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Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by PlantscapeSolutions, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,979

    Does anyone else find it interesting that there are places like the BBB who's sole role is to protect people from bad business but no similar organization to protect businesses from problem clients.

    In a metropolitan area a home owner can calls dozens and dozens of landscape contractors and take advantage of them. The same goes for general contractors who sub out work to landscape contractors but do not live up to their financial obligations. There are some GC's and home owners out their who are hard to distinguish from a con man. They screw businesses over left and right and get away with it because there is no service that tracks this sort of thing.

    If I had money burning a hole in my pocket I would start my own website called Redflagclient.com to track and tag dead beats. There would obviously have to be some "all info contained here is opinion " lingo to prevent lawsuits. All contractors could register by trade to use the site. You could post the name and address of clients you would recommend avoiding. The site could be organized by city and state. The contractors who register to use the site could be targeted for online advertising as a means to support the site. Contractors tend to spend a lot of money and are a sought out advertising targets.

    Wouldn't you guys like to be able to run a check on new clients to see if there are any horror stories you should be aware of? I'm sure we have all had clients who screwed us out of amounts of money too small to justify even filing a lien. But at the same time you'd love to be able to tag that client as a person to avoid. Your tagging the bad client might prevent another contractor to falling victim. You may get a little payback in the future when the client can't figure out why nobody will work for him any more.

    Trying to get a redflagclient.com site up and running properly could cost big bucks to do it right so I'm kind of SOL. What do you guys think of this idea? I'm sure we've all had a client who made us see red.
  2. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,441

    I think that would be a good idea. I've wondered about why there isn't some-thing already set up. It must be a privacy issue or a constitutional reason why it hasn't been done already. You'd have to sit down with a Lawyer. I discussed this with the landscape association here, so our members would have a watch list . My suggestions were shot down because it was presumed there would be legal implications with such a list. (even if it's a private members only list)

    The BBB frankly sucks. I allege they protect their members.

    I have lodged written complaints against HOA's and Management companies that are registered tax paying businesses. The BBB wouldn't do any-thing saying they don't get involved in payment disputes. I wanted the above repeat offenders (hoa/management) to be registered as offenders. On the other hand, if I allegedly ripped off a client the BBB would certainly take the complaint and record it for all to see. Two sets of rules?
  3. BaxtersEssentialLawnCare

    BaxtersEssentialLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 299

    please do this. best idea ever.
  4. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,132

    You really could get this up and going pretty easily to start with. Start with a simple website that lets you post a live excell form that users online can manipulate to search by state, city, etc. Have a contact page set up with boxes for the con tractors to add info that yo would receive in an email and review and add it in. That would atleast get a workable site going, start getting some traffic to it and the redflag list built up and I'm sure you could then find some sponsors for it once they see the idea and traffic flow. Get them onboard and then go to a more user friendly custom built site.

    You beter get to work on this. Seems like a good enough idea that I could make it a hung over sunday project
  5. Lefet

    Lefet LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,887

    I'm in, where do I sign?
  6. nherweck

    nherweck LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 321

    Sign me up! This would be real nice in the near future...
  7. Bunton Guy

    Bunton Guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,755

    My wifes company she works for is working on something basically like what you guys are talking about. It will be for contractors to look up potential or current clients.

    It will cost only a couple bucks a month which is cheap insurance compared to the thousands people could easily be screwed out of each year.
  8. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638

    I am pretty sure this has been brought up before on here or something like it... the thing that will prevent you from creating or running such a website is that at anytime the client can come along and see the information. IF the vendor does not have proof that services were rendered....you will be forced to take it down or face slander charges at min.

    Moral of the story - get at least 1/2 up front - have a signed document/agreement./contract ....and limit your losses any other way you can such as another .25 do before completion .
  9. ringahding

    ringahding LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 612

    That is probably one of the most back-words Ideas I have ever heard!
    I Love It!

    I would love to post their website & "Fan Page" here of the "Red Flag Client" , that still owes us $4,800 for snow plowing last year!

    I think honestly this needs to happen as a localized solution of companies that don't get paid for services already rendered. YA know, like they do for "DWI" offenders or "Sex Offenders".

    I think it would be so funny to see their face posted as a customer not to provide services for, so they would ultimately either pay or do their own shiiiii.

    Good Thread!
  10. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638

    What you and others are fortetting is that DWI and sex offenders have been found guilty in a court of law. Posting to said website would require such action too as I previously stated to be not held liable for slander. IF the contractor has a contract to prove his services were agreed upon and can show he was not compensated for it - then he would have a case - which he would get compensated for by the law...if the person has money to get...if he does not have those things...again all it would take would be someone saying it was false and claim to sue for slander and there name would be down.

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