4+ hours and taco won't pay YOU WON'T BELIEVE THIS.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by David Hartzog, Sep 1, 2000.

  1. David Hartzog

    David Hartzog Banned
    Messages: 531






    August 22, 2000

    Taco Bell Corporation

    To Whom It May Concern:

    My name is David Hartzog. I run a new lawn service in Eufaula, Alabama. Around June 28th I submitted a bid for the Eufaula store’s lawn care and I was told I would get the bid but, the management said they had to check to see if the current lawn service had been paid for the following month. It was agreed that I would check back in a few days.
    Almost a week later, I went in to eat lunch. Upon seeing the manger I asked, “Are you ready to get this place cleaned up?” Management, in reply, said they had not checked on the other service to see if they were paid yet. So, I asked, “next week?” They said yes. Well, the next week I went through the drive-thru. There I saw the manager taking a smoke break. I stopped and asked if She had heard anything yet. He said that the current service was not paid for the next month and was told I could start August 1, 2000. I asked if I could at least start the next morning, cleaning up the sand in the parking lot and edging and so on. She said no problem.
    The next morning at 6 am, I started cleaning up. I blew half of the parking lot and started to work on the parking area in the parking lot, taking up the dirt. The GUY manager drove up, got out and said, “morning, David.” I said good morning. He saw me working and walks inside. Around 10:30, I get a little hungry so I went inside and got something to eat. I got a taco and Pepsi, which were given to me. I walked outside and started to work again. Within 30 or 40 minutes, he comes out and acts like I just got there, and asks, “What are you doing? I never said you could start.” He said it in a real nasty way. I was very baffled. I told him that I was told I could start that day. He suddenly got very angry with me and said to leave. I asked what was going on. He said he was new in town and had to keep to peace. I could not believe it.(later i found out thorough a friend that he was threatend with a bill from the current lawn due to his contract so far i can't verify that).I went to my father and friend to see what I should do.I did 4+ hours of work there and the manager knew I was out there. I just was blown away with the way I had been treated.I was told to ignore it and go on with other jobs. If they called me, I decided that I would have him sign a contract that would not allow them to screw me over. Therefore, I did as asked. I waited.
    In the meantime, I continued to talk about what happened with other people trying to find out if this happened to them. A friend told me that the current lawn service of Taco Bell found out from a friend who drove by and saw me working. He called the current lawn service and asked if he still had Taco Bell account and he said yes. Then, he called Taco Bell and yelled or threatened Taco Bell manger. (This is what I was told anyway)
    Last week, I went over to Sable Ridge a shopping center my father use to own to work on the sprinkler system. After some time, I gave up due to it not working and I left. Saturday, August 19,i was on the computer i was kick off a few minutes later my phone rang I received a phone call from Taco Bell. The manager asked if I had talked to Jimmy , the man who used to do the lawn service for Sable Ridge. I said no. He then said that the water was not on at Sable Ridge. I then said I must have turned it off by accident. He said that several people had called him and blamed him for it being off.(I found out that it was suggested by 1 person that only cause the vaule cover was off) I asked why would they say that. I then said, “ I‘ll be there shortly.” I got there and he came out like he was ticked off i mean piss of waving his hands all around. I calmly said hi and then said I turned off the wrong valve. I ask him about who had blamed him.
    He then said, “Get the hell off his yard!” I then could not take it any more I asked him what his problem was.i said you get a free clean up and i'm not even going to charge you He said get off my property”I said, “What the f*** is you’re problem?” I was not going to let him push me around anymore.he is a bully the way i see it. He then said, “That’s it, I’m calling the police.” I told him to go ahead and got in my car and drove over to Sable Ridge to talk to them. They said that they had not blamed him. I then went across the street to Eufaula Office Park. I was checking on things and trying to cool down when the police car pulled up. I told the officer what happened and she said that she felt sorry for me. Then, she told me that the manager had to send a certified letter to me saying that I was to stay off the property.
    The officer said that I should complain to you, so that is were I am. Something has to be done about this manger. I worked 4+ hours with him knowing that I was there and then for him to tell me to stay off the property. Give me a break! I was not even going to charge for the service because of the mix up, but now things are different. I want my money and an apology.

