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View Full Version : Customer Claims I Violated Contract, And Said Goodbye - How Would You React?


mcw615
11-30-2009, 11:29 PM
This customer has been a PITA since day one with their property. Contract Started 03/01/09 and ends 02/29/10 and pays $247.96 a month.

Takes 15 yards of mulch at 1" 1X annually.
20 min to mow and trim - $40 a mow April- October
and 10 fert/squirts and aerate overseed.
LEAVES out of the a$$

In the contract it did say the property will be mowed on a weekly basis or as needed. And also says leaves will be removed off the lawn and out of the landscape beds on a weekly or as needed basis. Starting the first of September it takes about an hour for one man each week to blow all the leaves and starting in October it takes about 2 hours for one man each week to blow their leaves and November about 1.5 for one man if one week.

I have been there every week, we have received a lot of rain the past 6 weeks. the last week of October the property was done in 10 days, I would come on Fridays and that last friday it was pouring down from the late tropical storm that came through and so I returned on the following Monday. So far in November I was there on 11/3 which took 3 hours, and 11/16 which took 3.5 hours for the leaves.

Customer called our office Thanksgiving day and said we have violated the contract and he is sorry to tell me but don't come back to his property, I have skipped his lawn 3 times in the last 6 weeks..... blahh

This guy is in his mid 50's...from NJ and a hardballing yankee. Ok, yes I did violate the contract I guess to say but it has been very hard on us with all the rain. He is playing it smart, he found a way to get out of the contract so he can save $247.96 a month for November, December, January, and February when there is very little to no work to be done.

How would you handle this situation??
- I have no argument
- I am loosing $1,000 for the rest of the winter which there is not much to do at the property anymore
- I don't want to create an enemy

I told him I had a meeting I was running late for and asked if I could stop by his house in the A.M. to talk to him. I'm not about laying out excuses... I'm considering just showing up taking care of the leaves, when he comes outside I will turn off the blower and say I'm sorry, don't worry there is no charge for this I will explain when I'm through.. and after I do it just again knock on the door and say I'm again very sorry and don't worry about today, the contract is void, I feel I need to make it up to you, and I am also going to come back in 2 weeks and finish up any remaining leaves free of charge. That way yes he is dissatisfied but no longer an enemy or pissed off.

green grass lawn care
11-30-2009, 11:37 PM
well the problem with doing it that way is that next year he may try the same thing. this sets a precedent for him to get something for nothing. i would cut my losses and make an addition of a bad weather clause to the contract that says weather permitting. he is not pissed, he is a cheapskate. vince

White Gardens
11-30-2009, 11:44 PM
well the problem with doing it that way is that next year he may try the same thing. this sets a precedent for him to get something for nothing. i would cut my losses and make an addition of a bad weather clause to the contract that says weather permitting. he is not pissed, he is a cheapskate. vince

Agreed, see how it goes the next time you are at the property, cut your losses and leave.

Mahoney3223
11-30-2009, 11:45 PM
bad idea..tell him you didn't violate the contract and hold firm

Florida Gardener
11-30-2009, 11:54 PM
You can't control the weather. I tell all of my customer's if there is a weather delay, their property will be serviced asap. We get periods in the summer where it can rain 3-4 days in a row in which you pretty much lose the week. These things happen and people have to understand this. If they can't accept it, let them go.

This guy does sound like a cheapskate. He knows he will be paying almost $250/month for little work being done. This happens to us in Florida. One of my customers emails me right before I switch to going bi-weekly telling me she had let her yard get out of control and she won't be needing my services for a while. Translation-I don't want to pay you for cutting my yard every other week. It happens, it sucks, and it's part of the business. People don't honor their word.

mcw615
11-30-2009, 11:54 PM
I said several times I have not breached the contract, and his response was "you know my property and the leaves need done every week until 12/1. How could you have not violated the contract, it says every week or as needed and you skipped twice? I was giving you the benefit of the doubt of once a week clean ups, because really you could be here every day and it NEED to be done."

