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View Full Version : HELP PLEASE - Problem / Harassment


HBLandscaping
10-27-2008, 07:06 PM
I have/had a grass cutting client this year (first year with them) that was on a weekly cut. Every week when we showed up to cut either his wife or himself are home and my crew and myself always stop to talk and check to make sure they are happy with the work. We never had any problems until late August when he asked if we could edge with an edger every week even if his yard doesn't need it done. The first 2 weeks after we cut, trimmed, edged and blow clear and didn't receive a complaint. Then the 3rd week we didn't edge because it didn't need it and we were starting a drought.

Then 7 days later at 9 am we showed up to cut and did a full job (cut trim edge blow). An hour later I receive a call from him saying that we missed half the yard last week when trimming and that we didn't edge. I called back and he didn't answer but left a message telling him we had just left his yard and to look it over and see if the job was ok. I never heard back from him or saw him or his wife for weeks so I thought things were good and we had resolved the issue.

Then 2 weeks ago we show up, do a full job and leave. Hours later I receive a call from him saying he noticed we came and cut today and "Did a great job" but he is notifying me that he is canceling the service do to us not working with him on the edging issue and still not edging. (Figure this out...isn't running an edger down the sidewalks/driveway edging? LOL). I called him back right away and he sent me to right to voice mail, I called him back every hour for the next 3 hours with the same result. I called 6 more times over the next 4 days and still no call back.

I did hear back 9 days after my last call, talked to him and he told me that we killed his grass along the sidewalk because " there is a 1/4 inch gap between his sidewalk and the grass that wasn't there before we started edging" (DIDN'T HE SAY WE NEVER EDGED? ). Then he proceeded to remind me that he was a Police detective for the county police and he worked in the same district as he and I live.

Then he said to send him a bill for all the work he still owed on which I did. I also forward him a copy of the contract he signed (incase he lost his) with the area about early termination highlighted. The contract states that you must notify us with a 15 day advanced notice. Service will continue for 15 day after this notice (usually 2 cuts) is giving to us and then service will stop.

We have talked twice since he called to cancel service and as soon as I brought up the pay for 2 cuts, Both times he keep reminding me that he is a Police Officer/ Detective for the local police dept. Then today I received payment but for only Sept and the first cut of Oct (Figured he’d short me). I was expecting that, but I wasn’t expecting what else was in the letter. He put a county police uniform patch that had been cut off a shirt and his Police business card along with it. Also this afternoon I received an e-mail from him (from his county E-mail) saying that all he is paying is for those 5 cuts, not 7 and he signed it DETETIVE ###### ######## #########County Police Department.
(his name) (County Name)

Now I have been a firefighter in this county for 15 yrs and have a county police officer as a friend/worker as well as many other police officers as friends, so no need for a patch. I’m starting to think he is trying to get away with things do to his job and trying to scare me into taking whatever he pays an NOT take further action to get the rest of the money.
What do you think I should do? He owes me $100. I also have 4 other homes on his street, 3 of which are friends of his that I’m now worried he might affect my business with them. Do you think this boarderline harassment/scare tactic?

SORRY FOR THE LONG POST GUYS.............

LawnNeedz
10-27-2008, 07:23 PM
I personally think you should remind him that since he is an "Officer" of the law that by not paying you he is stealing from you. You should also remind him that he signed a contract, which is a legally binding document. You also have emails that states his plans on stealing your money by saying that he is only going to pay for 5 of the 7 cuts. People like this drive me crazy. Good luck and keep us posted.

mattfromNY
10-27-2008, 07:33 PM
Abuse of power. If his superiors found out about his actions, surely he would find trouble. This matter is a personal/ business matter between you and him, not between you and the XXX sheriffs dept. He should NOT be using public letterhead, patches, badges, etc. to cooerce (sp?) you to allow him to steal from you (theft of services).
If you are a legitimate business (I am assuming you are), then he can and should be held accountable, as any other client of yours.

newtostone
10-27-2008, 07:51 PM
I would talk to her boss, And if he doesn't pay take him to court and run him in front of the judge. (it may have to be in another county do to conflict of interest) But don't go soft, he is abusing the power giving to him and acting out of line.

KCfireman
10-27-2008, 07:58 PM
You know what they say brotha about police! "If you cant take the heat, become a cop!" I would even worry about that situation.

Woody82986
10-27-2008, 08:48 PM
He's not above the law. It still applies to him. Do what you need to do. Inform him that payment was not made in full and that he owes you the money. Send a certified letter to ensure he gets it. Have respond to whether he is going to pay for the 2 other cuts or not. Then go from there. If he refuses to pay, slap a lein on his house and file a suit in small claims court for the total that is due plus your court costs. If he brings up the law enforcement thing again, go file a complaint with the department.

