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SprinklerGuy
10-01-2002, 07:58 PM
What to do:

Right now we are relatively busy. Busy enough that I have been telling all the people who have shown interest in our bids that we are 2-3 weeks out. This usually causes some dismay on their part and I am sure I have lost some jobs due to this. We are not "custom hardscape" installers so it is pretty easy to find a sprinkler installation company to use if our time frame doesn't fit them. Here is the problem.

I signed a lady up for a 5k drip system and granite installation job. We were to start Oct. 10th. in the meantime, I know some people didn't want to wait and found another contractor. Well, this lady called and CANCELLED. She said she found someone else that could start tomorrow. She said her landscaper found someone. She lied, because her landscaper is a friend of mine and said he would never do such a thing.

How do I combat this? If I charge money up front to get on our schedule, some people don't like that. If I don't charge, it is really easy to cancel with us. What to do. Any suggesions?

Bob Minney
10-01-2002, 08:22 PM
They may not like it but if they are serious, they shouldnt have a problem with some sort of non-refundable deposit to get on schedule.
Deposits by credit card seem to make most more comfortable.

What do you do if they cancel late and you dont have a chance to fill that time with another job? You end up eating the time because they didnt keep their word.

DanaMac
10-01-2002, 08:24 PM
Did she give a down payment? Is she in breach of contract? Not that you would want to, but COULD you take her to court for it? Can you make a percentage of the down payment non-refundable in the future? Just describe it to the potential client when giving the bid.

Green Pastures
10-01-2002, 08:49 PM
25% non refundable deposit to get in line.

Scott

MPhillips
10-02-2002, 09:29 AM
is there a way to "start" some of these jobs earlier, and "finish" them later? Can you get out and hook up the manifold in a couple days, for example then flag a week after that...or sub any of it out? Can you sub the trenching?

I always try real hard to figure out ways to accomodate growth, not forcing the growth to accomodate my schedule. It's a good problem you have, congratulations.

Ground Master
10-02-2002, 11:26 AM
tough call, i do know that if you sold her the job in her home that she has 72 hours to back out-----even if she signed her life away. tom

HBFOXJr
10-02-2002, 07:40 PM
You have to get a deposit. Then you know it is sold. Kind of like an engagement. You ain't engaged till there is a ring AND a date to get married. Otherwise it is just an empty comittment.

Here in NJ were can't get more than 10% down legally. Many still do more an no one screams. Yes we have the 3 day rule. Actually here, a deposit is regarded as non-refundable unless it is stated as being refundable. Check your consumer affairs regs who who ever does that in your state(s).

I had one that was a quick sale this spring and a quick bail and I sent the guy $1,500 back.

SprinklerGuy
10-03-2002, 09:06 AM
I had a suggestion from another guy

Get the contract signed, get the deposit...then asap....get someone in to either build the manifold, hang the breaker, hang the timer....something that seems significant. Tell the client that you have several different stages of the project and the highly technical stage gets done right away by "your highly skilled tech". Then call them that night and tell them when you will be there to finish the other stages.

This would satisfy my need to start something when I have the money, and should keep them from cancelling. But will it leave a bad taste in their mouth about you?

Or should I draw up a contract that says: "25% down to place on schedule and order special parts, 10% of which is non-refundable or $100.00 whichever is less"....

My landscaper who referred me there said he went there yesterday and there was a beat up red ford pickup, 2 hispanics that don't speak english, a pile of granite,and misc parts laying around. They were burying the drip tubing about 3 inches down, and installing plastic malibus throughout the yard. (we never discussed this!)

I guess it was a money thing! Lowballers! The scourge of the earth.

HBFOXJr
10-03-2002, 09:51 AM
Originally posted by SprinklerGuy
and installing plastic malibus throughout the yard. (we never discussed this!)

You need to examine your sales approach. Screen hard to start with by asking lots of questions over the phone covering lots of details (like lights-shouldn't you have thought of this) then budget ranges.

