillI agree. I think this is getting a little too petty.

robbo521
07-11-2007, 12:26 AM
she was just making sure she got her money.in this world you never know who is good on there word anymore.

Scagguy
07-11-2007, 12:30 AM
The way I see it, ya'll owed her a birdhouse. The customer went and found one for $30. Yeah, I could see where you might get miffed for the customer to deduct $30 from the bill I would be as well but how much time are you willing to invest in checking out birdhouses at Lowes? I believe when it's all all said and done it's no big deal. Had their been better communication between you and your client you would have had no surprises. I'd let this slide.

DLCS
07-11-2007, 12:33 AM
she was just making sure she got her money.in this world you never know who is good on there word anymore.



Right, but on the other hand, Jody has given her a months credit, unless her customers pay 1 month up front to start. Most of us give new customers credit so to speak and trust their word to pay. This works both ways.

DLCS
07-11-2007, 12:36 AM
Had their been better communication between you and your client you would have had no surprises. I'd let this slide.


How much better of comunication could there have been. He told her that he broke it and said he would replace it but he neede the recipt. Can't get much better than that.

1MajorTom
07-11-2007, 12:46 AM
She chose her option to pick up a comparable birdhouse when she was out at her leisure. We only asked her to send in the receipt. She didn't get a receipt when she bought the new one? The old house was worth nothing. It was old, rickety, old. So she got a new one to replace it.
As for the guy who said, "don't i have anything better to do?" No, actually i don't. Payments, getting customers to pay on time, to pay the correct amount, is my business. We run this business, and that's why Matt and I are a good team. He's a gem, no one else like him, but when it comes to payment issues, handling customers who behave badly, or customers who try to call the shots which aren't in reason, then that's where i come in.
And deducting what she feels she wants to deduct off the bill, really don't cut it with me, as I don't think she paid 30 bucks for it..... otherwise she would have sent in the receipt... End of story.

robbo521
07-11-2007, 12:53 AM
that is true.but she is the boss.

Scagguy
07-11-2007, 12:55 AM
How much better of comunication could there have been. He told her that he broke it and said he would replace it but he neede the recipt. Can't get much better than that.


It's late....I missed that part.

1MajorTom
07-11-2007, 12:56 AM
that is true.but she is the boss.
Nah, not really. Is she the boss when she shops at Walmart? Is she the boss when she pays her cable bill? Nope, not the boss, just a customer. Customers are needed, but they can't be the boss. As the owner, the owner makes all final decisions.

DJL50
07-11-2007, 01:05 AM
No matter what type of business your in problems will happen. Thats why you need to charge a fair price for your service to cover such things. I run a retail garden center and the people who I work with knows not to even bother me about a customer problem under $100. We have better things to do like take care of other customers waiting in line, Loading up cars with mulch etc..It's just the price of doing business.
I can understand your pain. But it was clearly your fault. Get over it and move on. Maybe the customer has a policy of deducting any damages caused. She has more reason to be upset than you.

robbo521
07-11-2007, 01:22 AM
i have never looked at it that way.thank you for that info.

SpruceLandscape
07-11-2007, 01:25 AM
I can see a good point in almost every side of this situation.. hers, yours and everyone elses. My feeling on this is simple... If you had a credit coming to you on your credit card, but it didnt show up on this current statement, would you be able to get away with just deducting that from the minimum amount due?? NO WAY! Why? because there are certain procedures in place to handle credits and refunds, just like in this business. Whats done is done, now its up to you to figure out how you want to respond.
That being said, I would give her a cordial phone call, apologize for the bird bath, but then reiterate the procedure that you orginally told her and ask her to please respect that in the future. If she has a problem, then drop her. Account I mean... lol:dancing:

OMG
07-11-2007, 01:35 AM
Sounds like SHE is trying to be the boss in this situation. Of course, all of your customers are the boss, but when have you bought something that totaled $30.00 EVEN with taxes?


Personally, I would require her to pay the full monthly bill.

I would also require a receipt.

I would then (upon receipt of a birdhouse of equal value) send her a company check for the amount of the receipt.



No receipt, no payment.....


