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$500 deposit. refund or none?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    i go to the house, we discuss the work. mulch, a few plants, cut out a few beds. the price is 2 grand. i get $500 down, we are set to start monday. monday comes. we begin defining the beds, dig the holes for the plants.....the cell phone rings, it's her, "wait, i want to change the plan. did you buy the plants yet? i decided i don't want the plants. meet me at my house later today." ABORT JOB IMMEDIATELY, move on to next. she calls later, how cum i'm not there to meet with her. i tell her we can discuss anything she wants on the phone, she screwed up my schedule, changed the plan after the job started, and cost me money. she becomes insulted over this. she says she wants to change the plan, eliminating all the new shrubbery, and 2 of the new beds (we already cut out). i said yea, ok, it's gonna cost the same. i already dug out the new beds, and holes for 12 plants, now i have to undue what i did. she says no way. i say ok :waving: . she demands refund. i laugh at her, tell her no can do. does she get a refund? will this client ever have me back to do more work?
  2. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    BOBBY WEASEL--what does your contract say regarding cancelation and refunds?

    whatever your contract says, do it and quit worrying about it.

  3. Mo Green

    Mo Green LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,487

    How log did she have between the agreement you made with her and the day you started working? If she had more than a week to think about what the plan was, I wouldn't give her anything. If she wants to make changes, fine. Charge her for them, as well as fixing what has already been done.
  4. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    it was like 2 weeks i think. this happened a while back. well geo, as luck would have it, my contract doesn't state a cancelation policy. it also doesn't state what we will do in the event a meteor crashes on the site while working, or the policy involving a stampede of wildabeasts over the shrubbery, while on the front lawn, and not yet installed.
  5. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    hmmmm...... when I write a contract, I have a cancelation clause and it spells out what happens if cancalation happens. it is very clear.

    as for meteors and wildebeasts.......I dunno. would they be covered under the "unknown site conditions" clause?

  6. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,867

    i think you've got 2 threads going regarding cancellations and none going on meteors smashing into your client's lawn. obviously, you need to add one.

    she gave you a deposit, you began the work, including cutting out beds. doesn't sound like someone you want as an ongoing client, nor would i wager the $500 that she would jump to use you given the current climate. i'd explain to her the scheduling issues, the work done, and the meaning of the word "deposit". tell her you'll give her $500 worth of work, but change orders on what that would be will be surcharged. speaking of, with your landscape installs, add a change order clause (fee-based) to your contracts to cover these scenarios.

  7. walker-talker

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

    Give her the option for paying for what you have done, what it will take to un-do and what she wants you to do. If not, cancel and "pro-rate" the work you have done...tell her it's going to cost her x.xx to un-do it and move on. Will she have you back..I doubt it, then again, I doubt you would want her back. Doesn't sound like I would, especially if she is bickering about the financials.
  8. chevyman1

    chevyman1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    Bobby just be careful with the reputation you might be building in the neighborhoods you work in. Regardless if you are right, perception wins out often times and if any of these people carry and weight, they will spread the word making you 'look like the bad guy' whether you are or not....such a tough line. But bad press could kill you
  9. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Messages: 1,237

    Whatever work has been done, deduct from the deposit. If there is enough in the deposit to un-do what you did, do that as well and refund what's left over, if any.
    If there isn't any left over to un-do the original work, simply write up an invoice regarding work done, show a balance owed, and send it, certified mail to the customer with a courtesy copy clearly being sent to your lawyer.
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    i gave no refund. when she started toying with me, the prices went up on the services already completed. i called it a wash at 5 bills. did she have me back? YES, in fact i aerated +seeded the grass for $300. got $400 for a leaf cleanup. and have a $3,000 maint contract with her for 2005 season. there you have it.

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