Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by greenmonster304, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. greenmonster304

    greenmonster304 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,690

    Well last year I did an install and got screwed out of about $2500. Apparently the owner owes money to just about everyone who worked on the project including the GC who is owed about $100,000.00. The GC has been fighting to get his money but so far hasn't got it.

    As it turns out a long time customer of my brothers has been renting this house for the past year or so after selling his other estate to a certain NY mayor. The condition of his rental was the owner was supposed to make certain changes and repairs which were never done so he has with held over $100,000 in an escrow account. After living in this house he learned about how many people the owner has screwed. So he has hired a good lawyer and is going to bat for all the subs in hopes that he can take the escrowed rent money and pay it out directly to the subs. It's nice to know there are rich people that still care about the little guy.

    My bro is in the process of doing a major planting at his new house and I am slated to do the irrigation so I guess I will give him a good deal.
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  2. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,172

    Hope you forgot to winterize, but with slimeballs like that, it's better to just walk away. You prolly are lucky only eating $2500! :cry:
  3. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,226

    I usually have to let go of about $100-$1000 each year in uncollectables. Usually about $200-$400. Just sent out nasty grams to the 6 people that are very late in paying, a couple are from March and April, and they range from $70-$300. One person already responded and paid by credit card. I know a couple of them will never pay, and I don't expect to take it to court. Not worth the brain cramp to collect $100.
  4. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,156

    I get a couple a year that try to stiff us for various amounts. I don't even take them to court anymore. I turn the accounts over to a collection agency. At that point it's no longer about collecting or what it will cost me to do so. It's more about the satisfaction of knowing that the collection agency is going to persue them relentlessly and make their life hell.
  5. HoustonLandscaper

    HoustonLandscaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    In Houston TX, we get liens on the house. Trust me, after that they are calling us to get the money so we can take the lien off. Of course, we need a contract up front. The lien cost about $65 and the satisfaction, we get from the calling us to get the lien off is priceless.
  6. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    For me, what works just about every time is the threat of a lien. We send a letter stating in 30 days our attorney will be submitting a lien on the property and that $550 for lien and attorney fees will be added to their balance. I also add in some b.s. that a lien will negatively effect there credit rating. 95% of the time we send these letters, we are far past the state deadline to file a lien. But very few customers know this and they almost always call to pay asap. The few customers who actually know the laws do call our bluff and don't pay, but then all we are out is the cost of the stamp. We send them off to collections.

    But when a person gets a letter saying they are getting a $679 lien filed for a $129 blowout, they usually don't want to take a chance.
  7. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,172

    On installs, the big + is telling the lowlife they have voided warranty by lack of payment.
  8. greenmonster304

    greenmonster304 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,690

    Are warranties a big thing to all you guys out there? I always give one but it is rare that any of my customers or potential customers ever mention them.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. txirrigation

    txirrigation LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 977

    Whats even more priceless is having it in your contract that they must reimburse you for collection efforts including lawyers fees.
  10. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,172

    A big selling point for us was warranty; anything we screwed-up, we'd fix, n.c., forever. On quality equipment, I gave a ten year warranty. You can imagine the money I lost during the Weather-Matic solenoid fiasco. :dizzy:

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