Hey, I have a used F350 4x4.....come destroy it and pay me full retail value of a new one.



JMO

daveyo
07-11-2007, 10:45 PM
your making yourself crazy over 30 bucks, like me and my irrigation guy say,"if we have to worry about a 100 bucks we shouldn't be in business". 30 sounds fair,like I said she had to drive there, her time,her gas. if she added 10 bucks good for her, she charged for delivery. What does your contract state for damaged property anyway. Mine says "The contractor must immediately notify the owner of any damages and /or accidents to any property. No repairs to be commenced without notifying and receiving the approval of the owner". They sign on the dotted line or NO business.

Precision
07-11-2007, 11:49 PM
She chose her option to pick up a comparable birdhouse when she was out at her leisure. We only asked her to send in the receipt. She didn't get a receipt when she bought the new one? The old house was worth nothing. It was old, rickety, old. So she got a new one to replace it.
As for the guy who said, "don't i have anything better to do?" No, actually i don't. Payments, getting customers to pay on time, to pay the correct amount, is my business. We run this business, and that's why Matt and I are a good team. He's a gem, no one else like him, but when it comes to payment issues, handling customers who behave badly, or customers who try to call the shots which aren't in reason, then that's where i come in.
And deducting what she feels she wants to deduct off the bill, really don't cut it with me, as I don't think she paid 30 bucks for it..... otherwise she would have sent in the receipt... End of story.
rickety bird feeder -- $30 -- pretty iffy
took the opportunity to upgrade and lose the receipt -- pretty nervy
tells me if I want to get the actual price I can go to Lowes myself -- pushing it

Deducting it from the Bill -- Not going to happen, this time or ever.

I and ONLY I decide when and if that happens.

and to the person who said no income means no taxes needs to re-read tax law.

if I make no profit there is not tax due. But not getting revenue vs incurring an expense are two completely different items. True it is only $30 but 10 of those is still $300.

Jodi, I would certain have a talk with the client about getting a receipt and how things WILL be done in the future. a polite version of MY company MY rules.

Precision
07-11-2007, 11:55 PM
But it was clearly your fault. Get over it and move on. Maybe the customer has a policy of deducting any damages caused. She has more reason to be upset than you.

all that is clear is that Matt was a stand up guy and immediately came clean on his "mistake". Then the client clearly took advantage of that.

A honorable client would have said, it was rotted out anyway, don't worry about it.

Not to mention, I could CARE LESS what a client's policy is on deducting damages. Try that with a doctor. "doctor, these breast implants seem to be a bit off. I am just going to deduct $1800 from the bill". Good luck

delphied
07-12-2007, 12:44 AM
I would check it out at Lowes. If it was around 30, I would forget the whole thing and keep her as a customer. You are a pro and when you break something, the customer was slighted and should be offended, not you.

lawnman_scott
07-12-2007, 12:52 AM
Hey, I have a used F350 4x4.....come destroy it and pay me full retail value of a new one.



JMOI will, but I want you to find me a used bird house for sale.

1MajorTom
07-12-2007, 12:54 AM
I will, but I want you to find me a used bird house for sale.
a yard sale would be a good place to start if you are looking for a used one. ;)

Vikings
07-12-2007, 12:59 AM
O please get over it.........

She saved you the drive and the time of going and getting one, then she saved you the time and a stamp of mailing her a check.......

come on, surely you have better things to do
That's the way I feel to. If it was my property you broke I think it was good of you to phone me up and tell me about it but you should be replacing it not reimbursing me. I don't want to go out and shop and who the heck keeps a bill for a bird house?
I would have deducted it from your payment also.. I think I would have phoned you first though.

I've broken things and if it was a rickey old pos like you say, I would have took and away and tried to repair it.

Now that I think about it, I've never had a customer hold money from me when I broke something. I've broken windows, those stupid little lamps with the solar panel on top (two of them went through my snow blower, I just buried them, when the snow started melting and they reappeared I threw them down the hill, lol.)

