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Customer wants to cancel contract

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by TexasFire221, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. TexasFire221

    TexasFire221 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 480

    What would you do? I have her for instal date today. I call her and tell her we will be getting her stuff up today and she can expect to see us in a couple hours. She tells me she has changed her mind and doesnt want us to install anything. What now? She has paid 50% down.
  2. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,542

    These are things that should be in your contract.......100% refund of deposit if cancelled x amount of days down to zero refund if cancelled x amount of days prior to install. Thats what a deposit is for.
  3. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    I have handled this differently in different situations. from 2004-2006 I turned away work every year once we got booked up to the 8th of December or so.

    If I had a customer cancel me in those years, and I had already ordered and paid for their product, I had taken 50% down and I basically got hurt financially by thier backing out, I tended to lay the situation out for them and pretty much expected them to compensate me for my loss of sales and especially for the the money out of my pocket for inventory that I now have to try to sell to someone else.

    after I jumped to 3 crews, I really did not turn away too much work after the 2007 season. I rarely lose a job because I cannot get it up by a certain date. I also started ending up with more and more inventory every year just to be ready for the endgame rush where you close a job and hang it the next day or following. So it does not really hurt me financially to have a customer back out. so now a days I tend to give back the deposit unless they had me order something specialized that I cannot sell to another customer. I can always sell wreaths, garland, links, c-9's, etc. but a snowman or nativity luminaries just don't fly out the door.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  4. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    If it's not in your contract.... you are stuck.

    We have something like..."anything custom they pay for....$100/hr for time spent....."
  5. wurkn with amish

    wurkn with amish LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    In my contract it states 1/3 down non-refundable....
  6. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,751

    Ours says the customer has the right to cancel within 3 days of signing the contract. And that the date of services is at our discretion and no breach of contract shall occur based on timing of services.

    Amongst other legaleeze

  7. TexasFire221

    TexasFire221 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 480

    How am I stuck? She is the one cancelling. Obviously I need to update some paper work with a cancel clause. Basically she told me to keep the deposit and she will call me next year. She signed the contract about 14 days ago and wanted to cancel due to needing the money for Christmas for her kids.
  8. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    You didn't say you got to keep the deposit... I can't read your thoughts....

    In that case, you got paid, so what's the problem?

  9. TexasFire221

    TexasFire221 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 480

    Yes I understand you can't read my thoughts. I just wanted to know what everyone else has done in a situation like this. I do need to get some some stuff in my contract to cover myself next season if this were to happen again. Like Dave said, if were just wreaths or Icicle Light Links it would be no problem. But she had ordered stuff like Victorian Horse and Sleigh, stuff I might not sell again for 4 or 5 seasons. Was just wanting to hear someone elses comments on this and I do appreciate it.
  10. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 569

    I agree with David, I saw a little backlog this wek with a large project that I had figured 2-3 guys on and I was the only one who showed up. I will be back on schedule Monday, and all set. I would also have her pay for specialties etc. But if you are keeping the deposit, sounds lik a customer worht holding onto and smeone who understands you laid out money. I did one last night that was going tobe much larger but the husband totalled his car in the am. Much smaller, but still got the contract.

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