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: 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, 07:50 PM
SNethercutt SNethercutt is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 202
Rep Power: 3
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: 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 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: 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, 09:20 AM
patrick6411 patrick6411 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 106
Rep Power: 4
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: 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, 01:21 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,807
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: 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, 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: 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 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
Best two stroke oil
Greg_TopYardServices
Yesterday 07:53 PM
Yesterday 10:00 PM
by Just for Cuts
1 19
Help Spread the word...
Sprinkler Buddy
12-02-2015 08:41 AM
Yesterday 06:35 PM
by Sprinkler Buddy
13 1,189
back surgery
Bradcook21
01-28-2016 08:51 PM
02-07-2016 08:04 PM
by Chilehead
12 299
hello all
romanlandscape
01-29-2016 03:46 PM
02-07-2016 10:20 AM
by Bradcook21
6 191
Finding open bids?!?
C&DPropertyManagement
02-07-2016 01:48 AM
02-07-2016 01:48 AM
by C&DPropertyManagement
0 52
Lawn Care Book Ranked #1
Steve
02-06-2016 12:36 AM
02-06-2016 12:36 AM
by Steve
0 75
Hi
Sellers Lawn Care
02-02-2016 01:48 PM
02-05-2016 08:03 AM
by Sellers Lawn Care
4 147
Collecting payments from...
Niagara Mowing
02-03-2016 05:21 PM
02-05-2016 08:00 AM
by Niagara Mowing
7 197
SMS assist? The good,...
jcurr33
01-27-2016 10:24 PM
02-04-2016 11:53 PM
by Steve
5 216
I need some help...
Anise
02-04-2016 01:39 PM
02-04-2016 11:51 PM
by Steve
3 110
Customers dodging the...
Rocky
11-06-2015 06:22 AM
02-04-2016 03:41 AM
by C&DPropertyManagement
7 1,471
Offering a "Trial"...
wybut076
02-01-2016 06:27 PM
02-03-2016 08:26 PM
by Just for Cuts
7 237
Iowa Caucus Predictions?
Steve
02-01-2016 06:31 PM
02-03-2016 12:40 AM
by Steve
1 93
Laying White River Rock
DiamondLawnCare
02-01-2016 08:27 PM
02-03-2016 12:17 AM
by Steve
1 113
Networking for a...
jcurr33
01-30-2016 09:26 PM
02-01-2016 06:27 PM
by Steve
4 182
Customer giving a 1099?
apmAkron
01-27-2016 07:22 PM
01-31-2016 08:55 PM
by Chilehead
6 244
happy to be here
redrobin
01-29-2016 10:45 AM
01-31-2016 08:44 PM
by Steve
1 130
Thought's on an "E-Z...
jcurr33
01-27-2016 10:48 PM
01-31-2016 08:38 PM
by Steve
4 208
Changes
Knaubone
01-30-2016 10:56 PM
01-31-2016 08:31 PM
by Steve
1 115
Thoughts on this Exmark...
googus
01-28-2016 04:24 PM
01-28-2016 08:09 PM
by Chilehead
1 140
1st year in
jcurr33
10-18-2015 05:07 PM
01-28-2016 07:49 PM
by Chilehead
6 4,133
Need opinion on zero...
Mr. Mow
01-24-2016 05:42 PM
01-28-2016 07:41 PM
by Chilehead
10 350
Opinion on liquid vs...
Bradcook21
01-25-2016 02:03 PM
01-28-2016 07:38 PM
by Chilehead
9 301
Finding property size
Gageslawncare
01-25-2016 11:08 AM
01-28-2016 12:05 PM
by Gageslawncare
10 304
Tiger TG 2661 Commercial...
lawnman1959
01-25-2016 08:12 PM
01-27-2016 07:57 PM
by Just for Cuts
5 234
Spouse as a dependent?
Steve
01-26-2016 01:51 AM
01-27-2016 10:44 AM
by Chilehead
3 193
Hello All
C&DPropertyManagement
01-23-2016 12:21 PM
01-26-2016 01:24 AM
by Steve
1 173
Credit Cards - What's in...
Shark1611
06-16-2015 04:04 PM
01-23-2016 03:43 PM
by C&DPropertyManagement
17 7,673
Start My Own Business?
mowandblow1980
01-12-2016 08:43 PM
01-19-2016 07:00 PM
by Steve
12 622
State of the nation 2016.
Steve
01-12-2016 12:05 AM
01-19-2016 06:57 PM
by Steve
6 370
little help? first big...
Brian3137
12-31-2015 12:39 PM
01-19-2016 06:54 PM
by Steve
23 1,069
Hi everybody...
Greg_TopYardServices
01-14-2016 08:10 AM
01-19-2016 02:47 PM
by SC93
12 447
What's your next...
Steve
05-15-2015 12:54 PM
01-17-2016 08:48 PM
by Homeland unlimited
25 7,911
Plow controller problems
scaypa
01-12-2016 05:49 PM
01-16-2016 10:46 AM
by scaypa
4 285
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 12:18 PM
01-15-2016 07:23 PM
by tannerduncan
1,244 428,038
Pricing issue
Mr. Mow
07-07-2015 07:15 AM
01-15-2016 11:20 AM
by djlandscaping06
23 5,400
New College Course
Dr. D
01-14-2016 01:45 PM
01-14-2016 05:35 PM
by Steve
1 206
Yelp
Shark1611
01-13-2016 10:00 AM
01-14-2016 05:32 PM
by Steve
4 266
New to the forum from...
Doug Green
01-12-2016 12:23 PM
01-14-2016 08:34 AM
by Doug Green
2 240
Facebook advertising
Just for Cuts
12-13-2015 08:49 AM
01-13-2016 10:20 PM
by Just for Cuts
12 918
Choosing local business
Doug Green
01-12-2016 12:29 PM
01-13-2016 06:12 PM
by Steve
2 402
4 Seasons Landscaping LLC
Doug Green
01-12-2016 12:56 PM
01-12-2016 12:59 PM
by Doug Green
1 262
2016 business goals
OxfordOS
01-09-2016 04:19 PM
01-12-2016 08:36 AM
by mowandblow1980
15 563
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:05 AM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:05 AM.

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