Return Deposit?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by jcom, Jul 8, 2006.

  1. jcom

    jcom LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 791

    I started with an estimate back in May. No contact until two weeks ago. I specify that customer has thirty days to accept. Since they missed the deadline, I gave them another (higher) proposal. They accepted and sent me a $200 deposit on a 2K job. Got a call today that they changed their mind and would like their deposit back.

    This is a first for us and would like any input on procedures. I am leaning to looking at it as an earnest money deposit. If they do not go through with the contract, they lose their deposit.

    Thanks for the feedback, folks. I am sure this is not that unusual.

    John:nono:
     
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,997

    There is usually a time period within which a homeowner can back out of a contract. Check your state consumer protection laws.
     
  3. bumper

    bumper LawnSite Member
    from So. Cal
    Posts: 187

    I'm thinkin go for the good will and send it back
     
  4. Luvs2Play

    Luvs2Play LawnSite Member
    Posts: 246

    I'm thinking word of mouth travels alot faster than $200.00 will get you. I would give it back and get on with life. There is a good chance they will call you again later when they are ready for the job, or refer you to someone they know. Next time you can put a non refundable paperwork/drafting fee on the bid, leaving you a percentage of the deposit should they back out in less than a set time, here it is 72 hours.
     
  5. I would just give the $200 back. With the hassle they might cause over the $200, it is just not worth keeping it in the long run. On the average, an unhappy customer will tell 5 people about their bad experience and a happy customer will only tell one about their good experience.
     
  6. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,504

    Im kinda with the other guys on giving it back, a bad reputation could cost you morre than the $200.00 . Ok they missed the first deadline.THEN you gave them a new higher price and they signed the contract 2 weeks ago. You state that they have 30 days to accept and its just been 14 days. The way I understand it........the way it is written in this post....dont you owe them the deposit?;)

    wayne
     
  7. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,997

    I usually ask for a larger percentage up front, because of this sort of thing. Folks think a lot harder when it's a four-figure check that they're writing, and I don't often hear about changed minds.
     
  8. jcom

    jcom LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 791

    I know that I can legally keep the cash but the overwhelming majority here is to give it back and move on. Guess when I get done being p'd off, our reputation is much more valuable than the deposit.

    I am planning on sending it back tomorrow. It will really piss me off if they reneged for another company on the install.

    Thanks for the help folks,

    John:cry:
     
  9. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,997

    If you actually deposited the check, and the funds cleared, and the cooling-off period has passed, a binding contract exists. I might be tempted to require the homeowners to put their desire to cancel in writing, signed and dated, and sent by way of certified mail.
     
  10. bumper

    bumper LawnSite Member
    from So. Cal
    Posts: 187

    10% or thousand bucks..which ever is less is all we can ask for.
     

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