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View Full Version : Would you turn down this job?


Darryl G
04-24-2010, 09:13 PM
Ok, I'm thinking of outright turning down this job or requiring payment in full before I even schedule it. Here's the deal:

Got a call for a cleanup and mowing. Single family residential couple miles up the road. Needs a cleanup, fall cleanup obviously wasn't done. Place is rented out and for sale. I had a funny feeling about this guy so I did some research. He has a very very unusual first name and not a very common last name. His phone number is a cell, so no info from that. Looked up his home phone, his address is listed as a PO box. Looked him up on the state small claims site. He's listed there for a case in 2006 for stiffing a real estate appraiser...judgement for the appraiser. 2 other people listed as being his household members also have small claims actions against them.

This is a small job, maybe $200 including disposal. I'm really busy right now and don't think I'd miss the income but really hate to turn down work. I've never asked for 100% payment before doing a job but I think that's the only way I'd do it. But how would I explain why...not like I want to tell him I looked him up and that I don't like his address is a PO box, he's been sued in small claims and so have his family member and I don't trust him.

Is it my imagination, or are there a lot of red flags here?

Pennings Gardens
04-24-2010, 09:35 PM
Not sure how you accept payments, but I would tell him no problem, I just need the credit card number we will be charging this to. With all our small, none regular customers I have their credit card number before we come out so we can charge them as soon as the work is done. Have it as a company policy and no one will have a problem with it.

yardguy28
04-24-2010, 09:36 PM
i don't see that you have to explain the why......

i require at least 50% of the payment ahead on one time jobs such as your explaining. if someone asks why i usually tell them that is my policy. if further questioned about it i politely explain that it avoids anyone not paying me since i have been "burned" before.

if they don't want to pay at least 50% ahead then they are welcome to look elsewhere for someone to do the job. i hate to turn down work too but i don't wanna be working for free either.

berettaz71
04-24-2010, 09:37 PM
i agree with yardguy28.

rjh4758
04-24-2010, 09:46 PM
Just straight tell them that one time services need to be paid in full before work is performed. If he gives any grief about it just explain that you only bill regular or repeat customers after completion. If they are not ok with it then walk, chances are you suspicions are right on then.

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Darryl G
04-24-2010, 09:46 PM
I will sometimes get 50% upfront from people I don't know but I've never asked for 100%. I guess I could double the price and ask for half up front, lol.

And I don't do credit cards.

dwlah
04-24-2010, 11:15 PM
Go with your gut reaction
Better to have customer paid up than having to chase your money down

Darryl G
04-26-2010, 07:34 PM
I talked to this guy yesterday on the phone and gave him a price and told him I'll need a contract and half up front to do it. He said ok but that he won't have the funds til the 6th. I sent out a contract today with an invoice for half of it. I wouldn't be surprised if I never hear back from him. Mind you, this place hasn't had a fall cleanup yet and it's for sale.

Ooomwizard
04-27-2010, 12:20 AM
Wasting your time. Bale out now. Not kidding, not worth the trouble.

In my business 1 time jobs are money LOSERS. Get regular clients and put them on a schedule. Single jobs have to be BIG or pay in advance and pay ALOT.

If you're asking here, your gut knows the answer.

milkie62
04-27-2010, 12:55 AM
Any funny feelings I get from a potential job I just say I am too busy.

Vacation
04-27-2010, 01:54 AM
This is late but for future reference, tell them because you don't have a prior relationship you required 100% up front. Most should have month problem, if they do, you don't want them as a customer
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Charles
04-27-2010, 06:34 AM
I talked to this guy yesterday on the phone and gave him a price and told him I'll need a contract and half up front to do it. He said ok but that he won't have the funds til the 6th. I sent out a contract today with an invoice for half of it. I wouldn't be surprised if I never hear back from him. Mind you, this place hasn't had a fall cleanup yet and it's for sale.

