True Stories To Scare Any Contractor

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Team-Green L&L, Oct 2, 2007.

  1. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    I posted this thread in another section, but it seems to be more beneficial here. TRUE STORIES OF THE COSTLY KIND...

    Please use this thread to tell TRUE stories about how the absence of insurance, applicator's licenses, worker's comp, and other legal tape has caused severe consequences to one's business or home.

    I'll go first. This is one of my articles from another site, but I will continue to post the dreaded stories I have accumulated fROm asking this question:

    "What you Didn't Know About the Guy's in your Yard"

    It's pretty easy to tell if you have illegal aliens (or at least immigrants) working on your construction project, but are they really the worst that can happen?

    I'm not advocating illegal immigration here, but just to point out what you should REALLY be worried about...

    Tradesman come in all shapes and sizes and it becomes apparently true when you open your local phone book to the "contractors" sections. So who do you choose?

    We all know how confrontational "20 Questions" feels and very few of us will burden a professional (or seemingly so) with proving their credentials, but what are we risking when we don't?

    Well, here is the first of a series of true stories to share a much greater concern with you than "Jose" in the back yard:

    The Perkin's Family needed an addition for their home due to a new baby, so they did what we all do...picked up the phone book and looked for the biggest ad. "Hey, they have to be good or they couldn't afford that ad huh?"

    Well, on day 22 of the "2 week job" the guy in the dump truck forgot to engage the emergency brake and the truck rolled down their drive into their neighbor's lawn, knocking down their stone mailbox fixture. Oops!

    I know what your thinking, "No, problem. The company insurance will pay for it?" Not exactly, you see ABC Construction did not carry commercial insurance on their trucks in order to get lower insurance rates, claiming that they used the trucks on a farm. Yes, this is quite common.

    So, Mrs. Perkins fires ABC Construction, who forms a new entity the following year with their tax returns and are now operating under a new name.

    Well, the neighbor sued the Perkins Family, who, in turn, sued ABC Construction; which was an LLC (Limited Liability Company) formed in the name of an 81 year old indigent relative. Which means all Mrs. Perkins could get was the properties owned by ABC Construction, who sold their equipment to some guy (who ended up "selling" it to the new ABC Construction) leaving the evildoers in the same position they were before the incident.

    So, in the end, the customer lost all funds already paid to ABC Construction, had to re-contract the job to another company that charged more due to repair work, and was sued by their neighbor for more damages than the job had cost to begin with.

    OUCH! That $7000 home addition just ran upwards of $25,000 in damages. Someone just lost their next vacation fund!

    The moral of the story is this.

    "Jose" in the back yard isn't good for American economy, but a shabby contractor can be fatal to your personal economy.

    Let's here some more. These stories are great to tell the H.O. when price and operations costs are an issue.
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Ok, you can explain all of that to the next customer who cares about nothing except the best deal for the money, then cash in on the increase and pay for the insurance AND deal with all the extra garbage that comes with it, and out of the money that's left you pay yourself. It sounds great as a concept, but it's just like running Synthetic Oil and Super unleaded and double platinum spark plugs in everything and that's just for starters, I keep saying High performance parts work better longer but most of the guys here have done argued me to death about it...

    I'm alright with it and it's all good, but it does enlighten that concept, you can not squeeze blood out of a turnip.

    You can do things either way, it's that yin and yang thing, but the pickier you get the less customers you have, and if that's not it then you compromise elsewhere, someplace some thing is always wrong, this is most absolutely one business at least I have NEVER figured out how to do it all by the book, there is just no way.

    Either the job is done to pinpoint accuracy specs, or the guy does have insurance, or the equipment is always in the best of shape, etc etc but somewhere, somehow, some thing is always wrong, some thing has to take the loss, I can't figure it out any other way, I'm tired of going hungry and not getting paid enough and these folks want to talk insurance? LOL!

    So, we all cheat a little, hey, whatever, it's cool.
    The customer has to understand that, come on, the next guy shows up fully insured and all is gravy except he uses a pull-behind aerator vs. a walk behind, who knows, whatever, but there's ALWAYS the compromise, and these customers come around with their horror stories either knew or should have known they took that risk when they hired those guys.

    It's not even all their risk, I dare say we take a good half of that risk, but the customer takes part of that risk, too!
    And anybody who thinks we're taking all the risk or any other way is happening is also dreaming.
  3. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776


    Don't take this the wrong way, but your post is not in line with the thread. I wasn't looking for a debate and this thread WILL NOT TURN INTO ONE!!!! Please post stories of similar nature or post on a thread that welcomes debatable issues. Thanks buddy.

Share This Page