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: 120
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: 120
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: 2
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 offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 35,752
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
What Fertilizer to Use?
acrajchel
04-07-2014 01:56 PM
Today 09:43 AM
by grassdoctore
18 471
this mower is driving me...
boog
04-17-2014 12:07 PM
Today 09:33 AM
by Just for Cuts
12 250
Back for this year
xandrew245x
02-21-2014 04:30 PM
Today 08:49 AM
by xandrew245x
15 889
quickbooks users
CDLAWNCARE
Yesterday 09:03 AM
Yesterday 09:58 PM
by MBLC
3 85
employee pay
4 seasons maintenance
04-10-2011 09:34 PM
Yesterday 04:40 PM
by Dan Tanner
20 6,824
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 09:12 AM
Yesterday 11:13 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
32 1,127
Lawn Renovation
stevef1201
04-11-2014 12:00 PM
Yesterday 11:11 AM
by kslawn
10 308
danny 2
danny2
04-19-2014 10:19 PM
Yesterday 05:13 AM
by Sprinkler Buddy
2 95
I Got Taken...,
Dan Tanner
04-19-2014 06:26 AM
04-19-2014 08:15 PM
by Dan Tanner
3 156
new to this forum!
mower13126
04-18-2014 07:37 PM
04-19-2014 05:34 PM
by Sprinkler Buddy
3 116
REO calling
Dan Tanner
04-16-2014 05:03 PM
04-19-2014 11:17 AM
by kslawn
11 283
Customers droping like...
goodtimez
04-18-2014 09:53 AM
04-19-2014 08:09 AM
by CDLAWNCARE
7 192
Any greenhouse operators...
GoGreenerKS
04-15-2014 11:21 AM
04-19-2014 07:49 AM
by CDLAWNCARE
4 151
Looking for advice on a...
Tekeda1
04-13-2014 09:53 AM
04-19-2014 04:22 AM
by Tekeda1
17 414
2.5 acre mowing
xandrew245x
04-18-2014 06:55 AM
04-18-2014 08:57 PM
by xandrew245x
6 145
Best Bulk Mulch delivery...
Steven Virgadamo
04-18-2014 09:52 AM
04-18-2014 05:34 PM
by Steve
2 78
Steve Virgadamo,...
Steven Virgadamo
04-18-2014 09:49 AM
04-18-2014 05:08 PM
by Steve
2 68
Instagram
Gerardo_Landscape
04-16-2014 11:28 AM
04-18-2014 04:51 PM
by Steve
3 114
Help with weed liability!
Prolawnofchatt
04-15-2014 09:10 AM
04-18-2014 04:47 PM
by Steve
5 204
Nationwide lawn care...
Billy Goat
04-15-2014 05:21 PM
04-18-2014 04:39 PM
by Steve
9 228
Truck Signage
Dan Tanner
04-16-2014 11:00 PM
04-18-2014 04:04 PM
by stevef1201
10 254
leaf removal
tlf59263
04-15-2014 10:00 PM
04-18-2014 03:59 PM
by stevef1201
6 201
Pay per click advertising
roostertail
02-12-2014 07:26 PM
04-17-2014 07:11 PM
by yardrate
10 616
Accepting credit cards,...
Darksteel
03-17-2014 08:01 PM
04-16-2014 01:02 PM
by jymie
15 756
Trimec
acrajchel
04-15-2014 08:24 PM
04-16-2014 11:10 AM
by Steve
3 124
Gopher Forum Discount!
BlackRain75
04-12-2014 10:44 PM
04-16-2014 10:50 AM
by Steve
9 292
hello
NFrailey
04-15-2014 01:39 PM
04-16-2014 10:48 AM
by Steve
1 107
Pricing a Mulch Job
dmcalpi
04-07-2014 02:16 PM
04-16-2014 09:40 AM
by jymie
21 664
google earth
CDLAWNCARE
04-12-2014 03:24 PM
04-16-2014 09:36 AM
by jymie
8 250
There has to be an...
CDLAWNCARE
04-14-2014 12:59 PM
04-15-2014 04:06 PM
by Dan Tanner
6 193
First Day Back!
BelleCityLawn1
04-09-2014 09:13 PM
04-15-2014 11:16 AM
by Steve
11 332
Mow America
stevegredler
04-13-2014 01:02 PM
04-14-2014 09:53 PM
by kslawn
5 233
Power Broom
acrajchel
04-14-2014 07:46 AM
04-14-2014 12:47 PM
by CDLAWNCARE
2 123
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
04-14-2014 11:34 AM
by Steve
1,176 285,982
Equipment reviews
Greg'slawnandlandscape
04-09-2014 07:17 AM
04-14-2014 11:27 AM
by Greg'slawnandlandscape
13 488
Sulky and Turf Tracer
acrajchel
04-07-2014 01:44 PM
04-14-2014 10:51 AM
by Steve
8 385
Aerating Prices?
Dan Tanner
04-08-2014 03:16 PM
04-14-2014 10:31 AM
by Steve
13 475
Estimating help
acrajchel
04-11-2014 06:06 PM
04-14-2014 10:20 AM
by Steve
3 193
Need help bidding church...
GreenRidge Lawn&Landscape
04-07-2014 08:01 PM
04-14-2014 09:49 AM
by Steve
12 456
Hello all
Griff20114
04-12-2014 05:08 PM
04-14-2014 09:46 AM
by Steve
1 130
Step by Step Spring Lawn...
WarriorLawnscaping
04-10-2014 07:01 AM
04-14-2014 09:43 AM
by Steve
5 270
Jeff Cowden
jcowden
04-11-2014 07:27 PM
04-14-2014 09:39 AM
by Steve
1 121
Exmark Commercial 30...
Dan Tanner
04-11-2014 05:35 AM
04-14-2014 09:37 AM
by Steve
4 217
What Was Your Setup When...
superrman77
02-11-2014 10:53 AM
04-14-2014 08:04 AM
by acrajchel
21 1,624
Small guy time to get a...
googus
04-08-2014 08:16 AM
04-13-2014 07:18 PM
by A. Kulak Landscaping
9 356
Weekly vs. Bi-weekly
CDLAWNCARE
04-12-2014 01:48 PM
04-13-2014 06:03 PM
by kslawn
9 368
Weed ID help
TwinBrosLC
04-12-2014 10:39 AM
04-13-2014 07:40 AM
by stevef1201
4 188
Lexington, KY
acrajchel
04-07-2014 01:06 PM
04-11-2014 09:49 PM
by acrajchel
1 154
Food Plot Management
BlackRain75
04-11-2014 10:20 AM
04-11-2014 03:51 PM
by Steve
4 158
Estimating a job
acrajchel
04-08-2014 11:07 AM
04-11-2014 03:32 PM
by Steve
6 335
» Popular Tags
2wd 4x4 advertisement article marketing birdscaping blower care charge christmas light service credit card customers echo exmark fall ferris financing flower bed for sale four wheel drive franchise gopherhaul gravely gravely 34" zero turn health holiday holiday decorating how much to charge installation invoice kansas city labor cost late lawn lawn care lawn care business lawn care business show lawn clarksville lawn service clarksville tn leaf cleanup lesco lighting brass outdoor lights llc llp marketing mowing mulch mulch price new and restored landscapes new buisness new business office management oil podcast promotion redmax scag seo snow sole proprietorship starting a business stihl subcontractor theft of services tips tree care unreasonable walk behind walker yard clarksville zero turn
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:50 AM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:50 AM.

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