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What a Christmas gift...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnjockey, Dec 7, 2002.

  1. lawnjockey

    lawnjockey LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    I recieved a letter in the mail today that the verbal contract i had with a local garden center has been terminated. I mow 2 sites for them for 2 years. One was a paid per mow and the other was 12 mo. The contract was of course for the 12 mo. The contract was up on Oct. 1 . I approached the owner about it and he said we did not have to write up another one , that verbal would be good..Well in the past we have helped each other out with jobs. It has been a good relationship. They bought a lazer to mow at the garden center and have started mowing some lawns so I guess what they are wanting to do is to save $$$ and do it themselves...and screw a good friend...
    I wouldn't be too upset if it were March, but this was money I was counting on through the winter... What now? :confused:
  2. bubble boy

    bubble boy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    that sucks but you should just move on. is this one accounbt going to break you for the winter?

    i wouldnt say they "screwed" you. with a verbal how do you figure they felt any obligation for twelve months?

    and friend? business is business. been fired by friends, dumped friends. never gets personal.

    we use written contracts and people still opt out. i just move on, can't win em all.
  3. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,847

    McDonalds is always hiring. :)
  4. Mueller Landscape Inc

    Mueller Landscape Inc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 489

    I don't know why you guys put your customers on a 12 month payment cycle when your season is 8 or 9 months. I know that makes the monthly payment lower for the customer, but who wants to pay when nothing is being done. If I were in that part of the country, I would split their monthly payments for the actual season and not stretch them over 12 months. Then I would budget my cash flow.
  5. cajuncutter

    cajuncutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 626

    It works really well for me here in Louisiana John. I do feel guilty during those months we do nothing so I make at least one visit per month and this shows the customer that we think of them. Usually they ask why we are there and I just reply with something like we just want to make sure everything is in order and is looking nice. Perhapse at one time or another they think about paying for nothing being done but they do know that the payment is low and that they are paying for services already performed. They also know they never have to call us wondering where we are. We did not miss one week on any of our accounts, so I guess where I am going with this is that they can rely on us. We are always there for the customer!! Also Lawnjockey too bad you are not in Louisiana verbal here is as good as written on paper. Every account I have is verbal and I have never had one problem. I am looking for wood as I type.
  6. devildog

    devildog LawnSite Senior Member
    from sc
    Posts: 270

    Thats just biz, move on. With regards... devildog

    LAWNS AND MOWER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,129

    I do a 12 month payment plan for my larger accounts, BUT I'm still charging ala carte for my services. Most of my plans run from April til March or Jan til Dec. What I do is get a ballpark figure of what they spend in a year (mowing,fert.,fall and spring cleanups, etc...) and divide that figure by 12 months. Once I'm through with the fall cleanups, I'll total up what my services cost them for the season and then adjust the last few monthly payments up or down as needed. I'll go 4 months without visiting there property, but still receive my monthly checks. This plan works great with POA's (Property Owner Associations).
  8. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    LawnJockey, if they just terminated your business then they did not screw you. That is just business. If you lowered their monthly payments and spread them over a 12 month period and that 12 month cycle is not up yet, then they screwed you out of some money and I would address this problem.

  9. Scraper

    Scraper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    I just started with 12 month payment plans as well. So far so good. If I could only convert more. Nothing to do with budgeting, but it sure helps knowing what's going to keep coming each month while I whittle away the time until spring.
  10. goose

    goose LawnSite Member
    Posts: 177

    If you start a contract in April and they let you go inOctober then they are going to owe you money ,likewise if you start in October and they let you go in March you are going to owe them money. About 50% of my customers are 52 visits , the rest 38 . Just let them know up front its not like a bill from the cable company , its more like an installment payment. We bill at the beginning of the month and give them until the 15th to pay.Of course some want to pay at the end of the month after we do the work .But I stand on my pay by the 15th rule. Some might even say they want to make sure we do the work , but I tell them I have to do the work and trust them to pay, so we meet in the middle , the 15th.Of course they left you just like Coach Fran left our football team high and dry.
    A football tradition w/o a coach , please help us in Bama

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