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View Full Version : ever threatened by a customer?


bobbygedd
11-03-2004, 02:01 PM
while i was cleaning leaves, my buddy stopped to chat. he's been in business 15 yrs. does excellent work, and gets top dollar. he has a customer that's been with him 10 yrs. he was charging $300 a month for full service. he notices client acting weird lately, complaining about nothing, etc. customer had a big pool put in the back yard, then calls and says he expects his grasscutting fee to go down, cus there is less grass. my friend explains that it will not go down, it is now harder and more time consuming to cut because of the obsticle. fine. he mailed the bill for monthly fee of $300. he recieved a cancelation notice, and a check for only $50. note:" if i were you, i'd accept this as payment in full. a phone call to the irs will cost you a hell of a lot more than $250." now, my friend is afraid to pursue his money. he keeps everything on the up and up, and has no fear of being caught doing something illegal, but feels that the cost of representation will be alot more than $250. and, if by chance they find anything wrong, he's afraid of fines etc. would you drop it?

chevyman1
11-03-2004, 02:06 PM
wow that is one tough letter to tackle....so I take it he wasn't keeping that guy off the books right? 10 yrs of being a customer and then this? sounds like there was very little rapport or a breakdown in communication happened along the way...man I feel bad for him

MMLawn
11-03-2004, 02:12 PM
BobbyG, If it were me I give him 3 options and would let him know that I couldn't care less if he called the IRS (I've been learning from you..lol)


a) Pay me my money and our business will be finished

b) I'll report your attempted Blackmail to the POlice

c) I'll whip your @ss for threatening me and you will still owe me $250

wagner17
11-03-2004, 02:26 PM
That is a tough one...the one thing that your buddy has going for him is the fact that he does have it in writing. I would take a copy of the bill and the note to the police first and see where that gets him. If he knows anybody, and I mean anybody who is a friend and is an attorney I would show them the material and possibly have them draft a letter. They may advise him to drop it or pursue it, but I could never let something like that go.

Tobruk79
11-03-2004, 02:29 PM
I would not drop it. If he does everything legal and pays his taxes he owes it to himself to get paid, even if it costs him more. With the way you've handled theft of service, seems like a real easy case. Regardless honest men should not allow themselves to be stolen from. Then again I am young, idealistic and naive, and its not my money.

65hoss
11-03-2004, 02:30 PM
Beat the customer to the IRS punch. The end of the year is soon. Send the customer a 1099 for the $250. Since he didn't pay it, its considered income to the customer. He received something without paying for it. A copy goes to the IRS, and if he doesn't report it on his income tax return he has his own trouble to deal with.

Norm Al
11-03-2004, 02:30 PM
if he is doing nothing wrong then why would he fear the IRS.....the irs doesnt just come after people anymore, they have to have a legitimate reason and he would just represent himself!

MMLawn
11-03-2004, 02:41 PM
Beat the customer to the IRS punch. The end of the year is soon. Send the customer a 1099 for the $250. Since he didn't pay it, its considered income to the customer. He received something without paying for it. A copy goes to the IRS, and if he doesn't report it on his income tax return he has his own trouble to deal with.


That is GOOD!! and can certainly be done that way! I'd give you another point there Hoss if they weren't gone! :p

Aproct
11-03-2004, 02:50 PM
Hoss,

I like your idea, but under the IRS guidelines, a 1099-Misc doesn't need to be reported to the IRS unless it is more than $600.....

I really do like your creative thoughts though....

cutnedge
11-03-2004, 02:55 PM
Blackmail pure and simple. With the letter and the check I would seek out an atty. that offers free consultation in such matters.No way would I let this one get away that easily.

65hoss
11-03-2004, 03:13 PM
That is GOOD!! and can certainly be done that way! I'd give you another point there Hoss if they weren't gone! :p


Thanks, some days I did like the point thing. :cool2:

65hoss
11-03-2004, 03:18 PM
Hoss,

I like your idea, but under the IRS guidelines, a 1099-Misc doesn't need to be reported to the IRS unless it is more than $600.....

I really do like your creative thoughts though....

Doesn't need to be reported, but it still can be. hahaha.
Can't you see the look on his face when he got the 1099? haha. Heck it would be worth the $250 just to know you took his idea and it backfired on him. :cool:

I actually did this one time several years ago. It worked great. It didn't effect me any, but the phone call from the chick was priceless. "You mean I have to pay taxes on this as income?" Boy did she get mad. Life's little pleasures are wonderful. :waving:

tiedeman
11-03-2004, 03:21 PM
good thinking hoss, but like mentioned above, I do believe it has to be $600 or greater, at least last time I checked it was.

Pecker
11-03-2004, 03:59 PM
Never leave a threat (not even an idle threat) idle! Since he threatened the LCO, the LCO needs to retaliate with action twice as nasty.

PS: refer to my signature.

Ability
11-03-2004, 04:00 PM
Another member of lawnsite stated that they use olddebts.com to put a ding on their credit rating. I have been waiting for a customer not to pay so that I can try this out.

