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Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life. It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.

Broken contract


Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life.

It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.
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Old 05-05-2010, 02:40 PM
SECTLANDSCAPING SECTLANDSCAPING is offline
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Broken contract

Today I showed up to cut the grass and seen a different landscaping company servicing the yard. I'm not sure what to do.

The signed contract says either party can cancel with a 30 day notice. There is no cancellation fees and the work didnt take place yet. Payment was at the end of the month after service was complete. It was biweekly starting on the first. I showed up on the 5th. I guess he wanted his grass cut sooner. The customer didnt call from either phone number I have or try to contact me by email.

This was very unprofessional. I was going to do it yesterday but I had a flat on my trailer. To make matters worst, I upgraded my mower specifically for this yard.
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Old 05-05-2010, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SECTLANDSCAPING View Post
Broken contract
The signed contract says either party can cancel with a 30 day notice. There is no cancellation fees and the work didnt take place yet. Payment was at the end of the month after service was complete. It was biweekly starting on the first. I showed up on the 5th. I guess he wanted his grass cut sooner. The customer didnt call from either phone number I have or try to contact me by email.
Not sure if there is anything you can due since no money has changed hands. You can try billing him for one month but doubt that you would get anywhere with it. My contract has a 15 day notice in it but I also get a deposit equivalent to one month at signing of contract. If proper notice is given deposit is refunded. The deposit is applied to the last month of contract.
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Old 05-05-2010, 05:05 PM
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Not sure if there is anything you can due since no money has changed hands. You can try billing him for one month but doubt that you would get anywhere with it. My contract has a 15 day notice in it but I also get a deposit equivalent to one month at signing of contract. If proper notice is given deposit is refunded. The deposit is applied to the last month of contract.
Thats pretty much where im at. Rewording the contracts with some kind of clause or deposit.
Applying the deposit to the end of the contract is smart. That takes away the risk of getting jerked the second month.
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:23 PM
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You are probably out of luck, did you call to inform them you would not be able to make it? Communication good or bad is critical.
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Old 05-06-2010, 01:47 PM
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How important is it for you to find out what happened and why? Can you contact the customer to find this out? Would this help?
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Old 05-10-2010, 12:29 PM
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after talking to the property owner. He thought I blew him off on the first even though it was raining on that day. The following day had light rain with t-storms too.


I told him he should have contacted me immediately and I would have dropped what I was doing if possible. He said he called them out of need and I could resume the contract at the beginning of next month. I explained to him how I scheduled the cuts, so theres no miscommunication next time and I'm rewording contracts to be more specific.
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Old 05-10-2010, 12:45 PM
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I think a customer like that is just trouble. Their irrational behavior isn't a one time thing.

If they had permanently replaced you then I'd say be happy to get rid of the trouble maker. Since they want you back, and it would be a delicate PR situation with negative word-of-mouth to for you to decline, I'd go ahead and work for them ... until they do something weird again.
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Old 05-10-2010, 06:48 PM
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after talking to the property owner. He thought I blew him off on the first even though it was raining on that day. The following day had light rain with t-storms too.
Is there a better way to deal with such situations so the customers don't get confused in the future? Or is this just a problem customer?
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Old 05-11-2010, 12:47 AM
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Is there a better way to deal with such situations so the customers don't get confused in the future? Or is this just a problem customer?
In my opinion it may be a little of both. Customers like that are usually looking for the cheapest way to get there lawn done and will go from business to business no matter what happens. However my contract states exactly what will happen when weather doesn't permit service. Even so, we all know that clients don't always read contracts. So for the first 2 months I go out of my way to communicate with clients. I leave notes make calls etc. Sure it is a pain but it keeps your clients with you. When they get used to how you work then they don't need as much communication for the small stuff.
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:10 PM
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So for the first 2 months I go out of my way to communicate with clients. I leave notes make calls etc.
So potentially early on with a new customer, if you can't mow their lawn due to weather, you will call them? When do you find it is best to leave notes or leave phone calls? What kind of situations pop into your head where you had to do this?
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