Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum > Lawn Care, Landscaping, and Property Management Forums > General Talk

General Talk If it doesn't fit anywhere else, post it here.

Customer claims you ruined their lawn


General Talk

If it doesn't fit anywhere else, post it here.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 03-20-2013, 05:45 PM
Billy Goat's Avatar
Billy Goat Billy Goat is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 177
Rep Power: 3
Billy Goat is on a distinguished road
Default Customer claims you ruined their lawn

I hope this never happens to me but, what if a customer claims I ruined their lawn because they believe it was due to me mowing. There are tons of reasons why lawns have bare spots, brown spots, weed infestation, and other lawn problems especially during drought conditions.

I was wondering if any of you have been in this situation and how you deal with the customer?
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #2  
Old 03-20-2013, 07:50 PM
SNethercutt SNethercutt is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 202
Rep Power: 2
SNethercutt is on a distinguished road
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Send them a contract by mail certified. They don't have to sign it.

It should say your not responsible for turf or plant conditions outside the scope of work.

That means if its not in your contract to treat and diagnose fungus and infestations, its not your problem.

Scope of work is a basic outline of your duties.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-21-2013, 05:20 AM
warbuff's Avatar
warbuff warbuff is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Poughkeepsie, NY
Posts: 67
Rep Power: 5
warbuff is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SNethercutt View Post
Send them a contract by mail certified. They don't have to sign it.

It should say your not responsible for turf or plant conditions outside the scope of work.

That means if its not in your contract to treat and diagnose fungus and infestations, its not your problem.

Scope of work is a basic outline of your duties.
This is straight out of my contract, and I go through it with my customer before they sign...

ML Landscaping is not responsible for:
• Death or decline of plant materials due to improper selection, placement, planting, or maintenance before the time of this contract.
• Damage due to improper irrigation components in existence at the time of contract execution.
• Exposed cables/wires or sprinkler components/lines normally found below the surface of the lawn.
• Flooding, storm or wind damage.
• Disease or damage to lawns or landscape plants caused by pests, drought or inclement weather.
• Damage caused by any item hidden in the landscape and not clearly guarded or marked.
• Damage due to vandalism.
• Any damage of items left on turf areas.

Just to cover my basis avoid a situation whre something like this might come into play, I do a per-inspection of the property prior to the first service, this way I can alert management to any problems and deal with them accordingly. This comes off incredibly professional and because I showed them the issue before they knew there was one I come out smelling like roses.

Last edited by warbuff; 03-21-2013 at 05:27 AM. Reason: added more to response
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-21-2013, 05:51 AM
Billy Goat's Avatar
Billy Goat Billy Goat is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 177
Rep Power: 3
Billy Goat is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by warbuff View Post
Just to cover my basis avoid a situation whre something like this might come into play, I do a per-inspection of the property prior to the first service, this way I can alert management to any problems and deal with them accordingly. This comes off incredibly professional and because I showed them the issue before they knew there was one I come out smelling like roses.
This is another good reason not to quote a price without seeing the property first. You can point out existing issues or concerns before the customer claims you at fault after the fact. Much like renters doing a walk through before they sign a lease.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-21-2013, 09:20 AM
patrick6411 patrick6411 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 106
Rep Power: 3
patrick6411 is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by warbuff View Post
This is straight out of my contract, and I go through it with my customer before they sign...

ML Landscaping is not responsible for:
Death or decline of plant materials due to improper selection, placement, planting, or maintenance before the time of this contract.
Damage due to improper irrigation components in existence at the time of contract execution.
Exposed cables/wires or sprinkler components/lines normally found below the surface of the lawn.
Flooding, storm or wind damage.
Disease or damage to lawns or landscape plants caused by pests, drought or inclement weather.
Damage caused by any item hidden in the landscape and not clearly guarded or marked.
Damage due to vandalism.
Any damage of items left on turf areas.

