A new wrinkle: clients that aren't going to pay?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mbricker, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. mbricker

    mbricker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    I heard about something this summer that is just weird. Has anyone else encountered this?

    Another lco told me there is a theory floating around among college students--we have the University of Arkansas here--if you don't actually request a service, you legally don't have to pay for it.

    For instance, an lco approaches someone and offers to provide lawn service, rather than the potential customer approaching the lco. No matter whether the "customer" agrees to the service, or to the price, or whatever, there is no legal obligation to pay for the service because the customer did not initiate the transaction! Or so goes this legal "theory."

    I myself have not had this happen, but in 2 instances, I have been at an existing customer's place, and a neighbor with an overgrown lawn just came out and loitered about watching me work, but did not approach me. Now I am wondering if this neighbor--apparently college age living in a rental--just was hoping for me to come over and solicit his business. And thus get his lawn mowed and supposedly not have to pay for it.

    Frankly, I have always been leary of working for a group of college types sharing a rental. They disappear at the end of the semester, and you're left holding the unpaid bill for the last month's (or more) service. My routine policy when I work for these types is, no service without a month's payment in advance. And they usually say, "How do we know you will come back and do the work?" And I say, "Well, duh, how do I know I will get paid if I do the work first?"

    And overall, renters have a far worse record of non-payment (than owners) with me anyway.

    But as for this theory about not having to pay for service for the reason that the customer did not initiate the transaction, has anyone else run into this?
  2. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,009

    Not true.Ask them if they initiated contact with their credit card company?Answer:In most cases,NO.
    Now,ask them if they pay the credit card company,with interest?
    Try to go without paying your cc bill and see what happens.CC company supplies a service,money lending.In most cases,the credit card company(bank) intitiates the sale,via mailed offerings for service.
    Someone is full o' crap.
  3. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    This whole concept is a farce. If that were the case, our whole economic system would fall through.
    "Gee, I was just sitting here at this table, but since that lady came up and asked us if we'd like a couple of beers, I guess we don't have to pay for them."
    Lord FORBID what would happen to ambulance services....
  4. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,410

    A verbal contract is a verbal contract reguardless which party initiates it as long as both partys subsequently agree.
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    This is B.S.

    I am pretty safe anyway since we our company doesn't have to solicit people anymore (flyers, etc.) But I welcome someone to give it a shot with me. I have some cassaron just waiting to be "accidentally" mis-applied on their lawn. See how they like their legal "theory" then!
  6. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    Its from the law that says if someone comes to your house and sells you something you have 3 business days to cancel the contract. So in theory if you walk up to someones door unsolicitaed and sell them a lawn service package then yes they have 3 days to cancel it. If they call you from a flyer , phone book etc. then they are soliciting you and the law does not apply. This is from when people went door to door and sold encyclapedias and vacuum cleaners and other snake oil remedies.

  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Now THAT sounds like the corelation, here. That might very well be what someone was meaning, and just didn't know the whole situation.
    This is all part of the homeowner's consumer protection act.
  8. mbricker

    mbricker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    Whatever the reason some customer thinks they can pull this cr@p on you, it is still BS, and it still means a hassle when you try to collect.

    ANY customer who--from the start--has some idea they will not pay for all of the service agreed on, is someone I work hard to avoid in the first place.

    To my mental list of red flags when I first talk to a new customer, I have added "The sucker seems to be loitering around waiting for me to initiate contact."
  9. Ability

    Ability LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    It could also derive from the law that states that if you receive something in the mail that you didn't request then you are not responsible for payment.

    Back in the day companies would send "free gifts" in the mail under the condition that you would subscribe to their "whatever". Then they would say that if you didn't subscribe then you must send back the package. This cost the resident money even though they never requested anything through the mail to begin with.

    The feds passed a law that stated that if you didn't request it and something is mailed to you then you can keep whatever the item is.

    I bet these college geniuses have taken one of these laws and twisted it to their benefit.

    Too much dope....
  10. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,075

    What a wonderful idea thought up by college students to get their lawns mowed for free. This is not even remotely legal. Verbal contacts are legally binding in most states and thieft of services is also illegal.


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