Customer Wants a Refund

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Hamatsa, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. Hamatsa

    Hamatsa LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    Some months ago I had my guys dig and prep a walkway for flagstone. 26 x 4 feet. Laid and tamped 4" of 3/4" and an inch of sand on top. We measured her samples and brought the bed up an inch below the steps and sidewalk. Her bill for the labor and material was $775. She inspected and was happy with the job and paid us promptly.

    She called me later that week and wanted me to raise the levels on either end. We did that gratis.

    She called me a few weeks later stating that another guy had come in and told her we should of built berms adjacent to the bed. I offered to remedy this for her but she declined.

    After 4 months I get the following email;

    "Since so much time has passed, you must have concluded I opted to have another crew complete the flagsone walkway at my home.

    I appreciate that you said you would return, but upon reflection, I decided that having had two times of working on it and neither one being the proper height, and being borderless, I simply went with someone else whose procedure suited me more appropriately.

    This note is to say that he put in more gravel, used your sand, added a border, laid the flagstone, and finished with Gator Dust for a fee of $700 which was less than your $775 for a borderless sand and gravel. I mention this in case you might want to refund a portion of the funds I paid to you for the work your crew did. If so, I would certainly appreciate it, but if not, I could live with that arrangement."

    All we did was provide materials and labor and had a handshake agreement.

    I did offer to fix whatever she wanted to have fixed at my cost but she declined. I also want to do right.

    Your thoughts?
  2. naturescaretaker

    naturescaretaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 854

    I learned a long time ago that you always get them to sign an agreement. With that said what do you feel is fair and will let you sleep at night. You are in this business to make money. You don't wake up every morning thinking that I'll just give some work away today. I personally would not refund the money as long as the work that you did was correct.
  3. WenzelOSLLC

    WenzelOSLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 709

    Sounds like you upheld your part of the bargain and shouldn't need to refund her anything.

    She sounds like someone who didn't do her homework, has no clue what shes talking about, and listens to whatever a contractor tells her whether its in her best interest or not (not trying to say you were wrong or right, just an observation).

    And I wonder if she realized that he might have done it cheaper but he also didn't buy all the materials, just used yours. :hammerhead:
  4. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Messages: 2,419

    well.. given that she says she can live with it.. i mean, just hope she doesn't die soon?
  5. P.Services

    P.Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,319

    Tell her to walk half way down the walk a stone in the middle of the walk.....remove it carefully.....set it to the side......and pound the effing sand where it once sat !!!!!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. soloscaperman

    soloscaperman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,045

    There is a third party involved, gosh I wonder what side they are against. Do you mow her lawn? Does she give you a lot of work? Was she a pain in the past? Does she know your other clients??

    The 7th sentence sounds like she is saying that the guy told her that you overcharged. She is using reverse psychology stating it's up to you. Worse comes to worse give her credit off for another job. It's a win win.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2010
  7. W.L.M.

    W.L.M. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    I'm with you on this one picasso. I had a similar experience and ironically it too was a flagstone job. The job wasn't even mine I worked on it with a friend who runs his own business as well. Well we complete the job even did a few extra things at the end it looked great customer was thrilled etc. They paid immediately on completion and were going to just give him a blank check but he insisted they just fill in the proper amount on scene that day. Well a month passes by and he gets a letter saying that they want a partial refund. Their reason is that he was charging a straight labor rate. They feel that my time wasn't worth as much as his and that you can't charge skilled labor rates for more every person on the job. He responded by telling them that I was just as skilled as anybody else and that I was trained by my fathers company (who even though I don't work for him any longer is the best landscaper in the area) so now that they knew I was a skilled worker they could kindly pound sand.
  8. P.Services

    P.Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,319

    Some peoples kids I swear.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. Miller Time

    Miller Time LawnSite Member
    Messages: 188

    Put it behind you and move on. Just remeber your work will speak for itself.
  10. unit28

    unit28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,554

    I don't think the other company had this in their proposel.
    Some months ago I had my guys dig and prep a walkway for flagstone
    This note is to say that he put in more gravel, used your sand.

    Ok you did what you said. If she modified it without any further agreeement between you two.....then it's her dime.

    I have a contract they sign that says any modification beyond our agreement will cancel the contract unless it's through an additional work order.

    Besides that if anything..... the other company over bid it because they used your material and labor to get the job completed.

    You did nothing wrong to satisfy the job.
    my .02

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