big ole mess

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by turbo5560, May 13, 2008.

  1. turbo5560

    turbo5560 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 303

    so a simple job turned into my biggest pain in the you know what today.
    I was asked to quote playground mulch installation for 43 yards of material.
    I quoted it to be "x". The guy said that it was quite high bid compared to another he had received.
    he then proceeded to tell me that he thought mine was high because it was quoting actaul playground certified material and that the other guy had not. He asked me to quote the installation for chip fines, which is a pretty similiar material. I said, if thats what you want i will, but doesn't it have to be certified? and he said not necessarily. So i beat the other company by like $20.
    Ok, so i installed 43 yards of material and got a call today saying that his boss looked at the material and was very upset on the material.
    There was about 30-40 piece of material (mostly bark and a couple sticks) that was in the material and that that was unacceptable. I said that he did not want certified material so i put a material that was very similiar and that there could be some bigger chunks, but not very many.
    I then proceeded to meet him at the property and he could not find one piece of material after digging through the material that would be considered "unacceptable". So there was about 30-40 pieces out and it was now clean.
    His boss wants me to take the mulch out and put the right stuff in at MY cost.
    After hearing that, does it sound like this should be my problem at all?
    They wanted to save money and get the cheaper material and now are blaming me.
    They also didn't give me any instructions other then put 43 yards of material in this area and level it to the top of the edging.
    Come to find out that playground material also has to be compacted somehow.
    I went into the job planning on installing the material as if i was spreading bark at some other property. No one told me to do anything differently and now this happens.
    i did it cheap enough already.
    I have told this story to so many people today so i might be missing a detail here or there, but everyone i have talked to said that it's not my problem. The problem i do have is i haven't been paid yet. Either way whats your guy's take?
  2. kleankutslawn

    kleankutslawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,185

    this may not have happened if you would have had everything in writing,but still i don't feel its your fault.But since you didn't get any of your money up front,you may have a problem getting paid
  3. TomberLawn

    TomberLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,299

    You fulfilled your part of the contract--whether one was written or not--and you owe them nothing and they owe you for your part. If you have anything documented, that would be a great help if a legal battle comes from this. If you have the original estimate for certified material, show that to the boss. You may also be entitled to consideration above the quoted price if you have to compact the material, since it was not specified in your agreement. That's ridiculous to try to get you to remove 43 yards of material when they can't even find anything wrong with it.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    (Customer wants something for nothing) + (Customer gets EXACTLY what they bargained for) =
    Pissed off / disappointed customer.

    Why, I haven't a clue.
    But sho'nuff
  5. capetan

    capetan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 226

    did you get paid for the job ?
  6. Scagguy

    Scagguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,522

    This is exactly why I won't cut corners on installations. It's my way or the highway...period. It sounds like you knew that the material should have been certified, but some cheap azz was trying to get you to bend the rules...which you did. Let this be a lesson. If you have doubts about what is or isn't approved material and working without what seems to be no contract, this is a certain recipe for disaster. If you have been paid, then you hold most of the chips. If not, you're probably screwed. I hope you manage to resolve this.
  7. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,410

    Send them the bill and expect payment quickly or file suit. You discussed the mulch with the guy and he said "not neccesarily" to the mulch certification. Botton line = no neglegence on your part = payment due!
  8. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    A judge will lean your way on something like this. Just as Tomberlawn mentioned. As long as you had a verbal or written (better) agreement then you did your part and you should be paid. If they want it removed and other material put in place, tally up what you would charge to do it and let them know that it would have been cheaper at this point to do what you originally intended to do. They can't expect you to eat something that was clearly a wrong decision that they made.
  9. gorknoids

    gorknoids LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 316

    Verbal contracts have legal standing. I'm in a case right now with a guy for $5K of maintenance (3 months, multiple properties) and 4 well-placed customers tell me so.
    As soon as you can, tell your boss to pack sand. 43 yards is a lot of material, and as his representative, (HE assigned YOU, not the other way around.) HE is responsible.

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