Unsatisfied customer is ghosting me and won’t pay invoice

OP
TruCutLawnCareTX

TruCutLawnCareTX

LawnSite Member
Location
Texas
Well, I got another email just now. She is irate.
In summary,
-we are not a reputable company and don’t care about customer satisfaction but about money
-the job doesn’t appear to be professionally done
-the plants were subpar and half dead
-the credit I gave for the grasses is irrelevant because I tried to take advantage of her and make her pay for something she didn’t get.
-have I even bothered to come to her house to see what a horrible job we did? Surely not, because it’s horrible
-our work is subpar and it’s unfortunate that we aren’t doing more to remedy this because bad reviews can destroy a company

I replied, in summary
-we do care about customer satisfaction, we reached out repeatedly to understand why she wasn’t satisfied and she didn’t respond
-I haven’t come to her home because she was hostile with my crew and didn’t respond to attempts to contact her and I didn’t feel that showing up at her home would be welcome or productive.
-I understand she’s upset but her complaints aren’t actionable and I have documentation to back up everything.
-I have no desire to argue or be insulted. I’ve remained professional and ask that she is too in any future communications. If she does decide to not pay we will pursue legal options to collect the debt.

I am beyond tired of this. Every time she speaks to me it’s something new. Now she’s apparently going to drag our name through the dirt.
 

Freaky Fido

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Northeast USA
You know, this reminds me of the days when I was a chef and a lady ordered a NY strip steak medium-well. I cooked it to medium-well and the waitress brought it back in for more fire - no problem and not uncommon, you tend to lean towards the rare side because you can always cook it more, but you can't un-cook it. I send it back out and it comes back in again, and again. By this point it's well past medium-well and it's charred and literally smoking sitting there on the plate. She sends it back a final time saying it's too well done and refuses to pay for it. She caused me to ruin the steak, but blamed us/me and made a scene in the dining room.

It sounds to me like this lady ruined the job (grasses too close to edge) by trying to micro-manage it and now it's somehow your fault.
 
OP
TruCutLawnCareTX

TruCutLawnCareTX

LawnSite Member
Location
Texas
You know, this reminds me of the days when I was a chef and a lady ordered a NY strip steak medium-well. I cooked it to medium-well and the waitress brought it back in for more fire - no problem and not uncommon, you tend to lean towards the rare side because you can always cook it more, but you can't un-cook it. I send it back out and it comes back in again, and again. By this point it's well past medium-well and it's charred and literally smoking sitting there on the plate. She sends it back a final time saying it's too well done and refuses to pay for it. She caused me to ruin the steak, but blamed us/me and made a scene in the dining room.

It sounds to me like this lady ruined the job (grasses too close to edge) by trying to micro-manage it and now it's somehow your fault.
I’ve hopefully stopped the back and forth with her. She emailed again this morning and I said we’ve already addressed this in previous emails. She has stated she’ll pay it, no clue when that will be. Texas at least has a law about prompt payment, and I’ve got it in writing she said she’d pay if we have to go to court. I’m waiting to see the scathing online review she threatened to make. This has turned into such a nightmare.
 

GravelyGuy

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Indiana
I’ve hopefully stopped the back and forth with her. She emailed again this morning and I said we’ve already addressed this in previous emails. She has stated she’ll pay it, no clue when that will be. Texas at least has a law about prompt payment, and I’ve got it in writing she said she’d pay if we have to go to court. I’m waiting to see the scathing online review she threatened to make. This has turned into such a nightmare.

One online review isn't going to make or break you. Just respond professionally and then remove her from your mind. If she is as crazy as it seems then she has probably posted bogus reviews about other contractors. You can see that if you look at her profile, therefore ruining her credibility. Furthermore, any friend or neighbor that believes her BS is crazy like her in which case, who cares what they think. Anybody else already knows that she is a loon and won't pay her any mind.
 

AlohaMowing

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Hilo, HI
I am beyond tired of this. Every time she speaks to me it’s something new. Now she’s apparently going to drag our name through the dirt.
I’m waiting to see the scathing online review she threatened to make.
Normally I feel that just sending such debts to a collection agency and having them reported to credit bureaus is the best way to get on with one's life. But, in this case it increasingly looks as if getting your attorney involved may be prudent.

If the woman does post a review with false facts (as opposed to opinions) to disparage your business, or spreads lies verbally in the community, how much might your business be harmed? If her rants are likely to be seen as irrational by those who might see or hear them, then the harm may be insignificant and just sending to a collection agency may be best.

But if you think you might actually lose business due to her lies, then you may find that suing her on two or more bases will be worthwhile. You would have the obvious cause of action to collect the debt. But you also may have a cause of action for business disparagement. There might also be a cause of action for interference with prospective business relationships.
 

Mello Living

LawnSite Member
Location
Burlington NC
The plant on the far right side at the end of the bed. The bed originally curved in at the corner of the house. She changed shape and dimensions the morning of the second day. I don’t have a picture of what it was before her change but made a red line to show what was added. She approved new shape and dimensions and plant placement.
This was $1800 ?
 

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