Irrational customers...

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Red Shed Landscaping, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    Go back and meet them to sign and collect a deposit
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  2. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    I email most proposals.

    Client can sign it and return via U.S mail along with the deposit.

    Or, I may have to meet with them again, at which time they can give me the accepted documents and deposit.

    We did a job or a contractor last November. Had a contract in place. The man is in his late 60's. he kept asking me if we were going to do things, things not in the contract. I didn't sweat one bit, because we were doing exactly as specified in the contract. In fact when he mentioned doing this other stuff he didn't really ask, so I never answered. I said to myself "the contract clearly states everything we're going to do". In the end all was well.
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  3. Red Shed Landscaping

    Red Shed Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    There isn't too many people in our area that have you sign a contract for work of any sorts. Big jobs or new houses they might. Maybe we have a different mindset around here.

    However the I have been wanting to or thinking I should get contracts since more people are trying to get extra work out of us for free. Like I said I spell out in the proposal what we are going to do.

    One reason I haven't done them is a time issue. I am looking at 3-5 yards a week and more here in the spring. Each one usually takes a couple hours at the minimum to come up with the price, come up with a sketch and write up a proposal and many of them take longer. I barely have time to meet with them the first time let a lone go back a second time to have them sign a contract. I just have them send me a 1/3 down before we start the work if they agree to what is in the proposal.

    I have done quite a bit for our city and never signed a contract they just used the proposal as the agreement.

    I know at some point I will say I wish I had a contract for this job. I have been trying to work on getting it started. The biggest thing I have to deal with is plants so am having them sign a sheet that they understand how to care for them and what we will and won't guarantee. They think since they watered it once it should live all year.
  4. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    So today we doing some grading in a backyard. Tight access, only one way in and one way out. Traversing right by the electric meter and where the utilities come in to the house (phone, cable, electric). From driving the machine back and forth back and forth back and forth - the cable line that was buried a mere 8-inches breaks. Customer (an older man in his early 60's) come out furious. Yelling over the machine to me to get my attention as if I was his son. I stop and look at him and he hastily motions for me by moving his fingers horizontally across his neck for me to shut the machine off. So I do and he says "you cut my cable". Just as furious as can be. I explain to him that I did not "cut" his cable, and had the cable company buried it correctly it probably would have never happened. He calms down. He was talking to me like I'm a child, and when ANYONE speaks to me in the wrong tone without being reasonable it instantly sets me off. So I remind him that our contract has the "underground disturbances" clause.

    So many personalities, all these different customers. You can never be too well prepared.
  5. Red Shed Landscaping

    Red Shed Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    DVS - "So many personalities, all these different customers. You can never be too well prepared."

    This may be the reason I haven't really done contracts because there are so many things you have to think of to cover yourself. In the last year or so I have been writing in even greater detail on my proposal exactly what I will do step by step. I also put in any guarantees on plants, seed/sod or work we do. I have also been putting in very clearly the things that our out of our control we aren't going to be responsible.

    So with every proposal I have done lately they get more specific so will understand what they are getting.

    I like the big word you used - traversing
  6. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    a proposal is a contract.....once it's accepted by the customer, via their signature :)

    A contract doesn't need to say "contract" at the top :)

    If I write on a napkin that I will pay you $500 to plant Oak trees - then, that's the contractual agreement

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