HBLandscaping
10-28-2008, 12:05 AM
Im friends with half the guys at the station he works at so it wouldn't be a problem if I choose to go that way. Prolem Im facing is that I picked him a his neighbors up for this year, They all met with different companies and choose one together so Im worried that if this go the wrong way with him then I may lose that whole street and thats 4 more yards plus him and with the economy the way it is thats a lot of $$$$ missing next year. Plus I have already gotten calls from 3 more homes on that street about next year so theres even more homes I may lose out on. Its taken me 5 yrs to get a job in that neighborhood and I got 5 at one time this year.

What do you guys think, Should I just let it slide and write it off to save face with the other yards and help ensure that I have 4-7 yards next year on the same street? I'd just hate to lose out on these other jobs over $100 but then again thats $100 dollars out of my pocket for this year.

HBLandscaping
10-28-2008, 12:08 AM
KC. YEAH I DON'T THINK HE COULD EVEN PULL A LINE WITHOUT CRYING LOL.

My buddy is a full time Police officer with the same county and is also a volunteer FF, I've fought a few fire's with him and he can take the heat.....But then again he was a vol FF before becoming a Cop.

EpicPaul
10-28-2008, 12:28 AM
I would fill a complaint against him and take him to court, there is nothing worst then a cop pulling that crap. He signed the contract, just because he's a cop does not mean he's above the law or can bully his way out of contracts. If you let him get away with it he will keep pulling that crap with other people. If any of your other customers ask about it tell them what happened, he's the one thats wrong here not you.

soloscaperman
10-28-2008, 02:11 AM
No matter what your gonna lose him sooner or later.
let the pig lay in the mud of green.

howierd3866
10-28-2008, 06:27 AM
I would bring everything that he send you even the email to his superv. at the county... they should be able to do something about him and then also it has been reported to his superv if it get worst.

HOOLIE
10-28-2008, 07:52 AM
Any judge would look down on this guy, abusing his power, they would hold him to a higher standard than a regular citizen. If he won't pay I say screw him and drag him to court. That should be fun!!

DLAWNS
10-28-2008, 10:13 AM
I would keep on him. Go through the correct channels. Send him an invoice with his balance, if he doesn't pay start adding late fees. Then send him a last chance/court letter. If he doesn't respond, then file papers. He is not above the law. I see your predicament with the other accounts. If it were me I would not let it go. I hope my opinion helps.

kclawncare
12-09-2008, 02:29 AM
what happened?

AI Inc
12-09-2008, 08:08 AM
I would consider it a loss and write it off as eucation, thats just me. I like things simple.
Ya aint talking the world here , your talking a little more then a tank of gas.
Is that realy worth the never ending headache?

Elite Outdoor
12-09-2008, 04:04 PM
AI Inc has it right. Sure this guy is an @#$%hole but $100 dollors isn't worth it. Let it go and hope you don't loose the other customers.

JDUtah
12-09-2008, 05:05 PM
Sounds like the real problem is a communication issue. He asked for “edging” and obviously thinks edging means something different than you do... you should have talked to him to find out what he really wanted...

Then again he could just be an...

I would not care about the small bucks, but when he steps over the line and illegally leverages his "position"... I would be tempted to rip him apart. You do have rights to that money.

12Valve
12-10-2008, 01:00 AM
People like him make me sick, its a tough call kinda dang if you do dang if you don't. $100 is not worth me going to court over personally but its a matter of principal and he's deffinatly abbusing his power.

HBLandscaping
12-11-2008, 12:11 PM
Well heres an update for you.

First, Not only did I but others told him what an "Edge" is and what "Edging" is and what "trimming" is. After the first few cuts he was fine and had no problems with the work (after he asked for edging to be done), It was months later that he came out of no way and complained.

Anyway-Update.
I talked to a buddy of mine who also does lawn work in town (25+ yrs) and he said back in early 2001-03 he had the same problem with that guy, So Im not the problem or was our quality of work.

After he paid half and issued his" threat", I responded with a letter informing him that he is in violation of his contract and asked if he would please pay the outstanding amount. I also sent along with the letter a copy of the contract with his signature and the section stating the trimming & edging policey as well as the section on payment, contract termination and collections all highlighted for him. After a few weeks I hadn't heard from him or recieved the outstanding dues, so my neighbor (also my lawyer) sent him a letter informing him that he needed to contact us in reguard to this matter. 3 days later I recieved a letter from his neighbors (both who we work for) saying that they want out of their contract "as of today" due to the issues there neighbor is having with us and the "Hassrassment of him by us" (PRETTY FUNNY HUH). I called each neighbor right away (trying to save those jobs) and informed them that he voilated the contract agreement muiltable times in different area's of the agreement and also failed to pay. I asked what there concern was and said " we all went in together in hiring a lawn company, and if 1 doesn't want to use the company next year then we all don't".

