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  #1  
Old 10-07-2012, 03:32 PM
goinggreen123 goinggreen123 is offline
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Stealing customers?

I use to work for a very big company I was the head man incharge of well over 120 accounts. My customers loved me and I loved them. I am no longer working for the company and starting my own business. Is it legal to talk to my old customers into going with my company? I know its wrong but the person who owns the company deserves it.
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  #2  
Old 10-07-2012, 03:37 PM
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cgaengineer cgaengineer is offline
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In my opinion it would be wrong, but you could give your customers the heads up that you switched companies or started your own.
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  #3  
Old 10-07-2012, 03:38 PM
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Greg78 Greg78 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goinggreen123 View Post
I use to work for a very big company I was the head man incharge of well over 120 accounts. My customers loved me and I loved them. I am no longer working for the company and starting my own business. Is it legal to talk to my old customers into going with my company? I know its wrong but the person who owns the company deserves it.
If you didn't sign a non-compete agreement then it is legal for you to talk to anyone you want to. Having said that you've already stated that it is wrong to do so and because you feel they deserve it it is okay to do in your mind?????
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  #4  
Old 10-07-2012, 03:50 PM
goinggreen123 goinggreen123 is offline
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No not necessarily but my customers do deserve me and I deserve them. Since I have left I have people approaching me telling me I am stupid for not trying to customers from the company cause their yards look like **** now. Is it illegal for me to talk badly or actually tell the truth about the other company like they have illegal immigrants working for them and they are paying half their employees under the table and they are shorting the yard to make more of a profit? I am going to do this one way or the other I just dont want to land into court or jail for anything illegal.
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  #5  
Old 10-07-2012, 03:53 PM
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Greg78 Greg78 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goinggreen123 View Post
No not necessarily but my customers do deserve me and I deserve them. Since I have left I have people approaching me telling me I am stupid for not trying to customers from the company cause their yards look like **** now. Is it illegal for me to talk badly or actually tell the truth about the other company like they have illegal immigrants working for them and they are paying half their employees under the table and they are shorting the yard to make more of a profit? I am going to do this one way or the other I just dont want to land into court or jail for anything illegal.
Why do you need to go their about those other things? Do you have proof of these practices? If your set on talking with your ex employer's customers about coming to your company just focus on the things that matter to those customers: the condition of their property and what you can do to make it better.
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  #6  
Old 10-07-2012, 06:53 PM
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tonygreek tonygreek is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goinggreen123 View Post
Is it illegal for me to talk badly or actually tell the truth about the other company like they have illegal immigrants working for them and they are paying half their employees under the table and they are shorting the yard to make more of a profit?
It seems that you had no problem with this as you apparently worked for the company long enough to become "head man in charge", but now that you no longer work for them, you want to play the moral superiority card? "I know it's wrong, but..." seems to answer your question for you. You either are better than them or you are not.
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  #7  
Old 10-07-2012, 07:00 PM
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Sprinkler Buddy Sprinkler Buddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goinggreen123 View Post
No not necessarily but my customers do deserve me and I deserve them. Since I have left I have people approaching me telling me I am stupid for not trying to customers from the company cause their yards look like **** now. Is it illegal for me to talk badly or actually tell the truth about the other company like they have illegal immigrants working for them and they are paying half their employees under the table and they are shorting the yard to make more of a profit? I am going to do this one way or the other I just dont want to land into court or jail for anything illegal.
I would worry about "Six Foot Under" too if you decide to steal.
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  #8  
Old 10-07-2012, 09:58 PM
32vld 32vld is offline
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It's one thing to say goodbye to your clients the last week on the job. If they ask why you just say that you are staring your own landscaping business.

The ball is in their court to ask if you would take them on.

Some may say there is no difference in telling the customers you are leaving the XYZ and are are starting your own business. Then you are leaving XYZ, starting your own business and you want their business. This is a fine line. Though as with all lines it is best to not cross a line.

I will end with once you have your business established would you want one of your employees to directly take away as many of your customers as he can?

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  #9  
Old 10-23-2012, 01:51 AM
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ACA L&L ACA L&L is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goinggreen123 View Post
No not necessarily but my customers do deserve me and I deserve them. Since I have left I have people approaching me telling me I am stupid for not trying to customers from the company cause their yards look like **** now. Is it illegal for me to talk badly or actually tell the truth about the other company like they have illegal immigrants working for them and they are paying half their employees under the table and they are shorting the yard to make more of a profit? I am going to do this one way or the other I just dont want to land into court or jail for anything illegal.
" Do unto others as you would have others do unto you ...

In 5, 10, 15 years you too will have someone that leaves your company on bad terms. How are you gonna feel when he snakes half your business that you spent thousands of dollars in Insurance, advertising, fuel etc...getting? If you dont think that its gonna happen to you, think again. Funny how life comes full cirlce at one point or another. Word to the wise, go get your own customers, be proud of what you built, instead of having that tiny voice in your head punching your eyballs at night casting doubt on your abilitys as a business owner. I would feel pretty crappy if I got my customers that way. Good luck.
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  #10  
Old 10-23-2012, 02:23 AM
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TPendagast TPendagast is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goinggreen123 View Post
No not necessarily but my customers do deserve me and I deserve them. Since I have left I have people approaching me telling me I am stupid for not trying to customers from the company cause their yards look like **** now. Is it illegal for me to talk badly or actually tell the truth about the other company like they have illegal immigrants working for them and they are paying half their employees under the table and they are shorting the yard to make more of a profit? I am going to do this one way or the other I just dont want to land into court or jail for anything illegal.
Here's your major issue.

"illegal?" no you cant be arrested for it. But you could be held liable/slanderous for things you say.

as a general rule, keep business clean. don't trash a former employer, focus on how your business is going to do X or Y. Speak in generic terms like "we strive to hire only local employees" rather than saying "Company Z hires illegals"

On the subject of "illegal" workers, it IS illegal for an employer to bar employment to minorities he "thinks" might be illegal. As long as the employees fill out their I-9s, sign them and produce 'valid' paperwork, the company is free to hire them. It is NOT the responsibility, OR the ABILITY of the employer to scrutinize or legitimize the said proof of identity of the worker. That duty falls on the government. as long as the company fills out all their paperwork, they are good. Profiling or refusing employment to someone they think might be illegal, could get them in a lot of trouble.

So saying "they hire illegals" is only true for companies that a) pay cash to said illegals and b) dont keep records of these employees even existing. If a company is doing that, yes it's illegal. but you are speaking of a "big" company, I somehow think they are very likely to have every T-crossed and every I-dotted on every single I-9 they have on every single employee.

With that in mind, stating the former employer, employs illegals is a false statement, and can be used as a basis to sue you.

So in the long run, it's better to focus on not saying anything derogatory about them and try to say almost nothing about that company if you can. Try to act like they don't exist.

If you DO have to discuss work being done, or past work of the former company. speak of them in a generic term:

"Mrs. Jones, what do you not like about your current services, and what can I do to make your new service better?"

Or

"Mr. Smith, are you happy with your current lawn services? If you are not, may I provide you with a quote for replacement services I believe would better suit your needs?"
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