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Would you turn down this job?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Darryl G, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    Ok, I'm thinking of outright turning down this job or requiring payment in full before I even schedule it. Here's the deal:

    Got a call for a cleanup and mowing. Single family residential couple miles up the road. Needs a cleanup, fall cleanup obviously wasn't done. Place is rented out and for sale. I had a funny feeling about this guy so I did some research. He has a very very unusual first name and not a very common last name. His phone number is a cell, so no info from that. Looked up his home phone, his address is listed as a PO box. Looked him up on the state small claims site. He's listed there for a case in 2006 for stiffing a real estate appraiser...judgement for the appraiser. 2 other people listed as being his household members also have small claims actions against them.

    This is a small job, maybe $200 including disposal. I'm really busy right now and don't think I'd miss the income but really hate to turn down work. I've never asked for 100% payment before doing a job but I think that's the only way I'd do it. But how would I explain why...not like I want to tell him I looked him up and that I don't like his address is a PO box, he's been sued in small claims and so have his family member and I don't trust him.

    Is it my imagination, or are there a lot of red flags here?
  2. Pennings Gardens

    Pennings Gardens LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    Not sure how you accept payments, but I would tell him no problem, I just need the credit card number we will be charging this to. With all our small, none regular customers I have their credit card number before we come out so we can charge them as soon as the work is done. Have it as a company policy and no one will have a problem with it.
  3. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    i don't see that you have to explain the why......

    i require at least 50% of the payment ahead on one time jobs such as your explaining. if someone asks why i usually tell them that is my policy. if further questioned about it i politely explain that it avoids anyone not paying me since i have been "burned" before.

    if they don't want to pay at least 50% ahead then they are welcome to look elsewhere for someone to do the job. i hate to turn down work too but i don't wanna be working for free either.
  4. berettaz71

    berettaz71 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    i agree with yardguy28.
  5. rjh4758

    rjh4758 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 220

    Just straight tell them that one time services need to be paid in full before work is performed. If he gives any grief about it just explain that you only bill regular or repeat customers after completion. If they are not ok with it then walk, chances are you suspicions are right on then.

    Posted via Mobile Device
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2010
  6. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    I will sometimes get 50% upfront from people I don't know but I've never asked for 100%. I guess I could double the price and ask for half up front, lol.

    And I don't do credit cards.
  7. dwlah

    dwlah LawnSite Senior Member
    from Argo Al
    Posts: 558

    Go with your gut reaction
    Better to have customer paid up than having to chase your money down
  8. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    I talked to this guy yesterday on the phone and gave him a price and told him I'll need a contract and half up front to do it. He said ok but that he won't have the funds til the 6th. I sent out a contract today with an invoice for half of it. I wouldn't be surprised if I never hear back from him. Mind you, this place hasn't had a fall cleanup yet and it's for sale.
  9. Ooomwizard

    Ooomwizard LawnSite Senior Member
    from atlanta
    Posts: 296

    Wasting your time. Bale out now. Not kidding, not worth the trouble.

    In my business 1 time jobs are money LOSERS. Get regular clients and put them on a schedule. Single jobs have to be BIG or pay in advance and pay ALOT.

    If you're asking here, your gut knows the answer.
  10. milkie62

    milkie62 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 833

    Any funny feelings I get from a potential job I just say I am too busy.

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