Customer refuses to stop asking for more...

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by snow4me, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. snow4me

    snow4me LawnSite Member
    Male, from Barrington IL
    Messages: 119

    I bid on a 43 yard mulch job for a lady with a separate price for cleaning beds and pruning trees and bushes inside the beds. She had a lot of other problems with weed growth in other non-bed areas and trimming outside of the work described plus she insisted I told her that I promised to remove 2 dead trees 2 dead bushes and now she wants me to line trim an area that is not adjacent to a fixed object and is so marshy you can not mow through that area.

    I've been on this job for 9 days at least 8 hours a day, paid $900 for mulch and paid $500 in labor for a $2550 job. One of my guys broke one of her sprinkler heads cultivating a bed and she charged me $110 that she paid her sprinkler guy to fix one head. so really I'm down to $2,440 on this job. I've worked 72+ hours and I'm only going to make $1,040 minus my gas costs so really about $990.

    She keeps adding to what she claims she told me verbally she wanted done but is clearly not in the contract. Now she refuses to pay if I don't finish the work she is asking me to do. What should I do? I know I screwed up by not getting any money up front so let's skip that whole discussion and get down to the meat and potatoes. Should I get a lawyer or just keep doing what she asks and hope she finally stops asking for more? The problem with that is it's a 5 acre property and there is a lot more that can be done to it to make it look nicer because she hired a 16 year old girl to mow last year and she blew grass clippings into all the beds and didn't line trim anything so there is overgrown grass everywhere including non-bed areas we have already cleaned out.

    Either way I lose...I do have a seasonal lawn contract with her so once the check clears the bank I'm planning on firing her but that won't help because she will just hire another sucker who will get the same crappy treatment by this evil lady. Isn't there a website for bad customers where you can post the name of the person and their address so other people don't get burned?
  2. FLAhaulboy

    FLAhaulboy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    Sounds like a bully ole itch! Since you already have a written contract, Get a digital camera & take pics of everything in case you have to sue her. Only do the work specified in the contract-no extras unless there is an additional charge-if she agrees verbally to pay more for other work, be sure and get it in writing (amend the contract). I think your going to have to toughen up and tell her "no". She cannot take advantage of you unless you let her. You could do all the extra work & later sue her for the difference. Sounds like you severely under bid this job based on your 72+ hrs logged already. Whew.
  3. TurnerLawn&Landscape

    TurnerLawn&Landscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 127

    If you already have a lawyer just talk to them and ask them if they could just write a letter.....I had a hoa that owed me $325, i called, emailed, and made surprise appearances at the office. Never heard a word from them and the "manager" was never there when i would show up. This went on for three months!!!!! My attorney wrote a letter stating what actions were to follow if payment was received. I got a check the next day! This lady sounds like too much to handle, and is always trying to squeeze out free work, im sure all other contractors that deal with her never go back!
  4. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,250

    If it is on paper and signed for then what is her problem. Finish what you agreed to and get paid before moving to other projects for her.

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