why not verbal contracts??

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by bobbygedd, Oct 31, 2001.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    i know this subject has been addressed before, but after speaking with my lawyer the other day, he said a verbal contract IS a legal binding contract. ill give u some examples: i go to a resturant, the waiter comes over, and actually OFFERS me food(hi, my name is bob, can i get u something?) well, yes bob, ill take the surf and turf. he does not make me sign a contract, i eat, he brings the bill, do i have to pay? damn right i do! when i went for gas, i asked for $20 regular, he pumps it, no contract, do i have to pay? damn right i do. why should it be different with us? i think sometimes its just a pain in the butt for little things , to write up a contract. later
  2. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    The time is worth it......see my post by searching "lawsuit". Save yourself some trouble, I wish I had.
  3. bubble boy

    bubble boy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    i figure a contract is good to settle a dispute before it goes to court. you can prove in writing what was agreed upon, often i find that showing a customer what they agreed to is enough. no problems with those with short term memories.

    you need to get their name, address, phone #when you sign them anyway, so why not write it down on a contract, for them to sign, with a copy for you and them?
  4. bruces

    bruces LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 648

    Without things in writing it is strictly a I said, he said scenario.

    How do you prove anything?
  5. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    using the examples i gave u. in the resturant, did i really order the meal? i ate it though! did u really ask for lawn cutting? u didnt stop me though!
  6. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    my 4 cents!

    Those are great examples of verbal contracts, and yes when I say, please cut my grass today and you do it, you should be paid....BUT there are usually not many conditions for either party to follow in a verbal contract, right? Thats where you can get screwed.

    Lets use the resteraunt for an example - if you eat, pay, and tell the owner how great the place is and that you'll come every Monday night, does that mean if you don't show up one mon night you have to pay for the meal, since you promised?

    Its a different ballgame in our industry. I bet no where in that verbal contract did anyone say that the customer could not terminate your service for no apparent reason with no notice to you before hand.

    It's just a lot easier for everyone to get it all in writing. It'll save you time, money and stress in the future, I promise.
  7. yergus

    yergus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    a verbal contract is valid only when there is a meeting of the minds. you both must understand the services to be performed, the amounts, how payment will be made, and when.
    if either of you does not understand it fully, then a meeting of the mind has not been established and there is no contract. so when you offer your services, it is best to have him tell you what he understands about the services and payment expected
  8. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    A contract is a contract is a contract. A verbal, a scrawl on a napkin, and a formal written document can all be contracts.

    However, if your attorney has advised you to pursue verbal contracts instead of written ones, he is a moron. And please tell him I said this. Your meal at a restaurant example is valid, but so what. It's $10! Presumably these contracts you're talking about are for thousands of dollars. Not something you want to leave to a legal battle over who said what. You have to prove your case if it comes down to litigation, and verbals are worthless as evidence.

    If you still think a verbal is worthwhile, give me a call. I've got a great deal for you.....
  9. KDJ

    KDJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    You must have shopped around for the cheapest Attorney that you could find.
  10. John from OH

    John from OH LawnSite Member
    Messages: 144

    Ask this attorney to explain the Uniform Commercial Code and how it applies to our industry. If he can't explain it, find one that can. In short, if my memory serves me, any contract worth more than $500 has to be in writing. There are other items concerning the code also. There is a big difference between a meal or a tank of gas and providing our services. If it's in writing and both parties agreed to the terms, neither parties recollection of what was said can be mis-interpreted.

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