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Crappy Situation

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by drsogr, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    Wow...this sucks. Back in May 2005 I got a $2700 down payment for a $5400 dollar job through a local school. Well They had decided to put it off...and then off again. I hadn't heard from them all of this year, then all of a sudden they called me today on my home phone.

    Well, I had basically thought that they had forgotten about me. Anyway, I had quit the business back in Auguest. The $2700 basically got absorbed, it was never put to the side and I don't have an extra $2700 sitting around.

    My questions is am I financially obligated to return the money? As it was a year and a half ago. By the way my business was a sole-proprietorship.

    If I do this job, should they be entitled to the price I orginally quoted them, as they paid a deposit? I would not even look at this job for the price I quoted them now. It was one of the first jobs I had quoted.

    What a nasty situation I have gotten myself into. Any help would be appreciated. I would pay them back in a heart beat if I could. Unfortunately my financial situation is not the best right now.
  2. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Messages: 2,419

    Was there any time stipulation on the contract/quote? Or any stipulation about it being a non-refundable deposit? There are many "should haves" out there right now, but if it wasn't a paid in full job and you didn't need the money to buy materials for that specific job... then it shouldn't have become part of your normal income and be spent and now gone like it is.
  3. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    I am fully aware of all of the "should haves"....the money got spent over the winter, when funds ran drive. I was robbing Peter to pay Paul, now Paul wants his money! There was a lot of poor decision making on my part here.
  4. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I suggest you come clean with the school board or who ever you had the arrangements with and offer them a payment program to repay the deposit. This way at least if it gets to a judge he will see you are trying to make good on it. Sorry to hear things have not gone well, good luck.
  5. mslawn

    mslawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from LA
    Messages: 483

    You spent their money? You better work out a payment plan with them or the judge will!

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    It might be easier to come out of retirement and do this one last job...
  7. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    I am sure it would be easier to do the job, then to come up with the money. Do you think it would be worth trying to get more money out of them since it was a year and a half since the estimate and the deposit.....or do you think I should stick the contract as it is written, and make them stick to the contract as it is written?

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I think you could possibly up the price some...not sure how much you're thinking but the cost of everything has risen since you took the deposit. Certainly the client should realize that they put this off so long that things may have changed some.
  9. Smitty58

    Smitty58 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 531

    Did you put a sentence in the proposal that says "this price good until"? If so then you could either not do the job or renegotiate the price. You definately can not just keep the down pmt. It's not your money! Sounds like you were hoping someone forgot about this and then you could keep the money. That was a long time to let this go unsettled. I do feel your pain, cashflow is a diffucult problem I have struggled with this as well. It's easy to get a down pmt then spend the money on business stuff, then when you get the balance you have to pay the material bill for that job. One job carries over to the next
    and before you know it you have a mess. I would talk to them and try to up the price to do the job and suck it up as a lesson.

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