Maybe this would be a good time for him to try it.

JustMowIt
11-03-2004, 04:08 PM
If that customer thinks your friend is cheating the IRS, there is a good chance he, himself is cheating, so just say OK, we will trade calls.

bobbygedd
11-03-2004, 04:15 PM
norm of course i understand you live to disagree with me. this guy keeps everything in such organized, orderly , legitimate fashion, i doubt there is anything they can get him on. he won't even accept cash for a $25 lawncut, it all has to go into his account. but, reguardless of wether or not yo are guilty....ok, norm, i know you're not a rapist, but would you like to be accused as being one, and have to prove otherwise? i wouldn't. and i certainly would not represent myself if accused, or was being investigated in any crime. he feels the anguish and cost of going thru an investigation, innocent or not, is not worth the $250. i would put this one on a shelf for like 2 yrs, then, well......you know

Moe Fish
11-03-2004, 04:59 PM
Letter back to Customer

Mr. so and so
I received you cancellation notice along with you partial payment and you threat. Frankly I donít understand it but I accept the fact that you chose to cancel.
However, I expect the additional $250 for services already rendered by xx/xx/xx or I will consider your account delinquent and it will go to collections. Youíre letter should help you case when we end up in court for the $250 + cost of collecting it and my lawyers fees but, I see no reason it should come to this after 10 years of service.

Send it registered mail with a return receipt so he has to sign for it and you know when he got it

Lux Lawn
11-03-2004, 05:25 PM
Hoss65

Thats a great idea I have two customers that I can see myself doing that to right now.

Bring back the points for Hoss :blob3:

Norm Al
11-03-2004, 05:40 PM
bobby i dont live to disagree with you,,,,,you start stuff and i push,,,,,your suposed to push back like you just did,,,,,and then we are having a conversation and before you know it, a thread breaks out and before you know it strippers an beer are involved and before you know it we actually solved something rather than just asking questions!:)

DennisF
11-03-2004, 05:50 PM
Lean the property if the state allows it. Nothing opens up a customer's wallet faster than a property lean.

Branchland
11-03-2004, 06:33 PM
If there was a contract I'd persue it no matter what. If He threatens calling the IRS I'd threaten him with the court system. If no contract I'd still try to bluff him about the court system and use a collection agency. It can go both ways. But if he's on the up and up then go for it.

chimmygew
11-03-2004, 06:36 PM
I would either threaten him with turning him into the cops for blackmail or put a lien on his house. After I got the lien, I would make a copy of it and take to him. While I handed it to him, I would have my buddy in the truck with a camcorder well hidden in case he did something.

NNJLandman
11-03-2004, 06:41 PM
Of course, forget about the $250.00 then call your buddy Bobby Gedd to come in and take care of things, a little round up here some more there truck tires through the yard over there :)

Brianj
11-03-2004, 07:17 PM
spray nasty words in his yard with roundup..... sometimes u have to take it as a loss but u know u will never do businesss with him again.. sounds like to that there is something else the customer got mad at.. but as usal takes it out on the lawn man :blob3:

fixer67
11-03-2004, 08:02 PM
If every thing is on the up and up I would call the IRS and show the letter to the police. DO NOT cash that check if you do it is as good as saying you are OK with what has happen and you can do nothing.

lawnman_scott
11-03-2004, 08:43 PM
I would laugh at him about the IRS, call the police (even though this is a waste of time), and sue him. If he gave a note that says that, it should go his way in court.

impactlandscaping
11-03-2004, 10:10 PM
If every thing is on the up and up I would call the IRS and show the letter to the police. DO NOT cash that check if you do it is as good as saying you are OK with what has happen and you can do nothing.


Exactly..don't cash that check as a "partial payment". It won't stand in court as unpaid debt if you cash it. Basically you are agreeing to an end to the work by cashing the check. Take it to circut court and file for theft of service and harrassment.Forget magistrate court with a chump like this.

lafrance4078
11-03-2004, 10:43 PM
I'm sure that Bobby will come over there and will work for your friend for a small fee. I feel sure that the customer will then see things in favor of your friend. Oh, and make sure that you also bill for the broken shovel when Bobby is done.

cleancutccl
11-03-2004, 11:02 PM
This is a little after the fact, but anyway, for a 1099-MISC you MUST report any amounts $600 and more, but you can report any amount less than that if you want to. Trust me I prepare taxes for HR Block and just went through their tax course.

lawnman_scott
11-03-2004, 11:07 PM
This is a little after the fact, but anyway, for a 1099-MISC you MUST report any amounts $600 and more, but you can report any amount less than that if you want to. Trust me I prepare taxes for HR Block and just went through their tax course.
Dont you need a ss# to put on the 1099 though? I dont know how many customers give that to the lawn guy.

tx_angler
11-04-2004, 12:31 AM
Bobby, Aren't you in North Jersey? Nuff said?

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