SOS HELP with 12 month contract terms Need advice

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Perfect touch landscapes, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. Perfect touch landscapes

    Perfect touch landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 254

    I have been using 12 month contracts on residential and commercial, on commercial it works like acharm but 25-40% of residential customers abuse contract and terms. They are extremely happy when I get contract, then they call and call asking when I will do mulch cleanup, mow, weed, fert, I do explain that I can't provide all services at once because payment is set, yet accounts are in bad shape. I started collecting one month upon acceptance and every month after that, no matter how I explain, when tornados hit, floods, storms, molles,fungus,bagworms, sabotage ,watering flowers every morning and all kinds of other nonesence that is not forseen I don't cover that as part of contract. I need some help with verbage, creativity, and being carefully of not getting hurt, by someone canselling contract in October ( when I start collecting mostly profit,yet they try to get rid of you because they see you as liability and forgot how much work I have done in the beggining.
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  2. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,838

    First you need to have a way for them to get out of the contract like a early termination penalty. If you don't offer one it is considered one sided in my opinion and I'm almost certain a judge will throw it out if there is no way out of it.
     
  3. Perfect touch landscapes

    Perfect touch landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 254

    Ok I don't have a problem with clause but I hear from many people you can't charge penalty, and what I think of penalty is catching up everything you did over what you have received. If customer quits his job how am I responsible for this. I want to be able to please clients , but at the same time not lead customer on that I will be in their yard with butterfly net catching leafs for them. 12 month works great in neighbourhood with allot of oaks, bcause you can clean them all inter long, but someone in new subdivision different story. Then you get someone who never had pro services and you got som explaining to do. See I am tired of explaining something over and over when hey use the amunity of being ignorent or being slick with me.
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  4. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,838

    I know I have a clause for cancellation. It has to work both ways though. If you cancel you have to do whatever to make it right and the same for the customer. The contact has to protect you and your client. I would put that issues in regards to this contract are to be settled in arbitration.
     
  5. ALLPro Landscaping

    ALLPro Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 813

    I have a clause in my contracts, one for canceling, and a $100.00 service charge for changing a commercial contract, my res cancellation is $200.00 cancellation fee. You have to have some way for them to get out, just make sure you get something out of it, some guys do a 30 day notice, mine is 7 calender days plus 200
     
  6. Perfect touch landscapes

    Perfect touch landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 254

    What clauses or spec"s you got to have to win in court, issue mac lien, or send them to collections.
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  7. CkLandscapingOrlando

    CkLandscapingOrlando LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 652

    I charge one month if they cancel with more than 3 months remaining on the contract. But you can cancel for any reason with 30 days written notice.
     
  8. Perfect touch landscapes

    Perfect touch landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 254

    You don't have a problem with their bossy fit? If payment is small and they don't pay ,smart ones know I don't want to waste time with collections or lien. What do you do incase no complience? I just had dealership contract, brought everything to be like it should be. When I got account I thought I dealt with owner. He wanted me to do his personal account also. When I invoiced first payment with two different monthly fees( home and buisiness) he calledme and told me to include personal with home in one payment and not to disclose on invoce that home is included. I felt something was fishy. He was pain in the ass customer. His plaza had 5 other buisinesses in it. I found out that all 5 buisinesses were paying him 400.00 a month for landscape maintenance. One day one of owner came up to me and asked me to bid his home after we talked a little he realized that I was servising also home account of the owner and I only billed him 550.00 a month. He told me that this plaza was owned by 5 owners and they all pay association money every month. Then he figured out that client that I signed contract with was including his home and 5 owners were all paying for it. He got pissed off. anyways he contacted client I signed contract with that I thought was the only owner and tryed to ask him how come he is making all coowners pay for his personal ****.I got a call got botched at that I as pissing off tenants.customer I had agreement with told all co-owners that I did his home for free(250.00) a month. I was in the middle one guy was pissed off that 1 owner got home maintained on the house other was pissed off they he was caught stealing. Client got pissed off that I talked and fired me. Well I didn't realize this was going on. I got contract it is not as detailed as I want it to be. I don't have a clause for collecting one month or
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2009
  9. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,369

    you 12mth guys sure like to make it hard for yourselves......and easy for the rest of us
     
  10. CkLandscapingOrlando

    CkLandscapingOrlando LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 652

    How do you figure that? Some of us 12 month guy's actualy work 12 months. I refuse to discuse any price for a property with anyone else. Mainly because you get asked what your being payed and you say 200, then there friend is doing it next week for 175.

    Also, you wont pick up any comercial work here without a 12 month contract. So how do we make it easy for you?
     

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