Any way, when do you cut her grass again? You'll be able to see her upgrade, you should report back so we can have a laugh.:laugh:

Grits
07-12-2007, 01:02 AM
I did a 2 pallet sod job for this guy. I had to use semi-heavy equipment on his yard to level it. I apparently broke a sprinkler. He didn't tell me and took it upon himself to fix it. After I put the sod down and it was time to collect. He said he was going to deduct for the sprinkler. I told him what I thought in an almost polite fashion. I said he should've called me and I would have fixed it because I have plenty of sprinkler and pvc parts. Well, long story short we agreed on him deducting 1/2 of what it cost him to make the repair. So I really came out ahead. Luckily this was only a one-time deal because I wouldn't want to deal with his old butt for anything else. But a customer shouldn't do that. They wouldn't attempt it on any other service.

Midwest Lawn Services
07-12-2007, 01:06 AM
If you or your crew broke it, you should fix it! Isn't that the right thing to do? Why wait for her to deduct it, you should have went to Lowes that night and bought her a new one. Last year I got to close to a clients septic cover...shredded the crap out of it, but before I loaded the equipment, I told her I destroyed it, bought her a new one, and installed it. YOU BROKE IT, YOU FIX IT! Thats my opinion.

1MajorTom
07-12-2007, 01:10 AM
That's the way I feel to. If it was my property you broke I think it was good of you to phone me up and tell me about it but you should be replacing it not reimbursing me. I don't want to go out and shop and who the heck keeps a bill for a bird house?
I would have deducted it from your payment also.. I think I would have phoned you first though.
I never said we expected the receipt from the old one. :dizzy:
The lady bought the new one after she chose that option of selecting it herself.. when the cashier handed her the receipt, she should have stuck it in her purse and sent it out to us when she sent in payment. what's so hard to understand about that?

as for the last guy who responded... so it would then be acceptable to go to lowes and buy any old one we could find? obviously that old rickety thing that we broke, that old design aint around anymore. so we were just supposed to pick any one and say, "here you go, we fixed it, be happy with the one we chose for you?"

Soupy
07-12-2007, 01:58 AM
I didn't read all replies, but by any Chance is the amount per cut $30? None the less, the old birdhouse does have value no matter how old it is. It can be sentimental value etc. $30 is nothing considering she went and bought the birdhouse and installed it. Her time is money too, and you inconvenienced her more then she inconvenienced you. Get over it and move on with life.

Mike Fronczak
07-12-2007, 10:07 AM
Just remember this incident the next time she want an "extra", do this little thing or that (that would ussaly be "freebies"), those will add up to $ 30 in no time.

Phaneuf
07-12-2007, 11:00 AM
Deduction off of bills is always better than reimbersment!!!! If you have to reimberse her, then money actually changes hands and you pay the full amount. If you deduct it off her bill then you don't really pay the full amount. You actually save money that way. Say it was a 30 dollar bird house; say her weekly service is 30 dollars. So you deduct a week and you only pay out what it ACTUALLY cost you to mow her lawn, which is what..... 15 dollars or so?

MeadowsLawnCare
07-12-2007, 01:08 PM
Deduction off of bills is always better than reimbersment!!!! If you have to reimberse her, then money actually changes hands and you pay the full amount. If you deduct it off her bill then you don't really pay the full amount. You actually save money that way. Say it was a 30 dollar bird house; say her weekly service is 30 dollars. So you deduct a week and you only pay out what it ACTUALLY cost you to mow her lawn, which is what..... 15 dollars or so? Its actually the same thing either way... If she were to pay you the full 30 you would have made your $15 profit off of it and pay the 30 back. So you lost your profit (which you stated) and you paid $15 of your cash. Its all the same. But I think you should just tell her that you need the receipt for taxes ect. I haven't had any extra expenses yet, but I keep a folder just for that. And when I go to crunch my numbers I can see that I lost $30 from a repair. Otherwise I will just put in my total earnings (which will now be $30 less) and not remember that i paid her for the house. Demand a receipt!

The Captain
07-12-2007, 01:28 PM
You're PO'd about the unauthorized deduction. I probably would be too. But....Just type a reciept up yourself. Show the store name, item description, date and cost. Then have her sign it as having paid for the replacement. Done. Overwith. May not mean anything but at least you have a paper trail for the missing $30 and you can move on.

