can't get customer to sign work order??

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by GarPA, Dec 1, 2002.

  1. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    I have a few "sacred" procedures that I follow to the letter in my biz(well at least until now)....but I'm thinking of breaking one of my most important ones. Mid week I have another large cleanup to do...first time customer..$900 job. He preferred an on-line proposal at the end of which I asked him to reply indicating he accepted it. Instead he called me and said "go ahead and do the work" that point I reminded him I needed his reply as its our record of who does what and that he agreed to it. So 3 days ago I call him and reminded him I needed his email reply...said he forgot but will do it ...well I still dont have it..Even with regular customers I dont like doing any sizeable job without an agreement in writing...this guy owns 2 side by side high end properties, has been a resident in my area for 30 years, runs a large health appears to be a responsible person who may just be too busy to remember to do are sometimes meant to be broken or at least bent...assuming you have a similar rule in your biz, have you made exceptions from time to time? and if so, did most turn out ok?? shame on me for even thinking about this but I may as well be honest about it...thanks for your 2 cents
  2. devildog

    devildog LawnSite Senior Member
    from sc
    Messages: 270

    STICK WITH YOUR POLICY. We've all been confronted with the problem. In a moment of weakness or poor cash flow, we've all done it and all regretted it.

    Had that problem earlier this year, lifelong resident, civic leader, high roller, owns lots of property, even has community park named after him and almost identical amount for cleanup at two rentals. Waited for 7 months to get paid. Was it worth it, NO
    with regards... devildog
  3. Tony Harrell

    Tony Harrell LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 739

    Those things you mentioned don't make him respectable. A signature makes him RESPONSIBLE. I used to think more successful people were respectable until I had some experiences with them in the real world. However, your business your rules, you can side step them if you want to.
  4. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    I think the key statement here is that he is a first time customer ... send him another email asking for the things you need.
    I must admit that we do lots of work based on a verbal "go ahead". These are long, long time customers ..... their handshake is as good as gold.
  5. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,619

    Thats alot of money. Protect yourself and get it in writing and/or get half the money up front.
    I have seen a few other posts where people did work for regular customers and then the last month of mowing they didn't get paid.
    This guy might owe the last lawn guy something and he is on to the next lawn person.

    If it is so important to him he will sign a work order.
  6. devildog

    devildog LawnSite Senior Member
    from sc
    Messages: 270

    can we get an AMEN for that observation...
  7. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    Success doesn't equal responsibility or respect. I can't afford to lose, much less chase $900, can you? :(
  8. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    Don't do it until you get your email. Cover yourself regardless.
  9. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    I would NOT do the work till I got a signed copy of the original proposal. I dont know alot about e-mail laws, but I do know that with a good lawyer he could get out of it. E-mails can be generated. Signatures are alot harder........

    No contract = No work. <that's a period.
  10. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    I want to thank all of you for your straight forward points of a prior work life I was pretty good at spotting a problem client...but I dont pretend to be as good in this biz....I have called once and sent 2 emails....frankly thats all the followup I'm going to do...and its so damn cold right now I would not mind missing this job...thanks again for reinforcing the right way to go about this....

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