    Taco Bell owes my company $140.00 for services previously performed. $35.00 hour


    David R. Hartzog
    Eufaula’s Finest Lawn Service
  2. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    I'd be dar*** if I'd eat another burrito from that place!

  3. wompy

    wompy LawnSite Member
    from usa
    Messages: 13

    Hey David Those who go in circles shall be known as the wheel.if your the finest i feel sorry for the people in your area.

    BUSHMASTER LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 519

    Well a leaswon well learned......Just send them a bill state who gave the go ahead after all she is a manager right. if they don't pay send the a registared letter let
    90 dayas pass from the day of service file in small claims court and there pay the courts cost .. after all no judge will belive that we in are right mind would do a job like that for free... yea you'll get your money but the judge will make sure you have learned a leason........
  5. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 10,970

    You should have waited until august 1 to start like the man said in the first place. And had a written signed contract. By then he would have had things settled with the current lawn service. I guess thats why he told you to waite in the first place
  6. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Messages: 3,485

    Stone and Charles are right, it looks like you rushed things, not them. They may have said "yea, go ahead" because they were tired of you asking. Without a signed contract, it was your mistake starting work, not theirs. Write it off as a bad business decision and move on.

    Lesson to be learned, never start work or buy equipment on the word that you "will" get a contract, wait until it's signed or move on.

  7. Ocutter

    Ocutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    Sorry to pour salt on an open wound, but I would never start on a commercial account w/o a signed contract. When you have a lot of verbal agreements things get screwed up. He said, she said etc. Take the hit and chalk it up as lesson learned.
  8. richard2

    richard2 Banned
    Messages: 101

    dude, you sound like you need to chill out and be cool....all that big story makes me feel like someone has that song stan on.....if you are really made to be a lawn (or whatever)service owner you need to not be so hung up on 130$ ...i mean whatever- the front lines are everywhere if you run your own show...people do things and also react in ways not becoming of progressive realationships and that affects us all....when i started out i jumped off early or just didn't really think about what was up ,,,i just wanted to be out there...and that's cool, we all do it...just watch your back because there are wolves in sheep's clothing out there and they will take you out....maybe get stoned or drink microbrew outside of utah's 3%law zone...good luck and keep your head low or someone will take it off!and pay your taxes!!
  9. David Hartzog

    David Hartzog Banned
    Messages: 531

    The one thing that got me upset was not the time or money but he called the cops on me up till that time i was going to forget it all but this is a small town and i am just covering my self so i know that i did something i was just so humillated and mistreated besides he has done this to others and he is not well liked.
  10. eskals

    eskals LawnSite Member
    Messages: 210


    I understand that you want your money and agree w/ the others that you should have had a written contract.

    Regardless of that...

    Please do not send in that letter to Taco Bell.

    I hate to be critical, but that letter is terribly written. I understand that that you do not want a critique on grammar, but I would like to comment on its content. There is entirely way too much information in that letter. Taco Bell does not need/want a letter written as a narrative. They do not need to hear your entire sob story. They don't need to read about Jimmy or the Sable Ridge Shopping center (how do these relate to Taco Bell??) And all the quotations are utterly useless. I espically liked the part where you quoted yourself saying, "What the f*** is you’re problem?” Real nice. Thats an excellent way to show Taco Bell Corporate your professionalism, and gives them such a favorable impression of the lawn maintance industry. Please, do us a favor an use a little common sense.

    What you need to write is a "business" letter. Keep it short and to the point. You want them to be able to read and digest the letter quickly. The executives may have a busy schedule and/or a short attention span that would prevent them from reading the entire letter. The longer that you make the letter, the less chances you have of them reading the entire thing. Do not include this entire narrative. Rather, being as professional as possible, give them a short explanation of services performed and amount due. Its as simple as that. Let them contact you. If they don't do so, politely respond with a follow up letter.

    Impress them with your professionalism. Don't impress upon them that you are unprofessional.

    There are some good books out there that have sample business letters in them. They are nice to have. You can usually find a letter in them that has a similar theme to the one that you're writing. You can read it and get ideas on how to write your letter.

    I don't mean to be overly critical, but would like to think that I am looking out for some of the industries best intrests. Think about it, the executives that read that letter may hire someone to cut their grass. I wouldn't want them to look down on our profession because of a letter they read. If they think that all lawn maint. people are unprofessional, then pricing will never change.

    Sorry for the long post..


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