Hanau
12-01-2009, 12:00 AM
Explain your side in a calm reasonable manner. As a contractor you have to control your customer. You let one schmuck walk all over you then that's all you're going to get for clients. You need to demonstrate some testicular fortitude, you're owed money. Get your money.

If you can't do that then Mr. Kitty here can.

169722

N.TX
12-01-2009, 12:03 AM
I would call and explain that you cant do anything about the weather ... but you would be willing to discount the bill for the month that you could not complete all scheduled services. If he still proceeds in cancelling the service then just take your losses and go on because its not worth the hassle.

LouisianaLawnboy
12-01-2009, 12:10 AM
In my contract it says that if service is discontinued then every service must be paid for individually including retrospectively. Also you must give 30 days written notice.
Posted via Mobile Device

Oxmow
12-01-2009, 12:18 AM
In my contract it says that if service is discontinued then every service must be paid for individually including retrospectively. Also you must give 30 days written notice.
Posted via Mobile Device

I agree. I also have a clause like this, as well as a weather clause. When i have held fast the customer has usually said they would go ahead with the monthly work as to not have to pay the large chunk of what was left on the contract.

LouisianaLawnboy
12-01-2009, 12:22 AM
I agree. I also have a clause like this, as well as a weather clause. When i have held fast the customer has usually said they would go ahead with the monthly work as to not have to pay the large chunk of what was left on the contract.

Ya I have a weather clause also.
Posted via Mobile Device

mcw615
12-01-2009, 12:26 AM
In my contract it says that if service is discontinued then every service must be paid for individually including retrospectively. Also you must give 30 days written notice.
Posted via Mobile Device

That is what I started to include this summer. Therefore they have signed that if somehow they want to be cheap and get out of the contract or whatever the reason be that all services will be invoiced to the customer and all payments made will be credited towards the invoice of the remaining balance due.

brucec32
12-01-2009, 12:28 AM
Man, this is a classic case study of the downside of 12 month billing for services provided over about 7-9 months. They are looking to FIRE YOU when winter rolls around.

It can be argued that contracts can be taken to court for enforcement, but even if you had never skipped his lawn due to weather, how can one PROVE that? The proof erases itself as more leaves fall and the grass grows. It's just that sort of business.

This thread should be copied to every single other one where guys are touting this as a no-brainer way to earn more money for less work, get paid over winter, smooth out cash flow, etc, etc. It's not all win-win.

Ditto that for threads where guys tout "monthly billing" that rolls everything into one level payment as hassle free also. What happened here is he had to skip cuts due to weather and there was no provision for crediting the customer. So the customer became resentful. That combined with a budget shortfall encourages the guy to try to void the contract and bail out. So many LCO's think it's just the customer's bad luck when they skip cuts. Well wrong, it's the customer's ears blowing steam as he knows he's paying for something and not getting it. They may let it go a few times, but 3 out of 6 obviously set this guy off.

Instead, let's look at this as if you'd simply had the customer pay as he went, ala carte for services rendered.

1. The mulch would have been done and paid for the same month.
2. The grass would have been cut and paid for as it was done each month.
3. The leaf cleanup work would have been billed as it occured.
4. 95% of the year's work is now done, and 95% of the year's revenue has been collected, so the customer would not be as eager to cancel.
5. If you had to skip visits due to weather, the customer would have received a credit and yes, you would be out what, $120 (vs $1,000 and a customer). But if you had billed for leaf work seperately, with either per-hour or per visit additional charge for leaves, you'd be made whole.

When it works smoothly, it works. But when it goes bad, it really goes bad. In most things in life, "it'll all work out in the end" pricing rarely works out. In a down economy I'm sure lots of folks will get the bright idea to can the lawn guy for the winter and buy Christmas presents with the savings.

The consolation here is that he was getting $40 for 20 min of work much of the year. So maybe he didn't get burned too badly.

JLWC
12-01-2009, 01:22 AM
Man, this is a classic case study of the downside of 12 month billing for services provided over about 7-9 months. They are looking to FIRE YOU when winter rolls around.

