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View Full Version : You didn't clean my gutters!


Landmark
12-18-2004, 06:02 PM
I usually don't post much as you can see, however I need some advise or comments if I handled this situaton OK. This new customer call and wants his gutters cleaned, no problem go the same day clean them out by hand, too wet to blow, about a 30 min. job. I just sent him a bill for the service and instead of payment he sends a note saying I did not clean the gutters they were still full. He had to hire someone else who coincidentally came later the same day. He said he got up on the roof and saw they were still full. I am totally blown away by this, because I know for fact I cleaned them out. If I sent a worker maybe I would have some doubts but not in this case. So I called him up and he just kept saying the same thing over and over how they were not cleaned out at all. Finally realizing that I would not get anywhere with this I just said forget the charge its onlt $40.00 not a big hit for me. I still fell like I have been cheated not to mention being accused of being dishonest. What could I have done differently?

packerbacker
12-18-2004, 06:12 PM
That sucks. Did you leave anything on the door when you were done? I guess it really doesnt matter, if he doesnt believe you and he didnt physically see you there then you cant do anything about it. I would try to find out who was there that afternoon and call them up and talk to them about it. Find out why they lied to the guy.

jim dailey
12-18-2004, 06:14 PM
I usually don't post much as you can see, however I need some advise or comments if I handled this situaton OK. This new customer call and wants his gutters cleaned, no problem go the same day clean them out by hand, too wet to blow, about a 30 min. job. I just sent him a bill for the service and instead of payment he sends a note saying I did not clean the gutters they were still full. He had to hire someone else who coincidentally came later the same day. He said he got up on the roof and saw they were still full. I am totally blown away by this, because I know for fact I cleaned them out. If I sent a worker maybe I would have some doubts but not in this case. So I called him up and he just kept saying the same thing over and over how they were not cleaned out at all. Finally realizing that I would not get anywhere with this I just said forget the charge its onlt $40.00 not a big hit for me. I still fell like I have been cheated not to mention being accused of being dishonest. What could I have done differently?

If you feel that there is no mix-up with the address, call and make an appointment to visit. When there, go over the job with the gentleman. If all is ok so far, tell him that you did your best, greet him with "Happy Holidays" and ask the ass to never call you again...you have been had. Walk away and call it a lesson learned. And, "Happy Holidays" to you...jim.

Rick Jones
12-18-2004, 06:26 PM
...I would try to find out who was there that afternoon and call them up and talk to them about it. Find out why they lied to the guy...

I'd say it's unlikely there was another guy there.

ProMo
12-18-2004, 06:32 PM
I would have told the guy to show me the invoice from the other guy or hes getting a lien on the property

jim dailey
12-18-2004, 06:34 PM
I'd say it's unlikely there was another guy there.

That's why you want permission to come over and see what was done "by the other guy." You should be able to tell if the job is the same as you left it. And his response to you asking to come over will tell you something, also. Wide-open eyes and ears can tell you an awful lot. DO NOT argue with the guy, but let him do a lot of talking. MAYBE he will tell you all the information you will need to know, without realizing it himself. Whatever, do not get into a confrontation with him. If need be, let him feel like he has won. Then just walk away and count your blessing for not having him as a regular customer.

bobbygedd
12-18-2004, 06:53 PM
take a ride over, ask him to come out, pull a piece of the gutter off and smack him him in the head with it, repeatedly, while saying, "does this look clean, does this look clean, does this look clean.....". i don't know why u guys have so many problems with your customers, i have been in business 5 years, and have had zero problems to date

Landmark
12-18-2004, 07:09 PM
This is what I did. I wrote him a note stating that I did the job, how I did it, and how long it took. Perhaps he had different expectations of what it should look like and how long it should take (he was home at the time, I talked to him before I started) There may have been a needle or two in the gutters, we usually scoop them out by hand or blow if they are dry. Needless to say his were wet and did not look as if they had been cleaned in a while. My lesson learned if he wanted them hosed out or whatever, we should have gone over that before I started. Bottom line is he said they were completely full and that I never touched them. That is BS. My letter was professional and not confrontational but yet stating that I did do the work.