Did you mulitply the $30 x your tax (%) bracket to see how much you actually lost or made in this deal? You probably netted a little more without the $30.

bobcat175
07-12-2007, 02:04 PM
I don't think it's a matter of the cash or the receipt...it's a matter of principle and setting a precedence. What happens next...she might think that she can deduct now for anything she finds wrong... I would nip this now as she is a new customer....politely, this is a business and our policy is....

Allowing them the liberty to deduct off the bill is ridiculous... Should never happen. She's probably old and figures that it's ok. You can always put a $30 balance forward on the next bill and ask for the receipt again for reimbursement. If you let stuff slide now they will always assume it's ok in the future.

I don't think that the bird house was exactly $30 out the door. You want them to be honest to you as you are to them. You asked for a receipt...they should produce one.

cybervision
07-12-2007, 03:25 PM
Don't do anything until you actually see if there is a new birdhouse up. If she does not have a receipt she may not have the new birdhouse.

T Total Lawncare
07-12-2007, 05:27 PM
30 dollar birdhouse? How many square feet is it?:laugh:

robbo521
07-12-2007, 06:30 PM
birdhouse's are high!me and dad make plane ones for $15.00.he does some out of old barn wood and everything like a house and gets 50 to 60 for them.i watched a man this year next to me at a craft show sell 18 at 55.00 each.i make a lot of wind twisters that hang on trees and stuff.

T Total Lawncare
07-12-2007, 07:24 PM
birdhouse's are high!me and dad make plane ones for $15.00.he does some out of old barn wood and everything like a house and gets 50 to 60 for them.i watched a man this year next to me at a craft show sell 18 at 55.00 each.i make a lot of wind twisters that hang on trees and stuff.

But that is homemade hand crafted i imagine lowes are made in tawain.

bullethead
07-12-2007, 07:49 PM
Most insane discussion I have read in a while. Who broke it? YOU did. Who replaced it - SHE replaced it. Ultimately, she saved YOU time and money. YOU should call her and thank her for going the trouble of addressing your f-up.

Why don't you put a pencil to the cost of driving to her house & looking at the birdhouse, finding a store with a birdhouse, (hopefully she likes the bird house), cost of the going back to her house and installing it, cost of chatting with her about it, cost of your fuel to address said problem plus the opportunity cost for not being able to do revenue generating work while you were addressing your screw-up. You came out smelling like a rose dude and here you are whining about it.

fiveoboy01
07-12-2007, 08:23 PM
I just don't see the issue here.

You broke her birdhouse, she bought a new one and got her money back.

Just because she deducted it from her payment, does not mean she's going to start deducting things here and there when she feels like it.

Perhaps she DID lose the reciept and in telling you to go to Lowe's, she was just worried that you would think she was lying, and was offering a solution if you did think that she was being un-truthful about what she did pay for the replacement.

If I was in your shoes, I would'nt care one bit. I'd be thankful the homeowner didn't have a fit about the birdhouse, and also be happy I was saved 10 minutes of administrative work.

DuraCutter
07-13-2007, 01:59 AM
So the other day, Matt was cutting around a tree, and he broke a bird house. It wasn't attached well to the tree, but that is neither here nor there, he still broke it. He called the customer later that evening to tell her he broke it, and said to buy a new one and just send him the receipt for it. She said ok.

Today we received her payment for June, and she took it upon herself to deduct from the bill what she said she paid for the bird house. She said she bought a new one, but could not find the receipt. She said, and I quote, "if you want to check the price, you can go to lowes to find it."

Personally i think that is nervy. If she just bought the new one, there's no reason why she couldn't provide the receipt, and besides, I don't think it was up to her to deduct it from the June bill. I believe that would be up to us to reimburse her.
You like someone automatically deducting from the bill like that? She's a first year customer, not very impressed with her.

Oh and before someone asks, it was 30 bucks off the bill.

Residential treat you like you're their slave. I believe it comes with the territory. Hope you have better luck with her in the future.

I hate residential with a passion and am impressed with anyone who'll put up with those whiners.

:)