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 online now
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 online now
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 offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,816
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
second year advise
cmdlawncare
01-23-2015 06:22 PM
Today 06:06 AM
by Billy Goat
4 146
TaskEasy & Plowz & Mowz...
jrwalker333
Yesterday 01:02 PM
Yesterday 01:02 PM
by jrwalker333
0 38
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
01-11-2015 11:41 AM
Yesterday 09:34 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
9 476
Lawn care truck
Steve
10-10-2009 03:40 AM
01-24-2015 10:54 PM
by Chilehead
39 15,801
What happened to Better...
Steve
01-27-2014 04:07 PM
01-24-2015 01:13 PM
by WesleySnips
16 2,986
need advise
rawssrob
02-23-2010 02:45 PM
01-23-2015 06:40 PM
by cmdlawncare
7 2,514
please Help with none...
Lawnboyman1170
01-09-2015 09:46 AM
01-23-2015 03:39 PM
by burnell76
7 451
does this sound good or...
Bradcook21
01-22-2015 09:24 AM
01-23-2015 02:02 PM
by Steve
8 230
New to forum
ROB N
01-23-2015 08:35 AM
01-23-2015 01:53 PM
by Steve
1 84
Looking for advice on...
berryjam
01-21-2015 07:37 PM
01-23-2015 01:50 PM
by Steve
9 255
Extending the life of...
rmccutchan
01-17-2015 12:37 AM
01-23-2015 01:43 PM
by Steve
8 314
osceola lawn service
jasa@wildblue.net
01-22-2015 03:23 PM
01-23-2015 01:38 PM
by Steve
1 108
How many contracts...
5StarLawnscaping
01-12-2015 03:51 PM
01-23-2015 08:46 AM
by jrs.landscaping
8 436
Tax Question
Wolf4dk
01-20-2015 01:11 AM
01-22-2015 02:28 PM
by Steve
4 222
Billy Goat Vac
Mr. Mow
01-19-2015 07:42 AM
01-22-2015 02:18 PM
by Steve
6 218
"Part Timers", "Low...
doug1980
06-10-2009 12:55 PM
01-22-2015 02:09 PM
by biglee
39 10,108
Property Pricing
GVL
01-19-2015 02:46 PM
01-21-2015 02:18 PM
by Steve
5 268
Landscapers Source For...
breadcrumb
01-16-2015 02:44 PM
01-21-2015 05:55 AM
by breadcrumb
14 418
Hoa advice
Bradcook21
01-16-2015 09:36 PM
01-20-2015 04:30 PM
by Steve
4 259
My Invention
biglee
01-11-2015 07:51 PM
01-20-2015 10:16 AM
by biglee
16 597
How to beat the pre pay...
stansg1fresh
01-13-2015 04:33 PM
01-19-2015 03:38 PM
by ringahding1
3 328
Hello from Md
homey
12-17-2014 06:55 PM
01-19-2015 01:37 PM
by Steve
12 1,110
Hi from Illinois
burtle
01-02-2015 09:46 PM
01-19-2015 01:22 PM
by Steve
3 495
Hello from SW FL!!
5StarLawnscaping
12-05-2014 02:35 PM
01-19-2015 01:20 PM
by Steve
14 1,424
Lost my @#$ blower
stevef1201
01-11-2015 08:31 AM
01-17-2015 02:21 PM
by lxarth
2 360
Another Illinoisan.....
barhopper
01-11-2015 05:38 PM
01-16-2015 04:29 PM
by Steve
10 412
marketing with pizza...
apmAkron
01-15-2015 09:57 AM
01-15-2015 06:29 PM
by Steve
4 246
CRM and Quickbooks?
5StarLawnscaping
01-15-2015 08:06 AM
01-15-2015 08:06 AM
by 5StarLawnscaping
0 176
New Member, Indiana Iraq...
Timbo
07-14-2011 09:44 AM
01-14-2015 06:14 PM
by Steve
10 3,774
check this box truck out!
BLAZIER-1991
01-07-2015 07:40 PM
01-13-2015 03:06 PM
by biglee
8 613
My community only ad...
googus
01-12-2015 09:55 AM
01-13-2015 02:44 PM
by Steve
5 310
12 Years in Business!
Chilehead
10-23-2014 09:07 AM
01-13-2015 09:37 AM
by Chilehead
18 1,782
use a small business...
BLAZIER-1991
12-25-2014 12:21 AM
01-12-2015 06:32 PM
by BLAZIER-1991
30 1,537
tips on creating a...
BLAZIER-1991
01-08-2015 07:22 PM
01-12-2015 06:19 PM
by BLAZIER-1991
4 449
During Your Down Time
achri12
12-24-2014 03:03 PM
01-12-2015 03:54 PM
by Steve
10 1,068
Leaf cleanup
Bradcook21
01-09-2015 02:21 PM
01-12-2015 12:22 PM
by Jamesw86
4 419
Has Anyone Used Plowz ?
dpld
01-08-2014 12:14 PM
01-11-2015 02:17 PM
by burtle
20 3,339
What to pay help
Bradcook21
01-07-2015 01:32 PM
01-08-2015 07:01 PM
by Steve
1 456
Need a trailer
googus
01-07-2015 09:40 AM
01-08-2015 10:24 AM
by Upscale2
7 561
Do you guys charge buy...
burtle
01-02-2015 09:58 PM
01-07-2015 08:37 PM
by Shark1611
14 915
Organic Lawn Care...
NHray
10-17-2014 07:05 PM
01-07-2015 07:05 PM
by greyhound
18 2,152
Need advice please
CHenricks
01-06-2015 01:17 AM
01-07-2015 03:34 PM
by Steve
4 527
Mowing 2 acres
Bradcook21
01-05-2015 03:13 PM
01-07-2015 03:32 PM
by Steve
9 664
Ideas on a large bid
Knaubone
12-21-2014 11:57 AM
01-06-2015 03:55 PM
by Steve
5 979
Trailer with 4ft sides...
mayala030292
01-02-2015 09:01 PM
01-06-2015 03:33 PM
by Steve
5 612
A tip to get good...
biglee
01-04-2015 12:07 AM
01-06-2015 03:30 PM
by Steve
4 594
Work Shoes!
rsanchez1203
02-19-2013 12:07 PM
01-05-2015 09:18 PM
by Havanese2
13 7,440
EDDM post cards
hemiman
02-13-2014 06:36 PM
01-05-2015 04:22 PM
by Steve
14 2,405
Cleaning your Mower and...
MNK
01-03-2015 01:22 AM
01-05-2015 09:17 AM
by rmccutchan
10 750
where to find more...
BLAZIER-1991
01-02-2015 12:17 AM
01-04-2015 12:51 PM
by BLAZIER-1991
6 635
» Popular Tags
2wd 4wd 4x4 aerocore apartment bid apartment complex apartment lawn care estimate applying auger billy goat brushcutter blades bush collections deliquentaccounts ditches employee problems equipment rental first truck flyers foreman georgia google gopherhaul grass gravely growing a lawn care business hiring husqvarna jobs john deere quik trac landscape services lawn lawn care lawn care business podcast lawn care business seo lawn care business show lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care website lighting brass outdoor lights marketing mr dave mulch new buisness new mower per hour service podcast pricing pto push versus ride running a business savannah search engine optimization seo shell small engine repair snow plowing square foot starting a business starting a lawn care business start up lawn care business steep lawns sulky theft toro grand stand trailer tree trimmer rack up sell employee walk behind
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:05 AM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:05 AM.

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