contract renewals

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by hustlers, Mar 17, 2002.

  1. hustlers

    hustlers LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 257

    I was wandering how the LCO's
    contact and resign contracts in the
    spring? mail or phone, email???

    DO you call all your customers every spring
    or do you send them a mailing.
  2. Tim Canavan

    Tim Canavan LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Messages: 218

    I put a clause in my Agreement that if the customer does not cancel at least 30 days prior to the end date, it will be automatically renewed for another year. This seems to work out just fine.
  3. lawnMaster5000

    lawnMaster5000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 591

    Tim if you are looking for a legaly binding contract i would talk to an attourney regarding your renew clause. If i am correct on this, in order for a contract to stand up in court it is required to have an expiration date (or situation). Just something that says this is a legal contract and will not continue indefinately into the future.

    - the other issue is how do you change prices and other aspects of the contract if the old one automaticaly renews every year?
  4. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    We call our landscape maitnenance "contract" just that on the front of the page - large print. Small print on the back, it reads like an agreement. Our "contracts" are continously renewing from year to year. You can't wait for everyone to send back their contracts to get started. You'll be in the middle of April before some send back their info.

    We do send a "contract" updater to update terms and prices, and in the signature line we write - "CONTRACT IS CONTINOUSLY RENEWING - No need to sign and return contract. Non Cancellation is assumed to be acceptance of contract" This worked pretty well except for one customer that squeezed their signature into 1/8" space between the line and the statement listed above.

    I had one customer complain after we came to perform the spring clean up stating that she had not had enough time to decide if she was going to renew with us this year. Though shd did agree to pay, she said hold off before performing any more additional services.

    Bottom line - I would rather not have to mail to each of my customers each winter, and I think they would rather not have to mail something back. As well, given the choice to evaluate your service since you're making them sign a contract, they may choose someone else when otherwise if they would have to actively cancel, they won't out of laziness or the fact that it's not the first thing on their mind. So don't give 'em the option if you dont' have to. That's how health clubs and fertlizing companies do it. Why not me.
  5. Nebraska

    Nebraska LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    I agree. We use an agreement that states "as a convenience to you, your services will automatically renew each year" Very rarely is their a problem. Could not imagine the extra work having them sign a new agreement every spring..It would also present the opportunity to "look around".

    Check with your state laws, I remember reading somehting about Michigan and a law that applies to this situation.
  6. Mykster

    Mykster LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 668

    That's a good idea to put "contract will automatically renew". Never thought about that before. Good idea. Just might have to add it to mine. Thanks.
  7. Tim Canavan

    Tim Canavan LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Messages: 218

    I'm not really looking for something that's legally binding. You and I both know that it would not be worth our time or money to take someone to court. This is just something for a residential client to look at to feel at ease. So they know that we will come and do what we say when we say.
    As far as your other issue goes, if an exisiting client needs additional service that would increase their agreement price, I would send that client a new one. Pretty simple, I guess. I think this is better than sending out to everyone every year. Why spend the time and resources when you don't have to?
    Thanks for your opinion anyway.:cool:
  8. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    I might add, our "contracts" state the customer is not bound to any time period and can discontinue service at any time. I used to lock people in - but after thinking about it, I only want customer who are happy with our service, not contractually obligated to us. So for people who are hesitant to sign, I tell them they can try it for a week, month or year, they are not bound by any limits. Their satisfaction will bring them back.

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