It can be argued that contracts can be taken to court for enforcement, but even if you had never skipped his lawn due to weather, how can one PROVE that? The proof erases itself as more leaves fall and the grass grows. It's just that sort of business.

This thread should be copied to every single other one where guys are touting this as a no-brainer way to earn more money for less work, get paid over winter, smooth out cash flow, etc, etc. It's not all win-win.

Ditto that for threads where guys tout "monthly billing" that rolls everything into one level payment as hassle free also. What happened here is he had to skip cuts due to weather and there was no provision for crediting the customer. So the customer became resentful. That combined with a budget shortfall encourages the guy to try to void the contract and bail out. So many LCO's think it's just the customer's bad luck when they skip cuts. Well wrong, it's the customer's ears blowing steam as he knows he's paying for something and not getting it. They may let it go a few times, but 3 out of 6 obviously set this guy off.

Instead, let's look at this as if you'd simply had the customer pay as he went, ala carte for services rendered.

1. The mulch would have been done and paid for the same month.
2. The grass would have been cut and paid for as it was done each month.
3. The leaf cleanup work would have been billed as it occured.
4. 95% of the year's work is now done, and 95% of the year's revenue has been collected, so the customer would not be as eager to cancel.
5. If you had to skip visits due to weather, the customer would have received a credit and yes, you would be out what, $120 (vs $1,000 and a customer). But if you had billed for leaf work seperately, with either per-hour or per visit additional charge for leaves, you'd be made whole.

When it works smoothly, it works. But when it goes bad, it really goes bad. In most things in life, "it'll all work out in the end" pricing rarely works out. In a down economy I'm sure lots of folks will get the bright idea to can the lawn guy for the winter and buy Christmas presents with the savings.

The consolation here is that he was getting $40 for 20 min of work much of the year. So maybe he didn't get burned too badly.






i agree you got to love a contract :hammerhead:

procut
12-01-2009, 01:22 AM
^ Yes. This is why I could never figure out the "per month" pricing or year round billing. It seems like this type of thing would happen all the time.

Florida Gardener
12-01-2009, 02:14 AM
Year round billing is how it goes in Florida. We bill for an actual 12-months though. I don't understand the guys who bill for 7-9 months though. If I lived up north, i would bill per cut, period. I can see why a customer would be upset if they are having little to no work performed and paying a good amount for it. We have grass down here that can go 4-8 weeks between cuts(depending on temp.) and the customer is still paying the same price as they do in the summer when it is getting cut every week. It is figured out on an average though. X amount of cuts per year. St. Augustine grass that is irrigated and fertilized still needs 2x/month cutting. We actually work in the winter, it is just less and the weather is nicer:clapping::cool2:

TurnGreen1
12-01-2009, 03:07 AM
If you are on a 12 month plan and have down time in the winter. You need to CLEARLY explain to the customer your reasoning for the 12 month payment plan. Example being Mr. Customer I have taylored this contract to consist of 12 payments of xxx due on the x date. We will be cutting the lawn X amount of times throughout the growing season. The focus of the 12 month payment plan is to accomodate you Mr. Customer. By me tayloring this contract to your needs it allows you to expand the payments over 12 months instead of 9 months. I have never had an issue when explained to them clearly in the contract about the 12 month pay plan. It is a bummer to lose a deal. But in these cases you are more times than not better off without this type of customer.

topsites
12-01-2009, 03:16 AM
You basically said it yourself, forget about it and move on, look there's better
customers out there and now you don't have to put up with their crap,
and since from the sound of things you're not out a lot of money so in ways you
come out smelling like a rose, yes granted they gave you a lame arse excuse but
just be glad these folks didn't really take you to the cleaners and have a great winter!

Well, that is...
You really didn't want to deal with them next year, too, right?
Yup, I didn't think so lol.

Because the problem is once things get this way with a customer, it becomes what I call a hostile relationship.
Doesn't matter the reason, who is right and who is wrong, I don't care because I don't want to deal with folks
under these circumstances as it only brews more trouble.