Just to cover my basis avoid a situation whre something like this might come into play, I do a per-inspection of the property prior to the first service, this way I can alert management to any problems and deal with them accordingly. This comes off incredibly professional and because I showed them the issue before they knew there was one I come out smelling like roses.
I want a copy of your contract, sounds like you have all angels covered. Sound advice!!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-21-2013, 09:55 AM
The Cleaning Doctor's Avatar
The Cleaning Doctor The Cleaning Doctor is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Helena, MT
Posts: 927
Rep Power: 6
The Cleaning Doctor is on a distinguished road
Default

IF it gets to the point where you are being accused, it is time to turn them over to the pros at your insurance company to handle.
__________________
Pat
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-21-2013, 01:21 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,850
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
what if a customer claims I ruined their lawn because they believe it was due to me mowing.
Things can get very messy in the field, especially when you aren't insured. There have been members on here who ran larger multi-truck operations that had to close shop because of mistakes that happened in the field and the lawsuits that followed.

It is important to find out what is going on and work with a customer to resolve it. If a situation blows up and there is no more communication and you get sued, the ability to resolve the situation is taken out of your hands and largely placed in the hands of others.
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-21-2013, 02:04 PM
warbuff's Avatar
warbuff warbuff is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Poughkeepsie, NY
Posts: 67
Rep Power: 5
warbuff is on a distinguished road
Exclamation

ugh "per-inspection" should be pre-inspection.

Anyway, its common sense really, you don't want to be held liable for something that you didn't do and should be compensated to fix.

Pre-Inspections will give you the opportunity to avoid issues before you start (especially if you see something you know would come up later). Your customer knows immediately your not going to screw around, it allows you to establish a common ground and have good communication from the start. You'll also be able to gain extra billables if they decide to have you fix issues that arise. Its a win win in my mind...

Another important piece to my contract, stats how work outside the scope of the contract will be handled.

"Additional Work: Any additional work will be done based on customer request. An estimate will be provided for all work requests and must be approved by designated account manager prior to commencement. Labor rate for additional work is $35 per man hour, and $55 per man hour of site supervisor + materials and all applicable taxes."

Always try to have your repair work be time & materials, this way if something unexpected arises your covered for your time invested, especially if you have to re-negotiate or if the repair is more of time and resource kill then you expected...
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-21-2013, 02:40 PM
LawnBoy0311 LawnBoy0311 is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: East Coast
Posts: 1,169
Rep Power: 0
LawnBoy0311 is on a distinguished road
Default

I think the absolute last resort would be to shove a contract down their throat. If/when they call/email, schedule a meeting to visit with them in person. Never try to solve over the phone.

Listen to them, don't be the first to try to explain everything. Have them show you around, let them complain to you and tell you how much you suck. Listen some more, act like you care.

After the complaining is over, explain your case. Did they fertilize or hire someone to fertilize? Explain your situation. Explain that over the X amount of customers you have, this is the only problem you've encountered. Explain, and explain some more. Make sure they understand it.

If all else fails, show the contract. Keep in mind, when showing contracts, you will upset them pretty bad-consider the customer gone. Try to save them first. Some people are crazy, some just want to ask you a question but want to see your face. Be confident in what you do, and be ready for anything when you meet with them.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-21-2013, 03:37 PM
warbuff's Avatar
warbuff warbuff is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Poughkeepsie, NY
Posts: 67
Rep Power: 5
warbuff is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by LawnBoy0311 View Post
I think the absolute last resort would be to shove a contract down their throat. If/when they call/email, schedule a meeting to visit with them in person. Never try to solve over the phone.

Listen to them, don't be the first to try to explain everything. Have them show you around, let them complain to you and tell you how much you suck. Listen some more, act like you care.

After the complaining is over, explain your case. Did they fertilize or hire someone to fertilize? Explain your situation. Explain that over the X amount of customers you have, this is the only problem you've encountered. Explain, and explain some more. Make sure they understand it.

