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A warning from another LCO?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mike lane lawn care, May 23, 2006.

  1. mike lane lawn care

    mike lane lawn care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,707

    i was doing a cleanup at a summer home today and a guy on a scag ZTR who is a very reputible landscaper around here, comes into the driveway of the house i am working at (he was mowing next door) and he tells me that the people i am working for don't like to pay and argue about everything, he tells me that he worked for them years ago and would never do it again, even if paid upfront. He then tells me if they ever argue about the price just drop the account, it's not worth it. this guy seemed to have a genuine hatred for these people. the more i think about it, the more it makes sense, i met them only once, before they went back to their main house, they had me do the cleanup and told me to "just do whatever you think needs to be done to make the place look good" (the place looked awful before i started, it was every LCO's nightmare).
    what i am afraid of is that by saying "just do whatever......." they are really thinking "lets have him do everything and never pay him". the guy i was talking to, said there has been at least one LCO per year, every year. so now i am afraid that i will get stiffed.

    i am thinking to just drop the account after i get paid for the cleanup and grass seeding and aerating. What do you guys think??????????
  2. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    I think you are in a jam because if you bill after you do the work, they are going to use the excuse that you didn't mow it this week and why should they pay you?

    That is the problem with dumping a customer if you don't have them on next day credit cards. They ALWAYS owe you money and that gives them the upper hand.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  3. Mowpower

    Mowpower LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    Well if they pay you on time for the cleanup work and don't complain about the price then no worries. If they want you to continue give them your price and contract if they start B&Moaning about your price say "Ok well my schedule is pretty full, thanks and bye". I don't know how you collect payment but if they miss one or fail to pay within say two weeks drop them. I hate to turn down work but maybe you are all set and don't need it.
  4. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    NO that is not always the case not at all. I had one a couple years ago that we did a large pricy clean up for and he paid on the spot.......that was also the LAST time we ever got paid properly again. I finally dropped him and sued for the 2 months plus the contract penalties he owed. Found out later that we were the 4th LCO in four years and that he did this to us all........sad thing is he has sucked another LCO in this year, but I won't stop ad tell him because like proven on here he probably would't believe me and think it was a one time issue. You can believe this though. If I still took on residentials, and another LCO warned me.....I'd say bye-bye to that client.

    I suspect that this LCO is telling you the truth dude, and that in addition the client knows you are a kid and they are also taking advantage of that knowing that you can't hold them responsible in court because you are not at least 18 years old.
  5. mike lane lawn care

    mike lane lawn care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,707

    thanks, this is what i was looking to hear. could i get my dad and them to sign the work order with price before i did anymore work? this way i'm covered in small claims court.? i probably will drop them as this is not a good money maker, and i know about every other LCO in this area, so i will warn them to get a contract before starting.

    thanks again
  6. Dashunde

    Dashunde LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 628

    I agree with Mowpower.
    If they complain just a little, but still pay... get a card on them for mowing.
  7. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    Yes, you can certainly do that and have some protection.
  8. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    Charge them after the first service is completed. Also, have them include the amount for the rest of the months mowing. Then have in your contract that payment is due by the first of the month for the entire month. If payment is not received, don't touch it until you get paid. If they call to complain about you not showing up, just request that they be there when you are there to mow & have a check on the door. I've only had this problem w/ one customer. She was a district attorney & stilll couldn't pay her bills. we ended up putting a lean on her house until she paid.
  9. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,004

    these scum customers can keep doing these cause there are 5 more desperate lawnboys popping up everyday. get your local lawnboys organized, or else you all will just keep getting screwed.
  10. Scottscape

    Scottscape LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 76

    I would take extra measures to ensure that your going to get paid. For lawn maintenance mowing I would have the client pre-pay (as I do with all of my customers so no worries). If they have a problem pre paying your then there not the customer that you want. I had a lady yesterday that I gave an estimate (landscape estimate) and she rambled on how chemlawn burnt her grass and another herb/pesticide company burned her grass and another lco tore up her fence and had to come back and paint it. Yesterday evening she wanted to go ahead with the landscape services (clean up, hedge and bush, shrub trimming, new bed edge). Before I went today to invoice her for 1/2 payment I took a nice service agreement with me for landscape services. She signed, gave me a check for 1/2 payment I went straight to the bank and cashed her check just incase (usually I would just deposit into business acct) Hopefully this job goes well. I am learning from these little red flags these people give thanks to TOPSITES and a few other guys from here Ive been noticing a few more of them. Thanks again guys! :drinkup:

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