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: 185
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, 06:50 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, 04:20 AM
warbuff's Avatar
warbuff warbuff is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Poughkeepsie, NY
Posts: 67
Rep Power: 6
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: 185
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, 08:20 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, 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: 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, 12:21 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,356
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: 6
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: 6
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
big job for me....need...
holymoly
Today 06:15 AM
Today 06:15 AM
by holymoly
0 21
how to make customers...
Bradcook21
Yesterday 05:04 PM
Today 03:13 AM
by jrs.landscaping
4 83
Hello All
HappyGrass
Yesterday 10:10 PM
Yesterday 10:10 PM
by HappyGrass
0 26
What a JERK!
Chilehead
05-06-2015 08:13 AM
Yesterday 09:27 PM
by Chilehead
15 765
Share your stolen...
SGL1
Yesterday 09:05 PM
Yesterday 09:05 PM
by SGL1
0 29
Equipment dealers
mattthelawnguy
05-21-2015 04:33 PM
Yesterday 07:07 PM
by mattthelawnguy
5 183
Things your lawn care...
Steve
Yesterday 11:48 AM
Yesterday 11:48 AM
by Steve
0 47
I can't believe people...
ExtremeLawncareServices
05-25-2015 10:29 AM
Yesterday 11:45 AM
by jrs.landscaping
9 240
Show us your stripes
Just for Cuts
05-21-2015 03:07 PM
Yesterday 11:35 AM
by Steve
5 177
Pissed off customers
stonegatedesigns
05-26-2015 05:29 PM
Yesterday 11:26 AM
by Steve
3 116
Great start to the season
jcurr33
05-25-2015 08:49 PM
05-26-2015 01:50 PM
by Steve
2 88
uploading video on here?
holymoly
05-24-2015 08:13 AM
05-26-2015 01:37 PM
by Steve
2 91
new here ! need help
pgrace
05-23-2015 11:29 PM
05-26-2015 01:35 PM
by Steve
1 99
What's your next...
Steve
05-15-2015 11:54 AM
05-26-2015 01:25 PM
by Steve
14 391
problems with a customer
LawnCareMan280
05-19-2015 06:28 PM
05-26-2015 01:22 PM
by Steve
5 214
More Rain or Less?
Steve
05-20-2015 12:06 PM
05-24-2015 04:37 PM
by SGL1
12 278
Irrigation
pboy8634
02-21-2010 12:46 PM
05-22-2015 10:05 PM
by biglee
25 8,465
Beginner Mistakes:...
Steve
01-31-2007 11:45 AM
05-22-2015 09:58 PM
by biglee
37 9,188
Peace garden ideas
SGL1
05-13-2015 03:15 PM
05-21-2015 07:51 PM
by avetslawncare
16 529
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
01-11-2015 10:41 AM
05-20-2015 09:18 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
84 6,866
Total yard rehab
SGL1
04-23-2015 03:59 PM
05-19-2015 08:22 PM
by SGL1
15 832
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
05-19-2015 04:12 PM
by NinaMarie86
1,223 390,146
New Lawn Service
carmelitaslawnservice
05-19-2015 10:02 AM
05-19-2015 02:51 PM
by Steve
1 132
Landscaper Jailed After...
SGL1
05-18-2015 08:15 AM
05-19-2015 02:37 PM
by Steve
5 234
Pictures of commercial...
avetslawncare
04-01-2015 09:47 PM
05-19-2015 02:29 PM
by Steve
38 2,040
feeling like im being...
Bradcook21
05-17-2015 07:33 AM
05-19-2015 02:11 PM
by Steve
6 242
good news yesterday
Bradcook21
05-17-2015 07:08 AM
05-19-2015 06:16 AM
by Bradcook21
3 172
ignition coil
jasonw
05-12-2015 05:31 PM
05-18-2015 12:07 PM
by Steve
3 290
Anyone need help? I have...
biglee
05-06-2015 12:22 PM
05-18-2015 12:06 PM
by Steve
13 720
Big (to me) mulch job
tl757
04-23-2015 05:32 PM
05-15-2015 08:46 PM
by biglee
22 1,531
big dog mowers?
Bradcook21
05-13-2015 04:03 PM
05-14-2015 10:55 AM
by Steve
4 311
Small HOA Bid
lxarth
05-06-2015 10:37 PM
05-13-2015 11:55 AM
by Steve
9 541
New company in Michigan
SEM
04-24-2015 09:27 PM
05-13-2015 11:51 AM
by Steve
11 668
Fired for refusing to...
Mr. Mow
05-09-2015 06:15 AM
05-12-2015 01:36 PM
by Steve
6 535
I have ZERO confidence...
Just for Cuts
05-01-2015 04:24 PM
05-12-2015 03:53 AM
by jrs.landscaping
31 1,140
landscape insurance
clarkslawn
03-30-2015 10:14 PM
05-11-2015 01:15 PM
by Steve
6 1,048
String trim BEFORE mow...
Mr. Mow
04-12-2015 08:13 AM
05-10-2015 07:50 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
9 1,090
Bought my first STIHL...
Mr. Mow
05-09-2015 06:29 AM
05-10-2015 08:36 AM
by Mr. Mow
9 440
advice wanted please and...
CHenricks
05-07-2015 08:40 PM
05-08-2015 04:20 PM
by CHenricks
7 459
Hello
SallyBorowicz
05-06-2015 11:14 AM
05-08-2015 02:21 PM
by Steve
3 367
Mower Advice
tl757
05-06-2015 02:31 PM
05-08-2015 01:45 PM
by Steve
6 499
Home today...Still...
biglee
05-06-2015 11:59 AM
05-07-2015 12:06 PM
by biglee
2 370
I'm Back With The Best...
aduttonater
02-21-2015 12:41 AM
05-07-2015 11:17 AM
by Steve
79 4,032
color fliers?
holymoly
04-18-2015 02:32 PM
05-07-2015 10:57 AM
by Steve
16 1,060
Looking good
mrsmichigan
05-06-2015 09:47 AM
05-07-2015 10:53 AM
by Steve
1 310
What are your biggest...
Steve
05-05-2015 01:24 PM
05-07-2015 10:52 AM
by Steve
2 363
is craiglist good to...
JBENI
04-16-2015 11:11 AM
05-06-2015 07:15 PM
by TheYardGuy
12 1,151
Go daddy web site and...
jcurr33
05-04-2015 06:00 PM
05-05-2015 11:57 AM
by Steve
2 391
How busy are you now?
Steve
05-04-2015 01:10 PM
05-05-2015 11:47 AM
by Steve
4 430
mowfinder
scaypa
04-27-2015 05:44 PM
05-04-2015 01:14 PM
by Steve
1 452
» Popular Tags
aerocore apartment bid apartment lawn care estimate applying auger billy goat brushcutter blades blowout bush commercial curb appeal services deliquentaccounts demonstration ditches door hangers employee problems equipment rental estimate facebook foreman free advertising google growing a lawn care business how to husqvarna jobs john deere quik trac landscape landscape services landscaping training lawn lawn care lawn care busines plan managing a lawn care business marketing more customers business mr dave mulch new business patio install per hour service pricing pto scag secrets to landscaping sell the vision shell shreaded small engine repair snow plowing sq ft square foot starting a lawn care business steep lawns swzt theft toro toro grand stand tractor auger trailer trailer mate pro tree trimmer rack up sell employee web design website website design winterization wood wright stander rh
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:27 AM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:27 AM.

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