jerk off customer problem

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by f350dieselemt, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. f350dieselemt

    f350dieselemt LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    hello everyone..
    on Tuesday i started a job for a customer laying a 20x30 hollandstone paver patio in the backyard. This house is set up on a mountain and the front yard is 6 ft. off the ground. there is no access to the backyard for a machine or for a wheelbarrow. the only way is to unload from truck to front lawn 6 ft up and wheelbarrow up a huge hill then bring it into the rear of the house. Also we had to throw all the pavers up 1 by 1. The backyard is sloped major towards the houuse and there is large rocks and pieces of concrete in the ground. So last night (thursday night) customer calls me and say she NEEDS it done by today at 4:30 P.M because her spoiled daughter is having a surprise party.. i called her back and said "i'm sorry but there is no way that i can have this done by then. i have to finish digging and fix drainage problem put down base material, sand, and then lay pavers." she starts to scream and say that if i dont have it done by then she is going to come and find me. (REMEMBER WE ARE DIGGING BY HAND). SO this morning i get into the office and of course like usual there is 745,601 messages on the answering machine and 1 of them is hers. her message read as follows:"Hi Alex it is Mrs. Pal***y, i just wanted to let you know that we fould someone else who is goinng to finish the job for us... i am very disapointed that you could not finish it. so we found someone else". i have been paid for materials but NONE for labor yet.. Does anyone have any advice on what i should do.. THanks everyone for helping:usflag:
     
  2. Frontier-Lawn

    Frontier-Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,949

    did she sign a agreement if so sue her for breach of contract!
     
  3. CutInEdge Lawn Care

    CutInEdge Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 677

    If you know you gave 110% then you were right. She may have found someone using 30 guys and got the job done in 10hrs. However, that does not mean the job was done right. Count your blessings on lesson learned and good luck collecting. Some on LS use OldDebts.com for collecting. I am sure some will chime in along the way for a more suitable solution. Good Luck!!!
     
  4. f350dieselemt

    f350dieselemt LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    well my father owns a collection agency.. i could probably collect if i had to... should i write her a letter or should i just forget about it? would she still owe us the labor for the hours we were there?
     
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Add up everything you have done up to this point, both in materials and labor.
    Remember you can only add that which you have actually done so far, not to be smart but so we understand, you can not charge for the whole estimate but certainly everything that got done, add this all up and get a total.

    Subtract from this total any payments you may have received.
    Then, submit a bill for the final figure (you might consider lightly itemizing, such as Materials, labor, and minus payments received).

    p.s.: I've had this happen once or twice over the years, it certainly doesn't top my list of favorites but you can't send it to collection until they don't pay.
    p.s.s.: You did the right thing, if you couldn't fix her emergency then you couldn't do it, she should be disappointed in herself.
     
  6. Surf'n'Turf

    Surf'n'Turf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 326

    Did this lady ask you how long it was going to take to complete the job and did you provide a timeline? Was it also not raining the last three days in here NJ? :hammerhead:
     
  7. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569


    That is going to depend TOTALLY and exactly what the contract that you provided and she signed says.
     
  8. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    How far in to the job did you get? Sounds like theft of services to me but like said you can only charge for what you have really done. What were the stipulations of the contract if there was one and yes what was the timeline?
     
  9. f350dieselemt

    f350dieselemt LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    there was no timeline put into effect for this job. the contract did not say anything about termination of services.. her daughter and my friend are dating so it was kind of like a friendly job..MY MISTAKE.. i will never do that again
     
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    No doubt, but I still send them the final bill, all my contracts are verbal.
    In the end, the why and the how and the if and then and buts and what-nots don't really matter because if an excuse that sounds good enough gets someone out of paying, where does it end? Hey, how about we call some lawnguy for this 4-day project and find out if he can do it all at once... If he can, call around some more until you find one who can not, then when he's 3/4's or so of the way through, we take over and finish it but not before you call and claim this here emergency and make sure you're all mad and disappointed.

    Not to say that's what happened, but I don't tolerate 'reasons why I can not / did not pay.'
     

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