pjslawncare/landscap
12-18-2004, 07:12 PM
take a ride over, ask him to come out, pull a piece of the gutter off and smack him him in the head with it, repeatedly, while saying, "does this look clean, does this look clean, does this look clean.....". i don't know why u guys have so many problems with your customers, i have been in business 5 years, and have had zero problems to date
LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sir mowsalot
12-18-2004, 07:35 PM
I usually don't post much as you can see, however I need some advise or comments if I handled this situaton OK. This new customer call and wants his gutters cleaned, no problem go the same day clean them out by hand, too wet to blow, about a 30 min. job. I just sent him a bill for the service and instead of payment he sends a note saying I did not clean the gutters they were still full. He had to hire someone else who coincidentally came later the same day. He said he got up on the roof and saw they were still full. I am totally blown away by this, because I know for fact I cleaned them out. If I sent a worker maybe I would have some doubts but not in this case. So I called him up and he just kept saying the same thing over and over how they were not cleaned out at all. Finally realizing that I would not get anywhere with this I just said forget the charge its onlt $40.00 not a big hit for me. I still fell like I have been cheated not to mention being accused of being dishonest. What could I have done differently?

What you should have done differently is leave the bags of crap you got out of the gutter as proof you were there. That is what i always do, because i actually had this same problem before. But then again, he would have just removed the bags of stuff and said they were never there to begin with. Maybe next time take a digital camera before and after photos.

hockeygoalie
12-18-2004, 07:53 PM
Let it go. I dont think I would let a deadbeat take any more of my time. Just remember him and the address, so you dont get burned again.

lawnwizards
12-18-2004, 08:11 PM
i'd take the stuff i took from his gutters and give it back to him. then tell him since you didn't do any work that you thought he'd want his stuff back.

grshppr
12-18-2004, 08:25 PM
lawnwizards you took the words right out of my mouth :D

yrdandgardenhandyman
12-18-2004, 08:27 PM
take a ride over, ask him to come out, pull a piece of the gutter off and smack him him in the head with it, repeatedly, while saying, "does this look clean, does this look clean, does this look clean.....". i don't know why u guys have so many problems with your customers, i have been in business 5 years, and have had zero problems to date



Zero plus 6,440 problems you mean. You post more problems here than anyone else I've seen. But I still love ya man. Fun to read and you got guts I guess. If nothing else, you give food for thought. I've had some of the same problems you've had. I handled them a bit different but then the rural type here has a different attitude than the Joisy types. Keep 'em comming brother.

payup

ofishil
12-18-2004, 08:59 PM
i say park in front of his house with a big sign saying "Waiting for $40 payment".

the scaper
12-18-2004, 09:07 PM
weather you left stuff in the gutter or not, the customer was definitely in the wrong. He hired you to do the job and if it was not to his satisfaction he should have called you and given you the opportunity to correct the situation. Since he did otherwise he has no justification to not pay you for your effort. I know I would at least be knocking on his door and telling him this to his face until I either run out of breath or he comes off with a check. I learned this technique from others on the board here who never have customer problems Btw

tonygreek
12-18-2004, 09:15 PM
are you sure that you cleaned gutters at the correct address?

one of my local siding competitors (one of the largest companies in the US) sent out their sub crew to reside a house. problem was they removed all of the old T111 siding from a house on the other side of the street before the error was caught. nothing beats a $25k error..... ;)

the scaper
12-18-2004, 09:29 PM
are you sure that you cleaned gutters at the correct address?

