Unsatisfied customer is ghosting me and won’t pay invoice

Mitty87

LawnSite Silver Member
I know yours is 1400 and you want the money and its not a small amount. I had my first issue in 4 years over $200, she was offering to pay half after a lot of back and forth. I have only had a problem with 1-2 clients out of hundreds so I don't think its me, I take a lot of crap from people and stay calm. Anyway I told the woman off and told her to keep the money as she is obvious struggling and needed it (lives in upscale neighbourhood and drives new escalade) and hope she feels good about taking food off the table of my family so she could get something for free. I said she is a thief and I'm sure you know how it feels to be stolen from as a fellow business owner.

I also said if I see any reviews I will come after her for the full amount and left the invoice at $0 but said "to be charged" in the description.
 
OP
TruCutLawnCareTX

TruCutLawnCareTX

LawnSite Member
Location
Texas
I know yours is 1400 and you want the money and its not a small amount. I had my first issue in 4 years over $200, she was offering to pay half after a lot of back and forth. I have only had a problem with 1-2 clients out of hundreds so I don't think its me, I take a lot of crap from people and stay calm. Anyway I told the woman off and told her to keep the money as she is obvious struggling and needed it (lives in upscale neighbourhood and drives new escalade) and hope she feels good about taking food off the table of my family so she could get something for free. I said she is a thief and I'm sure you know how it feels to be stolen from as a fellow business owner.

I also said if I see any reviews I will come after her for the full amount and left the invoice at $0 but said "to be charged" in the description.
That’s a really good idea for smaller amounts.
She’s also our first disgruntled customer and I don’t feel like it’s us. She’s clearly trying to run a game on me because she went from being just so upset in her first email, but was going to pay us because it’s the right thing to do, to getting irate and insulting in her second when I still expected her to pay something and it’s been downhill from there.
 

thom

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Northern Ohio
We just finished a landscape job. Everything was done exactly as bid, the customer was present both days and approved aspects of the job as we went (confirmed bed dimensions, confirmed plant placement, etc.) At the end of the first of two days we get approval of the work completed that day before leaving and everything seems fine. She texts me early the next morning stating she wanted the bed extended farther on one side and had moved a plant she bought that she wanted added to the bed to a spot where she wanted it planted, and wanted us to extend the bed to accommodate that plant. The crew gets there and sends me pictures of the plant she placed after talking to them and I told them to extend the bed an additional 18” to accommodate the plant, no big deal. The customer was home and approved it. They get everything put in and go get the customer for the final approval and she snaps at the supervisor and said he clearly hadn’t talked to me and that’s not where she wanted the plant, but she’ll just live with it. I guess she forgot that she talked to the supervisor about the plant when they arrived and reiterated where she wanted it. She goes off on a rant yelling at the guys about how it’s nothing like she wanted. They offer to fix a few things and she says no it’s fine she’ll just “live with it” and goes inside. They stay late and fix some stuff she pointed out, then go knock on the door to try to get final approval again and she won’t answer. I email her invoice and decide to give her some time to cool off. That was 5 days ago and since then she has not responded to any of our automated follow up or invoice reminder emails, ignored my calls, and recently blocked my number (I’ve called twice, not trying to harass her). Our system starts sending daily past due notices after 3 days, and sent a feedback request the day of the job being finished.
We’ve done one previous job for her removing some shrubs and she wasn’t anything like this and paid upon completion. Her final bill is $1,800. I’m considering small claims court or sending a notice of intent to lien, but wasn’t sure how long I legally need to wait (Texas; everything I’ve read says a “reasonable” amount of time), and if that time frame is changed by the fact that she’s apparently intentionally dodging me by blocking my number. I also got her husbands number from another contractor that has worked with them. He was really nice and seemed reasonable, so I’m considering calling him, but surely he knows already that she’s blowing us off, so that may not help. The job looks amazing and we got 3 leads from people driving by. I don’t think we did a bad job, and if she’d just talk to me and tell me what she wants changed I would absolutely work with her on it as long as it’s reasonable, but she has cut all communication.

Did this customer sign a contract with you??
 

Foreclosure Mower

LawnSite Member
Location
West Virginia
I do not count other peoples money. You do the work, you deserve to be paid. That said, this seems to be an incredible headache for 1400 bucks. I mean I would have sent our standard correspondence at 10 days then at 30. After that, lien it or small claims and go about your business. Seems you have plenty of documentation to stand up to any challenges. Obviously your state laws may differ but I would do no more back and forth with this lady, period.
 
OP
TruCutLawnCareTX

TruCutLawnCareTX

LawnSite Member
Location
Texas
UPDATE: It’s finally over. We sent a final demand letter over a week ago, didn’t hear from the customer. We forwarded everything to our attorney today to get ready to sue and got paid 3 hours later. We assume he called the customer, but we haven’t heard back from him yet. I’m just glad it’s done. Thank you all for your help!
 

Freaky Fido

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Northeast USA
UPDATE: It’s finally over. We sent a final demand letter over a week ago, didn’t hear from the customer. We forwarded everything to our attorney today to get ready to sue and got paid 3 hours later. We assume he called the customer, but we haven’t heard back from him yet. I’m just glad it’s done. Thank you all for your help!
:clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping:
 

phasthound

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Mt. Laurel, NJ
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