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, 04:45 PM
Billy Goat's Avatar
Billy Goat Billy Goat is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 137
Rep Power: 2
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, 06:50 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, 04:20 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 04:27 AM. Reason: added more to response
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-21-2013, 04:51 AM
Billy Goat's Avatar
Billy Goat Billy Goat is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 137
Rep Power: 2
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, 08:20 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, 08:55 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: 5
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, 12:21 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,218
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, 01:04 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, 01:40 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, 02:37 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 12:22 AM
The worst lawn care customer - GopherHaul 57 Lawn Care Marketing Show Steve Lawn Care Business Marketing - GopherHaul Forum News 0 04-06-2010 11:45 AM
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 11:45 AM
Lawn care customer sales funnel - GopherHaul 39 Lawn Care Business Marketing Show Steve Lawn Care Business Marketing - GopherHaul Forum News 0 06-23-2009 04:39 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 04:38 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Pressure Washing...
WesleySnips
Today 06:13 PM
Today 06:13 PM
by WesleySnips
0 1
Mow and leaf cleanup bid
SGL1
07-29-2014 07:28 PM
Today 06:04 PM
by jrs.landscaping
22 277
Echo Edger 'Neutral'
WesleySnips
07-25-2014 05:28 PM
Today 05:58 PM
by WesleySnips
5 198
trimming back shrubs
WesleySnips
Today 06:14 AM
Today 01:08 PM
by WesleySnips
3 61
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 09:12 AM
Today 12:51 PM
by Steve
85 4,856
Late charge
Simon Abousaada
Yesterday 07:23 PM
Today 12:41 PM
by Steve
2 68
Building credit
Matther777
07-27-2014 05:20 PM
Today 12:36 PM
by Steve
12 269
Need input on a bid
phlawncare
07-28-2014 08:51 PM
Today 05:08 AM
by kslawn
7 205
New from Texas
Livingston Lawn Care
07-25-2014 11:17 AM
Yesterday 01:03 PM
by Steve
5 213
Single tree, mow customer
WesleySnips
06-27-2014 10:12 AM
Yesterday 12:31 PM
by Steve
17 744
Formulas Used
BaileynSamsMum
07-29-2014 06:40 AM
Yesterday 12:19 PM
by Steve
3 143
Spreading Weeds?
WesleySnips
07-27-2014 09:46 PM
Yesterday 06:29 AM
by kslawn
5 185
Will summer ever come
ExtremeLawncareServices
07-29-2014 08:27 AM
07-29-2014 08:29 PM
by SGL1
5 140
From Concord NC
SouthernRootsLawnCare
07-26-2014 02:34 PM
07-29-2014 02:28 PM
by Steve
3 142
Have you ever had to...
SouthernRootsLawnCare
07-26-2014 02:41 PM
07-29-2014 02:28 PM
by Steve
4 198
Left handed edging with...
SGL1
07-23-2014 08:59 PM
07-28-2014 07:39 AM
by SGL1
15 384
Echo PE 266 edger
stevef1201
07-01-2014 01:28 PM
07-27-2014 10:14 PM
by WesleySnips
5 392
Texas lawn care company...
Livingston Lawn Care
07-25-2014 11:29 AM
07-27-2014 08:16 AM
by Just for Cuts
7 233
need some help geting...
dalvan0
07-13-2014 09:28 PM
07-26-2014 04:39 PM
by BLC7
7 382
new trailer help
mattthelawnguy
07-11-2014 08:21 PM
07-25-2014 06:31 PM
by mattthelawnguy
13 580
You know it;s gonna be a...
stevef1201
07-25-2014 08:50 AM
07-25-2014 01:34 PM
by Steve
1 141
Customer letters
kslawn
07-23-2014 06:17 AM
07-25-2014 01:20 PM
by Steve
5 270
Got my first lawn job...
SGL1
06-11-2014 09:19 PM
07-24-2014 07:09 PM
by SGL1
29 1,353
Need help determining...
Jbss861
07-20-2014 02:33 PM
07-24-2014 01:11 PM
by Steve
13 457
Should I ?
googus
07-22-2014 04:06 PM
07-24-2014 12:10 PM
by Steve
4 292
My First Apartment...