If all else fails, show the contract. Keep in mind, when showing contracts, you will upset them pretty bad-consider the customer gone. Try to save them first. Some people are crazy, some just want to ask you a question but want to see your face. Be confident in what you do, and be ready for anything when you meet with them.
I agree with you, this is a good way to handle it after a complaint is made. I still maintain that preventive dilligence before you begin a contract will save you a headache time and time again. A inspection or walk through if you will before you have started a new contract where conditions are noted and signed of on in advance by their rep is the way to go. Avoids all this he said she said crap, and keeps your hands clean of someone's short comings..
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
website steals photos, claims they mowed yards in ads mowproforever Lawn Care Marketing & Post your marketing material for review! 17 03-15-2013 01:22 AM
The worst lawn care customer - GopherHaul 57 Lawn Care Marketing Show Steve Lawn Care Business Marketing - GopherHaul Forum News 0 04-06-2010 12:45 PM
The worst lawn care customer - GopherHaul 57 Lawn Care Marketing Show Steve GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show, Video, Book & Podcast Discussions. 0 04-06-2010 12:45 PM
Lawn care customer sales funnel - GopherHaul 39 Lawn Care Business Marketing Show Steve Lawn Care Business Marketing - GopherHaul Forum News 0 06-23-2009 05:39 PM
Lawn care customer sales funnel - GopherHaul 39 Lawn Care Business Marketing Show Steve GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show, Video, Book & Podcast Discussions. 0 06-23-2009 05:38 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
adding something new...
veteranslawncaresystems
01-28-2015 12:13 AM
Today 01:08 PM
by Dan Tanner
7 258
Landscapers from hell!!
Chilehead
01-29-2015 03:55 PM
Today 12:01 PM
by jrs.landscaping
7 237
Just Quit?
ringahding1
01-30-2015 06:23 AM
Today 10:42 AM
by ringahding1
10 269
FREE Custom Website...
breadcrumb
Yesterday 10:58 PM
Yesterday 10:58 PM
by breadcrumb
0 36
FREE Custom Website...
breadcrumb
Yesterday 10:55 PM
Yesterday 10:55 PM
by breadcrumb
0 28
Greetings from above! (...
Hard-Body lawn & garden
Yesterday 05:29 PM
Yesterday 05:29 PM
by Hard-Body lawn & garden
0 42
Fencing help
Knaubone
Yesterday 02:36 PM
Yesterday 02:36 PM
by Knaubone
0 42
French gardener owner's...
didgreen
01-30-2015 09:10 AM
Yesterday 02:25 AM
by didgreen
3 131
Thanks for all the posts
WheatGrass
01-30-2015 06:38 AM
Yesterday 01:29 AM
by WheatGrass
2 124
hows it going.
uppercut
01-30-2015 05:01 AM
01-30-2015 11:16 PM
by uppercut
3 131
viking cyclon.
uppercut
01-29-2015 09:12 PM
01-30-2015 11:11 PM
by uppercut
2 113
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
01-11-2015 11:41 AM
01-30-2015 10:26 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
15 971
Crunch time 2015!
Chilehead
01-29-2015 08:57 PM
01-30-2015 07:51 PM
by Chilehead
2 137
Government contracts
avetslawncare
11-15-2014 08:50 AM
01-30-2015 07:46 PM
by Chilehead
11 946
Lost my @#$ blower
stevef1201
01-11-2015 08:31 AM
01-30-2015 04:47 PM
by Just for Cuts
3 517
whats this briggs?
uppercut
01-30-2015 12:40 AM
01-30-2015 02:49 PM
by Steve
1 97
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 12:18 PM
01-30-2015 02:36 PM
by Hard-Body lawn & garden
1,202 364,227
Lawn Mowing -...
ringahding1
01-30-2015 07:05 AM
01-30-2015 07:05 AM
by ringahding1
0 73
TaskEasy & Plowz & Mowz...
jrwalker333
01-25-2015 01:02 PM
01-29-2015 08:14 PM
by lxarth
8 321
Contact last years...
googus
01-28-2015 09:13 AM
01-29-2015 02:29 PM
by Steve
6 301
Looking for advice on...
berryjam
