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Contract Issue

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Gmgbo, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. Gmgbo

    Gmgbo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    Im not sure of the lawyer cost because I barter with him so it works out well.

    I dont really care about cutting ties with the property manager because I dont do any other work for him. This property and another got transfered to him. The other property has an overdue balance of $1192.00 and cant understand why I refuse to renew the 2010-2011 snow contract.

    The lawyer said if it comes down to recoving damages it will be the loss of income. A parking spot was secured for one of the skidsteers there. I bought a new skid plow for that so maybe I can seek something for that.

    The B.O.D. didnt even ask me to match the price, I have never plowed for them before. The best part is they called 4 of the 8 references I provided to them. They switched dumpster companies to save $3 a month. Their current company gets out and picks up the garbage overflow, I have never seen a dumpster company do that.

    Normally I dont do work for "price shoppers," but this year I took whatever work I could get and still make a profit. Im happy I contacted my lawyer, revenge of the "lawn guy" lol
  2. M&SLawnCare

    M&SLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 306

    The only problem with that is this business revolves around reputation with the better clients (sure you can go the lowest price war route, but you deal with all the penny pinchers then). Is the chance at winning and them paying the balance worth the trash talking you'll likely recieve in the business circles in your area? I'm not saying you should or shouldn't go after them, as only you can answer that. But think about "should" you go after them and not just "can" you go after them.
  3. Gmgbo

    Gmgbo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    Im not sure if the trash talking will reach my normal target clients, but who knows. For the amout of money it is, I think its worth it.

    The complex is about 55 units and its not flat. Each unit is about 1000sqft inside and are selling for about 50-60k per unit, if that gives you a better idea about the place
  4. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    To answer your question: No, I don't think what you were told was incorrect.

    It is one thing to assemble a list of expenses you incurred in anticipation of the contract, and you may get a favorable court ruling (if it goes that path), but to collect, ....? If this business has many contracts in force, and have been working with contractors for years, they are skilled in how to deal with disputes. I'm doubting they would have taken the steps they did, without being very sure they could make it work through any legal entanglements. They write, negotiate, cancel, extend, amend, and otherwise work contracts on a daily basis.

    Obviously, hindsight is great, but a simple amendment to their contract stating clearly the "bundle" nature of your bid would have eliminated any conflict. Without something explicit, perhaps they saw a way out to save themselves money.

    No, I don't practice law. But, I drafted, negotiated and administered service contracts for 18 years. The value of those contracts exceeds any contract like this many, many times, and the consequences of failure were ominous. I worked closely with lawyers skilled in contract law, representing our company, as well as others who representing the customer. We put well over a thousand contracts in place. I have two close family members who have JD. They spent two semesters in law school covering contract law.

    I was not suggesting you were a "wanna be." However, there are many threads with content telling others how to write a contract. If I understand correctly, you did not write the contract, but were asked to sign a contract of the customer. Many of those discussions are a joke because the parties involved have no idea what they are doing and the meaning of their actions. Who would have guessed that somebody who can make straight stripes across a yard with their ZTR can skip those two semesters of contract law education?

    I have read a few posts (very few) that speak rightly to the issue, and it appears they have their positions properly covered.

    I hope it works out for you, and you either get the contract back or some compensation. I do share the concern others have expressed about the negative talk that will transpire between this customer and other customers, or potential customers. Negative word spreads fast, and is hard to overcome (10:1 ratio).
  5. Gmgbo

    Gmgbo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    The negative talk isnt good, but we will see what happens. Ill let you know
  6. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    Any real landscape and landscape maintenance contractor who genuinely does real commercial work, knows these following facts.

    current trend is they are more and more providing their own contracts written by their lawyers and not always but often disregarding the contractors contracts leaving only room for line item negotiating.

    "Line item billing only" I call it menu contracting this is a big one, commercial building ownership is a business just like yours their in it for income and investment you cannot run a business if you cannot control cost or predict cost. In this economy today more so than before, business's are operating on lower fixed cost they have to to stay liquid just like you do. line item billing or contracting gives the building owner thats operating on a often lower and lower budget the ability to choose what services are important to them they will seek out hold out and wait for a contractor willing to work with them. They will do this because their train of thought drifts to the notion that if a landscaper is not willing to work with them or help with ways to control their costs they don't consider you a viable business partner. This may be your case it is more likely they were not entirely pleased with your snow removal last year. because if they were truly happy with you and this is really a money thing they would have talked to you about ways to reduce their cost. going forward into the future Contractors viewed as ego driven and inflexible by their unwilling to work with them will be replaced at the drop of a hat and that fact you can take to the bank. Raising your other prices on them to make up for plowing will be shooting yourself in the face you must realize this right?. Replace the plow account or beat the other price by 5% and meet with the owner to discuss your remaining contract. or..... don't
  7. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    gmgbo i sent you a PM
  8. Gmgbo

    Gmgbo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    I sent it back. I have never plowed this place before, and they didnt ask me if I can beat or match the new price.

    I am fed up with this property manager, everytime a place I maintain gets transfers to him I lose it, I wish snowplowing accounts were easy to replace
  9. lukemelo216

    lukemelo216 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ...
    Messages: 1,267

    ever hear back from them yet?
  10. Gmgbo

    Gmgbo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    No but the certified leters have been received. If Im correct they have until tomorrow to respond.

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