Your research told you would to do. Then the guy confirms that he doesn't have any money. He probably wouldn't have told you that if you didn't ask for 1/2 up front. Why are you willing to risk only being paid 1/2 of what the job will be? 1/2 up front is when a customer has a good back ground check. Cash paid in full before the work is done. You already told him 1/2, so I would just not answer his calls:laugh:

topsites
04-27-2010, 08:13 AM
I had a funny feeling about this guy

That's your gut feeling, and it might be wrong but I dare say it is trying to tell you something.

On another note, you wouldn't want to be the customer who calls me with a yard six months out
from a fall cleanup, I don't hesitate much when it comes to saying it like it is.

I've even been known to head into a yard like that, get half way around the first perimeter pass,
shut my equipment down, load it back up and get on down the road, I hate to say it but it just
smells like one of them kind of jobs... Lots of hard work for the money, which that might not be
so bad except... They might not pay!

So if you really want it, forget the contract and just get the cash upfront, all of it, of course that's
probably over then and there but if it were me I wouldn't stick my neck out, folks can dang well grab a
rake and do it their own dang selves before they go trying to stiff someone out of it.

Peace

K-OS
04-27-2010, 08:18 AM
If you're too busy you don't need 200$ from an iffy customer.

Darryl G
04-27-2010, 08:28 AM
Good points. It's a pretty easy job. Even if I only get half the money I should do OK on it. $200 is on the high side for it. Couple tarps full of leaves, quick blow of remaining leaves onto the turf and mow/bag. The lot is only about 7500 square feet minus 1000 or so for the house.

I did some further checking and it turns out that he works for DCF and is somewhat of a community leader so I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt at this point. I sent out a detailed 2 page contract so I think my exposure is acceptable. I haven't sent out a full contract for a spring cleanup since 2003, but then again most are done for my regular customers.

FastMan
04-27-2010, 10:27 AM
darryl, great detective work! You know, if you accept 50 percent down, there's a good chance that's all your ever going to see. Are you willing to work for half price? I would have asked for full up front, and been happy to walk away if the guy balked at it.

Edit: sorry, didn't see your last post.

FastMan
04-27-2010, 10:35 AM
I did some further checking ,,,,,,,,,, is somewhat of a community leader


So was Ken Lay.

Hawg City Lawns
04-27-2010, 11:34 AM
Any funny feelings I get from a potential job I just say I am too busy.

thats exactly what i do

Yater
04-27-2010, 12:03 PM
Tell the guy that you looked him up and he'll have to pay his debts (list them) before you can do anything. He's a dirtbag....tell him that.

mnglocker
04-27-2010, 01:11 PM
Wasting your time. Bale out now. Not kidding, not worth the trouble.

In my business 1 time jobs are money LOSERS. Get regular clients and put them on a schedule. Single jobs have to be BIG or pay in advance and pay ALOT.

If you're asking here, your gut knows the answer.

This.

I've had the same experience.

BrunoT
04-27-2010, 02:04 PM
If you were an alien studying the earth, would you assume that someone who doesn't have $100 measley bucks in his account is someone who can easily afford a luxury like a lawn service? That this individual was someone who was succesful at managing his finances?

Use that valuable time and energy to go out and find a solid long term customer instead.

Darryl G
04-27-2010, 04:27 PM
I'll let you guys know how it goes. What's done is done at this point and like I said, even if I only get paid the $100 bucks I'll do ok on the job. He originally wanted it mowed on a regular basis but when I told him that would be $10 per mow he said that was too much and he'd just mow it himself....lol..just kidding, I gave him a price of $40/mow. I see jobs like this a little differently than some of you. I consider it more like filler type work/gravy that I sneak in at the end of the day or when I have a gap somewhere. It's not going to be a priority for me and I bet I can knock it out in an hour or so.

FastMan
04-27-2010, 04:54 PM
darryl, you had me going for a second on that $10 gag. First thing I did, before you sprung the beans, was look up at your signature line. "Poor guys been in this game since 2001 and only gets 10 bucks for a lawn?" :laugh: Well done!

Darryl G
04-27-2010, 08:03 PM
LOL, gotcha! My minimum is $40 for new accounts as of last year and I have all my older accounts up to at least that now too.