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Customer re-write's snow removal contract

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by John143, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. John143

    John143 Senior Member
    from NEPA PA
    Messages: 254

    Ok! So we are getting a little snow tommorow. I called the last few customers that didnt send their signed contract for this years snow removal to remind them we would need it signed before we can plow their lots.

    The one commercial customer has been playing games with us over getting me the signed contract. ie, I mailed it out, we lost it, please fax us another copy and so on for the last few weeks. Will with the snow coming soon they emailed me the contract signed about 4:45pm today.

    Just one problem. When I opened up the email I happen to notice on the last page where I had the name Jason B, to sign was replaced with Mike M. I never talked to a Mike M so I decided to re-read the whole contract. Sure enough they re-wrote the whole contract taking out parts and add parts that could set me up for a nice law suit! I could not belive my eyes!! Someone took the time to re-write the whole contract even using our letter head to suit their needs!!

    I still did not respond to the email. However I was so mad that I did type a nice email to fire back at them. Here is a copy. Does this sound out of line?? Has this happen to anyone?? How do you guys think I should handle this??

    So guys?? Should I atleast give them the chance to sign the contract that I did sent them? Or just chalk this up as a close call and move on? FYI: it's only a $150.00 lot with no salt.
  2. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,796

    It seems like an ok email to me. I would not conduct any business with them in the future if that is how they want to play.
  3. newhere

    newhere PlowSite.com Addict
    from Fenton
    Messages: 1,288

    heck no! run from that one man. to many fish in the sea to deal with that kind of crap.
  4. 7_below

    7_below Senior Member
    Messages: 245

    That's f'd up. I think a phone call would be better. That's just me.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  5. IMAGE

    IMAGE Sponsor
    Messages: 1,747

    I would be short and to the point.

    Dear xxx,

    I noticed that the contract you emailed over was changed from the original version. We do not appreciate this, and that contract is not valid with the changes you made. Given this breach of trust we must inform you that we will not be performing any service for you in the future. Please do not use us for a reference.

    sincerely, xxx
  6. John143

    John143 Senior Member
    from NEPA PA
    Messages: 254

    I should of added above to my first post. I do not email contracts. The one they emailed me was a copy of the one I sent them in the mail that they took the time to re-write and use our letter head, have some Mike, guy sign the scan into their computer and email me!!

    Sorry guys! I had to vent! Im still PO'ed. But do feel alittle better now! :)
  7. John143

    John143 Senior Member
    from NEPA PA
    Messages: 254

    That sounds alot better. I may end up using it! Thanks!! Perhaps, the right thing to do is sleep it off and re-think my handling of this matter.

    WRIGHTWAY Senior Member
    Messages: 104

    I may be wrong but them rewriting your contract with your letterhead and probably your signature just might be fraud
  9. rebert

    rebert Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    You addressed it Michelle instead of Michael at the top.. lol
  10. John143

    John143 Senior Member
    from NEPA PA
    Messages: 254

    Thats a very good question. I think our attorney might just have the anwser to that question! I will have to email him over a copy and see what he thinks about it.
  11. John143

    John143 Senior Member
    from NEPA PA
    Messages: 254

    Yes I know. Shes the one that sent me the so called "signed contract" today. lol
  12. dieseltech

    dieseltech Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    I think your email was just fine...not out of line at all...maybe a tad wordy but otherwise ok. I dont think they were trying to screw you, just had this mike guy get a little big in the britches and try and make himselfmthe boss. Ive had it happen before and i handled it very similarly to you. 150 bucks is not worth what could potentially be a severe problem for you. Find another to replace them and move ahead with customers whom appreciate your service and professionalism.
  13. BPS#1

    BPS#1 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,421

    I can easily understand your frustration.

    I think your reply is way too long.
    There really isn't a need to go into great detail explaining where the train ran off the track.
    Very short and sweet will leave them wondering what they are going to do now.
    When you send the email back to them BCC every one from that company that you have email for.

    Dear ____________,

    The contract you sent back is void as it is not what was signed by me.
    Further more rewriting the contract on my letter head is very unprofessional.
    I will be forwarding that to my lawyer for his review.

    Signed ......................................

    And that is IT.
    Leave them wondering what is going on and also scared about what your lawyer is going to say.

