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  • #16
    I would go back and remove all that mulch and make it look as bad as possible! j/k.

    Collections is the way to go.
    http://www.lunchesruslawncare.com

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    • #17
      Looks like your limited to what you can do.
      I think collection is the way to go, They have a way of putting things that you as a business owner would not think of to get people to pay up.
      My wife use to work in collections at a major phone company she even sent a disconnect order to a high up executive in the company because she wouldn't pay up. I use my wife if I have a problem customer it easier for her as she is detached from the company on a day to day and she has the training to ask and say the right things to get most people to pay up. You may only get $300 or so back but at least you can cover your expense and you learned a valuable lessen. all be it an expensive one.

      oh my wife said shop it around for the best deal on collections not all agencies charge the same %
      How do I find collection agencies in the area?

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      • #18
        http://virginiacollectionagency.info.../virginia/9828

        Google your town, state and collection agency
        http://www.lunchesruslawncare.com

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        • #19
          http://virginiacollectionagency.info.../virginia/9828

          Google your town, state and collection agency
          That will work
          I was going to say the yellow pages.

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          • #20
            You said in your previous message the "estimate listed surface tilling" did you form a contract and have it signed by both parties? If you did not then small claims court isn't going to work.
            Collections I have never tried so I am not sure. The proof that she made a partial payment is def going to work to your advantage. You will need a log of phone calls and (certified) letters sent to her advising her of the amount do. If there is a way to record the next call I would do that.

            By all means I would not do anymore work for her even if she pays you for this one. She has set a pattern as a problematic customer and why would you invest more of your money into another project at her home? Get this resolved and bid her a fine fairwell. I wouldn't call her anymore if you have her email thats great to use (as my lawyer says even Judge Judy can't argue with emails) if not only certified letters attach a bill deduct what she has paid, if there was a contract include that, inform her that by x (date be reasonable) a month or so it will go to collections/small claims court (with a contract without don't do it you will loose). You need to show a pattern of attempting to collect the debt for courts. I had this issue with a snow plow customer actually husband and wife they each had a business location I serviced neither paid me. Collections companies I hear charge significant fees like up to 50% of the debt being recovered. Just so your not shocked. Good luck keep us posted!
            Liberty Landscaping LLC
            www.libertylndscpng.com
            Woodbridge, NJ

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            • #21
              As much as it would infuriate me, I would chalk it up as a learning experience. Being self employed, I believe we all have these cases from time to time. I know I have.

              In the end, I just tell myself, "What goes around comes around."

              Makes me Mad just thinking about it.
              Don't Keep Replacing Lawn Sprinkler Heads
              Protect them with "Sprinkler Buddy"
              CLICK HERE > http://www.sprinklerbuddy.com

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              • #22
                I did a lawn renovation for a lady 25 miles away this fall. It including tilling up her entire yard, reseeding, lime fertilizer, create/edge beds around home, $220 of mulch and planting of 10 rose bushes. The yard is in a very low swampy area and is always wet.

                Well the total bill came up to just under $1,500 with $850 being materials/tractor use. This job was done October 15 and the lady just paid me $615.68 today. I have been in contact with her reminding her but she continues to start that she is not happy that her yard is still wet. The estimate had the exact phrase "surface tilling", NOT REGRADING!

                She refuses to pay until I come back in the spring and level the entire yard which would require hauling many loads of dirt in. I am not willing to do this. I have been back twice, free of charge, with a drag and worked for several hours!

                Everyone, please be completely honest and let me know how you would handle this situation. I appreciate anything as this has really been bothering me.

                Thanks!!!

                you could take her to small claims court but depending on the wording in your contract the scales could balance in her favor.

                was every detail in the contract from start to finish?

                i learned to not only do business with a written contract with every detail spelled out includeing a authorization signature i even list details as what would not be covered in the contract.

                it is not only important to spell it out word for word with people you need to also include the unforseen's of a potential job because most people get into agreements without ever reading or asking the right questions and then when its over and they are unsatisfied they start the " i thought you were going to do this and that" deal.

                i do all commercial property care these days and even dealing with corporate owners and management companies it is sad to say that you got to spell it out like you are dealing with a 5 year old to avoid these kinds of problems and home owners are even harder to deal with.

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                • #23
                  i learned to not only do business with a written contract with every detail spelled out includeing a authorization signature i even list details as what would not be covered in the contract.
                  How long into running your business did you start doing this? Was it right from the beginning or did it take a while? Also was there any situation you went through that made you decide enough was enough and you had to start doing things this way?
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                  • #24
                    How long into running your business did you start doing this? Was it right from the beginning or did it take a while? Also was there any situation you went through that made you decide enough was enough and you had to start doing things this way?

                    i learned early on that this was the way to go. i never did'nt get paid but i had a issue where there were some grey area's in the scope of work and it ended up costing me more time and money that actually bombed the job but it was a matter of biteing the bullet and sucking it up to get it done and chock it up for experience.

                    it takes time to get it right because you want to make sure everything is spelled out to protect both parties and avoid and misunderstandings but you also have to do it in a manner that is not so intimidating.

                    the most effective part is every detail of the work at hand from start to finish as well as pointing out any pre existing condition's and if they will be addressed or not.

                    most guys worry about the bid price and the basics of what they are doing in contracts but they always leave out the parts that mention what is not included in that agreement.
                    Last edited by dpld; 01-05-2012, 06:13 PM.

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                    • #25
                      as well as pointing out any pre existing condition's and if they will be addressed or not.
                      This is a very good point that is not brought up much. What is your view on why you feel this is important to include?
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                      • #26
                        just so I understand this, the first time she said there was a "problem" was two months later. NICE

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                        • #27
                          This is a very good point that is not brought up much. What is your view on why you feel this is important to include?
                          i found it important because sometimes the owner may not mention something but in the back of their mind they think it will be part of the job and self explanitory.

                          it also conveys a more professional image as well as gives the client a better sense of satisfaction that not only did you take the time to give them a proposal but you listened as well as noticed things that they either paid no mind to or failed to mention.

                          some folks will not mention it on purpose and try to let it slip through the cracks so they can hit you up for it as a throw in and dangle the carrott in your face and if they see you made no mention of it in the contract then that gives them the green light to screw you.

                          i know we would all love to believe that our customers are the best and anyone who calls you for your services are a good person but it takes all kinds to make the world go around and your first responsibillity as a business owner is to protect yorself.

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