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Major PITA

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by ozd12005, May 9, 2007.

  1. ozd12005

    ozd12005 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 342

    3 weeks ago while mowing a long time customers yard the corner of my eye caught someone waving from across the street. I stopped and went over to see what she wanted and it turned out to be a spring clean and weekly maintenance, So that day I did the clean-up and first cut and returned last week only to have her stop me while dropping my trailor gate. Please skip my lawn this week since there isnt much growth :realmad: I was swamped due to the rain and said no problem. Today I stop and serviced the lawn (of course over grown) and come home to find a message from her

    This is Mrs XXX and I cant believe you cut my lawn today it didnt need service and I'm not paying you for the service and I'm not going to pay you the money for the spring clean because it only took an hour (my spring clean is a flat rate) and dont even think about doing anymore work at my house I will find someone else.

    I'm in shock and give her a call, Before I can get a word out of my mouth she starts screaming and and going on and on and says send a bill for 1 service and half the amount of the spring clean. I explain that my service is a set price and she agreed to the terms and I expect to be paid in full and will discontinue service. She called me an as*hole and hung up the phone, I'm still in shock over this whole thing and was wondering if its worth the time to try and collect in full ? Still have her message and was thinking of going down to the police station but dont know if they could do much

    MOWALLTHETIME LawnSite Member
    Posts: 71

    I have had this happen before and it is not pretty. I normallly go and deliver the last invoice in person and inform the customer that there services are being suspending until the bill is satisfied and she can conduct business in a proper manner. Once you have given her the final bill they will either pay it and ask for your services to continue under a written contract or you follow your debt collection plan. We are no different than the light company or the phone compnay. She does not call the light company and threaten to not pay her electric bill for the electricty her house uses when she is not at home. No payment equals no service.

    TJLANDS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,669

    Sorry to hear that. In the future just make them sign a contract, it could be a very easy fill in the blank, check off the service, whatever. I have not done work for anyone without a signature in over ten years. Cover yourself.
  4. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,690

    Go after her. Her bi-polar lawn care attitude should not be your problem, dont make it your problem.
  5. razor1

    razor1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,985

    Sorry to hear about your troubles. I've always thought it would be nice to have a state by state, alphabetical list of pita and no-pay customers. :cry:
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Man I am sorry, but I went through this school, too, more than a few times.

    I'd still chase for the money thou, probably.

    :laugh: that's funny, I've never heard the bi-polar bit one.
  7. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,128

    You did the work, she needs to pay for it. Do what you need to in order to collect the money. I don't mind being a pain in the ass about it once I know either they are going to use someone else or I realize I don 't want to jack with them anymore.
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Pre-screening would've saved the day, but it takes time to figure it out...
    Here it is, here's your sign:
    See, you just gave her the upper hand when you stopped, I would've kept right on going. I done trained myself to not even turn my head when the corner of the eye sees something, thou dark tinted safety goggles help further. It's just like that, when you stop for them you become their lawn boy, sick as it sounds, it's that Yin yang crap... But DO stop for YOUR customer, the folks whose yard you're working on, that is different.

    I'm not sure why folks do that, the waving bit, I think they just don't know how else to do it (and I don't have the answer to it yet either), meanwhile most of us reinforce the habit by following through in our learning years.
  9. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    I disagree, I get about 60% of my jobs from waving potential clients. Waving, stopping by in their cars, calling "Hey, you?", talking to me in parking lots, nurseries, hardware stores and rock suppliers. If you study Feng Shui, you will know it is all about the balancing of the good and the bad in your life. Taking the good with the bad and living in harmony. Without bad there is not good and without good there is not bad. Encouraging good Chi and discouraging bad Chi.
    I have read you talking about "That ying/yang thing" before topsites you might do well to study it a bit before you expound upon what is Ying and what is Yang.
  10. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    We work all year long here so dont really have cleanups other than new customers, but isnt it policy to get paid at time of service or before on these? Especially with new customers.

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