HELP PLEASE - Problem / Harassment

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by HBLandscaping, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. HBLandscaping

    HBLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    I have/had a grass cutting client this year (first year with them) that was on a weekly cut. Every week when we showed up to cut either his wife or himself are home and my crew and myself always stop to talk and check to make sure they are happy with the work. We never had any problems until late August when he asked if we could edge with an edger every week even if his yard doesn't need it done. The first 2 weeks after we cut, trimmed, edged and blow clear and didn't receive a complaint. Then the 3rd week we didn't edge because it didn't need it and we were starting a drought.

    Then 7 days later at 9 am we showed up to cut and did a full job (cut trim edge blow). An hour later I receive a call from him saying that we missed half the yard last week when trimming and that we didn't edge. I called back and he didn't answer but left a message telling him we had just left his yard and to look it over and see if the job was ok. I never heard back from him or saw him or his wife for weeks so I thought things were good and we had resolved the issue.

    Then 2 weeks ago we show up, do a full job and leave. Hours later I receive a call from him saying he noticed we came and cut today and "Did a great job" but he is notifying me that he is canceling the service do to us not working with him on the edging issue and still not edging. (Figure this out...isn't running an edger down the sidewalks/driveway edging? LOL). I called him back right away and he sent me to right to voice mail, I called him back every hour for the next 3 hours with the same result. I called 6 more times over the next 4 days and still no call back.

    I did hear back 9 days after my last call, talked to him and he told me that we killed his grass along the sidewalk because " there is a 1/4 inch gap between his sidewalk and the grass that wasn't there before we started edging" (DIDN'T HE SAY WE NEVER EDGED? ). Then he proceeded to remind me that he was a Police detective for the county police and he worked in the same district as he and I live.

    Then he said to send him a bill for all the work he still owed on which I did. I also forward him a copy of the contract he signed (incase he lost his) with the area about early termination highlighted. The contract states that you must notify us with a 15 day advanced notice. Service will continue for 15 day after this notice (usually 2 cuts) is giving to us and then service will stop.

    We have talked twice since he called to cancel service and as soon as I brought up the pay for 2 cuts, Both times he keep reminding me that he is a Police Officer/ Detective for the local police dept. Then today I received payment but for only Sept and the first cut of Oct (Figured he’d short me). I was expecting that, but I wasn’t expecting what else was in the letter. He put a county police uniform patch that had been cut off a shirt and his Police business card along with it. Also this afternoon I received an e-mail from him (from his county E-mail) saying that all he is paying is for those 5 cuts, not 7 and he signed it DETETIVE ###### ######## #########County Police Department.
    (his name) (County Name)

    Now I have been a firefighter in this county for 15 yrs and have a county police officer as a friend/worker as well as many other police officers as friends, so no need for a patch. I’m starting to think he is trying to get away with things do to his job and trying to scare me into taking whatever he pays an NOT take further action to get the rest of the money.
    What do you think I should do? He owes me $100. I also have 4 other homes on his street, 3 of which are friends of his that I’m now worried he might affect my business with them. Do you think this boarderline harassment/scare tactic?

    Last edited: Oct 27, 2008
  2. LawnNeedz

    LawnNeedz LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 580

    I personally think you should remind him that since he is an "Officer" of the law that by not paying you he is stealing from you. You should also remind him that he signed a contract, which is a legally binding document. You also have emails that states his plans on stealing your money by saying that he is only going to pay for 5 of the 7 cuts. People like this drive me crazy. Good luck and keep us posted.
  3. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Central NY
    Messages: 1,582

    Abuse of power. If his superiors found out about his actions, surely he would find trouble. This matter is a personal/ business matter between you and him, not between you and the XXX sheriffs dept. He should NOT be using public letterhead, patches, badges, etc. to cooerce (sp?) you to allow him to steal from you (theft of services).
    If you are a legitimate business (I am assuming you are), then he can and should be held accountable, as any other client of yours.
  4. newtostone

    newtostone LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 681

    I would talk to her boss, And if he doesn't pay take him to court and run him in front of the judge. (it may have to be in another county do to conflict of interest) But don't go soft, he is abusing the power giving to him and acting out of line.
  5. KCfireman

    KCfireman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,863

    You know what they say brotha about police! "If you cant take the heat, become a cop!" I would even worry about that situation.
  6. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,128

    He's not above the law. It still applies to him. Do what you need to do. Inform him that payment was not made in full and that he owes you the money. Send a certified letter to ensure he gets it. Have respond to whether he is going to pay for the 2 other cuts or not. Then go from there. If he refuses to pay, slap a lein on his house and file a suit in small claims court for the total that is due plus your court costs. If he brings up the law enforcement thing again, go file a complaint with the department.
  7. HBLandscaping

    HBLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    Im friends with half the guys at the station he works at so it wouldn't be a problem if I choose to go that way. Prolem Im facing is that I picked him a his neighbors up for this year, They all met with different companies and choose one together so Im worried that if this go the wrong way with him then I may lose that whole street and thats 4 more yards plus him and with the economy the way it is thats a lot of $$$$ missing next year. Plus I have already gotten calls from 3 more homes on that street about next year so theres even more homes I may lose out on. Its taken me 5 yrs to get a job in that neighborhood and I got 5 at one time this year.

    What do you guys think, Should I just let it slide and write it off to save face with the other yards and help ensure that I have 4-7 yards next year on the same street? I'd just hate to lose out on these other jobs over $100 but then again thats $100 dollars out of my pocket for this year.
  8. HBLandscaping

    HBLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 268


    My buddy is a full time Police officer with the same county and is also a volunteer FF, I've fought a few fire's with him and he can take the heat.....But then again he was a vol FF before becoming a Cop.
  9. EpicPaul

    EpicPaul LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    I would fill a complaint against him and take him to court, there is nothing worst then a cop pulling that crap. He signed the contract, just because he's a cop does not mean he's above the law or can bully his way out of contracts. If you let him get away with it he will keep pulling that crap with other people. If any of your other customers ask about it tell them what happened, he's the one thats wrong here not you.
  10. soloscaperman

    soloscaperman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,045

    No matter what your gonna lose him sooner or later.
    let the pig lay in the mud of green.

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