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Slcareco
03-16-2008, 10:49 PM
Hey can you guys tell me whats good, bad, wrong, missing, etc about my policies thanks!

Service(s) Policy


A. For everyone’s safety, please use caution when approaching while Joe blows employees are using equipment. It is especially important to keep children and pets inside the house while lawn care equipment is being used.
B. If Joe blows arrives at the property to provide service, but cannot gain access to the property (due to a locked gate, sprinklers on, or fertilization/pesticide application for example), the customer will be charged a regular fee even though we were unable to service the inaccessible portion of the yard. If we have to come out and service the remaining portion of the yard, additional fee may be charged. To prevent any of these problems please make all gated areas accessible and unlocked. If you will be using a lock make it a numeric lock giving us obtainable access to your yard by indicating the numerical code here: _______________.
C. In the event of inclement weather, Joe blows may elect to skip a scheduled service. Your visit will be scheduled for the next available day. It is understood that depending on the length, and severity of any inclement weather, that it may take Joe blows varying amounts of time to fulfill the work covered under this service agreement. The client is aware that weather conditions in the area may change rapidly and without notice. Changes in weather conditions are considered to be an act of Mother Nature and Joe blows assumes no liability as such.
D. Either party may terminate this agreement at any time with a 15 day advance written notice. Cancellation date will be 15 days after such notice is received. In the event of cancellation, the client will be responsible for all costs of services rendered up to the cancellation date. A final invoice will be sent to the client 15 days after notification for balance due.
E. Your regular service day is selected for service based on the days that we are currently servicing your area. Requests to temporarily change this day for parties, events, etc or the request for additional services to be rendered outside of your scheduled maintenance day will require an additional fee. This fee is based on the amount of travel time to your property. Please give Joe blows a minimum of 48 hours advanced notice.
F. All services will be preformed accordingly as outlined in this agreement.
G. Any additional service(s) desired that is not included or specified in this agreement requires written approval by both parties.
H. Joe blows is not held responsible for any damages to your landscape due to natural disasters including, but not limited to, hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms, flooding, drought, freezes, or damage caused by any other contractor.
I. If for the first time we show up to cut your lawn and it is excessively over grown, the client will be charged hourly for the first time. After the first cut the agreed upon weekly price will than take effect.
J. On the scheduled day of Lawn Maintenance, it is the client’s responsibility to ensure that the lawn is free of toys, hoses, portable sprinklers, lawn lighting, erect defected sprinkler heads, and any other objects that interfere with the maintenance of the lawn. Joe blows will not be responsible for damage caused to or by such items left on the lawn. Joe blows also reserves the right to repudiate service if the lawn is not cleared prior to arrival.
K. If a pet is kept at the property, the lawn must be free of pet droppings when Joe blows is scheduled to service your yard. Failure to do so will result in a possible $25 equipment cleanup fee. Joe blows reserves the right to mow around the pet droppings if conditions permit.
L. No additional services will be performed at the time of your regular lawn maintenance day. If you would like additional services rendered, please contact us to schedule a time. Any additional work required or ordered by the Client outside the scope of this agreement shall be set forth in a signed change order, and the agreed price shall become due and payable as agreed upon between the Contractor and the Client. The Contractor is unauthorized to perform any additional work or to enter into any agreement to perform additional work unless agreed to in writing by the Client and Joe blows.
M. If you use a lawn fertilization service, please schedule it at least two days before Joe blows arrives on the property for your lawn maintenance.
N. In the event the Client adds additional turf area, trees, plantings, walks, driveways, or paths that are suitable for edging or other maintenance, Joe blows shall not be responsible for the care or maintenance of such additional improvements without a written change order approved by both parties.
O. Joe blows retains complete authorization to skip a week of lawn maintenance based on our determination of the need to cut or not.
P. Joe blows is not responsible for fallen debris or leaves that accumulate on the property after Joe blows has completed the cleanup service. If another cleanup is needed please call to schedule.
Q. Cleanups and bed maintenance does not include the removal of dead shrubs and trees, chemical spills, debris from other contractors, weeds, or any storm damage from the acts of Mother Nature such as fallen trees.
R. Joe blows is not responsible for debris in hard to reach locations such as under decks, gutters, behind sheds, garages, under vehicles, or boats that doesn’t allow us access.

Carolina Cuts
03-16-2008, 10:50 PM
looks ok...

but a customer might be offended by "Joe Blows":rolleyes:

kleankutslawn
03-16-2008, 11:50 PM
for starts it is to long.my .2

bigw
03-17-2008, 12:01 AM
That would turn my customers off, in fact they wouldnt be my customers if i handed that to them..its just too long! Around here contracts for lawn care just dont fly,i have alittle something drawn up that i call an agreement and my customers seem to like it much better. I did try a contract like this at first and after 2-3 days i trashed it. Maybe where you are from it may fly though,good luck with it!

Ooomwizard
03-17-2008, 01:01 AM
No mow doggy poo?

Starting a new thread....

McVey Landscaping
03-17-2008, 02:31 AM
A little to long for me to needs to be shortened just a little. They also might be offended by the joe blows.

chesterlawn
03-17-2008, 04:23 AM
Your cutting a lawn, not building a house. Way to detailed, I think it would turn off most customers.

Sunstate Lawn
03-17-2008, 06:19 AM
Your on your way to a commercial document. Residential doesn't want this. They want to give someone a check while they are on-site.
Also I think most homeowners won't read it all, and as soon as you try to enforce it, you will lose a customer.

lawnjockey56
03-17-2008, 06:42 AM
you a lawyer or a lawnman? just cut the dang grass lol

Stillwater
03-17-2008, 07:01 AM
You want a service agreement not a contract. . I won't get into all the issues (I have about 15) but I will make 2 comments

1) This reads hostile

2) Joe blows will not be responsible for damage caused to or by such items left on the lawn.

This doesen't fly, "You" are responsible for any damage you cause Period, this is what insurance is for

Stillwater
03-17-2008, 07:04 AM
Your on your way to a commercial document. Residential doesn't want this. They want to give someone a check while they are on-site.
Also I think most homeowners won't read it all, and as soon as you try to enforce it, you will lose a customer.

This is totally inappropriate for a commercial account, not even close

IN2MOWN
03-17-2008, 08:43 AM
That would turn my customers off, in fact they wouldnt be my customers if i handed that to them..its just too long! Around here contracts for lawn care just dont fly,i have alittle something drawn up that i call an agreement and my customers seem to like it much better. I did try a contract like this at first and after 2-3 days i trashed it. Maybe where you are from it may fly though,good luck with it!



Thats not a contact. Its a policy that the customer has to adhere to. Bit of a difference.

Stillwater
03-17-2008, 09:43 AM
Thats not a contact. Its a policy that the customer has to adhere to. Bit of a difference.

Nobody will sign that, it can't be taken seriously. It sounds egotistically arrogant and hostel with a bitter taste of couched anger. Its to long and to wordy. Along with unnecessary sternness their are far to many do's and don't restrictions on the customer. What that thing really says is think twice before hiring me and are you sure you don't want the other guy?.

When are some guys going to learn to put the ego in the glove box when you jump out of the truck, the a greater emphasis should be put on making the potential customer "WANT YOU" and not think about the other guy. the clean up policy alone almost made me soil myself......

IN2MOWN
03-17-2008, 10:18 AM
Nobody will sign that, it can't be taken seriously. It sounds egotistically arrogant and hostel with a bitter taste of couched anger. Its to long and to wordy. Along with unnecessary sternness their are far to many do's and don't restrictions on the customer. What that thing really says is think twice before hiring me and are you sure you don't want the other guy?.

When are some guys going to learn to put the ego in the glove box when you jump out of the truck, the a greater emphasis should be put on making the potential customer "WANT YOU" and not think about the other guy. the clean up policy alone almost made me soil myself......

Again, there is no reason to sign it because its not a contract. Its a POLICY. All it states is how his company works and what his regulations are.