one of my local siding competitors (one of the largest companies in the US) sent out their sub crew to reside a house. problem was they removed all of the old T111 siding from a house on the other side of the street before the error was caught. nothing beats a $25k error..... ;)
Wow, The address is definitely the first thing to confirm as for the gutter situation. Thats why I always confirm my addresses. If theres no numbers on the mailbox I wont even get out of the truck.

lawnwizards
12-18-2004, 09:31 PM
are you sure that you cleaned gutters at the correct address?

one of my local siding competitors (one of the largest companies in the US) sent out their sub crew to reside a house. problem was they removed all of the old T111 siding from a house on the other side of the street before the error was caught. nothing beats a $25k error..... ;)25k for removing T111? remind me not to hire them for any work.

tonygreek
12-18-2004, 09:43 PM
25k was the sale price of the job (obviously straight cost is different), but the T111 was destroyed, therefore... new siding had to be installed.

and no, you don't want to hire them for work. ;)

lawnwizards
12-18-2004, 09:47 PM
25k was the sale price of the job (obviously straight cost is different), but the T111 was destroyed, therefore... new siding had to be installed.

and no, you don't want to hire them for work. ;)
what size house was this? (sq ft.) were they gonna do a complete tear down and reframe for that price?

leafitalawn
12-18-2004, 09:53 PM
I've actually had three of those type of customers as well this year alone. On all of the jobs I was present and I know that they were done, and done right. Two of my customers told me that I am dishonest and they don't want to do business with me anymore.
It's not the money that bothered me so much, but the fact that they called me a liar. All that I can say is that I hope that nothing bad happens to their yards, you know, some people would find a way to retaliate. These people should know this, especially when the people they are p***ing off know where they live.

Tn Lawn Man
12-18-2004, 10:14 PM
I would have told the guy to show me the invoice from the other guy or hes getting a lien on the property

Exactly!!!!

It is highly suspicious that he had another guy come over late that VERY day.

There is more to the story than what he is telling you.

Make him show you the invoice or.....www.olddebts.com ding his credit.

the scaper
12-18-2004, 10:30 PM
The other guy was probably himself and he was looking for anything he could find for an excuse to keep that money in his own selfish pocket.

jim dailey
12-18-2004, 10:46 PM
take a ride over, ask him to come out, pull a piece of the gutter off and smack him him in the head with it, repeatedly, while saying, "does this look clean, does this look clean, does this look clean.....". i don't know why u guys have so many problems with your customers, i have been in business 5 years, and have had zero problems to date

So, now it's Booby Chameleon !!!

yrdandgardenhandyman
12-18-2004, 10:58 PM
I've actually had three of those type of customers as well this year alone. On all of the jobs I was present and I know that they were done, and done right. Two of my customers told me that I am dishonest and they don't want to do business with me anymore.
It's not the money that bothered me so much, but the fact that they called me a liar. All that I can say is that I hope that nothing bad happens to their yards, you know, some people would find a way to retaliate. These people should know this, especially when the people they are p***ing off know where they live.


Are all these people associated with each other? Sounds like you are identified as an easy mark. I think you need to get serious with these people. There are those that would retaliate with vandalism. Not recommended but leans on the property and small claims actions are. Don't worry about getting a bad rep. The good people will not be deterred but the bums and deadbeats will. And you'll retain your self respect. If they know you'll sue for $40.00 then this kind will avoid you. Some of these people figure you won't sue because they think it won't be worth it to you for 40 bucks. It will be worth it because you won't have to work for free for these people. Show them different and then sit back and watch the paper for reports of vandalism when they skunk a scrub who's doing it cheap for beer and dope money.
Treat your good customers like royality and the deadbeats like deadbeats. You should have been allowed to correct any deficiencies, real or imagined by the customer. :rolleyes: I think you were taken. Good luck.

