here we go again, is it me??? tell the truth

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, May 24, 2004.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    she wants beds edged around entire house. in these beds are hostas. it's just re edging. then, 12 yds of mulch. then removal of some unwanted shrubbery. then create two new beds, put in 18 assorted shrubs. trim exsisting yews and hollies. fine. i get a deposit, we show up this am to do everything except install new plants, which weren't purchased yet.about 3 hrs later, she comes home. she says she decided to not put in anything new. she also wants the exsisting beds to not be edged as before, but wants them made larger, cus now the hostas grew bigger, and it's my fault for comming a week later than we originally planned(her job was scheduled TENTATIVELY for last monday) . i try explaining to her that the hostas would have grown wether we came last monday or today. weird. anyhow i tell her it will cost more and we'll need more mulch if the beds are made bigger. she refuses to pay anything extra, again insisting that the hostas outgrew the beds, cus i'm a week late. ;) . finally i tell her look, this is getting weird, and i want out. at this point the shrubs were trimmed, the beds more than halfway done being edged.and dead shrubbery removed. she was the one who decided to make changes and in fact cancel the shrubbery(the most profitable part of the job). she says if i don't finish the job, i need to give her back her deposit. i say the deposit covered the work which was already complete, the amount left over is $130, and that's my fee for her cancelling with no notice. who's right?
  2. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205

    Give her back the $130.00,keep the rest. She's wrong but you won't do yourself any justice by keeping the extra.JMO.
  3. jsaunders

    jsaunders LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,781

    You are right- CRAZY B*tch She must have a bird when the grass grows after it's been cut;) joel
  4. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,454

    Keep the money. It sounds like somebody taught her how to play you.
  5. GeeVee

    GeeVee LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 421

    Got a contract?

    Then it must be you.
  6. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    yes! in fact there is a contract!!!!! it states what will be done, for how much. there is nothing in writing to cover changes , but it does say if customer cancels, deposits are non refundable.
  7. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205

    Ah,now that is a bit different.
    Good for you Bob,contracts are good.
  8. GeeVee

    GeeVee LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 421

    Then thats different BG....

    I think I'd add to my contract, stipulating changes- time frame, dollar amounts, coverage for purchases or restocking fees

    You live, you learn.
  9. o-so-n-so

    o-so-n-so LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,218

    Do what the contract states and move on. Non refundable deposit. What part of that does she not understand?
  10. Gr grass n Hi tides

    Gr grass n Hi tides LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    To some people contracts don't mean much. If they decide not to abide by it then you have to fight. Not much fun spending time and effort filing a "mechanic's lien" on their property & maybe waiting 20 years to get paid, or filing an action in your local court to be heard and fate decided on the whim of some magistrate and/or judge depending on your location/jurisdiction.

    Example - (Bobby you'll love this) I had a lady a few weeks ago that wanted a large clean-up. We walk her property and she shows me each item she wants done. Then, SHE insists on a written contract which I provided to her. We both signed it, of course. So.........I get the work done, almost all of it while she's at home & checking behind me each step of the way (which is fine because this way I know she's happy).

    During the work she made comments like "this is absolutely perfect" and "wow.....this turned out better than I expected" and "my guests are going to love this." When the work is done (this was spread out over two days) I hand her the bill & she says "you know what I'm just getting ready to head out...........geez, maybe I'll just put a partial payment in the mail to you in a few days or so." The contract said PAYMENT IN FULL DUE UPON COMPLETION OF WORK. I also told her this when we talked, of course. Right then I tell her ma'am, our agreement was payment in full upon completion of work so I need to have that please. Then she says "well I'm really not impressed.............I dunno, we'll have to see.......anyway, gotta run bye-bye."

    I'm furious, just stood there while she got in her car and drove off. I figured I'd give her one week before I hand delivered and sent via cert. mail to her a copy of what I'm prepared to file. On the 6th day, no joke, (I haven't rec'd a check yet)..............she calls first thing in the morning and says "geez, I've got a check sitting here for you if you want to come and get it or whatever I didn't know how you wanted to get mail it or what." She says I can come by at 12:00 or so "but I may or may not be home then." So, I go over right then, unannounced at 8:00 & she hands me a check (although surprised to see me........"oh my I didn't expect you this fast") which I promptly CASH at the bank.

    My point it this: There are some problematic clients out there & depending on just how much trouble they want to be a contract might not be worth spit. They may give you a better argument though when it's LOC vs. "little old lady" in front of a judge. Who gets the preference? You tell me. I think, in Bobby's situation just cutting it off and getting paid for work done doesn't sound like too bad an option & if per chance she wants him to continue with the original work plan he ought to get the rest up front and then do the work. If she can't understand that after what's happened then she can go find someone else.

    In my situation the client was a rich old widow, just the type of individual you'd figure could pay her bills. But also, she's the type with all kinds of time on her hands and money to play games with.

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