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turf hokie
02-25-2009, 04:40 PM
Why did I start a service company when I hate people:hammerhead:

Have a FORMER customer that I had to send to collections. He just sent a cease and desist letter, so they can no longer contact him.

He claims that I am a fly by night company and he had to hire Scotts to finish the job because I was no where to be found.

I was able to be found, just not on his property, he just couldnt find his checkbook for me to come back and finish the season.

We aerated/de-thatched/added topsoil/seeded/fertilized for him, and after it was all done he said I was ripping him off, that my price was too high. He paid me $300 on a $1000 service.

Even with a signed contract/copy of a cleared check/and a partially paid invoice I dont have a leg to stand on because he just decided he wasnt going to pay.

If this is the case across the country what is the point of being in business for yourself if it is this easy to get away without paying??

dKoester
02-25-2009, 04:50 PM
Don't let to much time go before you get paid next time. Do you have a lawyer?

LawnTamer
02-25-2009, 04:50 PM
You do have a leg to stand on. This just means that you get to haul his lying butt to court. I would, with a turd like that. If you have a contract, and it is signed, and he already made partial payment, then he is toast. Unless he is declaring bankruptcy, then you are out of luck.

Have you been unreachable, like he claims? If you have had the same phone number/residence the whole time and can prove it, that will help too. It will show that he is lying.

turf hokie
02-25-2009, 04:54 PM
I know I let it go too long, that is my fault. Will not happen again.

My number/residence has not changed nor did he get me out of the yellow pages like he claims, I never had an ad in the yellow pages.

Yet, I am now a fly by night company b/c he cant find an ad in the yellow pages anymore. Friggin look on the internet, check with the BBB, drive into town I keep my trucks on the busiest corner in town.

Whatever, lesson learned. It will cost me more to pursue it at this point than it is worth and this guy knows that.

a plus bob
02-25-2009, 05:04 PM
I had a custmer file bankrupcy on a 39.00 lawn application.This was a almost a year ago and I still get letters from his att. saying he filed

n-green
02-25-2009, 05:25 PM
I think for the most part that people are honest, but I have had my share of deadbeats. I try to learn from it and not let it ruin my day.

nighthawk117
02-25-2009, 05:50 PM
Kinda makes you want to drive by at night (in your wifes vehicle) and toss a water balloon filled with round-up, out on there lawn !!! Not that I have done it, nor do I recommend it. :nono: :laugh:

sprayboy
02-25-2009, 05:51 PM
I would call my attorney.


or................

Hello Judge Judy

turfsolutions
02-25-2009, 06:16 PM
Round up - landscapers revenge

mrkosar
02-25-2009, 06:40 PM
Kinda makes you want to drive by at night (in your wifes vehicle) and toss a water balloon filled with round-up, out on there lawn !!! Not that I have done it, nor do I recommend it. :nono: :laugh:


hell, get a whole crew and do a drive by with water guns full of round up. karma will get this deadbeat. that is what i tell myself at least.

Carolina Cuts
02-25-2009, 06:46 PM
someone once said "roundup ice cubes"

I'ma big fan of that idea...

gregory
02-25-2009, 06:52 PM
it happens i would take it to court.....

i got a good one a guy comes into my shop ask me about charging up his a/c system on his truck tell him no problem give him the price for the freon and labor to vac it down he says fine do it i do it like an hr later he comes back to pick it up and then tells me thats to much money and the total was less then what i told him so we argue in the show room i call my mechanic up front and tell him to suck the freon out of his trk and open every line on the a/c system give the guy his keys and told him not to come back so people just amaze me.....

gregory
02-25-2009, 06:55 PM
someone once said "roundup ice cubes"

I'ma big fan of that idea...

thats a good one no evidence no crime

Perfect Image TLM
02-25-2009, 07:25 PM
Kinda makes you want to drive by at night (in your wifes vehicle) and toss a water balloon filled with round-up, out on there lawn !!! Not that I have done it, nor do I recommend it. :nono: :laugh:

HAHAHAHA... Man I have thought of this as well!!!!:laugh::laugh::laugh:

Ric
02-25-2009, 07:26 PM
Yo

It doesn't happen very often, But I am not going to miss a meal if someone doesn't pay me. You aren't going to miss a meal either. A long time ago I learned to write these people off and keep trucking because it isn't worth my time or stress to worry about the Cheap B*****d.

phasthound
02-25-2009, 07:31 PM
I have bank who hasn't paid for a $4,000.00 job completed in Oct. 2008. Can I get a bailout please???

ted putnam
02-25-2009, 08:12 PM
Yo

It doesn't happen very often, But I am not going to miss a meal if someone doesn't pay me. You aren't going to miss a meal either. A long time ago I learned to write these people off and keep trucking because it isn't worth my time or stress to worry about the Cheap B*****d.

I handle it the same way. I'd lose all kinds of production to take somebody to court. It's just not worth the stress, headache and potential loss of even more money. I have a pretty good memory and I remember "deadbeats" particularly well...even years later.

tlg
02-25-2009, 08:14 PM
Assuming all your ducks were in a row on this job, meaning signed contract, terms etc... why would you not take him to small claims court for the $1000. You represent yourself, tell your story to the judge and let him decide. If your deadbeat customer is a no show you will get a default judgment. If he shows up there's a good chance you will get justice if you played by the rules. If your customer was enriched by your work ( meaning he gained value from your service and materials) a judge will have a hard time not seeing it your way. I have been there. The system works if you covered yourself.

ted putnam
02-25-2009, 08:26 PM
Assuming all your ducks were in a row on this job, meaning signed contract, terms etc... why would you not take him to small claims court for the $1000. You represent yourself, tell your story to the judge and let him decide. If your deadbeat customer is a no show you will get a default judgment. If he shows up there's a good chance you will get justice if you played by the rules. If your customer was enriched by your work ( meaning he gained value from your service and materials) a judge will have a hard time not seeing it your way. I have been there. The system works if you covered yourself.

For $1000 I would do it only if I had my ducks in a row. There's no way I'd do it for $50-100. Just not worth it. I'd be doing it only to prove a point. I'd lose $400-600 by missing a half days work just to get $50.

mattfromNY
02-25-2009, 08:34 PM
Yo

It doesn't happen very often, But I am not going to miss a meal if someone doesn't pay me. You aren't going to miss a meal either. A long time ago I learned to write these people off and keep trucking because it isn't worth my time or stress to worry about the Cheap B*****d.

Its unfortunate, but the customer knows this, and is probably why he is getting away with it.

Monroe74
02-25-2009, 08:46 PM
In PA when you do work at property you can put a mechanics lean on the property if the person doesn't pay this will go on their credit report and if they were to ever sell or refi their house they would have to pay you first and this bankrupt proof. It costs me 50.00 but the homeowner has to pay that as well so when they finally do pay you get your 50 back.

tlg
02-25-2009, 08:47 PM
Ted, Let me be clear. I would never take someone to court for a few bucks. It's not worth my time or effort. They go to collections and we see what happens. The last customer I took to court ( small claims ) owed me about $750. He was worth millions, had a huge estate on about 40 acres. He showed up late to court in his Hummer and was calling the court telling them he was on his way ( half hour delay ). If anything it probably cost him more to show up than me . The judge ruled in my favor. The guy actually pulled out a wad of cash to pay me in front of the judge. I loved every minute of it.

TLG

ted putnam
02-25-2009, 09:17 PM
Its unfortunate, but the customer knows this, and is probably why he is getting away with it.

You're right...and they do. But there's only so many people you can call and get away with that everyone has caught on. They only pull that BS on me once and their name is forever etched in the stone tablets I keep my "Schit List" on.

turf hokie
02-26-2009, 07:02 AM
I sent him to collections because I took another person to court for $2200.00 he did not show I won, put a lien on his house.

That was over a year ago, he is in construction. He is not going anywhere, and a lien is only good for so long. Even after I won the court case, I still had to have the Sheriff serve him the judgement, still had to fill out additional paperwork etc. It took 3 trips to the courthouse and 2 trips by the sheriff from start to finish. And I still dont have money in hand. I will have to renew the judgement every year as long as I dont get paid. I lost a full day all said and done, and the meter is still running.