STAN1366
12-18-2004, 11:55 PM
I usually don't post much as you can see, however I need some advise or comments if I handled this situaton OK. This new customer call and wants his gutters cleaned, no problem go the same day clean them out by hand, too wet to blow, about a 30 min. job. I just sent him a bill for the service and instead of payment he sends a note saying I did not clean the gutters they were still full. He had to hire someone else who coincidentally came later the same day. He said he got up on the roof and saw they were still full. I am totally blown away by this, because I know for fact I cleaned them out. If I sent a worker maybe I would have some doubts but not in this case. So I called him up and he just kept saying the same thing over and over how they were not cleaned out at all. Finally realizing that I would not get anywhere with this I just said forget the charge its onlt $40.00 not a big hit for me. I still fell like I have been cheated not to mention being accused of being dishonest. What could I have done differently?

After re-reading your post, I'd say you should make sure you were at the right house. It's worth a shot. You might have made an honest mistake and gone to the wrong house.

Landmark
12-19-2004, 12:18 AM
I appreciate all the reply's and trust me I had thought of all the things that have been said. I did have the right house as I had talked to the guy before I began work. He was there and he knew I was doing the work. Anyhow my season's over I need to let it go, but it sure is a sour way to end the year having someone call me dishonest.

Tvov
12-19-2004, 01:06 AM
He was there and he knew I was doing the work. .


Wow. God I love this business!

Landmark
12-19-2004, 01:17 AM
Sometimes I wonder do people do this to other service industries or just us. I've been in business for 12 years and this particular time is a first to me. I think the least he could of done is call me and show me what I did not do. He said since his roof was leaking (you could see the missing shingles) that it was an emergancy so he called someone else. The roof leak has nothing to do with the gutters except for that fact that whoever he called must have said that the gutters were not clean. He says he got up on the roof and saw this too. I really think he is full of crap but like I said time to move on to better things.

Kelly's Landscaping
12-19-2004, 02:13 AM
I personally do not do the phone calls in my company for a reason. This customer is a liar and I would have ripped into him so badly on the phone his ass would have bled. For starters he said they were not done so he had to have some one else do them. Bull crap no way did he find someone else the same day and have it done after you left. If he had contracted to you and he felt they were not done then he if he was honest would have figured you had not come by yet. But this guy got someone else he is a liar he stiffed you and if you are dumb enough to keep him as a customer he will do it to you again. Itís who he is. Knowing you were going to get burned and he was not going to pay why not rip into him and at least have some fun with the prick. No questions asked you were set up and that pisses me off I hate people that do that and have no mercy for them.

Landmark
12-19-2004, 03:00 AM
I couldn't agree with you more. He is not a regular customer, a one time job the son of one of my customers. Like I said this has never really happened before, not this bad. My regular customers are great and do not treat me this way. Ye I did bite my tongue not getting into it with him.

Landmark
01-03-2005, 01:37 PM
Just wanted to give an update. As I said earlier I sent a letter to that customer and about a few days later I got a check in the mail for the full amount plus an apology. Not sure if he felt guilty or what but at least I got paid and the satisfaction that I think he knew I was not lying.

afftandem
01-21-2005, 02:16 AM
He had someone else do it that day for him.. what did he do??? call two people and had you both come out the same day for the same job. The way you make it sound is that he wasnt home at the time of the job.. so im assuming that he came in after work (or sumthn) and called someone else... not likely to get anyone else that very same day... You know you cleaned it.. charge him!... threaten him with small claims (youll win if you have to go) and explain to him that he'll have to pay and administration and court fee, plus youll add on lost wages for the time in court and his gutter cleaning will be in the neighborhood of $200 when its all over..

the guy ripped you off for a free job..

promower
01-21-2005, 03:18 AM
Thats cool you got paid but I bet the apology was worth more then the $40. He knew he was wrong, and he knew that you knew he was wrong.

PMLAWN
01-21-2005, 09:37 AM
afftandem---Did you read the last post by Landmark-1/03/05- He got payed

Good going Landmark

Re post #7-- Bobby, I always enjoy reading your stuff but this time was the best--Zero Problems. LMAO.