Customer Claims damage...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by weissihm, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. weissihm

    weissihm LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    I got a phone call from a customer, claiming our mowers did some damage. She said she was having issues with some mowing for the past couple of months, but did not call. Now she noticed some building damage.

    We last cut the lawn two weeks ago, due to the grass going dormant. I have not looked at the damage yet, but I am having a hard time justifying paying for it, when they did not call earlier. The building is an older building which they are trying to sell and other people do various lawn/upkeep work on the property.

    I understand the reputation stuff and whether we want to keep the customer or not, but if this damage is $400-$500, we have just paid this customer to mow for the season.

    What are your thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  2. calvinslawnservices

    calvinslawnservices LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 804

    Depends on the amount and if there is proof or at least very likely that one of your mowers caused the damage. Insurance will take care of the mediation for you if you have insurance.
     
  3. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,452

    The fact they are trying to sell jumps out at me. The damage may have been there a long time.Only now with buyers looking at it closely for faults. She may be trying to use you to upgrade the property. It probably is the start of the end. My response would be deny, deny, deny. If she wants to go to court say fine. Your insurance company knows how to defend you.:usflag:
     
  4. fireman gus

    fireman gus LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 517

    If they had notified you at the time the damage happened it would be easier to understand. Waiting makes me think they are just trying to get you to pay for the damage so they don't have to. I had a client call me in August saying I had killed her yard when I sprayed for weeds in April. She asked if I was going to replace her lawn. I politely said NO! Then I gave her the name of the Dept. of Ag. and told her to call them. Then I told her after she talked to them to call my attorney. Haven't heard a word since. Be firm yet polite when you speak to them.
     
  5. f50lvr2

    f50lvr2 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 277

    When I hear this it's almost always BS:hammerhead:
    Take a look and make a determination yourself, my money is on the damage being done by someone else or has been there before you started working. DON'T BACK DOWN if you know it wasn't you.
     
  6. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    It happens, 1st thing is set up a time to meet and talk about this issue, if there is damage that is likely your fault, ask the customer what do thay want you to do about it?

    Sometimes they Just want it stopped, other times it's a REAL ISSUE.

    Also talk to employees before going out there, and look at your equipment very well.

    Best of luck
     
  7. borwicks

    borwicks LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 615

    Tough call on building damage. Go inspect it to see if it at least looks like damage you could have caused then proceed from there. At no pont do you want to admit guilt or fault. If she doesn't have your insurance company info pass it on to her and move on. As far the lawn goes. Been there. Always been mony issues with those types of people. The cmplain at end of year when there 2 months behind and you notify them services will stop. Good luck.
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  8. weissihm

    weissihm LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    Thank you for the comments and advice. I did take a look at the damage and there is no way our mow could have done it. I politely explained that to the customer and she was good with it.
     
  9. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    Sounds like you eneded up fine but I want to give all a heads up about some of the above advice given dealing with insurance.
    It is your call but I personally learned to NEVER call the insurance company unless it is a loss that will SIGNIFICANTLY effect your finances. Whenever you call and even report something it goes against your policy as an "occurance". Get a few too many for your carrier- weather they pay or not, and you may either be dropped or will end up paying higher premiums. They see an occurance as you being a liability so DON'T put the light on yourself by calling. Now this is strictly up to you but I keep insurance for any real big bad thing that I may have caused and so far in 16 years that hasn't happened.
    Good Luck to all.
     
  10. borwicks

    borwicks LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 615

    This is true. My agent always tells me when I call. Are you sure. Had 2 claims for at fault on vechicles. Ice and tight street. No claims on business. Another claim on trk for hail thisyear. And 1 on house. No rate increases yet. Bu for 6 years I didn't have any
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