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Customer hand writes changes to contract

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by BRIMOW525, May 2, 2003.

  1. BRIMOW525

    BRIMOW525 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 215

    I sent a contract to a large gas station company and put a due date on it. It was April 11. I got the contract faxed back to me signed April 25. They were a customer last year so no big deal. Well I didn't look at the contract untill my wife called me cussin' about it. Who ever signed it crossed out that the lawn was to be maintained every 7 days to 10 days.(hand written) And after my clause for finance charges he put in big marker letters "unless work is disputed". The disputed thing I can kinda live with but the every 10 day cut I cannot. This is exactly why in the first place I put every 7 days. I don't want to bush hog every time I go in there and cut. So I'm thinking about calling and tell them the contract is void because of hand written amendments to the contract that we were neither notified of nor asked about, send them a new contract (same as before) and if they sign then fine if not, OH WELL. I just can't believe that they would call and say its signed and never mention that they wanted something changed or had questions. I guess this is how big businesses bully little guys.
  2. How does your contract work?
    Mine is set up to have the customer sign off on our terms, that have been verbally communicated and accepted, then we sign and send confirmation.
    If I had a customer starting out as you posted, I'd drop them today.
  3. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,076

    A contract is all about protecting Both PARTIES and not just you. You need to call and or go by and talk with them and work out changes to the contract that you both can live with.

  4. hboyd_com

    hboyd_com LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 150

    It's standard procedure to make hand written changes and initial the change. You may be at fault for not looking at it when he sent it back.... sorry. It sucks and I understand your position and agree however there is nothing wrong with making hand written changes.
  5. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Posts: 1,484

    i agree there is nothing wrong with making hand written changes but not by the customer, unless it was discussed with you. you are the boss its your contract, this customer sounds like nothing but trouble. like you said why didnt they contact with you about the problems?
  6. hboyd_com

    hboyd_com LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 150

    Hand written changes by the customer is standard practice, however usually the owner of the contract is supposed to initial the changes as well as a way to document the acceptance of the change. He didn't initial the changes, but only because he didn't look at the fax that was sent to him. Hand written changes are easy to spot if you take to time to look at the document. Unfortunately, he assumed (I assume!) that there were on changes and didn't bother to look at it. We should all learn something from that mistake.

    Legally he may be OK because he didn't "accept" the changes, however is it worth legal costs and losing the customer? Maybe it's easier to simply drop the customer.
  7. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    Call them, calmly explain your position, come to an agreement and draw up a new contract. I would not keep a contract on file with crossed out words in it.
  8. BRL

    BRL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,211

    Hand written changes can be made by either party. They have to be initialed by both parties for the changes to become binding to the contract. So if you haven't initialed the changes yet, they are not official yet. I would do just as you said you were planning. Send back the original contract explaining that you can not accept the 10 day terms & why. If they want you they can sign, if not, find another customer to fill that void in your schedule. As far as the disputed invoices part goes, get the clause that says contractor has x amount of days to fix any problems the client brings to their attention etc. etc. from any of the many sample contracts out & about the internet. Then they can't "dispute" every invoice and leave you hanging out to dry all the time.
  9. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Posts: 1,405

    I have an Amendment that states that any modifications or amendments in written form must be signed by both parties.
  10. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    I used to work with a subcontractor that never signed their contract until they received it back from the customer. That way if they later found and error or changed their mind about wanting the work, they weren't bound by it.

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