So, just cross it off the list of things to do, one less thing to worry about, say bye-bye. :waving:

Richard Martin
12-01-2009, 06:35 AM
So this guy is trying to get out of paying you for $750 worth of work that you've already performed? And all of the lawn mowing and leaf removal has been done at least "as needed"? No way I'd let this go. You have a contract. Take him to court. The only iffy part of your contract is the "as needed" part. That's subjective and you probably didn't specify in the contract who gets to determine what "as needed" is.

My contracts have a termination clause that states that I must do a audit of services performed if either party decides to terminate. It also states the prices for each service that is to be done. If I am owed money then they pay up. If I owe them money then I issue a refund.

Richard Martin
12-01-2009, 07:02 AM
Oh and I almost forgot....

You're going to add insult to injury upon yourself by going and doing even more work for free! Right! http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb56/RMartin631/smilies/bash1.gifhttp://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb56/RMartin631/smilies/bash1.gif

MarcSmith
12-01-2009, 11:51 AM
You're going to add insult to injury upon yourself by going and doing even more work I can understand the desire to make right in the customers eyes and want to leave on a high note...

all of my contracts in florida had a 30 day notice and a penalty of one months payment. my commercials had a percentage clause based on how much was completed/vs paid at the time of cancellation.

while you may have violated on the contract, you can't really do leaves in the rain, and that needs to be address with the client, but if you had a 30 day notice clause, then you need to enforce it...

topsites
12-01-2009, 11:55 AM
This thread should be copied to every single other one where guys are touting this as a no-brainer way to earn more money for less work, get paid over winter, smooth out cash flow, etc, etc.

Ding ding ding ding, we have a winner. :p

It's not all win-win.

I know it, some of my frustration stems from this, guys come on here thinking it's a walk in the park, just get on LS
and get the information you need, then turn it into money and run to the bank, simple as that...

Next thing you know we got these threads of folks getting stiffed acting like
they're going to vandalize some customer's property over it.

I suppose it's all in the balance, how it works out, I can see as much now...
But if folks would stop and think for a minute they might not run into this, however the bigger of the factors is
that I believe some folks would benefit from the realization that chalking things up to experience has a far better,
bigger, and longer lasting benefit to things than taking the fast way out.

Thou I also suppose that one could take years to sink in...
Oh well, what can you do?

tracyalan
12-01-2009, 11:57 AM
It sounds like he was just looking to get out of the contract.
But, did you call and let him know that you would not be there on the day that you were spossed too? If you would have called and told him that because of the rain, you will come by in a couple of days, then you would have a great argument. (Of cource he could always say that he did not talk to you and you missed your day.) Does your contract state that you can not miss a day or be late?

MarcSmith
12-01-2009, 12:15 PM
This thread should be copied to every single other one where guys are touting this as a no-brainer way to earn more money for less work, get paid over winter, smooth out cash flow, etc, etc. It's not all win-win.


Yearly contracts (at least with me) were not about getting more money for less work...all about smoothing the cash flow for client and contractor. You still have to budget minded as you will spend more in labor in the growing season, while you don't have the same percentage of income/labor as you would in the slow months.

Yearly contracts do work better when you have a "12" month growing season/service.

If you estimate properly you may be off by one or two cuts. I did keep track of all visits so I knew going into december if I was in the hole or not. If I was in the hole (Ie cut more than I estimated). I readjusted the contract for the next year. If I cut fewer times I readjust the contract for the fol wing year and offered the client free labor for amount of cuts or a credit on the last bill...

Florida Gardener
12-01-2009, 12:39 PM
^it's pretty easy to figure out amount of cuts down here per year. You will be cutting St. Augustine that is fertilized and irrigated until mid novemeber weekly and start again in mid april(unless really dry). Bahia is hard to guess. I started going bi-weekly on Bahia this year early october and am now on every 3-4 weeks.

ADVANCEDOHIO
12-01-2009, 02:38 PM
If your contract doesnt spell out all the details and you have provided what you said you were going to.... You have not breached a contract, it may be vague, but finish the contract out and continue billing. When he doesnt pay...COURT!!!

