Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by jimithing31, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. jimithing31

    jimithing31 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 145

    How many people use them or "service agreements"?? Just wondering as I am about to start using them. I really want people on the hook for payments. With this economy even people that usually pay on time are gonna start paying late or worse not paying at all.... I'm not in business for charity or dead beats.

    Anyone have positive/negative experience or feedback from customers??

    Does anyones insurance require a contract to be produced if a claim is needed in the instance there may be damage done to a customers property.

    Thanks for replies
  2. jimithing31

    jimithing31 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 145

    No thoughts or experience with this?? Surely someone here uses or has used contracts...
  3. ANC Stone Creations

    ANC Stone Creations LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    Contracts are a great way to go.
    Plus having a contract you would charge every month the same amount.

    If you would like to see how my contracts are laid out email me at
  4. Midstate Lawncare

    Midstate Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 267

    use the search option on the forum. You will find a hundred posts about contracts.
  5. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,924

    For residential customers, having a signed contract is no measure of success on whether they will pay, or not. If somebody is honest, and will pay against a signed contract, they will also pay on a handshake.

    A simple letter of understanding can spell out the services being offered, how and when, and for how much money.

    As suggested, do a search. This topic is discussed about every week, or two -- same question, and the same posters say the same things time after time.
  6. Josh.S

    Josh.S LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,085

    I used to use service agreements but I found them pretty much useless. The only accounts I have with service agreements would be flat rate contracts and people that pay the whole year up front. The only reason I even use them is for their peace of mind.

    My problem with them is, all commercial accounts pay (in my experiences), and all customers will pay that are going to.

    The only benefit of a service agreement for residentials i've found is you can take them to the Small Joke Court and have some type of grounds. Even then it's a crap shoot if you will ever get paid....
  7. B & B Yardscape

    B & B Yardscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 131

    I use contracts for all my commerical & residential. It lets them know what to expect. It tells you what you have to do. That is the basic idea.

    If they aren't paying, you stop mowing, plowing, or landscapeing. Period.

    If they say well you were suppose to do this. If its not in your contract, you can charge them more. If its in there then you better do it.

    I use to only do contracts for larger landscape jobs. Under $500 I wasn't worried about it. Until it got to be that every person that was under $500 wanted additional work for the quoted price. Some old lady on a fixed income that you are "helping out" by doing it in your spare time says, "Oh, I thought you were going to put brick pavers down on the entire 12'x12' area. Not just that small 3' by 3' area in front of the doorway." OR "I'm not happy with the way you did that, (& it is exactly the way she wanted it and you talked about) could you come back and re-do everything? And its not going to cost me more is it?"

    Now, every one gets a letter stateing exactly what is going to happen. If for nothing else, then as a reference later.
  8. socallawndude

    socallawndude LawnSite Member
    Posts: 100

    Contracts are great for protecting your end of things. Some people will feel awkward about them for maintenance, but should you ever have to go to court for something gone wrong you'll be glad you have one that limits your liability on certain issues.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    Plain and simple, if you want to be sure you'll get paid, then require payment in advance. Either by credit card or autodraft.

    You said it yourself, with the economy getting worse people will fall behind on bills, you really think a service agreement is going to make them pay on time? :laugh:

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