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View Full Version : Customer Wants a Refund


Hamatsa
10-24-2010, 11:23 PM
Some months ago I had my guys dig and prep a walkway for flagstone. 26 x 4 feet. Laid and tamped 4" of 3/4" and an inch of sand on top. We measured her samples and brought the bed up an inch below the steps and sidewalk. Her bill for the labor and material was $775. She inspected and was happy with the job and paid us promptly.

She called me later that week and wanted me to raise the levels on either end. We did that gratis.

She called me a few weeks later stating that another guy had come in and told her we should of built berms adjacent to the bed. I offered to remedy this for her but she declined.

After 4 months I get the following email;

"Since so much time has passed, you must have concluded I opted to have another crew complete the flagsone walkway at my home.

I appreciate that you said you would return, but upon reflection, I decided that having had two times of working on it and neither one being the proper height, and being borderless, I simply went with someone else whose procedure suited me more appropriately.

This note is to say that he put in more gravel, used your sand, added a border, laid the flagstone, and finished with Gator Dust for a fee of $700 which was less than your $775 for a borderless sand and gravel. I mention this in case you might want to refund a portion of the funds I paid to you for the work your crew did. If so, I would certainly appreciate it, but if not, I could live with that arrangement."

All we did was provide materials and labor and had a handshake agreement.

I did offer to fix whatever she wanted to have fixed at my cost but she declined. I also want to do right.

Your thoughts?

coastallandscapesolutions
10-24-2010, 11:41 PM
I learned a long time ago that you always get them to sign an agreement. With that said what do you feel is fair and will let you sleep at night. You are in this business to make money. You don't wake up every morning thinking that I'll just give some work away today. I personally would not refund the money as long as the work that you did was correct.

WenzelOSLLC
10-24-2010, 11:42 PM
Sounds like you upheld your part of the bargain and shouldn't need to refund her anything.

She sounds like someone who didn't do her homework, has no clue what shes talking about, and listens to whatever a contractor tells her whether its in her best interest or not (not trying to say you were wrong or right, just an observation).

And I wonder if she realized that he might have done it cheaper but he also didn't buy all the materials, just used yours. :hammerhead:

newz7151
10-24-2010, 11:52 PM
well.. given that she says she can live with it.. i mean, just hope she doesn't die soon?

P.Services
10-25-2010, 12:18 AM
Tell her to walk half way down the walk way.....select a stone in the middle of the walk.....remove it carefully.....set it to the side......and pound the effing sand where it once sat !!!!!
Posted via Mobile Device

soloscaperman
10-25-2010, 12:20 AM
There is a third party involved, gosh I wonder what side they are against. Do you mow her lawn? Does she give you a lot of work? Was she a pain in the past? Does she know your other clients??

The 7th sentence sounds like she is saying that the guy told her that you overcharged. She is using reverse psychology stating it's up to you. Worse comes to worse give her credit off for another job. It's a win win.

W.L.M.
10-25-2010, 01:39 AM
Tell her to walk half way down the walk way.....select a stone in the middle of the walk.....remove it carefully.....set it to the side......and pound the effing sand where it once sat !!!!!
Posted via Mobile Device

I'm with you on this one picasso. I had a similar experience and ironically it too was a flagstone job. The job wasn't even mine I worked on it with a friend who runs his own business as well. Well we complete the job even did a few extra things at the end it looked great customer was thrilled etc. They paid immediately on completion and were going to just give him a blank check but he insisted they just fill in the proper amount on scene that day. Well a month passes by and he gets a letter saying that they want a partial refund. Their reason is that he was charging a straight labor rate. They feel that my time wasn't worth as much as his and that you can't charge skilled labor rates for more every person on the job. He responded by telling them that I was just as skilled as anybody else and that I was trained by my fathers company (who even though I don't work for him any longer is the best landscaper in the area) so now that they knew I was a skilled worker they could kindly pound sand.

P.Services
10-25-2010, 02:08 AM
Some peoples kids I swear.
Posted via Mobile Device

Miller Time
10-25-2010, 05:08 PM
Put it behind you and move on. Just remeber your work will speak for itself.

unit28
10-25-2010, 05:53 PM
I don't think the other company had this in their proposel.
Some months ago I had my guys dig and prep a walkway for flagstone
This note is to say that he put in more gravel, used your sand.

Ok you did what you said. If she modified it without any further agreeement between you two.....then it's her dime.

I have a contract they sign that says any modification beyond our agreement will cancel the contract unless it's through an additional work order.

Besides that if anything..... the other company over bid it because they used your material and labor to get the job completed.

You did nothing wrong to satisfy the job.
my .02

WenzelOSLLC
10-25-2010, 07:27 PM
Besides that if anything..... the other company over bid it because they used your material and labor to get the job completed.


I'm guessing this other company did this on purpose, make a little more money while looking like they gave her a better.

Green Team Landscaping
10-25-2010, 07:43 PM
What you have here is a not-so-rare species of biotch. Who in their right mind would pay her back the $25.00 she already paid you when she was satisfied? Like the others said, put it behind you. Obviously an unsatisfied customer will "get to you", but be the better person and realize not everyone is going to be someone you want to do business with.

wurkn with amish
10-25-2010, 07:50 PM
ok I will play the devil's advocate...... Everyone is assuming that your job was fine. Maybe its one of those that looks good at first then crap after a week because of stuff not done right. Just saying pictures say 1000 words. I wouldn't give her the money back tho.....

Craig3
10-27-2010, 12:30 PM
I wouldn't refund the money. IMO once they give the thumbs up on a job and stroke a check there is only so much opportunity for additional free work. If you hadn't dug it, prepped it, brought in and laid sand it would have the second bill would have been much higher.

