Old People! Arghh....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by sildoc, Sep 10, 2003.

  1. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    Ok I know I will hearI got the blunt end of it, but I am curious what you all do when you have a non paying (excustomer)?
    This older lady that lives across from one of my clients wanted some hedges trimmed and some trees thinned out. No problem I tell her. I didn't have a contract at the time but she said that she would pay me 1/3 right now and rest when I am done.
    Ok, I was there and was going to end the day early if I didn't take it, so instead of waiting untill I had a contract to sign I had her put on the check what the full amount would be when completed.

    Any ways she left in the middle of me doing the job.
    I left a note to call me to talk about the payment and some upgrades we had talked about.

    She never called. I stop by the next week and she is not there. Left another note.
    No call. Again the week after and she is not there.
    Anoter note.
    No call. No money. Ok I have had it by now, No call and No money. I stop by late friday night out of my way. and catch her at home.

    Get this.
    She says that she is not satisfied with the job. Hired some one else to finish it and do the extras we had talked about.
    says she isn't going to pay what she owes me.

    What do you do?
    I have a check saying how much she said she was going to pay. I cant loose 2/3 of what we agreed on.
    Last time I do it with out a contract.
    by the way it took me 4.5 hours of triming and quoted 150+dump fees of 20. I only was paid 50 bucks.
    What would you do? I have Ideas but am still cooling off.
    Sorry for the long post.
  2. work_it

    work_it LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 976

    When she said she had to hire someone else to do the extras, where they actually done? Do you have the first check she wrote with the agreement on it? Send her another bill with your lawyers name as a contact, and include on it that if payment isn't recieved within 15 days it will be turned over to your lawyer for collection. Also add that his fees and court costs will be included on any further collection efforts.
  3. kerrazy

    kerrazy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    I had a similar incident, I sent the lady, by certified mail my bill and a note that this would be the final bill from me and the next would be from my lawyer (whose name and number I listed on the bottom of my statement) who would attempt collection.

    A week later I had my check.
    Good Luck!

    "Wasted time is wasted money!!"
  4. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,194

    sildoc, I'd say you've paid for a lesson learned. The amount is not worth the hassle of any legal battle/court time.
    A red light should have gone off when she offered partial payment up front. Contract or not, collect before hand on jobs of that type.
    If you happen to have a trailer worth of debris equal to the amount you hauled off, you could take it back by her house and ask where she wants it, cause she didn't pay for the removal.:)
    BTW Careful who you're calling "old people".
  5. edrenckh

    edrenckh LawnSite Member
    Messages: 135

    Take her to court.

    It is a good learning experience and if she didn't give you a chance to correct the problem, you should win.
  6. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    Get paid in advance when there not a regular costumer. IN CASH
  7. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    she is 100% a freakin thieving old lady, treat her like one. first of all, she did not call and say she was unhappy with the work. secondly, if she was unhappy, she needed to give u the oportunity to fix it. treat her bad, talk to her with no respect, being old, and being female does not give her a right to steal. you were probably real nice to her at the beginning, right? that was your first mistake. u got to be nasty to these people, just enough to be intimidating. call the police.
  8. mrbenfer

    mrbenfer LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 136

    :laugh: Bobby's posts make me laugh.

    I would sue that nasty grandma for all she is worth!
  9. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Messages: 1,647

    She yanked your chain the entire time.

    There are people that do this over and over. Your not the only one she has done it to, I can gaurantee that.

    File in small claims. Keep trying to collect and file when you have some slow time.
  10. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    Ok, So far my decision is to write it off. I have talked to her new person who she has hired for full time maintenance and warned him about her. He and I hit that area at the same time every week and will see him again today. I made sure he had a contract so he was covered.
    I have been tempted by taking her to court or using my attorney but the 100+ dump fees is not worth the trouble or my time. I will make sure every one that I can possibly find knows about her and that she is left for the tigers.
    I will try one more collection at the begining of the month hoping that it is the fixed income that is detering her.

    By the way I mean no affence to those older than I. I have had numerous nagging, freebee wanting old person that I am fed up with the simple fact that they have the gall to even ask.

    P.S. I think Bobby is using us as a way out of paying his psychiatrist (sp) to vent all of his frustrations.

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