I have one also that I send out every spring with my spring letter. It states things like

1) Please leave your gate unlocked on the day I mow

2) Please pick up animal waste

3) When invoices are due

Things like that.

They dont have to sign anything. They just have to understand what I am saying.

IN2MOWN
03-17-2008, 10:36 AM
I will say this now that I have read it more closely.

I dont think the poster knows the difference between a policy and a contract.

Stillwater
03-17-2008, 10:37 AM
Again, there is no reason to sign it because its not a contract. Its a POLICY. All it states is how his company works and what his regulations are.

I have one also that I send out every spring with my spring letter. It states things like

1) Please leave your gate unlocked on the day I mow

2) Please pick up animal waste

3) When invoices are due

Things like that.

They dont have to sign anything. They just have to understand what I am saying.


Ok i hear ya,

Slcareco
03-17-2008, 12:57 PM
haha yes its just a policy that will be included in my agreement, whats so wrong with covering my ass? I will be full service not just mowing, plus I just put joe blows as the company name cause I dont have one yet.

And why should I be responisble for **** left on the lawn that wasnt from me? Granted I see it I pick it up but for stuff that I cant see and gets sucked up wouldnt you rather not be responisble for paying an arm and a leg for some expensive item.... example one house I mowed int he hamptons they left the cordless phone out in the lawn (baby must of took it and put it there) well since I have in my policy not responisble they cant come after me for it.... dont need extra expenses to hold me back, they add up

How can I shorten it with out leaving anything out?

kleankutslawn
03-17-2008, 01:42 PM
good question.

big acres
03-17-2008, 02:36 PM
haha yes its just a policy that will be included in my agreement, whats so wrong with covering my ass? I will be full service not just mowing, plus I just put joe blows as the company name cause I dont have one yet.

And why should I be responisble for **** left on the lawn that wasnt from me? Granted I see it I pick it up but for stuff that I cant see and gets sucked up wouldnt you rather not be responisble for paying an arm and a leg for some expensive item.... example one house I mowed int he hamptons they left the cordless phone out in the lawn (baby must of took it and put it there) well since I have in my policy not responisble they cant come after me for it.... dont need extra expenses to hold me back, they add up

How can I shorten it with out leaving anything out?

You need to sugar coat it. Take the parts that require action on the part of your customer, like pick up toys, and create a fluff piece tiltled "How to get the most out of our service". Hand it to each new client and ask them to read it. Then keep the rest of your policies on your desk, and adhere to them religeously if and when these issues arise.

Slcareco
03-17-2008, 05:00 PM
But how is that covering my self if its on my desk and not on theres?

Ed Ryder
03-17-2008, 08:07 PM
Man, dog-doo is just a part of the business. It doesn't slow me down at all. I don't go around it - I run it over. If I step in it, no big deal... I just wipe my foot on the ground or the curb.

I did once have a property with 4 large dogs. Now that was a mess, but it was the only time the crap was really bad.

$25 to clean off your equipment? Harsh!

I've never used written agreements and it has worked out fine. And I've been doing this for years.

But if you need that document to feel comfortable, then I would use friendlier wording. It's adversarial.

Slcareco
03-17-2008, 09:37 PM
aside from the dog poo

why do I feel like im the only one on this site that wants to cover themself?

Anybody have a policy with there agreements?

Stillwater
03-18-2008, 01:03 AM
aside from the dog poo

why do I feel like im the only one on this site that wants to cover themself?

Anybody have a policy with there agreements?


Did you have a problem that motivated you to write that policy?

ffemt1271
03-18-2008, 11:27 AM
my contract is 4 pages long and i've never had a problem with gettiing them signed.:usflag:

Slcareco
03-18-2008, 01:22 PM
my contract is 4 pages long and i've never had a problem with gettiing them signed.:usflag:

You mind sharing what it consists of?

Slcareco
03-18-2008, 01:22 PM
I have yet to start my own business but from working with different people and their companys I see and hear the complaints and problems that arise.

big acres
03-18-2008, 02:10 PM
But how is that covering my self if its on my desk and not on theres?

