d#$@ woman making me draw up contract

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Brendan Smith, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. Brendan Smith

    Brendan Smith LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,195

    Well, it finally happened. Gave an estimate last week from some fliers i put out, lady wanted yard cleaned (no fall cleanup) and fresh pinestraw. First question, as always, is "would you like the old straw removed first or just freshen up what's already there?" she says that she is from canada and has recently moved, what would i recommend. so i tell her (having already looked at the thickness of the straw already in place) is that i would just lay more on top for weed control (she doesn't "like chemicals"). that's ok with her, she said she understands. i quote her $750.00 for 85 bales of straw and front yard cleanup (back yard is woodsy ot "naturalized" as lots of folks here call it). i deliver the straw thursday and get grass areas cleaned up, then start to spread the straw. come back saturday to finish, she proceeds to tell me that she wants the flowerbeds raked out to bare dirt before new straw is placed. i explain to her that is not what we talked about and how she is going to have a major weed problem in 4-6 weeks because there should be a thicker layer of straw put down. she tells me "i had it done last year like that and there was no problem. there's that black fabric on the ground" so now i have a bad feeling. who did it...didn't you "just move"? so ok, i want my $200.00 that she owes me and she is getting more and more belligerant so i stop arguing AND START RAKING. as i'm raking, come to find out there are 4 distinct layers of pinestraw and hardwood leaves and NO FABRIC. now i'm laughing because her flowerbeds are going to be weed beds soon. anyway, i finish up and you can see dirt underneath the straw. she walks through the yard, points out 1 or 2 nitpicking things and i tell her i'll fix them while she is writing the check. after i get the check, she asks me when i'll be doing the first mowing, so i told her that i wouldn't be. she seems surprised and asks why. i told her that first, i don't appreciate the condescending tone of voice she has been using the whole time, second, i don't want to be associated with a yard that is going to look like crap soon because she won't listen, and third, i think that she is a negative person who will not get any easier to work with over time. then i tell her to have a nice day with a big smile. sorry so long, had to vent. now i'm switching over to ms word to start drawing up a contract. :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead:
     
  2. Splicer

    Splicer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    As I said in another post some few weeks ago, ALWAYS have a contract. Lets everyone know what their responsibilities are...
     
  3. lawnwizards

    lawnwizards LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,434

    i thought the customer was making you draw up a contract... :laugh: didn't know she drove you to it though...
     
  4. Brendan Smith

    Brendan Smith LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,195

    DROVE me too it? it was more like a regiment of riot police tazering me to it. i could have gone into a lot more detail in my original post, but it is too painful to re-live!!!:dizzy: :cry: :dizzy: :cry:
     
  5. Brendan Smith

    Brendan Smith LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,195

    this was my first problem in 4 years, but one is enough. generic contract is now typed and copies are in my logbook/business folder in the front seat of my truck.:clapping:
     
  6. The landscaper

    The landscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 845

    definately a good idea to help keep problems like this from arising. Good job on walking away from the job tho. A lot of people wouldn't do that.
     
  7. Brendan Smith

    Brendan Smith LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,195

    thanks. sweet boat. consider a trade for my mother-in-law?;)
     
  8. The landscaper

    The landscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 845

    sure thing hahaha
     
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Yeah but you got lucky, too! Not to say you did anything wrong, but folks like that can make life a real misery. You did the right thing thou. Basically, you avoid the hardest confrontation until the end and just do what you absolutely have to do so as to collect the check and hightail it out of there! Sorry to hear you didn't see it coming, but I catch it thusly somedays, too.

    I will warn you, I don't think a contract makes these kind of folks any less condescending or any less of a pita, I still don't see the benefit unless the contract is your safety blanket, all it takes is some lawyer wannabe come around one day and it's the same old song and dance all over, but anyway... Sadly enough, the steel walls and brick layers we build in our defense sometimes scare the good guys away.

    I love what you said to her except I normally say nothing, that is not to say it doesn't tempt me but... Most of the time it does no good, they learn nothing from the whole deal and worse yet some use what was said to their future advantage over the next Lco. Still, at least you did tell her you weren't showing up, as for me I usually keep playing the stupid game the entire time and never let on but once I leave I never return, which is my sweet revenge...

    Had one last year like this, played me like I was her monkey at the circus or some such thing, then never sent me the lousy 40 dollar check... Needless to say her account went to collections forever, meaning I won't chase the money because an unpaid account never gets serviced again. Of course she didn't call me back but I had a feeling, sure she's not stupid and knows about the 40 dollars so she found someone else but just wait... And yes, 3-4 months later the calls started. I ignored them but one day I answered the phone by mistake thinking it was someone else, and as soon as I found out who it was, I told her I didn't think it would be a good idea for her to call this number again. She then got ready to start into me and I simply told her if she called me again, I would report her to the police, and hung up. Ain't heard nothing since.

    Oh man, I'm sorry. These are the kind of folks we need a database for so we can look up names and if nothing comes up, good. lol
    This does explain why you said what you said to her, I likely would've done it at this point, too.
     
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    You know... I had someone once made me so angry that I saw myself drawing back my fist and just smashing it as hard as I could into their mouth. I was so tempted to follow through on that sight and it is a wonder I didn't instinctively do it, thou I hope one day some unknown does it for me, lay one of those out cold lol.

    pitas this and that, but these folks rank the top of the list, never have I ran into someone worse than what you describe, but I've ran into a few of them over the years. Really blows, with this kind the bs doesn't start until you're at least halfway done so if you walk away at that point they get a bunch of stuff for free, almost makes me think they really know exactly what they're doing.

    p.s.: don't do it (smashing their face in I mean), you can go to jail for it... I was just saying thou
    Perhaps one day someone like this messes me around again, I say ok, pack up and head down to the rent-a-center to pick up the dingo, then drive back there and in 20-30 minutes flat undo everything real nice. Still, it's 200+ dollars out one way or the other, I'd rather do what you did (and WHEW !!!).

    Oh btw, I might see about cashing that check in person to make sure it clears.
     

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