Customer accusation of property damage

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by MLSHP, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. A. W. Landscapers  Inc.

    A. W. Landscapers Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,287

    A dripping hose can't possibly flood a basement in two days unless the end of the hose is placed inside the basement. The problem isn't the leaky hose, the problem is a leaky foundation.

    Ask her if she intends to sue the contractor who built the house with the leaky foundation or if she is just going to get her leaky foundation repaired and properly sealed. Then ask her to pay you in cash for the services rendered. Her paying you for services rendered and her seeking a judgement against you for restitution for alleged damages to her property are two separate and non related issues. If she refuses to pay you the money that she owes you, immediately file a lien on the property and suspend services indefinitely.
  2. TheLugNutZ

    TheLugNutZ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 410

    No way a hose dripping could have caused that. I would bet there is evidence that something else was of cause or this is an ongoing issue... Must happen every time it rains. I would def let the insurance co know, they will most likely send out an adjuster to inspect the damage.
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  3. dnc19694339

    dnc19694339 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 208

    Dont let this customer push you around. If you give them an inch they will take a mile. You can be polite and stern at the same time. Tell her there is no way you guys caused this and that is that. This is not a $50 fix you can take care of just to keep the account, this sounds like a big deal and she is trying to get you to take the fall for it.

    THORNTON SERVICES LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 405

    You pointed out the problem in the opening statement PITA customer , get this settled quickly , be sturn and professional and as soon as this is settled get rid of this customer don't worry about the cuts money some things are better left alone and move on will cost you more than what its worth to collect unless she owes you a lot of money then that's a different story. these type of customers are bad for business move forward as soon as possible. my opinion.
  5. Trees Too

    Trees Too LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,512

    There are the P.I.T.A. customers. And then there are "professional" customers. (The ones that know how to work the system to their advantage.) The "'veiled threats'" are the worse because you're not certain what they are thinking/planning,:confused: and you could be blindsided!!!
  6. MLSHP

    MLSHP LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Quick update: told the soon-to-be-ex customer that I was willing to cover damages not exceeded $400 - which to me is worth it to get this P.O.S. off my hands. She agreed. Her story was full of holes, and while I can't prove we are not to blame, she can't prove that we are. I figured, let's end this quickly. Being direct and stern is a great way to deal with customers who NEED to be told how things work.

    Thanks again, fellas!
  7. TheLugNutZ

    TheLugNutZ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 410

    By doing that you are admitting to causing the damage BUT that you are unwilling to PAY for any more then $400 worth. I wouldnt give her a dime, she got over on you.

    Now here is what you MUST do. Write some type of contract that says by accepting the $400 she CANNOT look for more damages in the future and by accepting the $400 the issue is closed and cannot be re-opened.
    (may not stand in court, but well worth having it on paper).

    Remember though, any liability is liability and by paying $400 its basically admitting liability. (IMO not a lawyer, just an insurance agent..)
  8. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,440

    Not only did she work you over, you're quite likely opening the door to future cash-ins on her part. If you don't have an attorney draw up a settlement agreement, I would think you can expect it. It's just a matter of when.
  9. MLSHP

    MLSHP LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Relax, Tony. I've got this under control, boss.
  10. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,440

    Bingo. Both your insurance agent and attorney would smack you in the head with a phone book for proposing, and agreeing, to this.

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