Refunds for Pre Pay Customers

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by HydroRI, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. HydroRI

    HydroRI LawnSite Member
    Messages: 120

    I offered a 5% discount this year for anyone who wanted to pay for there yearly service before April 1st.

    Well I have a customer that is very particular and expects to have a golf course for a lawn. This is my first year doing this lawn and I understand 2 years ago the yard was 50% weeds. I think the lawn looks great for the weather we have been having in the northeast this summer. The lawn is irrigated. The customer states she waters every morning. I think that may contribute to the leaching of the Dimension I used in Mid April for the first treatment. Well about 3 weeks ago the front lawn had a outbreak of crabgrass. I explained to the customer I could spray the crabgrass but it would look yellow in the areas where I sprayed until the crabgrass completely died. I also advised her the crabgrass would die anyway in the fall. She did not want it sprayed if it was going to look yellow.

    Before this I was at her property on 2 other visits between treatments to spray for broad leaf weeds. The weeds died but new ones grew. I told her she was mowing to short which she was. I also stressed that she could not water or mow the lawn after I spray the weeds for at least 24 hrs. I am not sure if she followed these directions either.

    The point is this customer has 3 treatments left for the year and she is not satisfied and wants a refund for the remaining of the year. I do not make my customers sign a contract. Out of 37 customers this is the only 1 I have had any issues with this year. I was thinking of refunding the remainder but pro rating it without the 5% discount.

    What would you guys do?
  2. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    Just what you said !
  3. Tscape

    Tscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,370

    I would not refund the money. Her payment is a defacto contract. You budgeted that money and possibly spent it on materials that were a pre season special. Just because she has unrealistic expectations does not mean she has grounds to break the contract. I would think that a friendly, but firm assertion of this would suffice to convince her toride out the season. Otherwise the ball is in her court.
  4. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    I too would ride out the season, or if she wants to hire someone else in midstream that's her right.

    I would not refund the money, and if she did hire someone else, wait for the court papers.

    Not saying she'll definately sue you, but in this day......

    If you've already done everything in your contract then you've done everything contracted.

    I've got some customers wondering when I'm going to spray the weeds again, but today we've had our 20th day over 90 this summer, and I tell them it'll be done as soon as the temps drop back into the 70's - 80's range.

    Same thing with my bush trimming.

    Last thing I need is to stress out the lawn or some bushes and have them die, then the customer insisting that it was my fault.
  5. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    No written contract means trouble! Why risk going to court over something that has not happened. Her word against his and with out a signed written contract the judge will rule against the contractor. Why? Because as a business its your legal responsibility to specify in writing what you are going to provide and at what cost. I still stand by my original statement
  6. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    Mac -

    Without seeing the exact situation, ie if the gal is a real PITA, I'd refund the money and say see you later.

    If it's something that you can ride out until the end of the year, I'd try..... I hate giving people money back when it's something you're not doing wrong.
  7. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    I am with Mac on this one.

    If the customer isn't happy with my work I sure don't want to be there. If they don't pay, I darn sure won't be there. I would refund the money in a heart beat and move on to the next one. I would try my best not to get her mad because of good will or bad mouthing she might do. However in one case I had a customer bad mouth me to my advantage. Everyone knew this retired Doctor was PITA. He continually bad mouth me and said after 5 years my work had gone down hill. People figured if I kept that old PITA happy for 5 years I was OK.
  8. OrganicBob

    OrganicBob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 73

    Refund her money and be done with her. She'll never be satisfied until she gives up her pixie dust view of weed control. Be glad that you don't get a lot of other complaints. Pat yourself on the back for doing the best that you could. Learn from the experience, when you set up customers on a annual program of weed control and/or fertilizer treatments, set good expectations. Tell them what to expect, and explicitly tell them that some people think that you can magically make their weeds disappear and make their lawn look great overnight and that this is not the case. Good customers appreciate honesty and consistent work.
  9. Green Dreams

    Green Dreams LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 593

    I refund minus the full price of apps received. Not to be a parrot but its not worth the ill will...

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