Cancellation of services in mid contract

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by marley, Sep 20, 2002.

  1. marley

    marley LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    This question is simaler to Premo Service's thread"contract problem". Here is a hypothetical situation I thought of that I can't really find an answer for, maybe you guys can help. Say for instance I have a $600.00 contract that is broken up into 12 monthly payments of $50.00. The contract could go from Jan. to Jan. or from April to April or whatever. They are one year contracts. So I start service in early March with 2 mowing that month. Then in April to June I crank it up to every 10 days or once a week depending on how healthy the lawn is and all the while I am getting only $50.00 a month. Then lets say the customer decides to move or maybe they decide that they simply want to let it grow head high. For what ever reason they want out of the contract. What do you do? You have been coming by 3 or 4 times a month and getting $50.00 a month, counting on the fact that those checks would be coming in the summer drought and in the winter too. I am sure you guys have delt with people trying to get out of thier contracts. Please shed some light on this senario and mabye some other ones that are simaler. Thank you very much for your responses and please do not rip on me for being to cheap with my prices, again they are hypothetical.
  2. marley

    marley LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    No I have never used contracts before but would like to make the switch starting in 2003 if that helps your posts at all.
  3. Grasshog

    Grasshog LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 270

    I run my contracts from November to November.

    Any summer pick ups that i get along the way are pay as service is done. In November they can join the elite with set monthly payments.
  4. Floridalandcare

    Floridalandcare LawnSite Senior Member
    from Tampa
    Posts: 314

    If they are on a contract then there should be no question about it .Take them to court .Im am currently 3-0 in the court system with dead-beat non compliant customers .I dont know know what kind of paramaters you set in your contracts up there , but mine simply state that service connot be cancelled after the months of 7-8 and 9 have been completed (July, August,September)Like I said I have been challenged and I have never lost. Its not that I have a good attorney ,but I have a very good contract that states everything that is expeceted of a customer . If you want to E-Mail me and I will send you A Copy of my contract that you can use.
  5. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    the few i have are on full plan contract . they decent folk. wasnt for that there would be those that would wait untill the weeding an seeding are done an cancel.
    ill have one sometime,and deal with it whatever i think will be the most effective way. several options one would be breach ,but then u got to prove, what hes gonna say about how sorry your service was,aint this area everybody use to know who to watch out for. but theres a lotto brassy people moving here now.
    in the last 5yrs. ive had 2 people beat me an get away with it. one was a woman,notice i didnt say lady. the other a guy pulled a gun. only 25 so i decided
    not to die or go to jail about it.
    did tell a deputy friend ,i thought the guy pulled his gun out to easy and was gonna shoot somebody,cause he only pulls it if hes scared. and a scared man will shoot u. about 25 dollars no less. takes all kinds
  6. hustlers

    hustlers LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Posts: 257

    take the ****** to court and slap on 1000 extra for late
    fees attorney paper work interest and hell settle out of court
    if hes smart.

    Im 1-0 and didnt mine the problem cause i charged him for
    everything i did at 35 an hr. phone calls, court fees etc
  7. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    You should have a base price of what each mowing should cost. That obviously is where you arrived at your total contract price for the season. Take the times you have cut so far and multiply that by your per mowing charges. Say you cut ten times into the season at $50, that's $500. That's what the customer would owe so far. Just let them out of it and be on your way. This scenario doesn't happen often and just move on. Why waste your time going to court and you'll still end up looking like the bad guy. Big deal, people want out let them go. Situations arise.
  8. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,913

    so we can not let a customer out of a contract if they are not happy ... (hard to prove .... what "happy is")

    Again this is a hypothetical situation .... say you are the consumer .. you sign a contract for ..... pool service (out side of our scope) the contract presents that they will do this or that to provide a clean pool .... as a customer you are not happy with your pool ... I must still pay for this service ???

    why ?? I go to a food place n order a platter which is not as described n I must pay ??

    I agree to a lawn service which say we will provide 42 cuts n are only given 41 .... is the contract binding .... or it says "weekly edging of ALL beds" n the one bed way in back which no one sees or even can't tell was edge .... yet wasn't .... is binding ??

    Please ..... we provide a service .....with a contract ...which has a 30 day exit aggreement ( this is what a pro would do) ... if the customer is not happy ..... so be it ....when creating a contract it is based on a certain # of visits per year ... the price will be based on those visits .... where have you lost $$$ ??? if they are up to payment upon cancellation

    In this hypothetical situation .... charging $50 per cut over 10 visits ..... say you only got to cut 6 times n recieved $300 ... you still recieved what you need to get paid fore the per visit .... where is the breach ??

    not to bust anyone's chop's .... but I don't sweat cancels .... n I have "contracts" with ALL my accounts
  9. marley

    marley LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    I am sure I would not have any issues with this 99% percent of the time. I am just trying to protect myself in the best way possible against the 1% percenter that goes"thanks for the low payments because the total cost was strechted out over 12 months, and it sure was nice watching you mow 4-5 times a month for that low payment of $xxxx. Now that the grass is dead, oh I mean I'm not happy I want out, see ya" I am trying to find the best way to deal with that situation, that is all. Really trying to pick your brains on this one. I do not want to be on this site trying to get a fix to the problem when it is a reality and not a hypothetical question.
  10. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,913

    n your right to have a reason to be concerned .... because you will run in to these type ....I don't or we don't have to like it ...our only coarse is to provide service ..... build .... learn to spot these types ......

    it may sound weird .... but when I bid on a resi site (comm even so) I look at the whole picture .... is the car (s) up kept ... is the home neat ... do things look "put off" ... is ther trash in the beds ...broken glass ....cig butt in the yard the site look clean n neat .... customer look me in the eye .... what does the other yards look like

    I've been burned .... n no I did not like it .... but what can one do ....take em to court time is valuable ..... granted if it's down n out rigged I'll make my mine clear to them .... but I've yet to take a party to court ??? ...I pay attention to the areas I have work .... I stay in touch with the other LCO's .... they will tell you if they have had that person n they are a PITA .... I know if I had em n I see some one there later I'll stop by to "chat"

    On installs I get depoists along with work completion .... on monthly maintenance I let em know when late .... on these types as the come ... I try en not let them "rent space in my head"

    I will say .... n I'm sure you'll learn the best customer is a "refferred one" .... good payers whom send you others are thumbs up the best advo .... this ONLY comes from good realiable consistent service ... n time out in the field ..... truely I have found in the long run most customers are honest ....not to say you will not get burned ..... even years later

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