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ever threatened by a customer?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Nov 3, 2004.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    while i was cleaning leaves, my buddy stopped to chat. he's been in business 15 yrs. does excellent work, and gets top dollar. he has a customer that's been with him 10 yrs. he was charging $300 a month for full service. he notices client acting weird lately, complaining about nothing, etc. customer had a big pool put in the back yard, then calls and says he expects his grasscutting fee to go down, cus there is less grass. my friend explains that it will not go down, it is now harder and more time consuming to cut because of the obsticle. fine. he mailed the bill for monthly fee of $300. he recieved a cancelation notice, and a check for only $50. note:" if i were you, i'd accept this as payment in full. a phone call to the irs will cost you a hell of a lot more than $250." now, my friend is afraid to pursue his money. he keeps everything on the up and up, and has no fear of being caught doing something illegal, but feels that the cost of representation will be alot more than $250. and, if by chance they find anything wrong, he's afraid of fines etc. would you drop it?
  2. chevyman1

    chevyman1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 852

    wow that is one tough letter to tackle....so I take it he wasn't keeping that guy off the books right? 10 yrs of being a customer and then this? sounds like there was very little rapport or a breakdown in communication happened along the way...man I feel bad for him
  3. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    BobbyG, If it were me I give him 3 options and would let him know that I couldn't care less if he called the IRS (I've been learning from you..lol)

    a) Pay me my money and our business will be finished

    b) I'll report your attempted Blackmail to the POlice

    c) I'll whip your @ss for threatening me and you will still owe me $250
  4. wagner17

    wagner17 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 67

    That is a tough one...the one thing that your buddy has going for him is the fact that he does have it in writing. I would take a copy of the bill and the note to the police first and see where that gets him. If he knows anybody, and I mean anybody who is a friend and is an attorney I would show them the material and possibly have them draft a letter. They may advise him to drop it or pursue it, but I could never let something like that go.
  5. Tobruk79

    Tobruk79 LawnSite Member
    from Fl
    Posts: 28

    I would not drop it. If he does everything legal and pays his taxes he owes it to himself to get paid, even if it costs him more. With the way you've handled theft of service, seems like a real easy case. Regardless honest men should not allow themselves to be stolen from. Then again I am young, idealistic and naive, and its not my money.
  6. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Beat the customer to the IRS punch. The end of the year is soon. Send the customer a 1099 for the $250. Since he didn't pay it, its considered income to the customer. He received something without paying for it. A copy goes to the IRS, and if he doesn't report it on his income tax return he has his own trouble to deal with.
  7. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,227

    if he is doing nothing wrong then why would he fear the IRS.....the irs doesnt just come after people anymore, they have to have a legitimate reason and he would just represent himself!
  8. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    That is GOOD!! and can certainly be done that way! I'd give you another point there Hoss if they weren't gone! :p
  9. Aproct

    Aproct LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63


    I like your idea, but under the IRS guidelines, a 1099-Misc doesn't need to be reported to the IRS unless it is more than $600.....

    I really do like your creative thoughts though....
  10. cutnedge

    cutnedge LawnSite Member
    Posts: 194

    Blackmail pure and simple. With the letter and the check I would seek out an atty. that offers free consultation in such matters.No way would I let this one get away that easily.

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