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is this being a hard azz?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Oct 19, 2004.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    homeowner seems to be on a low budget. i sell him weekly mowing, and a prepaid fert program. everything is going fine, i'm living up to our agreement. he requests a meeting with me. fine. we meet, he says that i'm doing a bad job! my jaw dropped. the lawn looks good, but the beds arent edged, the shrubbery isn't trimmed, the storm damage isn't being cleaned up.(oak trees, constant debris in the back yard even after a little wind or rain.) there are 3 dead shrubs, that need to be replaced, and 2 small beds to be mulched. he says that i've been neglecting these items and he's considering canceling service. i'm in a state of shock , these items were never discussed, or requested. he agrees that this is true, but, if i'm on the property week after week, i should notice these things, and take care of them. i explain that these extra items are expensive, and i can't just take it upon myself to do it without approval. fine, i work up a plan, he agrees, i explain that payment for the extras are due on completion. ok, fine. i spent the better part of a day doing these items. knock on the door. hand him a bill. he just looks at me, says his checking account is low, he needs to go transfer money from savings into the checking account to pay me. i say fine, write me a check, i'll deposit it in a week. he says no, i'd rather pay you cash. come back tommorow. now my blood pressure is going up. i don't care if he pays me in pesos, i want my money. long story short. 6 days later, after haunting this man, i get all my money, except it's short by $200 and change. hmmm, i do have a pre paid fert program, if i just keep it, it will cover the 2 bills, plus a little extra for my troubles. and that's what i did, and never went back again. he called 100 times, i didn't return his calls. is this being a hard ass?
  2. oneandonlyjojo

    oneandonlyjojo LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Messages: 125

    nah he is a scumbag and gets wat he deserves
  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Drop kick em to the curb BG and be gone IMO.
  4. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Bobby, the question is do I think you a being a hard azz the answer is no but you may need to convince the judge of this. You had a written contract to perform the fertilization for this man and you stopped doing that. It is true that he owes you money from a contract you have but you broke another contract to get the money. Two wrongs don’t make a right. I would have handled this one a little differently.

  5. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    differently? yea, my first instinct was to bust his kneecaps. how would you have handled it differently? it all worked out. my only alternative was to call the police, and then have to be paid for court filing fees, my time in court, late fees, court costs, etc. i think i was being kind by doing it like this. how would you have done it gravely?
  6. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    A little juke and jive shuffle, and another PITA bites the dust!!! :drinkup:
  7. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    I would at least refund the difference..unless there is a clause in your contract for a surcharge on "your troubles".
  8. lawncutr

    lawncutr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    The reason you are having trouble is because every ya'hooo with a pickup and a hundred dollar mower is out on Saturday mowing and doing all that extra work for free and NOT paying any taxes. These people have become accustomed to it....your contract needs to be very detailed and list everything and you need a clause that states that you are not responsible for extra items. I suggest that what you should have done after he hassled you about paying would have been to go and run your big mower over his bushes and leave a note explaining how you took care of the remaining crappy looking landscaping and that the beds were now ready for new plants and that it was going to cost him $500 to get started.
    Actually, you did the right thing except you needed to draft a letter that told him that in leau of the fertilizing you were going to apply the money he had paid you toward the delinquent bills and any further work needed to be paid for in advance. A scumbag like that would probably never go to court.

    Remember this....from now on, when you see additional items that need to be done, leave a note and an estimate for each item so customers cannot blindside you like that.
  9. JustMowIt

    JustMowIt LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    Sounds like a broke customer who wants the same service as the neighbor who pays twice as much!!!! We get that sometimes also when a bi-weekly mow customer wonders why the weekly customer next door has a nicer lawn!!! I would do the same thing you did, but I would tell the customer first. Anytime there is a problem, I rather tell the customer exactly what our intentions are, versus running from them. Anytime you run, it makes you look as though you did something wrong, in reality the customer was in the wrong.
  10. prizeprop

    prizeprop LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 822

    You did it perfectly. Now he's the one that has to get stressed out on how to get his money back. Now the shoes on the other foot, see how he likes it.

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