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: 185
Rep Power: 4
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: 4
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: 7
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: 185
Rep Power: 4
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: 5
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: 7
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 offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,970
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: 7
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: 7
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
Business Overload
Chilehead
05-06-2016 09:27 PM
Today 08:46 PM
by Chilehead
13 646
Firefighter gone Lawn...
Firehouselawn@hotmail.com
03-10-2016 04:50 PM
Today 07:26 PM
by acrajchel
9 10,047
Exmark Turf Tracer
acrajchel
02-01-2014 11:34 AM
Today 07:23 PM
by acrajchel
5 2,086
Rubber mulch...
avetslawncare
06-24-2015 09:28 PM
Today 06:59 PM
by acrajchel
7 2,991
3 Applications or 5...
stansg1fresh
02-18-2013 12:02 PM
Today 06:48 PM
by acrajchel
2 1,351
Checmial Applications
acrajchel
Today 06:44 PM
Today 06:44 PM
by acrajchel
0 12
Hello Everyone
JohnsLawnCare
06-22-2016 11:14 AM
Today 06:28 PM
by acrajchel
5 102
Ybravo 25 mowers
SGL1
06-11-2016 09:52 AM
06-21-2016 03:44 PM
by acrajchel
5 250
Great Arborist Ladder
SGL1
06-04-2016 09:56 AM
06-17-2016 08:46 AM
by SGL1
10 335
Help a Brother Out -...
Hedgemaster
01-23-2012 04:19 PM
06-17-2016 08:28 AM
by SGL1
94 34,354
Best Push Mower You Have...
markty
05-14-2016 03:46 PM
06-17-2016 06:08 AM
by SGL1
20 772
anyone interested in a...
GoGreenerKS
06-16-2016 01:00 PM
06-17-2016 02:58 AM
by SC93
4 140
Prolin
rmccutchan
05-21-2016 04:53 PM
06-16-2016 05:28 PM
by acrajchel
3 295
Laying new grass, Sod...
WarriorLandscapingCAN
05-23-2016 10:07 AM
06-16-2016 05:27 PM
by acrajchel
2 286
Is it too late?
Cpadgett
05-28-2016 09:10 AM
06-16-2016 05:24 PM
by acrajchel
6 398
Upgraded to a new mower
Stevenor92
05-17-2016 08:17 PM
06-16-2016 05:22 PM
by acrajchel
9 504
How can I fix my...
WarriorLandscapingCAN
06-10-2016 07:47 PM
06-16-2016 05:19 PM
by acrajchel
2 196
Need a lil help
Cpadgett
06-05-2016 09:51 AM
06-16-2016 05:17 PM
by acrajchel
5 318
help with sole...
greenbuds
03-24-2016 12:21 PM
06-16-2016 05:01 PM
by acrajchel
4 9,714
New Member from...
tiptoppmanager
06-15-2016 07:39 AM
06-15-2016 03:18 PM
by SC93
2 134
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
06-14-2016 08:16 AM
by poppyanne
1,252 437,506
Brand new fish pond
Flynn landscaping 2016
06-12-2016 09:53 AM
06-13-2016 11:21 AM
by Steve
1 121
Whats up??
Cpadgett
05-27-2016 10:57 AM
06-06-2016 08:46 PM
by Cpadgett
11 458
New Member from Texas
NathanR
06-02-2016 06:13 PM
06-03-2016 09:17 PM
by SC93
7 289
Edging Fad...
Tree geek
05-10-2016 11:29 PM
06-03-2016 07:02 PM
by SGL1
3 469
To mow weekly or Biweekly
WarriorLandscapingCAN
05-11-2016 04:09 PM
06-03-2016 06:42 PM
by SGL1
11 724
Your Time Lawn Care
yourtimelawncare
05-31-2016 01:12 PM
06-02-2016 10:11 PM
by SC93
2 264
Hello from Alabama
pruzilla
05-25-2016 01:20 PM
05-26-2016 08:14 AM
by pruzilla
2 253
» Popular Tags
become an entrepreneur best mower be your own boss break business education business help business management contractor hacks deck lift dethatcher edging entrepreneur entrepreneur education estimates fuel problems fuel pump half moon blade hydro jjandm lawncare l.t.rich landscape landscape design landscaping landscaping design company landscaping richmond va landscping lawncare lawn mowing lawnservice lowering grade marketing mulch new business planting plowing raising grade residential lawn care richmond va richmond virginia lawn care roundup safety scag snowblower snow plowing snow shovel solo solo backpack sprayer sprayer start a business start a lawn care business start business start up swzt toro timecutter tree tree pics tree service video walk behind what to charge work from home z-max z-spray
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:20 PM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:20 PM.

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