Why a service agreement???

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by jasdebcr, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. jasdebcr

    jasdebcr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Why do you need a service agreement???? If i have problems, I call and let my customers know what is going on and when i will be there. If it raining 95% of my customers don't want me there untill the yard has had time to dry out. i do belive in this business you need to keep a good line of communication. That gets me a lot of other jobs. like install fences, landscape, flower beds, ETC.
  2. snobird

    snobird LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    it keeps you protected from legal issues that may arise also you can keep records better of what has and has not been done there
  3. dwlah

    dwlah LawnSite Senior Member
    from Argo Al
    Messages: 558

    There's your answer
    So that the customer knows what your going to do and you know what your expected to do
    Communication is a good thing
  4. georgiagrass

    georgiagrass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 970

    Just try suing to collect money you are owed without one. Then you'll understand. Also, my agreements protect me against certain forms of liability. Communication is good ... written communication is better.
  5. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 2,994

    I do it mainly because it spells out what services are to be performed and for how much money. I got tired of people trying to get me to "just do this" while I am there. If for some reason a question arises about services, I'll refer them to the service agreement that they signed.
  6. john3253

    john3253 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    I like to use service agreements because without it I would not have any income in the winter time. I offer a small discount for signing the agreement and explain that they will have weekly service from March-October and biweekly October-February. Without the agreement most of my customers may only call me once or twice during the winter.
  7. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    How so? Any examples I have seen posted on LS protect nobody from anything. There is no legal language that spells out any provisions for legal action, no statements concerning jurisdictions, no indemnity clauses, nothing of the sort. They are not service agreements or contracts, they are mere letters of understanding.
  8. john3253

    john3253 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    I like to refer to it as a good-faith agreement.
  9. georgiagrass

    georgiagrass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 970

    I'm not sure why you conclude that a letter of understanding is not a service agreement or a contract (it may or may not be), but nonetheless, you are correct in stating that whether an agreement between an LCO and its customer provides "legal protection" to the LCO depends on what the agreement says. For example, our agreements (which are contracts, by the way) contain the following provisions:

    Limitation of Liability: Please identify to your Georgia Grass, Inc. representative any irrigation pipes and heads, electric dog fences, cables, and other items in your lawn that could be damaged by our mowers and other power equipment. You are responsible for ensuring that your lawn is free of rocks and other objects that can be damaged or thrown by our mowers and power equipment. Any damage caused by your failure to remove or protect such objects is your responsibility, and you agree to hold Georgia Grass, Inc., its officers, employees and agents harmless and to indemnify Georgia Grass, Inc., its officers, employees and agents for any such damage. We are not responsible for damage to buried or exposed utilities, wires, cables, electric dog fences and irrigation heads or lines. Sometimes line trimmers will damage paint, trim, stucco and other surfaces near grass areas. We are not responsible for that damage. Your assistance in removing portable obstacles such as toys from your lawn before we arrive is appreciated.

    Miscellaneous Terms: This is the entire agreement between Georgia Grass, Inc. and Customer. The terms of this agreement cannot be modified except in a written agreement signed by Customer and the President of Georgia Grass, Inc. This agreement is governed by the laws of the State of Georgia, and Customer hereby agrees and consents that venue and personal jurisdiction are proper in the courts of Fulton County, Georgia and waives any objection to venue or personal jurisdiction in Fulton County, Georgia. If any provision of this agreement is invalidated or deemed unenforceable by any court, the remaining provisions will continue in full force and effect. Any waiver by Georgia Grass, Inc. of its rights under this agreement or of any breach of this agreement shall not constitute a waiver of any other right or any subsequent instance of the same right.

    Whether these provisions would be successful in protecting any particular LCO in any particular situation in any particular state is something about which you should get advice from your attorney.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Well, uhm...
    All right, the customer calls, describes the work they need done, right?
    So I drive out there, get an estimate together.
    They get that, blablabla, etc, right?

    If they say no, end of story.

    But once they agree for me to do the work, that is an agreement.
    Simple as that, they have agreed for me to perform the services at the price quoted.
    So now it's a service agreement, some folks prefer it in writing, for me their word is good, but it's all the same thing.

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