take it off the bill?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Apr 29, 2003.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    customer is contracted for weekly mowing 1st week in april, thru last week of october. cut april 3, missed the 10th cus of rain, made it up on the 13th(went out on a sunday to make sure it got done), guy came out and asked why i was cutting, "it doesnt need it."i explained i am here, and im cutting, if u would have called, i would have skipped a week. then he says he wants me to skip the upcomming week, and resume the following week. i say sure(the grass really hadnt grown much). so we cut again on the 24th. i send bill, he sends a check for 2 cuts, saying since the grass wasnt growing, he wasnt paying for the 3rd cut(even though i was there) . do you demand payment for the 3rd cut? talk to him and let it slide? cancel service? he has always been fine, lots of extras there too. what do u think?on a personal level, id like my $35 , one way or the other. on a business level, im thinking do i give up $2000 a year, to get that $35? advice please
  2. deason

    deason LawnSite Member
    Messages: 236

    Originally posted by bobbygedd
    guy came out and asked why i was cutting, "it doesnt need it."i explained i am here, and im cutting, if u would have called, i would have skipped a week.

    Why did you cut if it didnt need it? Did you agree that it did not need cutting or do you disagree? Did you say contracted? If it is under contract, there should be no debate.
  3. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,847

    Seems simple to me. $35 or $2000. Bobby, this business is all about pleasing the client. If they are not happy, you are not going to have their account.

    Just for reference, how old are you?
  4. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    38 dude. did it need cutting? well, it did need to be edged, and the curb swept, bit did it need cutting? no. however, since i cant see all my customers lawns from my house, i just try to stick to the schedule. i refuse to drive over, unload my stuff, and have them come out and say not to cut. it cost me money to do that. we are not "on call", we are contracted, and the work is done on a schedule.
  5. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Well, I'd been saving some of this stuff up for a time when I could type up a nice long post about where I stand on these types of issues.

    The way I look at it is this...is he contracted to pay for weekly service or 4 cuts a month? If so he owes for 4 cuts, not 2, reguardless of rather the work was done or not.

    If this is not the case, did you cut it 2 or 3 times? 3 right? Didn't you work on a Sunday to get it cut? I say then he owes you for 3 cuts, end of story.

    I say more than likely either he was mad because you came to cut on Sunday, plus he maybe already thought "good it rained on our day so we can skip paying for one this month."

    So that combination led him outside and into the conversation he had with you. Then of course, you gave in and said "sure Mr. Tightwad, we'll skip you next week."

    See that's where you made the mistake, now he is in control and knows it. So as he was writing your check, most likely he thought "heck, this guy is a pushover, I bet I can write a check for 2 cuts and he'll just take it."

    Seems to me he's close to being right too. Otherwise you'd be over there collecting what you deserve, earned and he owes you.

    This is NOT a matter of $2,000 v/s $35.

    This is a matter of what you are willing and happy to put up with for $35 and how many more times this year he'll cheat you out of $35 here and there.

    At the rate things are going so far you are looking at more like $1,000 or 1/2 price for your services. Surely you think you are "worth" more than that. Demand what he owes you. If he doesn't want to pay, let him cheat someone else and replace the account with one that will be profitable and less of a PITA.

    Atleast right now you can cut your losses early, which adds up to either $35 or $70, depending on how you look at it.
  6. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I had a situation where the customer owed me $35 more than he paid. He went away of vacation one week or something like that. But for the sake of not loosing a customer over $35 I let it slide. The only problem was in the back of my mind I couldn't let it go. I finsihed out the season and let him go.
  7. Angelo

    Angelo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    I say just add the $35 onto one of the extras, you still get your money, and the customer is happy and none the wiser. Unless he is on my route then I'd drop him and give me his address. haha.
  8. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    thats the whole problem, the back of my mind thing. id rather eat glass then let somebody beat me out of $2, let alone $35. everytime im there, ill be thinking of that. i was willing to be flexible and skip a week, because it snowed here and the grass was very , well, not growing. that was true only for some lawns, not all. since im not gonna drive around and see whos lawn needed it or not, i just cut the whole route.
  9. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    angelo, i didnt want to say it, cus i know ill get bashed for it, but now that u mentioned it........that was my intention. u know what, this sort of **** used to happen alot more, in the last couple of years, its now and then. this guy isnt like a dirtbag or anything, he just really believes he is right.
  10. KerryB

    KerryB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 661

    If he did it once, he will do it again and again and again.
    If you don't stick to what the contract says then it is worthless, and later on you will not have a legal leg to stand on.
    The court will look at it as you didn't follow the contract either and so it will not be enforceable.

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