Like many others have said, it reads hostile -for a residential customer. People don't want to feel like they need an attorney to get a lawn service. Though your policies make good common sense, if you dumb it down a bit for them, but stick to your guns from day one on each and every issue that arises, you will have an easier time signing customers.

The way it currently reads, you take no responsibility for ANYTHING. It could be read as "we are irresponsible". Just my opinion -I manage the customer service for a client base of 1500.

Slcareco
03-18-2008, 02:34 PM
again what do you suggest I do? Leave it out?

big acres
03-18-2008, 02:47 PM
For instance, H & Q should be assumed and could be left out to make it shorter and less intimidating. Without going line by line, I can say that several others should be covered under your service agreement, which should present as a positive sales tool. Specifically, your policy on weather, mowing days, etc... much of this should be in the service agreement. Stuff related to payment terms, collections, and how you bill for return visits could be in a seperate section of your agreement. I call this section "Terms & Conditions", you may call it "policies", but I think the term policy sounds as if you are concerned more about the customer conforming to your needs rather than a mutual agreement to make your service work for them.

Slcareco
03-18-2008, 03:05 PM
I like that better (terms and conditions) Im actually in the process of editing it... as far as payment I have a sept section called payment terms should I combine it? same page? or keep it seperate?

Also I changed k. If a pet is kept at the property please do your best to keep the droppings off the lawn to prevent the uncitely mess of mashed droppings from our machines.


Also do you have any terms and conditions you would add that I may of missed?

big acres
03-18-2008, 03:16 PM
I would keep them together, but with payment related stuff as a subsection.

Doggy doo? we don't mash it, we mow around or skip the yard and bill for the stop. Straps go over tires and guys service the machines -health risk.

Missing?

Termination/out clause
limitation of liability

that's all I can think of.

Slcareco
03-18-2008, 03:20 PM
So you agree with my original k. ?

K. If a pet is kept at the property, the lawn must be free of pet droppings when Horticulturescapes is scheduled to service your yard. Failure to do so will result in a possible $25 equipment cleanup fee. Horticulturescapes reserves the right to mow around the pet droppings if conditions permit.

For termination I have....

D. Either party may terminate this agreement at any time with a 15 day advance written notice. Cancellation date will be 15 days after such notice is received. In the event of cancellation, the client will be responsible for all costs of services rendered up to the cancellation date. A final invoice will be sent to the client 15 days after notification for balance due.

What should I put for limitation of liability?

big acres
03-18-2008, 03:31 PM
1. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY. xxxx co’s liability hereunder, if any, for claims or damages relating to this agreement which are made against it, whether in contract or in tort, will be limited to the amount paid by the client for the services performed hereunder by xxxxx co. relative to the events which are the basis of the claim. In no event, will xxxxx co. be liable for any lost profits or consequential, exemplary, incidental, indirect, or special damages arising from or in any way related to this contract or relating in whole or in part to clients rights hereunder.


This is mainly for commercial, but basically says that if they are having a wedding or something on their lawn, and you scalp it, you don't owe them for the cost of the wedding -only to restore the lawn to original condition.

k. is fine, but may come across as harsh. You should screen out the poopsters.

Slcareco
03-18-2008, 03:35 PM
Damn, now should I put it in all caps or reg?

Also what is "tort"

mowerman111
03-18-2008, 08:31 PM
Here is a copy of our agreement it is two pages long, at the top is the company name and address and at the bottom of page two is our monthly fee, with a place for both signatures. When I meet with the client that is when I address things like toys,doggie doo etc. if I see things that need to be addressed. There is no need to be that demanding. I wouldn't hire you once I read that crap. my.02 worth.