JohnnyRocker
12-15-2009, 06:17 PM
well the problem with doing it that way is that next year he may try the same thing. this sets a precedent for him to get something for nothing. i would cut my losses and make an addition of a bad weather clause to the contract that says weather permitting. he is not pissed, he is a cheapskate. vince

I couldn't agree more. You're not in business to take abuse and be ripped off. Let the fly by nighter take this one off of your hands and mind.

delphied
12-15-2009, 06:28 PM
If you have a contract then get a lien on the property after he fails to pay the next several payments. After you get the lien, phone him and let him know or wait til the house sells.

mdlwn1
12-15-2009, 07:12 PM
1. Your contract is BS and worded poorly. Lose "as needed"...obviously you don't mean it.
2. Drop it...get over it.
3. Learn how to not get yourself into these situations in the first place.
4. Maybe the guy is a total dik..but in NJ there can be a lot more talent per square mile than your used to down there and it's quite possible he just thinks you suck and the next guy will be better and couldnt wait to get away from you. Not sayin so...but ya never know.

JohnnyRocker
12-15-2009, 07:32 PM
1. Your contract is BS and worded poorly. Lose "as needed"...obviously you don't mean it.
2. Drop it...get over it.
3. Learn how to not get yourself into these situations in the first place.
4. Maybe the guy is a total dik..but in NJ there can be a lot more talent per square mile than your used to down there and it's quite possible he just thinks you suck and the next guy will be better and couldnt wait to get away from you. Not sayin so...but ya never know.
Because if New Jersey is known for one thing...it's talent. LOL

mdlwn1
12-15-2009, 07:51 PM
Because if New Jersey is known for one thing...it's talent. LOL

It's called the law of averages. Do I have to educate you? How many people are in your state?...ya don't have 8 million..do ya?

C4chris70
12-15-2009, 08:03 PM
It's called the law of averages. Do I have to educate you? How many people are in your state?...ya don't have 8 million..do ya?

No, We have 18,000,000!

kootoomootoo
12-15-2009, 08:05 PM
This customer has been a PITA since day one with their property. Contract Started 03/01/09 and ends 02/29/10 and pays $247.96 a month.

Takes 15 yards of mulch at 1" 1X annually.
20 min to mow and trim - $40 a mow April- October
and 10 fert/squirts and aerate overseed.
LEAVES out of the a$$

In the contract it did say the property will be mowed on a weekly basis or as needed. And also says leaves will be removed off the lawn and out of the landscape beds on a weekly or as needed basis. Starting the first of September it takes about an hour for one man each week to blow all the leaves and starting in October it takes about 2 hours for one man each week to blow their leaves and November about 1.5 for one man if one week.

I have been there every week, we have received a lot of rain the past 6 weeks. the last week of October the property was done in 10 days, I would come on Fridays and that last friday it was pouring down from the late tropical storm that came through and so I returned on the following Monday. So far in November I was there on 11/3 which took 3 hours, and 11/16 which took 3.5 hours for the leaves.

Customer called our office Thanksgiving day and said we have violated the contract and he is sorry to tell me but don't come back to his property, I have skipped his lawn 3 times in the last 6 weeks..... blahh

This guy is in his mid 50's...from NJ and a hardballing yankee. Ok, yes I did violate the contract I guess to say but it has been very hard on us with all the rain. He is playing it smart, he found a way to get out of the contract so he can save $247.96 a month for November, December, January, and February when there is very little to no work to be done.

How would you handle this situation??
- I have no argument
- I am loosing $1,000 for the rest of the winter which there is not much to do at the property anymore
- I don't want to create an enemy

I told him I had a meeting I was running late for and asked if I could stop by his house in the A.M. to talk to him. I'm not about laying out excuses... I'm considering just showing up taking care of the leaves, when he comes outside I will turn off the blower and say I'm sorry, don't worry there is no charge for this I will explain when I'm through.. and after I do it just again knock on the door and say I'm again very sorry and don't worry about today, the contract is void, I feel I need to make it up to you, and I am also going to come back in 2 weeks and finish up any remaining leaves free of charge. That way yes he is dissatisfied but no longer an enemy or pissed off.





try telling the lawnsite millionaires that lending your money to the customer
is a bad idea.