01-21-2015 07:37 PM
01-29-2015 02:21 PM
by Steve
15 556
New to the forum
LCRobert
01-26-2015 10:21 PM
01-29-2015 09:11 AM
by ringahding1
7 263
What happened to Better...
Steve
01-27-2014 04:07 PM
01-28-2015 12:26 PM
by Steve
21 3,270
Lawn care truck
Steve
10-10-2009 03:40 AM
01-28-2015 12:23 PM
by Steve
44 16,163
Bidding to get other work
Rodriguez11
07-21-2011 11:52 PM
01-28-2015 12:08 PM
by Steve
29 9,536
How many contracts...
5StarLawnscaping
01-12-2015 03:51 PM
01-28-2015 11:04 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
10 674
"Part Timers", "Low...
doug1980
06-10-2009 12:55 PM
01-27-2015 09:01 PM
by jrs.landscaping
43 10,458
Is anyone doing mosquito...
BWild
01-27-2015 12:30 PM
01-27-2015 07:24 PM
by avetslawncare
4 207
New to group
ron@alpine
01-27-2015 08:45 AM
01-27-2015 01:29 PM
by Steve
1 172
please Help with none...
Lawnboyman1170
01-09-2015 09:46 AM
01-27-2015 01:27 PM
by Steve
13 907
does this sound good or...
Bradcook21
01-22-2015 09:24 AM
01-27-2015 07:42 AM
by ringahding1
9 405
second year advise
cmdlawncare
01-23-2015 06:22 PM
01-27-2015 07:31 AM
by ringahding1
6 336
need advise
rawssrob
02-23-2010 02:45 PM
01-23-2015 06:40 PM
by cmdlawncare
7 2,689
New to forum
ROB N
01-23-2015 08:35 AM
01-23-2015 01:53 PM
by Steve
1 226
Extending the life of...
rmccutchan
01-17-2015 12:37 AM
01-23-2015 01:43 PM
by Steve
8 471
osceola lawn service
jasa@wildblue.net
01-22-2015 03:23 PM
01-23-2015 01:38 PM
by Steve
1 238
Tax Question
Wolf4dk
01-20-2015 01:11 AM
01-22-2015 02:28 PM
by Steve
4 374
Billy Goat Vac
Mr. Mow
01-19-2015 07:42 AM
01-22-2015 02:18 PM
by Steve
6 358
Property Pricing
GVL
01-19-2015 02:46 PM
01-21-2015 02:18 PM
by Steve
5 424
Landscapers Source For...
breadcrumb
01-16-2015 02:44 PM
01-21-2015 05:55 AM
by breadcrumb
14 595
Hoa advice
Bradcook21
01-16-2015 09:36 PM
01-20-2015 04:30 PM
by Steve
4 411
My Invention
biglee
01-11-2015 07:51 PM
01-20-2015 10:16 AM
by biglee
16 753
How to beat the pre pay...
stansg1fresh
01-13-2015 04:33 PM
01-19-2015 03:38 PM
by ringahding1
3 486
Hello from Md
homey
12-17-2014 06:55 PM
01-19-2015 01:37 PM
by Steve
12 1,306
Hi from Illinois
burtle
01-02-2015 09:46 PM
01-19-2015 01:22 PM
by Steve
3 650
Hello from SW FL!!
5StarLawnscaping
12-05-2014 02:35 PM
01-19-2015 01:20 PM
by Steve
14 1,604
Another Illinoisan.....
barhopper
01-11-2015 05:38 PM
01-16-2015 04:29 PM
by Steve
10 564
marketing with pizza...
apmAkron
01-15-2015 09:57 AM
01-15-2015 06:29 PM
by Steve
4 387
CRM and Quickbooks?
5StarLawnscaping
01-15-2015 08:06 AM
01-15-2015 08:06 AM
by 5StarLawnscaping
0 301
New Member, Indiana Iraq...
Timbo
07-14-2011 09:44 AM
01-14-2015 06:14 PM
by Steve
10 3,893
» Popular Tags
4wd aerocore apartment complex auger bark billy goat brushcutter blades bush collections design edging employee problems equipment rental ferris first truck flyers foreman gopherhaul grass growing a lawn care business hills hiring husqvarna introduction john deere quik trac landscape landscape services lawn lawn care lawn care business lawn care business seo lawn care business show lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care seo lawn care website lawn care website seo lawn mowing marketing mr dave mulch past due per hour charge per hour service podcast pricing profit on employee pto push versus ride reo running a business scripts seo shell small engine repair square foot steep lawns steve sulky theft toro grand stand trailer tree trimmer rack truck new used landscape up sell employee walk behind web design website design won't return
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:57 PM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:57 PM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy