Customer not wanting to pay because the job didn't take long enough for liking.

fitph

LawnSite Member
So I have a customer who I edged and mulched her front flower beds and 2 tree rings for her. When I finished the job she was nowhere to be found. I messaged her several times about the invoice and she finally responded saying she didn't like being bothered about payment after the job I did as I only took a couple hours to do it and it wasn't fair I did it so fast. I used 1 and half yards of good triple shred black mulch and I edged 40 feet of beds and cleaned out 2 small tree rings and put a shallow edge on those so as not to kill the trees. I tried to get out of doing the tree rings but she insisted and then was upset that I charged extra for them and they weren't as deep as the flowerbeds. Just an excuse not to pay. Pics attached of the front beds.
179525503_276770914114263_3484937446229715939_n.jpg
179254695_1370733953282776_7749789965430222300_n.jpg
179254695_1370733953282776_7749789965430222300_n.jpg
 
OP
F

fitph

LawnSite Member
This was an early season estimate so there was a discount to get work. I did the mulch at 80 a yard and the edging at 80 cents a foot. The tree rings were 30 bucks each. So a whopping 212 for the entire job. Took about 2 and half hours. I guess she watched me do it from her cameras. She wasn't home.
 

jonniesmooth

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Fergus Falls, MN
Explain to her that you bid to complete a job.
You may have referenced some estimated times as you were calculating. ( do that in your head next time)
1) she told you what she wanted done
2) you gave her a price to do it
3) she agreed to the price
A) you should get half up front
B) everything above should have been in writing and signed by you both, that's a contract
1) payment terms should also be in the contract
 
OP
F

fitph

LawnSite Member
Explain to her that you bid to complete a job.
You may have referenced some estimated times as you were calculating. ( do that in your head next time)
1) she told you what she wanted done
2) you gave her a price to do it
3) she agreed to the price
A) you should get half up front
B) everything above should have been in writing and signed by you both, that's a contract
1) payment terms should also be in the contract
She is just looking for a way not to pay. I have a written estimate. No need for a contract on a small job. Plenty of messages back and forth. I have it in writing. As far as time, I pretty know how much time any given job will take me. I don't bid hourly. I bid what the market will bear. It is usually more than what most people think it is. This was an early season estimate that is why there is a discount. She isn't the first person who thought they could get away without paying and she won't be last. In the end I will get paid even if a judge has to order it.

I do not require a deposit or down payment. It is payment upon completion. It has never been a problem. I have always gotten paid on landscape jobs one way or another. I got stiffed mowing a few times but I don't mow anymore.

It does say on the estimate that payment is due immediately upon completion. Some people still try to get over.

It is usually people who change what they want done at the last minute who try and wiggle out of paying. Had one of those already this year too. Wife said don't do the tree rings and hubby said do it. I told him it wasn't included and he said do it anyway. Of course when it came time to pay he said his wife wanted them done and it was part of the original estimate. I told him it wasn't and it was in writing. He was very upset but paid the bill anyway. Obvious set up to get freebies.
 

jonniesmooth

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Fergus Falls, MN
She is just looking for a way not to pay. I have a written estimate. No need for a contract on a small job. Plenty of messages back and forth. I have it in writing. As far as time, I pretty know how much time any given job will take me. I don't bid hourly. I bid what the market will bear. It is usually more than what most people think it is. This was an early season estimate that is why there is a discount. She isn't the first person who thought they could get away without paying and she won't be last. In the end I will get paid even if a judge has to order it.

I do not require a deposit or down payment. It is payment upon completion. It has never been a problem. I have always gotten paid on landscape jobs one way or another. I got stiffed mowing a few times but I don't mow anymore.

It does say on the estimate that payment is due immediately upon completion. Some people still try to get over.

It is usually people who change what they want done at the last minute who try and wiggle out of paying. Had one of those already this year too. Wife said don't do the tree rings and hubby said do it. I told him it wasn't included and he said do it anyway. Of course when it came time to pay he said his wife wanted them done and it was part of the original estimate. I told him it wasn't and it was in writing. He was very upset but paid the bill anyway. Obvious set up to get freebies.
I'm sorry. I thought you were looking for input on how you could prevent this from happening again.
But you seem to enjoy arguing with customers rather then putting things in writing. So there isn't any misunderstanding.
It's been my experience that the one time, small jobs require a better more detailed contract than the repeat weekly service customers.
Good luck.
 

Top Forums



Top