Refuesed to Sign Contract

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by procut, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,852

    This guy calls me the other day wants an estimate for clean-up and regular mowing. I show up write everything down on a proposal sheet, he signs it with out blinking. The next day I show back up to do the clean-up and have a contract in hand. I go to the door and as soon as I mention the words "sign a service agreement" he becomes real uneasy and begins to sigh real loud. He looks at the paper and with in a few seconds, he says, "I'm not signing this" I ask why. He says he doesn't want to sign anything that will "come back to haunt him", which i don't see how it can. After little more discussion, I said, well sorry, maybe you can find someone else and begin to walk back to the truck. He says, no wait, I'll pay in advance. He went inside and came back with $125.00 cash for the clean-up, so i went ahead and did it. At this point he still wants to be a regualr maintenance customer. We haven't started cutting yet, so should I just let this one go? BTW: its only a $25.00 grass cut, so losing it wouldn't really be much of a loss.
  2. KathysLGC

    KathysLGC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,345

    To start out with bad vibes is not a good thing. The only way i would do it would be if i was paid in advance. After a while if I felt better I would then switch to monthly billing but andthing other then grass cutting would have to be paid in advance.
  3. Tn Lawn Man

    Tn Lawn Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 479

    I have had similar things like this happen before. I chalk it up to the fact that we are living in a very cautious/suspicious society today.

    So in those cases I say I will perform the work but it is in a pay in advance format only.

    My real concern with service agreements is getting my money anyways.

    Insurance takes care of the rest.
  4. jt5019

    jt5019 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,432

    I have a few customers that were uneasy about signing a service agreement none have turned out to be a problem.Most of them were older people and turned out to be very nice people and paid pretty quick.If the customer rubs you the wrong way than i wouldnt do it without a contract.Sometimes you can get a feeling just by talking to them if theres going to be a problem.
  5. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,009

    No.There is a reason he thinks it "will come back to haunt him".He won't pay down the line or something else.
    Tell him you need proof that you are allowed on his property.A service agreement is proof.Tell him it "will come back to haunt you",if for some reason your insurance company has a claim filed.
    Scenario:You run into his brand new BMW with your mower.You call up the insurance and tell them their was an accident.For some reason,he says he never gave you permission to mow his grass.He sues you for damages and mental stress caused by you damaging his manhood(BMW).Your insurance company says,"Sorry dude,you didn't have permission to service his property.We're not paying anything."
    You lose your home,mowers,vehicles,etc.,,just because someone didn't want a signed service agreement.
    (It's a bit extreme,but in this day,there are all kinds out there)Protect yourself first.
  6. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,852

    Thanks for the input guys. He did offer to pay in advance, so i will definatly hold him to it.

    Nick N,
    He did sign the bottom of the proposal sheet so I assume that will count as permission to be on proporty.
  7. Duramax99

    Duramax99 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 203

    Did you explain to him the contract benefits him too? Its to has advantage to sign it. $25.00 dollars a week adds up quick if this guy decides to burn you. I wouldn't go more than 1 week without getting paid. With no contract. you are looking at $100.00 a month. Your time. I would take the money and run. Move on.
  8. LawnScapers of Dayton

    LawnScapers of Dayton LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Dayton, OH
    Messages: 2,572

    but does it mean you can be there every week for mowing??????

    No service service from me.....anyway....

  9. KathysLGC

    KathysLGC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,345

    Yes. If he pays for 4 weeks in advance then he gets the 4 cuts for the month.
  10. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,009

    <i>I show up write everything down on a <b>proposal sheet</b>, he signs it with out blinking. </i>
    <p>He signed the propsal sheet,which simply means he agreed to your price for services.He didn't sign a contract allowing the services to be rendered.There's a difference,unfortunately.A contract should contain the price,materials,time to begin work,time frame to complete work,payment terms,etc.,,The proposal is just an estimate.The contract is the agreement.
    He may end up being a fine person to do business with and some just don't like to sign a contract,but,I'd never perform work without one myself.It's just like insurance.There when ya need it.

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