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View Full Version : $500 deposit. refund or none?


bobbygedd
11-18-2004, 08:47 AM
i go to the house, we discuss the work. mulch, a few plants, cut out a few beds. the price is 2 grand. i get $500 down, we are set to start monday. monday comes. we begin defining the beds, dig the holes for the plants.....the cell phone rings, it's her, "wait, i want to change the plan. did you buy the plants yet? i decided i don't want the plants. meet me at my house later today." ABORT JOB IMMEDIATELY, move on to next. she calls later, how cum i'm not there to meet with her. i tell her we can discuss anything she wants on the phone, she screwed up my schedule, changed the plan after the job started, and cost me money. she becomes insulted over this. she says she wants to change the plan, eliminating all the new shrubbery, and 2 of the new beds (we already cut out). i said yea, ok, it's gonna cost the same. i already dug out the new beds, and holes for 12 plants, now i have to undue what i did. she says no way. i say ok :waving: . she demands refund. i laugh at her, tell her no can do. does she get a refund? will this client ever have me back to do more work?

geogunn
11-18-2004, 08:59 AM
BOBBY WEASEL--what does your contract say regarding cancelation and refunds?

whatever your contract says, do it and quit worrying about it.

GEO

Mo Green
11-18-2004, 09:08 AM
How log did she have between the agreement you made with her and the day you started working? If she had more than a week to think about what the plan was, I wouldn't give her anything. If she wants to make changes, fine. Charge her for them, as well as fixing what has already been done.

bobbygedd
11-18-2004, 09:12 AM
it was like 2 weeks i think. this happened a while back. well geo, as luck would have it, my contract doesn't state a cancelation policy. it also doesn't state what we will do in the event a meteor crashes on the site while working, or the policy involving a stampede of wildabeasts over the shrubbery, while on the front lawn, and not yet installed.

geogunn
11-18-2004, 09:34 AM
well geo, as luck would have it, my contract doesn't state a cancelation policy. it also doesn't state what we will do in the event a meteor crashes on the site while working, or the policy involving a stampede of wildabeasts over the shrubbery, while on the front lawn, and not yet installed.

hmmmm...... when I write a contract, I have a cancelation clause and it spells out what happens if cancalation happens. it is very clear.

as for meteors and wildebeasts.......I dunno. would they be covered under the "unknown site conditions" clause?

GEO

tonygreek
11-18-2004, 09:46 AM
i think you've got 2 threads going regarding cancellations and none going on meteors smashing into your client's lawn. obviously, you need to add one.

she gave you a deposit, you began the work, including cutting out beds. doesn't sound like someone you want as an ongoing client, nor would i wager the $500 that she would jump to use you given the current climate. i'd explain to her the scheduling issues, the work done, and the meaning of the word "deposit". tell her you'll give her $500 worth of work, but change orders on what that would be will be surcharged. speaking of, with your landscape installs, add a change order clause (fee-based) to your contracts to cover these scenarios.

tony

walker-talker
11-18-2004, 10:05 AM
Give her the option for paying for what you have done, what it will take to un-do and what she wants you to do. If not, cancel and "pro-rate" the work you have done...tell her it's going to cost her x.xx to un-do it and move on. Will she have you back..I doubt it, then again, I doubt you would want her back. Doesn't sound like I would, especially if she is bickering about the financials.

chevyman1
11-18-2004, 10:17 AM
Bobby just be careful with the reputation you might be building in the neighborhoods you work in. Regardless if you are right, perception wins out often times and if any of these people carry and weight, they will spread the word making you 'look like the bad guy' whether you are or not....such a tough line. But bad press could kill you

HighGrass
11-18-2004, 10:28 AM
Whatever work has been done, deduct from the deposit. If there is enough in the deposit to un-do what you did, do that as well and refund what's left over, if any.
If there isn't any left over to un-do the original work, simply write up an invoice regarding work done, show a balance owed, and send it, certified mail to the customer with a courtesy copy clearly being sent to your lawyer.

bobbygedd
11-18-2004, 12:58 PM
i gave no refund. when she started toying with me, the prices went up on the services already completed. i called it a wash at 5 bills. did she have me back? YES, in fact i aerated +seeded the grass for $300. got $400 for a leaf cleanup. and have a $3,000 maint contract with her for 2005 season. there you have it.

GreenMonster
11-18-2004, 01:38 PM
This simply proves that you should change your contract to read 50% deposit for all landscape work. then, you'd have a cool grand in your pocket payup :)

KathysLGC
11-18-2004, 02:31 PM
What you should of done is hit her with the cancellation surcharge!! :D

lawnman_scott
11-18-2004, 03:41 PM
hmmmm...... when I write a contract, I have a cancelation clause and it spells out what happens if cancalation happens. it is very clear.

as for meteors and wildebeasts.......I dunno. would they be covered under the "unknown site conditions" clause?

GEOMeteor would be an "act of God".

jwholden
11-18-2004, 03:59 PM
Bobby,

Your bringing me down with all these stories about customers trying to rip you off. Your right, some do try to get away with more than they should.

Could you share some happy stories with us. Have you ever gotten a referral from your clients because you do such good work? Have you ever overestimated the time involved on a job and had an easy day with a hard days pay? Have your employees ever gone beyond the call of duty for you?

Every one of your stories makes an excellent point, but you must have atleast one customer who hasn't tried to rip you off.

Thanks,

John

WigginsLandscaping
11-18-2004, 04:07 PM
Bobby,
You make me laugh. I do simpithize with the situation but I think that I would have done my best to meet her because it sounded to me like she still wanted you to do work for her. You only had a couple hundred in the job that i believe you could have creatively got back with whatever she wanted done. I agree that you should get paid for you work. I just think that you blew the opportunity to make the money back. In the future or immediately. I may not be getting all the facts but i always "Try" to listen to people and to make them happy. I am surprised you dont starve with the way you treat people. Down south we cant treat people like that. We are a service orriented business and the majority of our work is by word of mouth. Just my opinion.

bobbygedd
11-18-2004, 04:28 PM
yea, didn't you read my thread titled: "do you think she was hitting on me?" that was a positive one. i do get referells, i do get compliments too. i even get tips. ok, i'll start a new thread, a positive one.

olderthandirt
11-18-2004, 05:04 PM
Charge her the full price and if she does not pay sue her for breach of contract

Mac