Im Getting Ripped

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by IBGreen, Sep 28, 2002.

  1. IBGreen

    IBGreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 726

    What do you guys do to keep from getting shafted out of money? I have had two non-paying customers, one filed bankruptcy and the other is just a weasle. We always collect the first time, but on the weasle we didn't. He stopped and asked me to come look at his property and it looked really nice but it was unmanicured. So I took all of his information and told him I would be there the next day to collect and cut for him. He wasn't there so we worked anyway, that was two weeks ago. I've been calling and this dude blocks my phone both office and cell! So I go to his house again for the fifth time and there is this lady there saying she owned the house and was ready to kick him out. What a mess! I guess that was my fault but, what do you all do to avoid this? Thanks for listening to my pitty story. I know you guys have some answers and cool stories.

    Brandon Shaw
    Evergreen Landscaping Concepts
     
  2. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Posts: 1,405

    I think thats happened to everyone. It happened to me ONCE! I picked up a new client, yard was knee high(no joke). So I cut and trimmed but didn't clean up the leaves (this yard hadn't been touched since last year:eek: ), it wasn't included in the price. I collected my money. Says she wants me there to cut every week. She told me that if she asked me to do anything extra, she understood that it was not part of the regular price and that it would be more. She told me to clean up the leaves before I came back to mow again, so I did. I left her a bill for the clean-up. I never heard from her again! Apparently she thought the leaves was part of the first job or something, I don't know. I left messages on her home phone,her work phone, her cell phone, and even talked to her husband. He didn't even know about the situation;he just kinda blew me off:mad: . This guys a landscape architect for Horticare. Anyway, enough babbling. I never did get my money. I'm just going to claim it as a loss on my taxes, I guess. So from now I on, I make sure that the customer and I have an agreement before I do any work.
    BTW, where are you located? Welcome to lawnsite. I'm from Sherwood/NLR.
     
  3. IBGreen

    IBGreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 726

    This was almost the exact same situation, I can't believe people are that shady. I guess I'll look into the tax loss though. I'm in East End, so we are a good ways apart. But I do come out there to Benton Equipment a lot. Thanks for the info!
     
  4. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 4,666

    I just collected from a customer like that the other day. Guy lives up the street and stoped by to see if I could clean up his yard, needed it done real quick. So, I rearrainge my schedule and do it next day. He was to stop and pay me. Well, two weeks and no money. I called and no one ever answered. I sent two statements over two months. Never could get anyone to answer door. I got tired of that and went to where he works. Told his boss I was there to collect on a bad debt. Boss told me where I could find him, so I went to where he was and asked him for the money in front of two employees he supervises. He was really surprised to see me there. I got my money on the spot. Do you know where your deadbeat customer works?:D
     
  5. IBGreen

    IBGreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 726

    When I was talking to him he said he owned his own business. He told me he owned a travel agency, but after a little thinking I beleive its some sort of pyramid scheme or something. I should have walked away from this guy!

    Brandon Shaw
    Evergreen Landscaping Concepts
     
  6. Likestomow

    Likestomow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 997

    I may be wrong, but I don't think you can take a deduction for a loss from services rendered. Just think, if you could, it would be possible to fabricate almost any senerio. I believe it's just material (with a receipt) that you can claim a loss from.
     
  7. IBGreen

    IBGreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 726

    I guess that would be true or otherwise everyone here would be taking those losses ten times a day huh?
     
  8. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    It's a shame but the handshake just doesn't cut it anymore :angry:

    I will not do any work, for anybody, for any reason, without a signed contract. I get mine at www.nebs.com. I write up a proposal and when they sign it it becomes a contract. Never had to press the issue, cuz people know they will lose in court. I get my money after just one phone call.

    Scott
     
  9. Mow&Snow

    Mow&Snow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 335

    I had one guy I was mowing for. He had a nice easy yard that took me 25 min. I was charging only 30 dollars cuz I had 5 people all in a row. Well this guy started building fences all trough his yard. Now it took an hour and a half with smaller machines. So I fired him nicely.. tole him that I could no longer...yaddy yadda and so an. He said no proplem, but he wont pay me my 90 bucks he owes me. Been over a year, I still send him monthly bill. Next one will be a postcard.
     
  10. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,308

    In my Dome record keeping book, under legal deductions allowable, it says "bad debts from services rendered-previously reported as income." I too have to deal with deadbeats from time to time. I need to get tougher at dealing with this!
     

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