problem to be solved

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by dekalb lawn man, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. dekalb lawn man

    dekalb lawn man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 134

    Last friday we had a big snowstorm and the guy i hired showed up 5 1/2 hours late due to a breakdown on his truck. Then it broke down 3 more times during the remainder off the day. His plow would not go all the way down to the ground and would leave about three inches of snow everywhere.Due to this problem I had to bring other componies in to help out and pay them double since it was an emergency. I also lost 7 out of 9 clients because by the time the lots were clear it was very late in the day.At the end of the day this guy tells me I owe him $800 for the work he did. The way I see it I dont owe him anything because he didnt finish any of the jobs and I lost business because of him.

    What should I do?
     
  2. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Posts: 1,624

    What you should have done is sent is broke ass home.
     
  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Tell him he didn't hold up to his end of the agreement...you owe him zilch IMO.
     
  4. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    If he left 3" on the ground because of faulty equipment, he didn't do it correctly & you don't owe him anything. He obviously needs the money to get his stuff fixed so he is trying to stiff you w/ the bill.
     
  5. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    What happens with this guy is not nearly as important as you learning you need an up front agreement as to what constitutes a complete job including but not limited to; time frame jobs are to be completed in, acceptable amount of snow left on the ground and anything else that comprises your job performance.

    If you want to go all out and have a lawyer draw up a contract great. At the very least you need to have clear expectations between you and your employee/sub what they need to do to get paid.

    But you know that now don't you. You probably knew it before but it had never become a problem so it was not a priority.

    Everyone else should learn from this and use your off time to put systems in place to prevent problems before they happen. You cant prevent everything but you can minimize the damage.
     
  6. TJLANDS

    TJLANDS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,669

    First. When it comes to snow and liability 30 minutes late and he gets replaced.

    If you let him continue to work then go to next question.
    What did your contract with him say?
    To lose 7-9 accounts that sucks. But it wasnt his fault he didnt have the contracts you did.

    Sounds like you did some commercial lots. I hope you dont have any slip and falls so you dont have to answer these questions from a lawyer.
    Good luck with the next storm.
     
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I don't usually say much concerning subbed work, mainly because I see so many people are all up on the idea as if it was the greatest invention.
    One can see why, after all someone is getting paid without dropping a bead of sweat.

    What I don't get here is if someone does not have the equipment to perform a job, why are they selling said work?

    I learned real early you can't sub stuff out.
    Too many implications, this only scratches the surface.

    That would be like me selling new cars, then running to the dealership to pick them up.
    I don't actually own them, I just sell them and I'm not even a dealer.
    And the daring question here is, who pays the commission to the extra middleman?
    The customer?
    So they're now paying fair market price + the commission (to someone who really isn't needed here)?

    Ok, so let me sell you a 20,000 dollar car, for 22,000...
    Deal?

    No, it doesn't work like that.
    Either you can do it, or you can't.
    If you can't, they can always call someone for just that, or call someone who does it all, whatever.
     
  8. Josh.S

    Josh.S LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,085

    I understand and agree with your post, but the deal with subbed work sometimes is that say the dealer could sell you that 20,000 dollar car for 17,000 since you bought so many, and then you resold it for 19,500... so actually the customer saved money anyhow..

    I just sub out fertalizing so I don't have to get a license, and if I can't find a plow within the next week and a half I will just let the previous owner plow them, or sub them to my friend..

    I understand what you are saying although I don't think that the customer always has to pay extra if you somebody is subbing work..
     
  9. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,954

    Most of my customers- here and back when I was in AZ -insist on my hiring subs and managing them for them- even when I tell them I'm marking up the sub's price 25% to pay for my time to manage them! In a way, it's like the car-buying service my credit union offered: sure, a car through them cost a couple grand more, but you didn't have to go in and spar with a car salesman. Some people find the convenience worth it. Me personally, I'm cheap, I'm just glad not everyone is
     
  10. sunray

    sunray LawnSite Member
    Posts: 218

    I had the bright idea to sub out lawn maintenance and consintrate on the bobcat work, this guy I was working with on this never showed up and did not say a word that was a big screw up and lesson well learned.
    You really better have a good idea who these guys are and what kind of equipment they have before you put your accounts on the line.
    It was a nice commercial account!
     

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