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i would rather not sign a contract?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Jan 30, 2002.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    ok, i had most of my customers on a "verbal " agreement type policy. there were some, however that ive had for a long time, and felt awkward presenting them with a written agreement. last year all new clients had to sign an agreement, this year i want all clients, new and repeats, to sign an agreement, it is business afterall, isnt it? well, one actually said they would rather not have a written agreement, and im afraid some of the others may react the same. im very good at explaining myself, that this agreement is just an understanding of what they will recieve, when they will get it, who will provide it, and how much it costs, and that it is our companies policy that all customers have a written agreement. anyone else have a similar problem? any advice?
  2. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    I have a couple that only want a verbal 'pay as you go' type agreement..

    If they pay on time and do not call me every other week I see no problems..

    If they become a hassle.. I will boot them when I can afford to do so.
  3. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    You have a choice; stick fast to your rule, or be a bit flexible for a long term customer who wants things the way it is.

    Only you know that customer the best...
  4. ohiolawnguy

    ohiolawnguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    All of our customers are equired to sign and return a written agreement. BUt, only our largest customers have an actual
    contact, so to speak. is that similar to how you are doing it?

    IF this is the case here is my suggestion: This is our basic method of handling written agreements.
    explain to people who do not wish to sign that this is just an agreement for us to maintain their services at the price stated. It is a legal contract if they don't pay,and a court remedy is deemed necessary, but is by no means a full season contract. Also, tell those who have written agreement instead of contract, that if they are unhappy they can cancel at any time. All we want is paid for work already done, and a reason for the cancellation.

    If they are still unwilling to sign, politely tell them that we will be unable to do work on their property. Best of luck to you, and feel free to call back if you change your mind.

    Hopefully that may help.

    Good luck, Kevin
  5. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Messages: 3,485

    Tell them the reason is to establish contracts for documentation for banking reasons to establish what you business has in current contracts. Heck, do 6 month contracts if they are afraid.
  6. You could have a detailed "Company policy" for a lot of the items.
    This could lessen the number of items appearing on the contract.
    It may make a contract more appealing to sign for some people.

  7. tlcservices

    tlcservices LawnSite Member
    from fl
    Messages: 61

    who said you could be on their property? prove it. when the old lady next door comes bitching and says bla blah you say your supposed to mow here because its on the CONTRACT..........
  8. You hate to chase away a good customer, but if they give you a referal and they let that person know that they did not have to sign an agreement it could come back to bite you. Just something to consider before you decide.

    I think if you present it as for their benefit as well as yours, it may be more accepable.
  9. PAPS

    PAPS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 404

    Tell your new clients that they have to sign a contract to "protect" themsleves and yourself. Tell them is nothing personal (which it always is when you've been burned as many times as we have) but its a protections policy for both parties.

    As for the older established clients, you now better than i do, if they pay there bills etc. I would just let them continue there same policy as before, unless your unsure they might not burn you.

    Also, VERY IMPORTANT, always make your clients sign a
    "additional work order sheet" Meaning this: Your doing a planting job and the client says, "oh can you add (2) more white pines to the job" make them sign off on that request always. I know its a pain in the ass to stop working, but trust me, you dont know how many clients we've had turn around and say "oh.. i didnt realize that the additional tree was going to cost that much... i am not paying."
  10. landscaper3

    landscaper3 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,354

    All very good repies! We dont do ANY! work without contracts. We are mostly commercial and must have contracts but we do maintain over 50 residential customers and there contract is real simple! We put cost of mowing or plowing cost, below we say, any service outside of described will be $25.00 per hr per man excluding machinery. Its been my finding anyone not willing to sign a contract (could) be a problem down the road.

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