PROJECT: Maintain lawn and grounds in accordance with the following specifications:

SCOPE OF WORK:
1. Mow and trim lawn areas for a neat appearance.
2. Fertilize lawn and all other plantings as needed. Fertilizer will be an extra charge.
3. Control weeds in rock areas by pulling and/or spraying.
4. Prune, trim and shape shrubs to maintain a good balanced structure and aid growth.
5. Inspect lawn and bushes for fungi and insects. Chemicals will be an extra charge.
6. Prune trees to keep branches above head height as needed. Major tree pruning will be billed as an extra charge.
7. Tree leaves will be picked up during the fall season.
8. Leaves and debris to be blown out from under shrubs.
9. Pick up trash as necessary.
10. Maintain sprinkler system valves and heads by adjustment only. Replacement parts and
underground repairs will be billed as an extra.

FREQUENCY OF SERVICE: Weekly 1st week in March through last week in October.
Bi-weekly November through February.

CHANGE ORDERS: Any request for extra work which results in extra cost in either materials or labor to the contractor will only be executed upon written order signed by both the customer and the contractor. Labor will be billed at $40.00 per man-hour.

WORKMANSHIP: All work to be performed in a professional and workmanlike manner in accordance with standard and accepted trade practices.

DURATION OF CONTRACT: Contract shall remain in effect indefinitely and may be canceled by either party upon thirty days written notification. Winter season is not an acceptable reason for cancellation of this contract.

INCLEMENT WEATHER: In the event of bad weather and your regular visit is missed due to rain, wind, snow etc., services will resume on your next scheduled visit. Your agreed monthly charge will still apply.


CONTRACT CHANGES: The terms of this contract may be changed only by means of a written agreement signed by both parties and attached to this contract.

INSURANCE: The company and all employees are covered by liability and Workers’ Compensation insurance.

MATERIALS: Fertilizer, insecticide, fungicide, etc. will be billed as an extra cost.

PAYMENT: To be made monthly on or before the 10th day of each calendar month. A $5.00 late fee will be charged to all invoices not paid by the 15th of the month.

BID: We propose to furnish all labor and equipment necessary to complete this work in accordance with the above specifications for the sum of (plus applicable tax):

Slcareco
03-18-2008, 09:36 PM
Idk it seems too crammed for me

The way Im setting this up is a proposal/agreement

*keep in mind im looking to deal with HIGH end residential million dollar homes with privets down 200 ft driveways, lawyers, doctors, actors, etc.*

1. Cover Letter - States who I am, what I plan to do, how, when, etc.
2. Table of contents - Lists clearly where everything can be found
3. List of services - this lists the services offered in our maintenance field, the number of visits and months rendered
4. Service Specs - Explains in detail what each service is for, how and why.
5. Terms and Conditions - Explains what is expected, whats not expected, payment terms
6. Service Pricing - this outlines clearly the price per, price total, shows discounts that may apply, and complete total with the options to pay in full, or pay as performed
7. Signed agreement - Self explanitory


All in a nice packet....I was thinking of maybe leaving out the service spec and maybe just giving them a 3 fold brochure explaining the same thing idk yet

Roger
03-18-2008, 10:30 PM
If you are asking about "tort," then you need to have an attorney draft your agreement (contract, policy, or whatever you choose to name the document).

I have made comments about this topic in many other threads, but will refrain from repeating them here. I will add only one thing. If you make firm statements regarding actions by the customer (e.g. cleaning up their lawn) in such a document, you need to be prepared to enforce those requirements. If you have no way of enforcing, or no intention of enforcing, then you best take them out. Some of those requirements will be ignored, perhaps many of them. When that happens, what are you prepared to do?

If your client base is higher-end folks with means and career successes, they will not take lightly to be told what to do by the person who cuts their grass. They are going to be much more concerned about other things, not worrying about fulfilling all the requirements in your document.

Slcareco
03-19-2008, 10:22 AM
Im not going into this business as a nobody first hand....

I have a degree in ornamental horticulture: landscape development and still in school to get my degree in Landscape Architecture

Ive been in this industry for 8 years now

I plan on running a design,build, maintain business with a degree and several certificates such as the CNLP (certified nursery landscape professional)

Im not looking for customers who dont care about what goes on with there yard the type who say "oh just cut it and ill pay you"

I'd like to be taken as the professional

All my policy which I now changed to terms and conditions states is things people should be aware of, I dont demand anything I just let it be know what I would like to expect. For example dont expect me to mow the extra 10,000 sqft of lawn you just put down last month for the same price as the rest... stuff like that

When a plumber comes to your house you make a path for the guy and make sure everything is away from the furnish or do you leave tons of **** for him to pick up? People dont do this for landscapers, they leave there kids toys all over the place and they wonder why thats in my agreement.