JohnnyRocker
12-15-2009, 11:58 PM
It's called the law of averages. Do I have to educate you? How many people are in your state?...ya don't have 8 million..do ya?

LOL. IF New Jersey is known for one thing, it's the smell.

JohnnyRocker
12-16-2009, 12:00 AM
Oh, and the whiny ****** bags.

HOOLIE
12-16-2009, 12:59 AM
I only offer 12 month deals for existing customers, running Jan-Dec. This way I've banked 2-3 payments before doing any work actually. This way I'm not acting as their bank. If you run your contracts April-March, you're just setting yourself up for trouble with some customers.

MarcSmith
12-16-2009, 07:43 AM
hoolie, wazzup...

DA Quality Lawn & YS
12-16-2009, 01:35 PM
well the problem with doing it that way is that next year he may try the same thing. this sets a precedent for him to get something for nothing. i would cut my losses and make an addition of a bad weather clause to the contract that says weather permitting. he is not pissed, he is a cheapskate. vince

Yep, what do you have in your contract about bad weather. If nothing, then you don't have much to stand on.

Yater
12-16-2009, 04:26 PM
I only offer 12 month deals for existing customers, running Jan-Dec. This way I've banked 2-3 payments before doing any work actually. This way I'm not acting as their bank. If you run your contracts April-March, you're just setting yourself up for trouble with some customers.

...and you get new customers to go for that? I find that the majority of new customers come in the spring, when the grass starts to grow. I pick up a few every fall during leaf cleanups, but convincing them to pay through the winter (for nothing) is a tough sell....not that I try...

Cboy7
12-16-2009, 06:28 PM
Be more honest with him.

You slacked off and didnt mow it. period. If you couldnt get to it for 3 weeks because of rain , you have too many accounts anyway. sorry about the tough love, but it seems some of you guys get in the lawn business thinking your going to make a killing , and take advantage wherever you can, cutting corners included.

Just tell him you didnt mow it because you were too busy, or that you were too lazy, but dont blame it on the rain.

keep it real.


(these are all my opinions, please dont take it as a personal attack)

kootoomootoo
12-16-2009, 07:56 PM
I only offer 12 month deals for existing customers, running Jan-Dec. This way I've banked 2-3 payments before doing any work actually. This way I'm not acting as their bank. If you run your contracts April-March, you're just setting yourself up for trouble with some customers.

must be convenient to only sell new customers on jan1st. How did you manage to get everyone to call in the middle of winter.......AND ON THE SAME DAY.

ed2hess
12-16-2009, 10:40 PM
must be convenient to only sell new customers on jan1st. How did you manage to get everyone to call in the middle of winter.......AND ON THE SAME DAY.

Yep.....our biggest month is usually in late April or May. It occurs when the regular lawn guy don't show for the year.

JohnnyRocker
12-16-2009, 11:19 PM
Be more honest with him.

You slacked off and didnt mow it. period. If you couldnt get to it for 3 weeks because of rain , you have too many accounts anyway. sorry about the tough love, but it seems some of you guys get in the lawn business thinking your going to make a killing , and take advantage wherever you can, cutting corners included.

Just tell him you didnt mow it because you were too busy, or that you were too lazy, but dont blame it on the rain.

keep it real.


(these are all my opinions, please dont take it as a personal attack)

Rain outs do happen, and it has rained for two days straight before. Idiot.

ALC-GregH
12-16-2009, 11:46 PM
I only offer 12 month deals for existing customers, running Jan-Dec. This way I've banked 2-3 payments before doing any work actually. This way I'm not acting as their bank. If you run your contracts April-March, you're just setting yourself up for trouble with some customers.

