Well I Guess It' s My Turn, Ric

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Green Dreams, Jul 22, 2004.

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How do you feel about the Big Boys and their tactics?

Poll closed Oct 30, 2004.
  1. I hope they keep it up. It's good for my business.

    12 vote(s)
    42.9%
  2. Deceitful sales pitches to my customers irk me.

    6 vote(s)
    21.4%
  3. Free enterprise is good for them and me

    4 vote(s)
    14.3%
  4. I wish they'd hurry up and implode

    6 vote(s)
    21.4%
  1. Green Dreams

    Green Dreams LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 593

    Earlier this year, the company I worked for was bought by a mega-large lawn care company. They told us they needed people and could staff us all. I promptly gave them my phone number as I needed to work. They never called me. They called other guys and made them take 25% paycuts to work for them. Nice guys, huh?

    Well as alot of you know, I have started my own operation. I sent out some letters to homes that I could find addresses online for. Now I am getting responses to these and have signed up a few to start. I never stole anything. That can't prove I stole a list as I NEVER DID. I had no computer access ever.

    Now guess who is telling my former co-workers they are going to sue me? Exactly. Texas is a "right to work state" and I never signed any kind of non-compete agreement. I would have if they had asked, for a price. Say $40k or so per year all paid upfront.

    Any of y'all have a similar problem? On either side of this issue?

    Thanks
     
  2. PR Fect

    PR Fect LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,075

    Sounds like a threat. If they had a problem with you. they would be talking to you, not their employees.
     
  3. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,957

    Green Dreams

    Welcome to the Club. I will say very little at this point only to wish you well. Anytime anyone sue you, You're in a lose-lose situation even if you win.

    Good Luck
     
  4. TSM

    TSM LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Posts: 707

    if i understand this right....you lost your job due to a buy-out. Had no non-compete (with either company?) So you decided to start your own company.


    I'd say its time to dig in your heels and start to heavily solicit. Maybe even follow their trucks around and make a list of lawns they treat. Go after those homeowners. This is America!

    Them telling employees they will sue you....naw, i see that as a threat to their current employees, not you, they dont want the employees getting ideas of starting up on their own.
    I would suspect there is now a non compete agreement between the company and their employees.
     
  5. Green Dreams

    Green Dreams LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 593

    They made these guys sign one. The office mgr said they had to if they wanted to work, but it wasn't enforceable in Texas anyway. I got a call from one of my old, now new, customers. He's an attorney. His exact words were, "we'll go to the courthouse and kick their arses." Made my day....Thanks, Fellas...
     
  6. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,957

    Florida Non-Compete are enforceable for one year. But only if you go in business for yourself. You can work for anyone. Even your wife if she owns the company and you don't :D.
     
  7. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    wife owning it and you don't may or may not work. If she has no knowledge of the business, you will probably lose that one. If she is an active part of the business and knows her way around you are good.
     
  8. Green Dreams

    Green Dreams LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 593

    Well, I got a letter today implying I have a list. I guess this is how big business operates. I never took any list, never could have if I wanted. The computers had passwords and us techs never had one. And like my old boss said today, "there was a reason y'all never had access." Its funny how a guy who is not good enough to be their own emloyee is scary enough to try to squash. Me and all 23 of my customers. Over half of those came from my internet advertising anyway...Pretty sad, but I will persevere!
     
  9. grassguy_

    grassguy_ LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 633

    Green Dreams,
    LAugh your arse off, don't worry! I had a similar situation and there was so many problems with the non-compete that my ex had that my attorney merely sent them a letter in response to the letter they sent me saying, if was was to so much as recieve a call or another letter from them, we will not only persue the non-compete but also go for a continued harrassment situation that would gladly esculate into substantual lawsuit. Sorry to say, never heard from them again. Most non-competes end up being unenforceable simply because they are not a legally binding contract. The mere fact that they offered you a job provided you signed a contract is not a contract but only an offer for employment. If they had let say, gave you a $500 signing bonus with a non compete then they could have some ground to enforce it upon you. This is why you see the NFL, MLB, and the like have signing bonuses with a lot of players as a way to seal the deal. but your situation most judges are not going to stick with making a former employee lose the opportunity to work at a trade he or she has been trained or skilled in. Beyond that any attorney defending you could easily bring the fact that the non-compete presents an undue hardship upon you when they presented it to you in becoming employed, the old "sign here, and you got a job" tactic. So green Dreams, enjoy your profession and make it known to your customers that this Mega Monster company treats employees this way, i'm sure you get a ton more accounts!
     
  10. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    Well, I'm with TSM, if they where trying to scare me out of business, I would follow their truck around and leave fliers on every home they sprayed. If they cant take the competition they cant sue you just because you are the competition. If they want to get dirty, get dirty with them. It's not against the law to compete or to market your services, or to target their costumers. Get your attorney to send them a letter telling them that you are prepared to defend your business in every legal way possible and that their continued threats and bullying tactics do not intimidate you and that unless they want to be sued for harrassment that they should stop their bullsh## now.

    Or go get Boddy Gedd and go over to their house at 2am in the morning and tell them yourself.
     

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