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Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Ipushsnow, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. Ipushsnow

    Ipushsnow Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    Well, I'm done dealing with my two customers from last year that thought they could get away without paying me for plowing.

    Customer number 1 owed me for the final 4 plows of the season. They paid me all they owed me, plus my costs, plus their attorney fees. After all was said and done they probably paid $1,000 more than if they would have just paid to begin with. I represented myself and their lawyer wanted to settle right off the bat after reading the contract. I told him this is an open and shut case and I will not settle for less than what they owe me. Got the check yesterday.payup

    Customer number 2 I stopped plowing in December after no payments made. He was a no show in court twice and I got a default judgment. I sued him for not only what he owed me, but "lost revenue' as well. I stopped plowing him in december and felt he should pay me the money I would have made plowing him all season. I turned down other accounts because with him I was booked up and then when I had to drop him I had a truck that wasn't fully booked and it cost me a lot of money. And guess what? The judge agreed! I am not holding my breath for the check, but he does have his property for sale and when it sells I have a lien on it. payup

    My point is, if someone owes you money SUE. Have a good contract, document EVERYTHING, and do not be afraid to go the legal route.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2008
  2. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    nice work
    Nothing makes me madder than people who don't pay.
    The bane of the businessman.
  3. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    well yeah sue there ass if its worth the time and money

    if its over 20 bucks then just plow them in...plow the enitre street into there drive way over night
  4. Ipushsnow

    Ipushsnow Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    I wanted to plow in the guy that didn't pay at all, but I could just see the trespassing or whatever ticket, so I opted not to, but god I wanted to!!!!!!!!!!!
  5. NoFearDeere

    NoFearDeere PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,724

    I turned a company over to collections that owes me $1500.00 from last year. BTW, anyone in the Chicago area know where I could go find the Roadmaster Tire corporate office?:D
  6. storm king

    storm king Member
    Messages: 86

    Good for you , the pen is mighter than the sword they say....
    I have a few customers that I do on a handshake deal ,(and like it that way)but not many the way things are theese days
    Had a few I thought about plowing in myself but never did it.
    Glad to hear you got what you deserved and worked for , just sucks you had to go to court to get it.
    Storm King
  7. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    naaa, just be creative

    when you plow , do it at night, and never step on his property, just keep your truck on the city side and just keep stacking snow at the end... no need to be on his property.... ill plow the street if somebody pissed me off enough. never had too

    but i do have a guy that owes me 350 , he hired me and another landscaper to mow? for what ever reason - so he paid that guy and refused to pay me,.... i have so wanted to put some round up in a high pressure sprayer... and just drive by nice and slow.....
  8. storm king

    storm king Member
    Messages: 86

    Yea I know the feeling , but trust me it aint worth it just move on to next one.
    And stop giving me good ideas LOL :)
  9. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    take your time too, bring your Vee blade with wings, and salt there grass for them , after all dont want snow on the lawn
  10. snowplowchick

    snowplowchick Senior Member
    Messages: 549

    Just got paid this week from a municipality that owed for snow removal from last season. Was ready to hire a lawyer too as it was over 10K they owed. When repeatedly told to pay outstanding account, the supervisor passed the buck to the accounting staff saying it was their fault. Needless to say we are not going to be doing their snow this winter.
  11. smoore45

    smoore45 Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    StormKing, out of curiousity, under what circumstances would you rather have a "handshake deal" than a written contract? The only handshake deal I have is my parents driveway.

    Not being critical, just curious.
  12. Vaughn Schultz

    Vaughn Schultz PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,565

    ha ha I bid in their locations this year and then they told me they plow in house :rolleyes:
  13. storm king

    storm king Member
    Messages: 86

    smoore 45,
    I would have to say speaking for myself and only for myself that so far I have never been burned on any "handshake " deals yet, some go back close to 20 years, Even a builder who subs out to my excavating co . not implying it may work for you or anyone for that matter ......
    What can I say ? it's a risk I take and the few I have never let me down so far.:)
  14. IC-Smoke

    IC-Smoke Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    did you have your contracts viewed by a lawyer before you had the customer sign?
  15. yard5864

    yard5864 Senior Member
    Messages: 149

    glad it all worked out for you. I had to send out 1 letter threatening collections, a week later got the check.
  16. dfdsuperduty

    dfdsuperduty Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    Round up is ok but muriatic acid is better:D:D
  17. lcncapo

    lcncapo Junior Member
    from roch ny
    Messages: 16

    ipushsnow - any chance of you posting a copy of this contract? want to see if i am leaving out anything important and yours has already stood up to the test twice.

    thanks in advance,
  18. platinumpimps

    platinumpimps Member
    Messages: 43

    ipushsnow, yeah i would like to see that contract as I have a customer from last year who owes 300.00 yet, i did sent out a threat to collection notice and called plenty of times. but no call back. thanks in advance.
  19. Grampa Plow

    Grampa Plow Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 274

    I guess I'm gonna take some crap here, but I have yet to ever use a contract, except for the Mall parking lot in the 90's. I have never had a problem and have never had to take anyone to court. Call it just lucky I guess, or maybe the fact that I was a cop for 25 years may have swayed someone?? This year I had one resturant take until last month to pay their bill off, but they got'er done. In the very few instances where I have needed to "bug" someone for payment, I let them know what the legal procedure would be if we have to go to court. I think relaying to them that I know what I'm talking about also makes a diff. Oh...for those lots that only want salt "per call" I have them sign a statement to that effect, that way if someone falls and I haven't salted, I still in good shape.
  20. storm king

    storm king Member
    Messages: 86

    Grampa plow - handshake deals work fine for me too...
    Bieng a cop don't mean sh-t in court and if you don't hae a contract good luck ,plus plowing for moneys is illegal on your part if you ain't legit,( your partner is the tax man -just like the rest of us or you take your chances ) a verbal agreement will not stand a chance in court once the lawyers get involved , we tried it and it wasn't worth it to file and loose .
    In the past few years a bunch of landscapers have been complaining to the county and towns for all the retired cops and firemen who ride around with a mower and get away with murder doing buisness and are not legit.
    We do not have a retirement plan like you guys and if we have to play by the book so do you guys,its only fair and I got no problem picking up the phone to help put a stop to it , our local chamber is really agressive twards stopping it too.