ok, this happened to a friend of mine.....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Jan 1, 2005.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    this guy, he did a leaf cleanup, for a one time client. no contract. the price was $400. he went, but heavy winds made it impossible to work, he got about 50% of the leaves up. told client he will come back, ok. next time, he shows up, works maybe another hour, heavy winds again, he can't finish. he tells client, ok. a couple days later, nice weather forecast for the next day, he calls client, tells her to leave check, post date is fine, he will be there to finish tommorow morning. she says ok, he shows up, looks for check, there is no check. he doesn't complete job. he calls her several times over the next 2 weeks, she doesn't answer or return call. finally, he says screw it. he did finish at least 3/4 of the job, so he sends a bill for $300. she sends note back, "i will not pay, job was not completed." he tries calling her again, she won't return call. my advice was to sit in front of her driveway and confront her when she comes home. he seems to think, "she may have a point" about the job not being complete. i tell him he was there to finish, she agreed to leave a check, she didn't leave it, so fk her. does he have a right to be paid anything?
     
  2. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,205

    personally i really feel he shouldnt charge her anything. if i were him though, i woulda just done the cleanup without the check and then bill her. if she didnt pay, put a lein on house. he chose to show up on windy days and couldnt complete the work and she had the check those days, so maybe she just forgot. ive been in his shoes, but we just bill people, none of this leaving checks for us.
     
  3. Woody82986

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

    If he called that many times over that long period of time and she never answered she was looking to duck out on the bill. I would call her, tell her what day I was coming to finish the job, and tell her that she either needs to be home so he can collect the money or she can leave a check, but that he would not complete the work unless one of those two things happened.
     
  4. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    well, here's the thing, we live in a world of vipers (the great one himself even said this) so there is a trust issue. it was a one time client, so he didn't know her. he completed most of the job, and asked for a post dated check , she agreed. the reason for post dating was so she could inspect the job, and even stop payment if it wasn't up to par. but, she DID AGREE to leave a check, and didn't. he had every reason to believe he was about to get humped. i think she had every intention of not paying. btw, there was rain, and heavy winds for about the last month of the season here in jersey. you had to do some work in the wind, or starve.
     
  5. TMlawncare

    TMlawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,197

    In this line of work wind, rain, heat, drought are all part of the business. Your friend was there to do a complete job period. If the jobs not done, I would not pay either. He was there twice and never completed the job, what is the homeowner suppose to think. He just needs to plan more wisely. Go back to the job, complete the work, bill the lady, make sure shes on the list for next year, move on to the next account.
     
  6. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    so tm, your advice is, in 40 mph winds, to just stay there as long as you need to, to finish, for the same $400? and you have no comment on the fact that she agreed to leave a check, but didn't?
     
  7. TMlawncare

    TMlawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,197

    I agree Bobbygedd this has been one of the most challenging years we have faced weatherwise also. Its been difficult to get thing wrapped up in a timely manner. I'm not as familiar with the specifics of the situation and market as you are. Yes she agreed to leave a check but sometimes the customers and you don't see the situation in the same way. She probably looked out the window or listened to the weather and heard strong winds today and figured, he won't be here and if he is he won't stay long. No need to leave a check. As far as our business goes, any uncompleted job is first on the list for the next workable day. There has been several jobs that we have had to call extra employees in to work on even though it wasn't profitable for them to be there. If we were to not get the job done it would hurt our profitability even more. Remember mother nature sets our schedule, we have to make wise/profitable decisions in order to make the most of our most precious resource ---------time.
     
  8. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Bobby your friend failed to finish the job 2 times already. I would have to think real hard before I would leave a check. Post dating would not make me comfortable either.
    As a customer I want to see the finished product first.
    As a provider I want to make sure the customer is happy with what I did.
    We don't have the same issues with getting payed as you do up in NJ so maybe my system would not work there but I still think that the job should be finished. Maybe have your friend ask for 1/2 up front and agree to get the rest at completion.
     
  9. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    as a customer, she AGREED to leave a check. i would say that she had a choice in the night before phone conversation, that being: a) "no, i'd rather not leave a check, i want to see the job done first." or b) "ok, i'll leave a check for the full amount." SHE CHOSE option "b", and agreed to leave a check. i'd say under these circumstances, the contractor had every reason to see a "red flag" when the check wasn't there, as per agreement.
     
  10. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,205

    haha this is a discussion forum. i think all three of us are trying to tell you he shouldnt be in that position to begin with. like stated above, he failed to complete twice......whether she agreed or not, it woulda been much easier to bill her when job was complete. not once have we ever taken a check for services. everything gets billed. just some food for thought for him. i realize everybodys businesses are differently sized and run differently here so sometimes its hard to make a point cause other people dont see it the same way.
     

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