...and you get new customers to go for that? I find that the majority of new customers come in the spring, when the grass starts to grow. I pick up a few every fall during leaf cleanups, but convincing them to pay through the winter (for nothing) is a tough sell....not that I try...

the customer is not paying you "for nothing", they are paying you for work you did over the course of the growing season. Hoolie is right on the money, that's how all my full service customers are set up. They actually pay me up front the first couple months plus I get a down payment.

kootoomootoo
12-19-2009, 02:41 PM
the customer is not paying you "for nothing", they are paying you for work you did over the course of the growing season. Hoolie is right on the money, that's how all my full service customers are set up. They actually pay me up front the first couple months plus I get a down payment.

you hope they pay you for work you did over the course of the year.

Yater
12-19-2009, 04:20 PM
the customer is not paying you "for nothing", they are paying you for work you did over the course of the growing season. Hoolie is right on the money, that's how all my full service customers are set up. They actually pay me up front the first couple months plus I get a down payment.

Yeah...so what happens when you sign them in may, cut all summer, and they decide they don't need you anymore after leaf cleanups in november? It's obiously cheaper for them to do this and terminate the contract than to pay you for the full year. You're doing all of the hard work and pro-rating them, hoping they decide to pay you during winter.

hornett22
12-24-2009, 12:25 AM
no contracts here.i do my job,customers are happy.i just got a check for Christmas! i didn't do anything!

i weed out the a$$hats right away.if they are bitchy or whiny,or want free bees all the time,i get rid of them quick.i don't mind little favors once in a while.most customers don't have to ask,i know what they need and it's done.

i don't dish out BS and i don't take it.i am straight up with my customers,reliable and do excellent work.

Golfpro21
01-10-2010, 10:37 AM
You basically said it yourself, forget about it and move on, look there's better
customers out there and now you don't have to put up with their crap,
and since from the sound of things you're not out a lot of money so in ways you
come out smelling like a rose, yes granted they gave you a lame arse excuse but
just be glad these folks didn't really take you to the cleaners and have a great winter!

Well, that is...
You really didn't want to deal with them next year, too, right?
Yup, I didn't think so lol.

Because the problem is once things get this way with a customer, it becomes what I call a hostile relationship.
Doesn't matter the reason, who is right and who is wrong, I don't care because I don't want to deal with folks
under these circumstances as it only brews more trouble.

So, just cross it off the list of things to do, one less thing to worry about, say bye-bye. :waving:

Do you expect to get this kind of treatment if you walk into a store and complain....no....you expect to have the problem resovled....why not try and talk to the customer...explain your views...take his views into account and then move forward.....simply saying screw you and dropping him/accepting him dropping you is a great way to get a bad rep with all his friends/neighbours.......not saying no matter what he is right.....but I have been in customer service for over 25 years (not grass) and you have to bite your tongue, suck it up and appear to understand the customers opinion.

hornett22
01-10-2010, 10:48 AM
this is why i don't do contracts.

OrganicsMaine
01-10-2010, 11:11 AM
For those mid season/mid month new customers, I charge them for the remainder of the current month and the following month up front. The payments are due on the first, with services being discontinued by the 10th unless notified of reason for late payment.....also depends on customer.

Once Jan. 1 rolls around, they are on the annual program and by May 1 I am up about $1000. So my annual contracts are actually front loaded. I do an avg. of 10 snow removals per winter, so I am there a number of times over the winter. Customers get refunds if they cancel before all paid for services are rendered.

There should be an "out" clause for all parties involved.

As for the original post here, I would have checked my records, and if I was owed money, I would bill him, if I owed him, I would refund the money.

I would, however, first try and work it out with the customer. Turning a negative into a positive is a great way to really show how "customer friendly" you are....just don't lose your shirt in the process.

ALC-GregH
01-10-2010, 11:33 AM
Yeah...so what happens when you sign them in may, cut all summer, and they decide they don't need you anymore after leaf cleanups in november? It's obiously cheaper for them to do this and terminate the contract than to pay you for the full year. You're doing all of the hard work and pro-rating them, hoping they decide to pay you during winter.

If they sign in May, they will be put on a pay as you go until the following season. Then I'll get a down payment and the first month in advance. So far I have a very good client list. They WANT to be on a contract so they can balance their budget easier.