Sometimes you just have to throw one back in the water

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by DVS Hardscaper, Sep 29, 2018.

  1. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,747

    For the first time in the 28 years I have been in business I am refunding a home owner's deposit.

    Everything has been a debate with this person. Every time we have talked she has tried to back me into a corner.

    Yesterday, was the last straw. I said to her "I can refund your money...."

    And so I am. If there is contention before the job begins its best to not do it, as its highly likely they will nitpick and ride your tail the entire time.

    THIESSENS TLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 993

    Not worth the headache...someone else can deal with her.
  3. Delmarva Keith

    Delmarva Keith LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 628

    I think I know that type of customer. For me it goes something like this. Ok, we’ve agreed on [plantings, an overseed, sod, a tree or two, whatever]. It must be watered as follows . . . [explanation of what the plant needs]. If not watered properly it will all die. It will also need periodic fertilization and weed control, etc. Customer says, great, so you gurantee it will grow and be beautiful, etc., etc. I explain again, no, I can’t guarantee that because I don’t control how it’s cared for after I leave. If you want it guaranteed you can purchase an aftercare program that I’d be happy to provide. Customer says, oh yes, I understand — if give it some water you guarantee everything, right? Me: no, that’s not how it works (and around and around we go again).

    A famous saying goes something like it’s impossible to get a man to understand something he has an interest in not understanding. Everyone seems to understand “bye.” ;)
    billythekid and hort101 like this.
  4. OP
    DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,747

    This particular person had paid the job deposit ($4,200) via credit card, which means I had to pay the processor a 'discount rate'. Probably 2.5 to 3.5%, depending on the card.

    This means that I ate no less than $105.00.

    With that said......I just went through my contract forms and in my section regarding Credit Card Service Fees, I added "...non-refundable...."

    Just sharing because I know most folks haven't thought about this

    4D Exteriorscapes and hort101 like this.
  5. Steve

    Steve LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from NE FL
    Messages: 1,635

    Isn't the process fee refunded back to them?
  6. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,014

    No and often you get the joy of paying it both ways.
    sjessen likes this.
  7. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,014

    I'm in a similar a situation with a new customer. She pinches every penny and wants to change the work order after the job is completed, of course for the same price. I'm meeting with her tomorrow and I feel at peace with walking away from the next phase if she continues.
 likes this.
  8. Steve

    Steve LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from NE FL
    Messages: 1,635

    just found out depending on who you use. Stripe does not charge a fee for refunds, and refunds the original payment fee too
    knox gsl likes this.
  9. OP
    DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,747

    Nope. The merchant pays a fee to take the money. And the merchant pays a fee to refund the money. I printed a refund check and mailed it, I wasn't eating any more costs. In MD the home owner has so many days to cancel a contract. But, I had enough of this person, too stressful dealing with her, so I initiated the option to refund her deposit. And had either 3 or 4 signed contracts come in afterwards :)
  10. hatchetson2005

    hatchetson2005 LawnSite Member
    from sydney
    Messages: 17

    i can't believe I'm reading about fees here
    aren't the stakes higher than that ?
    weeks on a job while unhappy ??
    returning a deposit is a rare event that is almost always wise
    to give back a deposit means you have bounced the idea off almost everyone you know - then decided to do it

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