I informed them that this matter should in know way effect or relationship with them and that we have never had any isues with them or them with us, But in the end they wanted out ASAP.

Right now Im typing a letter to each of them (the 2 neighbors) asking them to fill out a questionnaire on our service and asked "to better serve our customers and to help inprove our company, Could you please let us know why you choose to cancel service with us." We (lawyer and myself) are hoping they will fill it out and return it with the true reason they canceled with us. If they state the real reason then I can take him (the @SS) to court for: Voilating the contract, failure to pay, hassrassment, abuse of his authority as a Police Officer, and as well as show he personnally attached our company and caused us to lose jobs in his neighborhood by is attacks, Which means we can ask for losted payment for the rest of the 08 season ($1,220 total) and because they (neighbors) shown and interest in service next year just weeks before this issue, I can also ask for pay missed for next season. I have everything on paper so I have a strong case.

I have also been in touch with my best friend who is a police officer for the same county, through him I have also became friends with his old Capt who is now incharge of Internal affairs, So I will be putting in a complant with him over the miss use of his public postition, and mis use of county goverment property (dept computer, E-mail & letter head ) in which he used to carry out these threats.

So I will keep you guys informed on what happends next...

SuperDuty335
12-11-2008, 01:19 PM
Now you have literally nothing to lose and everything to gain! Bust those chops! I had a call from a detective a few weeks ago asking details about my F250 that was stolen TWO years ago. That's some effort on their part. They didn't even know that it belongs to my insurance company now...:angry:

ryry278
12-11-2008, 01:33 PM
Wow strong case you got. Sounds like what i would do. Thought about going to law school just so i can make sure people understand they are no better then me. I hope you kick his butt.

TPendagast
12-11-2008, 03:12 PM
I have/had a grass cutting client this year (first year with them) that was on a weekly cut. Every week when we showed up to cut either his wife or himself are home and my crew and myself always stop to talk and check to make sure they are happy with the work. We never had any problems until late August when he asked if we could edge with an edger every week even if his yard doesn't need it done. The first 2 weeks after we cut, trimmed, edged and blow clear and didn't receive a complaint. Then the 3rd week we didn't edge because it didn't need it and we were starting a drought.

Then 7 days later at 9 am we showed up to cut and did a full job (cut trim edge blow). An hour later I receive a call from him saying that we missed half the yard last week when trimming and that we didn't edge. I called back and he didn't answer but left a message telling him we had just left his yard and to look it over and see if the job was ok. I never heard back from him or saw him or his wife for weeks so I thought things were good and we had resolved the issue.

Then 2 weeks ago we show up, do a full job and leave. Hours later I receive a call from him saying he noticed we came and cut today and "Did a great job" but he is notifying me that he is canceling the service do to us not working with him on the edging issue and still not edging. (Figure this out...isn't running an edger down the sidewalks/driveway edging? LOL). I called him back right away and he sent me to right to voice mail, I called him back every hour for the next 3 hours with the same result. I called 6 more times over the next 4 days and still no call back.

I did hear back 9 days after my last call, talked to him and he told me that we killed his grass along the sidewalk because " there is a 1/4 inch gap between his sidewalk and the grass that wasn't there before we started edging" (DIDN'T HE SAY WE NEVER EDGED? ). Then he proceeded to remind me that he was a Police detective for the county police and he worked in the same district as he and I live.

Then he said to send him a bill for all the work he still owed on which I did. I also forward him a copy of the contract he signed (incase he lost his) with the area about early termination highlighted. The contract states that you must notify us with a 15 day advanced notice. Service will continue for 15 day after this notice (usually 2 cuts) is giving to us and then service will stop.

We have talked twice since he called to cancel service and as soon as I brought up the pay for 2 cuts, Both times he keep reminding me that he is a Police Officer/ Detective for the local police dept. Then today I received payment but for only Sept and the first cut of Oct (Figured heíd short me). I was expecting that, but I wasnít expecting what else was in the letter. He put a county police uniform patch that had been cut off a shirt and his Police business card along with it. Also this afternoon I received an e-mail from him (from his county E-mail) saying that all he is paying is for those 5 cuts, not 7 and he signed it DETETIVE ###### ######## #########County Police Department.
(his name) (County Name)

Now I have been a firefighter in this county for 15 yrs and have a county police officer as a friend/worker as well as many other police officers as friends, so no need for a patch. Iím starting to think he is trying to get away with things do to his job and trying to scare me into taking whatever he pays an NOT take further action to get the rest of the money.
What do you think I should do? He owes me $100. I also have 4 other homes on his street, 3 of which are friends of his that Iím now worried he might affect my business with them. Do you think this boarderline harassment/scare tactic?

SORRY FOR THE LONG POST GUYS.............