SSLCtn
05-26-2014 10:17 PM
07-24-2014 06:46 AM
by kslawn
15 973
Crop Rotation Techniques...
eastsidelandcare
07-17-2014 03:47 PM
07-24-2014 06:38 AM
by kslawn
3 270
Selling lawns like...
eastsidelandcare
07-17-2014 03:51 PM
07-24-2014 06:28 AM
by kslawn
3 329
Scag new "Eliminator"......
ExtremeLawncareServices
07-20-2014 10:45 AM
07-23-2014 05:37 PM
by Just for Cuts
9 388
need professional advice...
Fiddlers_green
07-20-2014 07:21 PM
07-23-2014 12:42 PM
by Steve
3 270
new to me box truck
jrayb39667
03-06-2014 10:20 PM
07-23-2014 12:40 PM
by Steve
15 1,501
Lawn Service back in...
LawnCareMan280
07-18-2014 09:00 PM
07-23-2014 11:48 AM
by Steve
4 301
Overspray?
stevef1201
07-21-2014 04:20 PM
07-23-2014 11:39 AM
by Steve
3 209
Hello Everyone! Newbie...
SLKlawn
07-17-2014 06:22 PM
07-22-2014 01:53 PM
by Steve
6 352
Proper height for lawn
rob lederhilger
05-26-2014 08:01 AM
07-21-2014 02:53 PM
by LawnDoctor
9 719
Blade sharpener
Just for Cuts
07-04-2014 12:31 PM
07-21-2014 01:48 PM
by Steve
9 584
What's my business worth?
Chaz
07-16-2014 01:35 PM
07-21-2014 01:45 PM
by Steve
4 363
1.5 Acre Jungle
WesleySnips
07-15-2014 05:57 PM
07-20-2014 11:31 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
21 713
Gopher schedule software
Ray
07-18-2014 04:13 PM
07-18-2014 04:13 PM
by Ray
0 260
2006 Chevy fuel pump...
KevinsLawns
07-17-2014 08:39 PM
07-18-2014 11:51 AM
by Steve
1 250
Halfway point of year!
Steve
07-01-2014 12:08 PM
07-18-2014 11:38 AM
by Steve
14 816
I got told to leave and...
gwilson98
06-16-2014 02:07 PM
07-17-2014 11:43 AM
by Steve
16 1,132
Hey guys this is the...
prmenter@gmail.com
07-07-2014 08:23 PM
07-16-2014 08:10 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
28 871
Mowing the hills
prmenter@gmail.com
07-08-2014 12:22 PM
07-16-2014 05:00 PM
by Just for Cuts
18 789
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
07-15-2014 05:38 PM
by icon2000
1,184 321,942
Classified Ad Template...
bcfb
06-05-2013 02:40 AM
07-15-2014 11:16 AM
by Steve
15 3,812
Husqvarna pz 60
CDLAWNCARE
07-06-2014 06:50 PM
07-15-2014 08:53 AM
by kslawn
10 534
Lowballers
Chaz
07-11-2014 03:55 PM
07-14-2014 12:27 PM
by Steve
5 435
My new side job
Sprinkler Buddy
05-10-2014 05:23 AM
07-14-2014 12:15 PM
by Steve
10 885
Illegal spraying
GoGreenerKS
07-04-2014 09:11 AM
07-13-2014 10:36 PM
by GoGreenerKS
10 629
» Popular Tags
4wd advertisement article marketing auger bid butterfly gardens charge christmas lighting christmas light service courtesy call customers decorating estimate exmark ferris first truck fundraiser gopherhaul grass gravely hills holiday holiday decorating holiday lighting how much to charge introduction john deere quik trac lawn lawn care lawn care business book lawn care business seo lawn care business show lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care website leaf lighting marketing monthly mow mulch mulch price new buisness new mower organize outdoor environments payment podcast property management company pto reo scag schedule scripts seo snow starting a business starting a lawn care business start up lawn care business steve stihl theft toro toro grand stand trailer trimmer rack walker winter winter services zero turn
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:40 PM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:40 PM.

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