I think just a simple deposit on a well sold job is good enough. Getting deposits and cancellations has never been a problem for me over the years. It has occured but not a problem. The deal isn't done till there is a deposit, signed contract and an approximate start date.

DanaMac
10-03-2002, 12:08 PM
OK here is a twist then. If you sign a job, get a deposit and schedule it, and then YOU as the contractor cancel it 2 weeks later, how would they deal with it. Now they have to go through the process again betting bids, wait a few weeks to get on someones schedule and now they are pissed at all landscapers. I have cancelled 2 jobs after signing contracts. Could they file some breach of contract suit and collect some money? Maybe. But they decided to just move on. I cancelled because they were clearly going to be a pain in my ***. More than the rest :D

jimmyburg
10-29-2007, 01:52 PM
if we bid a repair and get contract signed, we collect 1/3 of the cost up front just like a install. they usually dont cancel, but if someone calls in for a repair and then cancel and calls back the price goes up on the parts.

greenworldh20
10-29-2007, 09:05 PM
that's it. why would you want to get a signed contract and head to the house do hang a timer one day, flag the house out the next day, then do trenching one week later?!?

how do you make money visiting a home numerous times?

we get a signed contract and deposit (1/3) before putting client on install calendar. then we do irrigation 'tap out', mark out and install within one week.

brian:cool2:

Wet_Boots
10-29-2007, 09:15 PM
what if you have a two-week backlog?

londonrain
10-29-2007, 09:48 PM
what if you have a two-week backlog?
or have jobs lined up for Jan, Feb of 08....I collect 100% when the job is 100% complete....

Wet_Boots
10-29-2007, 09:58 PM
Money up front = good. That it is the essential binder, under the contract laws of some states, makes it a necessity for many jobs.

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-29-2007, 11:02 PM
5 year old thread guys

jimmyburg
10-30-2007, 10:07 AM
5 year old thread guys

you were not even here five years ago, band wagon jumper

irrig8r
10-30-2007, 01:48 PM
Now, now boys.

Play nice.

I've missed this forum. Since my sprinkler season is slowing down (my preference) and this is the time of year I install more lighting (more demand and less digging when the rains start) I've been spending more time over in the lighting forum...

The thing is, some guys are really sensitive over there, and others like to start flame wars.. sometimes it's even the same ones doing both and then reporting it to the mods.

Threads get shut dozen or disappear like crazy.... :hammerhead:

So why is this place so much more fun by comparison? Do the "strictly lighting" guys take themselves too seriously?

hoskm01
10-30-2007, 02:58 PM
So why is this place so much more fun by comparison? Do the "strictly lighting" guys take themselves too seriously?



Sounds like they are a little "charged up".... I would re-post the arguing on the internet picture again, but Im pretty sure the mods would have it off right quick like last time. Gotta have fun, thats why were here. And a bit of learning.

bigred1
10-30-2007, 10:50 PM
My landscaper who referred me there said he went there yesterday and there was a beat up red ford pickup, 2 hispanics that don't speak english, a pile of granite,and misc parts laying around. They were burying the drip tubing about 3 inches down, and installing plastic malibus throughout the yard. (we never discussed this!)

I guess it was a money thing! Lowballers! The scourge of the earth.[/QUOTE]

Lowballers are a challenge. Don't worry, when the red pick up's warranty is up (you know, as soon as they pull out of the driveway) she'll be back needing your help to clean up the mess. Then you can charge her what you were going to charge her, plus the 20% PIA fee.

gusbuster
10-31-2007, 03:32 AM
Now, now boys.

Play nice.


The thing is, some guys are really sensitive over there, and others like to start flame wars.. sometimes it's even the same ones doing both and then reporting it to the mods.

Threads get shut dozen or disappear like crazy.... :hammerhead:

So why is this place so much more fun by comparison? Do the "strictly lighting" guys take themselves too seriously?

Could be since your talking about electricity which causes fires when not used right, you get the hot heads and on this subject we talk about water so hot heads cool down :laughing: :sleeping: