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Contract ?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by bigboss1977, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. bigboss1977

    bigboss1977 Senior Member
    from Utah
    Messages: 119

    So you get residential account for snow removal seems like 9 out of 10 times your meeting with wife that is a stay at home mommy. She signs your contract / service agreement. Agreeing to terms and conditions of the service agreement or contract for slip and fails, billing, payments, late fees.

    She defaults doesn't pay you - you take it to small claims or collection company.

    But she's a stay at home mom and doesn't work. You can collect on someone that doesn't work - so what do you do?

    Reason I ask I had a similar thing happen. Not for snow removal but for lawn care - although my contracts are alike when it comes to terms and payments snow removal of course is different with slip and fall clauses. Just wondering if I need to change some things. Example get two signatures of the homeowner in cause one loose there job I'm protected to go after either customer / signature.

    Or maybe I just need to re-word some things on my contract.
     
  2. lilweeds

    lilweeds PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,178

    It doesn't matter if they have a job as long as they own something worth selling.
     
  3. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    It's not your problem that she is a stay home mom. She still owes you the money. I don't see any need to change anything. I guess two signatures is better than one. You can lump the husband in with the small claims if you want and he can explain why he doesn't owe or something.
     
  4. bigboss1977

    bigboss1977 Senior Member
    from Utah
    Messages: 119

    While I understand things are tuff for so many american's out there maybe simply don't order services whether it's snow removal services lawn care or any other service for that matter and except a business (ME) to just walk away from $750.00.

    The judge the saw my case was a moron and half blind asked why I charged a late if it wasn't in my contract. Yes your honor its right there located on pg 2. Oh I see it now. I win my case but he doesn't order late fee's, or the customer to pay court filling fees only orders the customer to pay the balance and civil process serving fees.You'd think if you won the case you should win all the fees that you had to pay as the business owner to get you there. Just confused me that he would order some fees but not others with the obvious ruling in my favor. Guess I should have had the attorney write the contract in crayon so the judge could read and understand everything.

    So now I have a judgement on a customer that I can't collect on lol and the Judge said I can't hold the husband / other homeowner responsible because he isn't on the agreement / contract.

    So I guess I have the most expense piece of paper with a valve of $750.00 LMAO
     
  5. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    Collecting your judgement is a whole different issue. Glad you won though.
     
  6. Wilnip

    Wilnip Senior Member
    Messages: 583

    We have this problem pretty often. All jurisdictions are different but you can't get awarded anything that's not in your signed contract, like late fees, court costs etc. We recently added a $50 Court Appearance Fee. The judge is fine with it since it's in the contract. We probably have 10 judgments in a file waiting for us to have the time to go file for a Sheriffs Sale. And even stay at home moms own something that can be sold. But you can't sue her husband if he didn't sign the contract.
     
  7. bigboss1977

    bigboss1977 Senior Member
    from Utah
    Messages: 119

    Yeah I can see how this could happen. I'm getting with my Attorney very soon and changing some things to customer pays court filling and civil process serving fees. I'm going to have my t's crossed and i's dotted so this doesn't happen any more.

    And the late fee's were in my contract so I'm totally confused why the judge didn't order late fee's. I figure I have to spend extra time out of my day calling the customer, writing a letter, sending out a certified letter fee's there should be a late fee. Oh well what do you do I guess live and learn right.
     
  8. Wilnip

    Wilnip Senior Member
    Messages: 583

    When we file at the magistrate, we ask for the dollar amount owed. So if they owe $200 in services, $50 in court Appearance Fee, and $20 in late fees, we ask for a judgment of $270 plus court costs. Ask your attorney how to include the court costs.
     
  9. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,170

    If you look at how other businesses are structured you learn to avoid these pitfalls. The first guy I hired to do some construction had it down pat. 25% due on signing, 50% due 1/2 way through and the remainder due on completion of the contract. Not as bad as prepay and everyone is happy. Miss a payment.... service done. I find it quite fair.
     
  10. bigboss1977

    bigboss1977 Senior Member
    from Utah
    Messages: 119

    Yeah that's almost what I did...but screwed up 50 at start 50 at end.

    I actually started doing prepay with my residential snow removal customer and it's actually done really well so far.

    Give the customer X number of snow removals for X amount of dollars then I give them a small discount because it saves the wife time with billling and invoicing and mailing out invoices as most of residential customers are older and have no idea to access email so we can't email them...lol

    Like it when a customer prepays :D
     
  11. bigboss1977

    bigboss1977 Senior Member
    from Utah
    Messages: 119


    lol already emailed him to get an appointment to go over the contract.

    Makes me so mad when people do this. Even makes me madder when they call you leave you a voice mail saying I need your address to send out the payment. Ok you don't have my address on anything. I've only sent you three invoices and two certified letters.

    My employee suggested we plow them in so they can't get out of there driveway or house....LMAO even though I would never do this I had to say I'd almost pay to see that happen just to see their face.

    Sorry for venting I feel better now :D