    More than likely as was already mentioned some lower level peon thought he was going to play big boss and is now going to be scared about what might be about to bite him in the _____. :laughing:

    And no, do not give them a chance to sign the right one. You do not want the hassle these guys are going to become.
  14. cda817

    cda817 Senior Member
    Messages: 284

    I had a similar situation last year. We bid on a new factory for high end aircraft and runway electrical connections...state of the art facility nice offices, very professional. Everything fell in place and I received the signed contract back without a problem. My wife was filing the contract and happened to notice some writing on one of the pages of clauses.

    The President of the company crossed out the clause regarding interest after 30 days and crossed it out without even asking and mailed it in. I called him to discuss it and he said they never pay there bills late and this was standard practice for him. I replied, If you never pay your bills late then it doesn't matter if that clause is in there and secondly, For your alterations to be binding my initials would have to be there as well.

    People will try to pull stuff over on you all of the time, that is how they got to the position they are in. I don't agree with what they did but I am not going to throw away several thousand dollars a year over a PIA Executive.

    For the Record they are a NET 30 customer and quickbooks shows they average 46.4 days for payment. Never take someones word.
  15. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    ive had people make changes to the contract, they dont go to the trouble of uploading it and retyping it, but they will ex out stuff and put changes in in writing. They send it over to me and I review it with my lawyer and send it back as long as i am ok with the changes theyve made.
  16. framer1901

    framer1901 Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    I think you all are being too firm in any of these responses.

    If it's your decision to work under your contract only, simply inform the customer that's what the situation is - I'm sorry Ms Jones, but we can only provide service under our agreement, not the one that appears altered.

    Or, if you are willing to work under altered contracts reply something like - I'm sorry Ms Jones, we could do the work for you but line 2 and 3 of the altered contract concern me and in order for me to provide the service, it must be stated this way.

    Why in the world would you piss on someones leg as you are walking out the door refusing to work for them? You gained absolutely nothing and you lost any chance of ever working for anyone involved with that contract / decision. Is that Michael or whoever it was going to work there forever? Probably not, in two years she may replace the guy who was once your best customer, she remembers you and kicks you to the curb there also. Apartment property managers, how often have you seen them turn over? Condo association boards, they turn over every 1 to 3 years. What if that Michael is on a condo board that you have been working to get for the last three years?

    Bottom line, the customer changed the wording on your contract, you didn't like it - if you don't want the work, tell them no thanks, nothing more. If you can do it with altered wording, say that. Don't bring in attorneys and harsh language.

    It's the customers right to hire you, it's a privildge for you to work for the customer, not the other way around. If you forget that or fail to accept that, you are done, there's ten people standing behind you that understand it. Yes, and certainly under whatever contract both parties agree to.

    As for Quick Books showing a 45.4 day average pay time. Many business' put their received date on your invoice, which could be 3-10 days after your date, then you have to account for mail time on the check heading your way. We have customers that date the check 30 days from our invoice date and others that date it a few days later than that - no complaints here - at least those customers pay.
  17. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    I think that falls under your belt. As the owner of a company, anytime you get a contract back you should review it to make sure there were no changes. When I get a contract back I review it because easily over 50% of the time theres some sort of change made usually.
  18. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,782

    I hate games......The professional thing to do is tit for tat. Send an email..."We are currently reviewing the new parameters of your winter maintenance agreement. We will submit a new price within 30 days." Take all 30........ and make it worth your while.

    One of the first things my father taught me in business is not to let emotions and pride get in the way. It is a business arrangement.
  19. northernsweeper

    northernsweeper Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    I have to agree. Don't berate them. Either send a copy of the email to someone higher up, asking if he ok'd the contract changes, or was even aware of them, or simply inform them, you have always appreciated the work, but it must be according to your written (ver batem) contract or you cannot provide services. Never slam the door until you are sure of the companies position, and not just the position of a pencil pusher. They may not like what he's done either.
  20. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,041

    Making changes to a contract is almost standard practice ! It's all a part of the negotiations. Some of our stuff will not and cannot be changed, other stuff is up for discussion. Although rewriting the thi g on your letter head is way shady. U cannot trust this customer, I would walk !