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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.

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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.
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  #11  
Old 12-16-2011, 08:55 PM
Clays Landscape Clays Landscape is offline
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Could you also take her to small claims court?

Another thing I was thinking, in future jobs, would it be better to require a certain amount of money at first to cover materials? Especially when the job is over $1000?

As you reflect on this job do you feel you would do anything differently next time?
What all would small claims court entail? What would I need, how much would it cost?
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  #12  
Old 12-17-2011, 01:32 PM
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Have you checked your local county or township website? I would figure they would have the costs online. There are also a lot of sites that can walk you through how to file in small claims.

In fact, some members of the forum have done that in the past with success.

Keep us posted.
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  #13  
Old 12-17-2011, 01:49 PM
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So with that being said, am I at loss with this job? Should I not do anything else?

I would personally try one more time with a phone call and then send a letter, stating that she has so many days to pay the bill or you will send it to collections.

Then if she doesn't pay, send it to collections. You won't get the full amount, but some if better than nothing.

A lot of times too the collections agency will go through arbitration with their lawyer. You have to pay a small fee sometimes for the papework, but a lot of times you can wrap that fee back into the amount that they owed. I actually went through that this past year with a sub that owed me money. They are going to start to garnish his check pay check in about two weeks.
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  #14  
Old 01-03-2012, 07:16 PM
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Default cutomer will not pay

I completely understand which means you care. I would call her and setup a meeting to go over contract. Let her know person to person that your quote was not to eliminate the water. Let her know that it requires a different type of work and machinery something you did not commit to. Let her know the current bill needs to be taken care of to then make a game plan and quote to resolve her issue. Be very nice and clear Primo.
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I did a lawn renovation for a lady 25 miles away this fall. It including tilling up her entire yard, reseeding, lime fertilizer, create/edge beds around home, $220 of mulch and planting of 10 rose bushes. The yard is in a very low swampy area and is always wet.

Well the total bill came up to just under $1,500 with $850 being materials/tractor use. This job was done October 15 and the lady just paid me $615.68 today. I have been in contact with her reminding her but she continues to start that she is not happy that her yard is still wet. The estimate had the exact phrase "surface tilling", NOT REGRADING!

She refuses to pay until I come back in the spring and level the entire yard which would require hauling many loads of dirt in. I am not willing to do this. I have been back twice, free of charge, with a drag and worked for several hours!

Everyone, please be completely honest and let me know how you would handle this situation. I appreciate anything as this has really been bothering me.

Thanks!!!
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:28 PM
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Looks like your limited to what you can do.
I think collection is the way to go, They have a way of putting things that you as a business owner would not think of to get people to pay up.
My wife use to work in collections at a major phone company she even sent a disconnect order to a high up executive in the company because she wouldn't pay up. I use my wife if I have a problem customer it easier for her as she is detached from the company on a day to day and she has the training to ask and say the right things to get most people to pay up. You may only get $300 or so back but at least you can cover your expense and you learned a valuable lessen. all be it an expensive one.

oh my wife said shop it around for the best deal on collections not all agencies charge the same %
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:50 PM
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I would go back and remove all that mulch and make it look as bad as possible! j/k.

Collections is the way to go.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:32 PM
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Looks like your limited to what you can do.
I think collection is the way to go, They have a way of putting things that you as a business owner would not think of to get people to pay up.
My wife use to work in collections at a major phone company she even sent a disconnect order to a high up executive in the company because she wouldn't pay up. I use my wife if I have a problem customer it easier for her as she is detached from the company on a day to day and she has the training to ask and say the right things to get most people to pay up. You may only get $300 or so back but at least you can cover your expense and you learned a valuable lessen. all be it an expensive one.

oh my wife said shop it around for the best deal on collections not all agencies charge the same %
How do I find collection agencies in the area?
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  #18  
Old 01-03-2012, 10:09 PM
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http://virginiacollectionagency.info.../virginia/9828

Google your town, state and collection agency
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  #19  
Old 01-04-2012, 06:49 PM
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http://virginiacollectionagency.info.../virginia/9828

Google your town, state and collection agency
That will work
I was going to say the yellow pages.
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  #20  
Old 01-04-2012, 10:46 PM
Liberty Landscaping LLC Liberty Landscaping LLC is offline
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You said in your previous message the "estimate listed surface tilling" did you form a contract and have it signed by both parties? If you did not then small claims court isn't going to work.
Collections I have never tried so I am not sure. The proof that she made a partial payment is def going to work to your advantage. You will need a log of phone calls and (certified) letters sent to her advising her of the amount do. If there is a way to record the next call I would do that.

By all means I would not do anymore work for her even if she pays you for this one. She has set a pattern as a problematic customer and why would you invest more of your money into another project at her home? Get this resolved and bid her a fine fairwell. I wouldn't call her anymore if you have her email thats great to use (as my lawyer says even Judge Judy can't argue with emails) if not only certified letters attach a bill deduct what she has paid, if there was a contract include that, inform her that by x (date be reasonable) a month or so it will go to collections/small claims court (with a contract without don't do it you will loose). You need to show a pattern of attempting to collect the debt for courts. I had this issue with a snow plow customer actually husband and wife they each had a business location I serviced neither paid me. Collections companies I hear charge significant fees like up to 50% of the debt being recovered. Just so your not shocked. Good luck keep us posted!
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