I'd prefer not to go to court that is why I hired a collection agent.

However, I big FYI to all that are thinking about a collection agent. All these deadbeats need to do is send a certified letter stating that they dispute the charges and they are not to be contacted again by the agency. By law the collections agent can have no further contact with them.

Collection agents are pretty much useless if the deadbeat knows the system. And most of them do.

As Ric said I usually just write them off but those are usually only $75-100. More than $500 I try to collect but it just doesnt seem worth small claims when I add up the time it takes to get this done.

phasthound
02-26-2009, 07:42 AM
After several letters and phone calls, I finally recieved payment for services completed 4 months ago from a residential client who is always late. He included a note stating how much he liked our services and would like to prepay for 2009. In return for prepaying, he just asks for a 25% discount. Yeah right. :hammerhead:

humble1
02-26-2009, 09:21 AM
Why did I start a service company when I hate people:hammerhead:

Have a FORMER customer that I had to send to collections. He just sent a cease and desist letter, so they can no longer contact him.

He claims that I am a fly by night company and he had to hire Scotts to finish the job because I was no where to be found.

I was able to be found, just not on his property, he just couldnt find his checkbook for me to come back and finish the season.

We aerated/de-thatched/added topsoil/seeded/fertilized for him, and after it was all done he said I was ripping him off, that my price was too high. He paid me $300 on a $1000 service.

Even with a signed contract/copy of a cleared check/and a partially paid invoice I dont have a leg to stand on because he just decided he wasnt going to pay.

If this is the case across the country what is the point of being in business for yourself if it is this easy to get away without paying??

A reg customer or new one?

I always used to get paid when we showed up to hydroseed. I would go to the door with a contract and say Hi I just need to have you sign this and get a check for X, I will give you your copy and we will get started. If they wouldnt pay me, and it happened a few times. I would start the machine, pull the two camlocked recirc hoses and dump all 750 gallons on their driveway.

Any reno work I get 1/2 up front, 1/2 when I show up to seed same thought process with the contract. The back has all the legal stuff. If anyone wants a copy of it pm me.

mngrassguy
02-26-2009, 09:34 AM
It's too bad you don't plow snow in the middle of the night. I know a guy who.....

Never mind. :laugh:

Take him to court.

Ric
02-26-2009, 09:56 AM
Yo

Yes if I feel a customer is a real jerk I will turn them over to a collection agency that can and will bam their credit report. But as a small businessman I can't afford to get set up with checking credit. Therefore I must size up potential customers and take them at face value.

Lawnmasters
02-26-2009, 04:56 PM
I had a partnership who owned a condo project, they wanted their first condo sodded by dec 15 for the open house, mind you it had rained forever, ground was slop. I said I cant get equipment on the yard to grade. They say I don't care, get it sodded some how by the 15th. I told them the only way is to walk the sod out into the mud, throw it down and walk it in, but it will be rough, bumpy and sorry. They say they don't care get it done. So we do it, then start on cono 2, then on condo 3. I ask for payment for condo 1. Sorry but we aren't gonna pay for that crappy sod job.

This guy was a retired attorney and Judge in my county. Scrrewed me for 4,800 and knew he could get away with it. I talked to my attorney who would have been happy to sue him, but told me it would cost more than 4800 by the time this guy drug it out.

Some people can just work the system and screw the little guy like us. I learned a valuable lesson, and haven't been took again.

turf hokie
02-26-2009, 05:43 PM
I have another one today.....Landscaper I did work for, about 2 1/2 years worth. He flat out told me he wasnt going to pay for the entire last round I did, b/c some of his customers were deadbeats. I dont care, my agreement is with you not your customer. You took the risk when you did not want me to deal directly with them b/c you wanted to "handle the accounts".

Now he is claiming I never did work for him. I guess copies of cancelled checks, and signed contracts dont mean anything to him either.

I'm glad 98% of my customers are standup, it is the few bad apples that ruin my day.