Supposed to start wall Monday - customer cancels today.

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by kootoomootoo, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,369

    115 ft wall .......Mr. leaves a "courtesy" call ...just informing you we went with someone else for the wall .....

    Hmm on tuesday wifey was getting deposit together so we could sign contracts for that friggin wall we have been talking about for 6 weeks. We even discussed starting friday if it rained all day tuesday.

    Aint gonna be prettyladies...picked the wrong person.
  2. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Messages: 3,497

    bust some balls........did you get a contract?
  3. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,929

    Unfortunately Koot, unless you have a signed contract you are pi$$ing into the wind. It has happened to me many times. I would have an appt. scheduled to get the contract signed and the one contractor who never got back to them during the bidding process drops a bid off 3 weeks later and their price beats mine. Guess what? ring, ring!

  4. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Messages: 2,702

    Whatta ya gonna do?

    You've been working with them for 6 weeks without a signed contract?

    You know better.
  5. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,540

    Couple of things:

    I know you're not in MD, but the good 'ol state of MD helps us contractors that do things by the book! The state of MD allows the customer 48 business hrs (or is it 72, i just woke up) to cancel a contract and get their deposit back. After that time period - we do not have to refund their deposit.

    Also, I have learned to NEVER consider a job sold until signed contract and deposit is in hand. I have worked with people for weeks and months on fine tuning this and fine tuning that, only for them to either go with someone else, or simply not have any work done!

    And how on earth are you able to start a job so fast? Heck, we're booked through mid December.

    You musen't be very busy, or you'd move on to the next job and not think twice about it!

    This hardscape message board needs more business and marketing dialog and less "look at this patio we just did" and less "how much to do this" threads. All can benefit.
  6. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    I think he said hed been working with them for six weeks, probalbly on other projects as well.

    I benefit from both business talk and seeing other peoples work; not everyone has seen it all.
  7. McKeeLand

    McKeeLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    I agree with DVS, with the economy and housing market the way it is right now, I need improve my sales and marketing. You can be the best paver layer in the business, it does no good if you can't find any work, or worse yet close a deal when you get leads. Building in are area has slowed way down, which means i have to start working even harder for every lead.
  8. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,369

    For the benefit of DVS

    -Met with them 8 weeks ago
    -Mrs gives me the go ahead ...........tell her approx 4-5 weeks.
    -Mrs tells another hardscaper who bid the job that I talk to regularly that they are going with me. We discussed details etc.
    -Mrs has site excavated at her expense TO MY SPECS SIX weeks ago....I consulted with excavator.
    -Mrs disappears for 2 weeks
    -Mrs out of the blue calls again and says sorry issues blah blah can we fit her in somewhere.
    - Tell her we need deposit and ...she says she will arrange it with bank but plan on starting in the next 2 weeks.
    - Tuesday she is planning on us starting friday or monday.


    Hammered out a couple of jobs this week so I could free the week up a little.
    I may play gollf monday.

    Sorry DVS we didnt meet Monday and tellem we could start friday.
    I have nothing to do except 3 decks, 2 sprinkler systems, 2 fence jobs 900 feet or so, a model home install, 2 patios and a partridge in a pear tree.

  9. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,454

    I usually hang in the heavy equipment forum, but the topic you share here is happening to all of us one way or another, and it interests me alot. We, just because of geographic location, have price shoppers, a large population with the disease of "situational ethics" and it is a tough neighborhood at best in good times......let alone tough times. I get called all the time to go out and design along with bid. I don't do design now unless I get a consulting fee up front. I give a preliminary estimate/contract with basic numbers with an addendum when they sign the contract. Addendum contains the nuts and bolts of the job. And, when signing takes place, I get 50% down.....non-refundable. It's kinda rough, but it weeds out the price shoppers and saves me alot of my most valuable time. A big clue to me, which is mentioned over and over again, is "Do you give free estimates?" My response is, it depends. Good luck Kootoo......
  10. maintenanceguy

    maintenanceguy LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 156

    It's called the three day right of recision and it's not MD law, it's federal law...actually case law. And it applies to lots of kinds of contracts including contracts for improvements to real property. And that's three business days, not including Sat and Sun.

    In fact, if you don't provide your customers with a notice of their three day right of recision, your contract can be found to be invalid in court.

    It's common practice in construction (my previous life) for contracts to mention this in the fine print AND for there to be a separate form the home owner signs acknowledging that they were told about this. And if you do an emergency job, the customer had to sign a waiver giving up their 3 day right of recision.

    There are lots of cases where contractors have lost big sums of money because the customer took them to court and had the contract nullified after work was done because they weren't notified of this right.

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