Water Garden Pros: Your thoughts on service contracts?

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by TKasprzyk, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. TKasprzyk

    TKasprzyk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Hey everyone,

    Just trying to get a general sense how other pond/water garden pros handle contracts for maintenance operations? No doubt many of you have some sort of spring pond cleaning operation followed by seasonal maintenance and a fall shutdown (if you're in a temperate zone like we are). I've used a pond cleaning contract for some time, mainly to protect myself in the event that an expensive koi goes belly up after the cleaning. This year, I expanded my contract to include maintenance, shutdown services, etc. after finding over 10% of maintenance invoices from last season went significantly past due. There of course was also the certain amount of "when you come, can you also..." that was way out of range of a maintenance scope of work. So far most clients have not voiced an issue with this new contract, but I did receive an interesting note today from a client who wanted me to continue providing service but would not sign because she had never signed a contract for pond maintenance service before (just a spring cleaning one).

    This got me to thinking: Do you have your customers sign some sort of contract or agreement prior to doing any work with them? This is likely a no brainier "yes!" for someone who specializes in landscaping but also does pond service, as it would be for anyone who is into the design/build aspect of ponds. How about those of you who specialize in pond service? What do you feel is or isn't necessary for your operation?
     
  2. Warren Knegt

    Warren Knegt LawnSite Member
    Male, from Burlington, ON
    Messages: 15

    Yes, you can provide landscaping maintenance services including swimming pool maintenance as well and so on..
     
  3. 4D Exteriorscapes

    4D Exteriorscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    I specialize in pond installation, maintenance (spring cleanouts included), and renovations. I would explain to the client that I would not do the work without the contract unless they pay me up front for each service before I get there. The reason I say this is what happens if you go there on your "scheduled" day to service their feature and they decide they do not want you to do the service that day? You have spent time getting things ready, driving there, and scheduled the time to be there.

    You are running a business. You set the rules for working with you. Explain to them that it is your policy that if you are expected to return and do service on a regular basis, you need a contract.

    Just my $.02
     
    hort101 likes this.

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