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View Full Version : Why a service agreement???


jasdebcr
02-26-2008, 06:56 PM
Why do you need a service agreement???? If i have problems, I call and let my customers know what is going on and when i will be there. If it raining 95% of my customers don't want me there untill the yard has had time to dry out. i do belive in this business you need to keep a good line of communication. That gets me a lot of other jobs. like install fences, landscape, flower beds, ETC.

snobird
02-26-2008, 07:00 PM
it keeps you protected from legal issues that may arise also you can keep records better of what has and has not been done there

dwlah
02-26-2008, 09:19 PM
i do belive in this business you need to keep a good line of communication.

There's your answer
So that the customer knows what your going to do and you know what your expected to do
Communication is a good thing

georgiagrass
02-26-2008, 10:44 PM
Just try suing to collect money you are owed without one. Then you'll understand. Also, my agreements protect me against certain forms of liability. Communication is good ... written communication is better.

Grits
02-26-2008, 11:36 PM
I do it mainly because it spells out what services are to be performed and for how much money. I got tired of people trying to get me to "just do this" while I am there. If for some reason a question arises about services, I'll refer them to the service agreement that they signed.

john3253
02-27-2008, 05:15 AM
I like to use service agreements because without it I would not have any income in the winter time. I offer a small discount for signing the agreement and explain that they will have weekly service from March-October and biweekly October-February. Without the agreement most of my customers may only call me once or twice during the winter.

Roger
02-27-2008, 07:46 AM
it keeps you protected from legal issues that may arise ...

How so? Any examples I have seen posted on LS protect nobody from anything. There is no legal language that spells out any provisions for legal action, no statements concerning jurisdictions, no indemnity clauses, nothing of the sort. They are not service agreements or contracts, they are mere letters of understanding.

john3253
02-27-2008, 10:36 AM
How so? Any examples I have seen posted on LS protect nobody from anything. There is no legal language that spells out any provisions for legal action, no statements concerning jurisdictions, no indemnity clauses, nothing of the sort. They are not service agreements or contracts, they are mere letters of understanding.

I like to refer to it as a good-faith agreement.

georgiagrass
02-27-2008, 10:37 AM
How so? Any examples I have seen posted on LS protect nobody from anything. There is no legal language that spells out any provisions for legal action, no statements concerning jurisdictions, no indemnity clauses, nothing of the sort. They are not service agreements or contracts, they are mere letters of understanding.

I'm not sure why you conclude that a letter of understanding is not a service agreement or a contract (it may or may not be), but nonetheless, you are correct in stating that whether an agreement between an LCO and its customer provides "legal protection" to the LCO depends on what the agreement says. For example, our agreements (which are contracts, by the way) contain the following provisions:


Limitation of Liability: Please identify to your Georgia Grass, Inc. representative any irrigation pipes and heads, electric dog fences, cables, and other items in your lawn that could be damaged by our mowers and other power equipment. You are responsible for ensuring that your lawn is free of rocks and other objects that can be damaged or thrown by our mowers and power equipment. Any damage caused by your failure to remove or protect such objects is your responsibility, and you agree to hold Georgia Grass, Inc., its officers, employees and agents harmless and to indemnify Georgia Grass, Inc., its officers, employees and agents for any such damage. We are not responsible for damage to buried or exposed utilities, wires, cables, electric dog fences and irrigation heads or lines. Sometimes line trimmers will damage paint, trim, stucco and other surfaces near grass areas. We are not responsible for that damage. Your assistance in removing portable obstacles such as toys from your lawn before we arrive is appreciated.

Miscellaneous Terms: This is the entire agreement between Georgia Grass, Inc. and Customer. The terms of this agreement cannot be modified except in a written agreement signed by Customer and the President of Georgia Grass, Inc. This agreement is governed by the laws of the State of Georgia, and Customer hereby agrees and consents that venue and personal jurisdiction are proper in the courts of Fulton County, Georgia and waives any objection to venue or personal jurisdiction in Fulton County, Georgia. If any provision of this agreement is invalidated or deemed unenforceable by any court, the remaining provisions will continue in full force and effect. Any waiver by Georgia Grass, Inc. of its rights under this agreement or of any breach of this agreement shall not constitute a waiver of any other right or any subsequent instance of the same right.


Whether these provisions would be successful in protecting any particular LCO in any particular situation in any particular state is something about which you should get advice from your attorney.

topsites
02-27-2008, 10:38 AM
Well, uhm...
All right, the customer calls, describes the work they need done, right?
So I drive out there, get an estimate together.
They get that, blablabla, etc, right?

If they say no, end of story.

But once they agree for me to do the work, that is an agreement.
Simple as that, they have agreed for me to perform the services at the price quoted.
So now it's a service agreement, some folks prefer it in writing, for me their word is good, but it's all the same thing.

Roger
02-27-2008, 10:44 AM
georgiagrass -- thank you for pointing out some of your T&Cs that make up an agreement. These clauses and statement are the language that is part of an agreement/contract that has some legal standing. This kind of language is rarely stated in examples posted on LS,

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=217537

This what I had in mind when I made my statements above.

born2farm
02-27-2008, 10:47 AM
do any of you have examples of some service agreements?

lawnpro724
02-27-2008, 04:23 PM
The only time we use contracts is on commercial or large landscaping jobs. The reason for this is to keep a good understanding on whats to be done, if something arises you can always go back to the contract and design for clarification. Contracts also protect your income on commercial account providing your doing quality work. It can protect your income from lowballers who will try and steal your customer with a lower price. My contracts on larger commercial accounts are 2yr contracts. The reason for this is that you may need to go out and purchase larger mowers and other maintenance equipment and you want to make sure the revenue is safe. The last thing you want to have happen is to go out and buy equipment only to have the account drop you for a cheaper bid and leave you with lost income and the payments for your equipment. Several years ago one of my large commercial accounts who's old administrator had signed our maintenance contract hired a new administrator who was a cost cutter. Another company who was wanting our account came in and put in a much lower bid than ours and with her being a real PITA decided she would cancel our services for the cheaper company. She called and said she no longer needed our services and that she had found another company who could do the same work much cheaper. I told her about our contract and she said she didn't care, she didn't sign it. I placed a call to her boss and told him what was going on and he said to meet him at the facility the next day which I did. The end result being the new administrator got her but chewed and I got the account back and the best thing was I even got paid for the time when the other company mowed since the administrator violated our contract.

barefootlawnsandlandscape
02-27-2008, 04:41 PM
I have a management company that just canceled 6 contracts with me because they said the money just wasn't there. I have a 30 day requirement for cancelation, they cancelled on the first of January without payment that was due on the first. Because of my contract I have a legitimate lawsuit against them for a good amount of money. If I didn't have that contract and they canceled I wouldn't have a leg to stand on and would be out $10,000.

If people seem taken aback by signing a contract explain to them it protects them more than it protects you. They have a clear spelling out of what will be done for what price and on what terms.

echo8287
02-29-2008, 02:36 AM
"So now it's a service agreement, some folks prefer it in writing, for me their word is good, but it's all the same thing."

Seems these days their word is not always good. I used to operate that way when you could shake hands and everyone knew what was expected. Now days you need a contract to protect you, I like the post by georgia grass. People will blame all kind of stuff on you even when you haven't been there.