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Collecting on Oral Agreement

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by GrassRoots Lawn Care, Jun 4, 2000.

  1. GrassRoots Lawn Care

    GrassRoots Lawn Care Guest
    Messages: 0

    I have a customer that owes us a good sum of money for lawn service over 2 months. We use contracts normally but in this case only have an oral agreement (she was a friend of family). I now need advice on how or IF I can even collect (via collection agency, lein, small claims court) using an oral agreement. Three people witnessed the agreement her, myself and my brother (who is a partner in the business). Any and all advise will be appreciated.<p>----------<br>Mike Reynolds,<br>GrassRoots Lawn Care, Florida
  2. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,066

    I can definitely sympathize with your dilemma.<br>Two times we made the mistake of not getting a contract made up. (We do not use contracts for our grass customers, but instead we do use contracts for one-time customers that require a big job to be completed).<p>But two times we did not, and we learned the hard way.<br>Both jobs were profitable, but were not 'fun' jobs. They were clearing away large hillsides, and removing the debris, branches, etc....<p>Both times, we almost did not get paid. We had no contract, and we did not know the proper channels to follow. <p>So what we did was this. We were PERSISTENT. Very persistent. We called the people, left numerous messages, sent certified mail, and just basically laid the pressure on. Fortunately it worked, and we were paid.<p>Although I don't plan on getting myself stuck in that situation again, I too would like to know what can be done when only an oral agreement is made other than being persistent.<p>Good luck.<p><p>
  3. OP
    GrassRoots Lawn Care

    GrassRoots Lawn Care Guest
    Messages: 0

    Thanks for your suggestions. Up until now I have been very kind and relaxed about the overdue bill (with the customer as well). Recently she lied to us and said she had mailed it and 10 days later we have not received it. She will not return my calls and I think we will be more PERSISTENT. I'm a nice guy and don't look forward to being a &quot;bill collector.&quot; My brother and business partner wants to Round-Up her lawn but I just want our money, and besides that would be unprofessional, and we have spent too much time and money trying to convey a professional image in this small community. PERSISTENCE we can do. Thanks.<p>----------<br>Mike Reynolds,<br>GrassRoots Lawn Care, Florida
  4. Toroguy

    Toroguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,075

    Mike,<br>Call her every day for a week, then call her twice a day for a week, then call her at work, on her cell. Knock on her door if she doesnt comply.<p>The &quot;Round up&quot; method always sounds great, but is foolish and may start a tit for tat battle. Let the next guy who gets burned do the dirty work.<p>
  5. Getmow

    Getmow LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 445

    Send a &quot;10 day&quot; letter by certified mail. Let her know that if the balance is not paid within 10 days that you will take her to court and she will be responsible for costs associated. If payment is not recieved...go to the courthouse and file a &quot;warrant in debt&quot;. A court date will be set and the deadbeat will be seved with a notice to appear. If she doesn't pay and it gets to court take your witnesses and tell the judge how you were cheated out of your hard earned money. GOOD LUCK

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