The crime he is committing is theft of services. He agreed to a contract, signed it , recieved services and is not paying for those services. You can actually call the police (his own department) and report the crime.

So hes a cop, he cant steal because he is a cop.
Id also contact an attorney and even the DA about his sending you a patch and his business card you a implications of signing his name "detective" so and so as his name isnt' "detective"

TPendagast
12-11-2008, 03:19 PM
Right now Im typing a letter to each of them (the 2 neighbors) asking them to fill out a questionnaire on our service and asked "to better serve our customers and to help inprove our company, Could you please let us know why you choose to cancel service with us." We (lawyer and myself) are hoping they will fill it out and return it with the true reason they canceled with us. If they state the real reason then I can take him (the @SS) to court for: Voilating the contract, failure to pay, hassrassment, abuse of his authority as a Police Officer, and as well as show he personnally attached our company and caused us to lose jobs in his neighborhood by is attacks, Which means we can ask for losted payment for the rest of the 08 season ($1,220 total) and because they (neighbors) shown and interest in service next year just weeks before this issue, I can also ask for pay missed for next season. I have everything on paper so I have a strong case.


You can still sue him for the loss ofthe two neighbrs since they admit they spoke with him about the issue andin court if they were witnesses could not claim they had any reason other than his influenc to drop your services.


My feelings is mr detective is going to be looking for a job at mcdonalds soon...

Get your freind who had the same expereince with him back in 2003 to right an affadavit for your lawyer stating he had the same experience with him

LushGreenLawn
12-11-2008, 04:43 PM
Its sounds like you have a good lawyer and have a good handle on things, its nice to see that you are not letting this guy take advantage of you.

PTP
12-11-2008, 05:04 PM
Let's take this at a worst case scenario and say that you simply loose all of the customers in that area and you end up getting nothing from the guy. You get the privilege of holding your head up knowing that you acted like a man instead of a coward. In my opinion, it is worth it.

But I really hope that justice is also served in the process.

IA_James
12-11-2008, 05:07 PM
Keep up the good work. He's just some random flatfoot, screw him. He owes you money, all there is to it.

G-Chop
12-11-2008, 05:33 PM
Gotta love the abuse of power there. Hope everything goes in your favor and keep us updated!

All_Toro_4ME
12-11-2008, 05:57 PM
Hope all goes well with this ongoing issue and you get what's owed to you. Keep us updated.

JDUtah
12-11-2008, 09:02 PM
Very nice job. Keep us posted...

RLC12065
12-12-2008, 07:18 PM
i think i'm in the minority but i would have forgotten about the $100 and tried to save the other customers. i agree he is abusing his powers but word of mouth goes both ways, good and bad. if you continue to push this and now try to extract $1,200+ dollars out of him you are in danger of him and his neighbors giving your company a bad name. other people in your town might think you are trying to strong arm him. not saying its right but if he knows alot of people in your area it might turn out to be a huge disaster for your reputation. it was $100. i know , its the principal of it all, i agree but sometimes life isnt fair. you need to think of the bigger picture.

CrazyBlonde
02-07-2010, 01:03 AM
I retired from the Sheriff's Dept. in San Diego. If I were you, I'd inform the department he works for that he is abusing his authority by attempting to intimidate. I would have lost my badge if I abused my power of authority by even hinting like that in an attempt to intimidate. Best Wishes with it! Cheryl

dirt&snow
02-07-2010, 03:44 AM
Update!!!!! Just read this thread and I wanna know if you won!

lawn
02-07-2010, 11:19 AM
Interesting case! please keep as posted, I'd like to know what happened

ShooterK2
02-07-2010, 12:19 PM
I'm pretty new here, and VERY interested in the outcome of this!

HBLandscaping
02-07-2010, 07:15 PM
I gave up on the $100 for a while (few weeks) while trying to keep both neighbors but they (Neighbors) said "We all hired you as a group ogf neighbors and if one doesn't want to use your company then we are not using you" So with that said I left that issue go.

Now a new season has finished and the customer (Police Officer) hired someone else to do the lawn this season (09 season) and after 2 months either he fired them or they quit and he started to cut his lawn, Well come August his lawn looked really bad and those "Edges" we put are gone and he has dirt along the side walk, bare spots in his lawn, So in the end the joke is on him you can say.

As for my $100, I tried again to collect (stopped by his house), I talked to him and asked for payment and he said nope "I'm not paying for you for the damage you did to my lawn"

This season I picked up another of his neighbors (there front,side and back) all touch his lawn and while cutting my clients yard he stopped me and asked how I was doing, After a minutes I said we'll I have to get back to work and said "yes I did, Couldn't Help it) said wow your lawn looks good, You must work hard to keep it looking that way LOL

So now getting ready for another season I let the hundred $$$'s go, I now of have other things to do.