Slcareco
03-19-2008, 10:29 AM
I think its time people take this industry serious and not just some guy with a mower anymore. Its a business like anyone else who runs one. I think its time people expect more than guys with no signed agreements like half on this site and those arent on it.

Why shouldnt we have terms and conditions people should be aware of?

We render a service client and contractor agree upon, signature for proof, explination of service(s), how things are run, what to expect, yada yada done deal

I think people are so far gone with the notion that a landscaper is just a landscaper he comes and goes week by week and you pay him cash no tax involved everyones happy

but ...

to me that only grows a client base of the same kind penny pinching clients with low balling "ill take it" contractors.

F that amen! hahaha

Slcareco
03-19-2008, 06:35 PM
Terms and Conditions

GENERAL: All services will be preformed and completed accordingly as outlined in this agreement with accepted horticultural practices.

WEATHER: In the event of inclement weather, JOESCAPES may elect to skip a scheduled service. Your visit will be scheduled for the next available day. It is understood that depending on the length, and severity of any inclement weather, that it may take JOESCAPES varying amounts of time to fulfill the work covered under this service agreement. The client is aware that weather conditions in the area may change rapidly and without notice. Changes in weather conditions are considered to be an act of Mother Nature and JOESCAPES assumes no liability as such.

CANCELATION: Either party may terminate this agreement at any time with a 15 day advance written notice. Cancellation date will be 15 days after such notice is received. In the event of cancellation, the client will be responsible for all costs of services rendered up to the cancellation date. A final invoice will be sent to the client 15 days after notification for balance due.

PETS: If a pet is kept at the property, the lawn should be free of pet droppings when JOESCAPES is scheduled to service your yard. Failure to do so reserves the right for JOESCAPES to mow around the pet droppings if conditions permit.

ACCESS: If JOESCAPES arrives at the property to provide service, but cannot gain access to the property (due to a locked gate, sprinklers on, or fertilization/pesticide application for example), the customer will be charged a regular fee even though we were unable to service the inaccessible portion of the yard. If we have to come out and service the remaining portion of the yard, additional fee may be charged. To prevent any of these problems please make all gated areas accessible and unlocked. If you will be using a lock make it a numeric lock giving us obtainable access to your yard by indicating the numerical code here: _______________.

SAFETY: For everyone’s safety, please use caution when approaching employees while using equipment. It is especially important to keep children and pets inside the house while lawn care equipment is being used.

On the scheduled day of Lawn Maintenance, it is the client’s responsibility to ensure that the lawn is free of toys, hoses, portable sprinklers, lawn lighting, erect defected sprinkler heads, and any other objects that interfere with the maintenance of the lawn. JOESCAPES will not be responsible for damage caused to or by such items left on the lawn. JOESCAPES also reserves the right to repudiate service if the lawn is not cleared prior to arrival.

SCHEDULING: Your regular service day is selected for service based on the days that we are currently servicing your area. Requests to temporarily change this day for parties, events, etc or the request for additional services to be rendered outside of your scheduled maintenance day will require an additional fee. This fee is based on the amount of travel time to your property. Please give JOESCAPES a minimum of 48 hours advanced notice.

If you use a lawn fertilization service, please schedule it at least two days before JOESCAPES arrives on the property for your lawn maintenance.

CHANGES: In the event the Client adds additional turf area, trees, plantings, walks, driveways, or paths that are suitable for edging or other maintenance, JOESCAPES shall not be responsible for the care or maintenance of such additional improvements without a written change order approved by both parties.

Any additional service(s) desired that is not included or specified in this agreement requires written approval by both parties.

SKIPPING: JOESCAPES retains complete authorization to skip a week of lawn maintenance based on our professional determination of the need to cut or not.