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Contract Problem

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Premo Services, Sep 16, 2002.

  1. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,516

    I have signed contracts, and have listed the services that I will do and the charge for that service. There is a place for them to initial to have the service. Then all services are added up and totaled and spread out in 10 payments.
    I have one customer that agreed to have aeration, and has been paying since march for it. I sent the invoices out at beg. of this month, and stated that aeration is scheduled for this month.
    I get a check in payment for the invoice, and a note that says,
    We will pass on the aeration this year.
    I am debating how to handle this one. It is a good paying customer. But my problem is that I have scheduled the job, and why should I take money that I counted on getting, and give it all back to them.
    Just want to see what you would do in this case.
  2. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    about all i know u could do is a letter acknowledgeing their request. then state the benefits of the work ,and any problems that not having it done, might cause. that way u got it in writing, that it was their request that caused the problem,when it does come.
    and a complaint will usually come,sooner or later, ,wondering what u doing different this yr.. they are notorious for short memories. good luck.
  3. lawnagent

    lawnagent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 531

    PREMO, is this 10 payments a year? if so what is the advantage of 10 versus 12 for 12 months? I like the checking each service offered thing. I may use that as I am going to start something like that for the first time.
  4. Al turn this around and put them on the spot.

    Tell them you have already puchaced the materials, set time and scheduled their service, and they have already paid for it.

    This may change their mind, after 7 months they may have forgotten they even wanted it.

    If this doesn't work remove the "they have paid for it" and skip them. Keep the money.

    Or refund the money.
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    Wow, man. That's a tough call. One of the first times I've read a thread on here in a long time where I didn't know what to do right off the top of my head. Good post!

    I suppose if that happened to me I'd just keep a credit on their account. I'd tell them something like this, "Ok. Well, you have a credit on your account for $xx.xx then. I'll just keep that on your account and apply it to any future work we do." And then I'd only give it back if they specifically asked for it back.

    I learned a long time ago that it's best to lead the customer. Take charge and tell them what their choices are. Often, they will just go along with what you recommend like it's normal.
  6. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    I would remind them that they asked for the service and paid for 7/10 of it. Maybe they are a little tight on cash right now and don't want to spend extra, but don't realize they paid for most of it. I sometimes get wacky notes with my checks and most often it's because I deal with the husband about what gets done... but the wife pays the bills. I'm surprised at how little some couples communicate with eachother. I had one couple where the wife hired me to mulch some beds along their gravel driveway. Well, I get there and find out that he just hired someone to pave the driveway, including the bed area. I had 3 yds of mulch on board and put it in other landscaped areas instead.

    If they decide they really don't want the aeration, I think you have no choice but to refund them or better yet apply it to next year's contract. They've given you notice in writing (after seeing your service reminder) that they don't want it done, so I think they'd be justified in being upset if you went and did it anyway.

    Let us know how this works out and good luck.
  7. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,516

    This is the first season I did contracts, and went with 10 payments to start off with. Next season, the larger properties get 12 month contracts.

    That is the one that has been sticking out in my mind since I recieved this note from her, but I could not do that.

    Thanks to all for your insite and wisdom!!
    I called her and asked her what the HE!! was wrong with her?

    No I called her and asked why she did not want the aeration.
    She told me that it was so dry this year and she and husband had just given up on anything for the yard this year.
    I told her that in the contract she signed in Febuary, she initialed to have it done, and it was scheduled, seed was purchased for her lawn, how the benifits would help the lawn for next year and most important, she has been paying for the service for 7 months.
    She said to go ahead and do it, and thanks.
    It all ended up well, and I had no intention to give up the money, I liked the idea about putting the money on next years contract or crediting for some future service.
  8. Grasshog

    Grasshog LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    I agree with lawnGodFather. Except the part where he says keep the money.

    You allready said they are good paying custr. Thats means a buch too me.

    Refund all but the cost of supplies
  9. I wouldn't do that. Credit or Refund. If it came to that.
  10. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,516

    Mike, when I read your post, I knew you would'nt do that, but for a split second the thought had passsed through my mind. I hadn't thought of the credit for future work, it was a real good idea!!!!

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