5starlandscaping
10-27-2010, 11:05 PM
I would just move on. One thing I have learned over the years is that their are a lot of crazy people out their and you can never make everyone happy.

Freshcut Lawn Care
10-31-2010, 11:55 PM
I would just move on. One thing I have learned over the years is that their are a lot of crazy people out their and you can never make everyone happy.

Precisely...Look forward, not backwards!

I have dealt with a few PITA's and it used to bother me (a lot), but I now feel better just moving on.

We have a lot of satisfied customers (you probably do too).

Don't let the cranky ones hold you back or bring you down buddy!

AND BY THE WAY...KEEP THE MONEY...YOU EARNED IT! :canadaflag:

DuallyVette
11-01-2010, 01:16 AM
ok I will play the devil's advocate...... Everyone is assuming that your job was fine. Maybe its one of those that looks good at first then crap after a week because of stuff not done right. Just saying pictures say 1000 words. I wouldn't give her the money back tho.....

I don't do hardscapes, BUT...The OP said that his walkway was measured up and came 1 inch below the existing walkway. Looks like a Good place to trip. So he came back and lifted the edge. Did the edge get lifted gradually or just a foot.

So the customer was delighted at first. Then she tripped over the 1 inch drop (probably) Then her friends pointed out than the new transition was too steep, and that the walkway should have a border. Now she realizes that she doesn't know how (or have the balls) to properly negotiate with a contractor, AND properly oversee the quality, AND know the difference is poop and apple butter. I see contractors in every field that don't know how to do their job properly.

NarNar
11-01-2010, 01:47 AM
Keep what you have earned. Move forward and learn from this. It's very important to have a contract or invoice that states "exactly," what you are going to do- dot your "i's," and cross your "t's," because some people are a rare and natural PITA.

DaytonBioLawns
11-01-2010, 01:55 AM
sounds like every customer I've ever had! lol.

My Momma says " You can't make everyone happy! "

follow that in business and you may come out with a shirt on your back (although it may have pieces missing, or filed to be cut out and sent to A*hole number 2,567,314).

I would not refund. If she is going to file against you, I may refund, but do it by a tracked piece of mail. It will prove that , even if you gave a refund, when she takes you to court for even more, you can cover you own a$$.

Just my opinion

STIHL GUY
11-01-2010, 09:00 PM
dig up the walk and take you supplies back then give her a refund lol

WenzelOSLLC
11-01-2010, 11:41 PM
So the customer was delighted at first. Then she tripped over the 1 inch drop (probably) Then her friends pointed out than the new transition was too steep, and that the walkway should have a border. Now she realizes that she doesn't know how (or have the balls) to properly negotiate with a contractor, AND properly oversee the quality, AND know the difference is poop and apple butter. I see contractors in every field that don't know how to do their job properly.

Unless I misread it, I think he said he left if low so flagstone could be laid on top, which would end up being level with the existing walk. But I may be wrong.

DuallyVette
11-02-2010, 09:59 AM
Unless I misread it, I think he said he left if low so flagstone could be laid on top, which would end up being level with the existing walk. But I may be wrong.

Maybe...read it again. He and his crew came back and adjusted the hright at the trtansition...FREE.

LR3
11-05-2010, 06:24 PM
Tell her to walk half way down the walk way.....select a stone in the middle of the walk.....remove it carefully.....set it to the side......and pound the effing sand where it once sat !!!!!
Posted via Mobile Device

bahahahahaha, that made me spit ice tea on my keyboard. I was not expecting that. Thumbs Up

oldclawn
11-29-2010, 10:12 PM
we're all missing something here---how in the world can anyone provide materials and labor for 104 sq feet for only $775.00--I'm totally at a loss here----in our area that would easily--done PROPERLY go for 12 to 15 $ per sq ft

Buck_wheat
11-30-2010, 07:02 AM
Some months ago I had my guys dig and prep a walkway for flagstone. 26 x 4 feet. Laid and tamped 4" of 3/4" and an inch of sand on top. We measured her samples and brought the bed up an inch below the steps and sidewalk. Her bill for the labor and material was $775. She inspected and was happy with the job and paid us promptly.

She called me later that week and wanted me to raise the levels on either end. We did that gratis.

She called me a few weeks later stating that another guy had come in and told her we should of built berms adjacent to the bed. I offered to remedy this for her but she declined.

After 4 months I get the following email;

"Since so much time has passed, you must have concluded I opted to have another crew complete the flagsone walkway at my home.

I appreciate that you said you would return, but upon reflection, I decided that having had two times of working on it and neither one being the proper height, and being borderless, I simply went with someone else whose procedure suited me more appropriately.

This note is to say that he put in more gravel, used your sand, added a border, laid the flagstone, and finished with Gator Dust for a fee of $700 which was less than your $775 for a borderless sand and gravel. I mention this in case you might want to refund a portion of the funds I paid to you for the work your crew did. If so, I would certainly appreciate it, but if not, I could live with that arrangement."

All we did was provide materials and labor and had a handshake agreement.

I did offer to fix whatever she wanted to have fixed at my cost but she declined. I also want to do right.

Your thoughts?

Is there anything you have in writting from her that says you completed the job.. perhaps on her check?

I wouldn't refund a dime, you have to have receipts of material costs, labor, fuel, etc.

And for the future... SIGNED AGREEMENTS! It's like people on this site are afraid to ask for paper outlining everybodies responsibilities... shaking hands is like shaking your P-P after taking a leak.