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Lost a new account...the shady way

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by aloe, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. aloe

    aloe Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 285

    Gave a lady a price, a fairly low price on her small commercial strip mall parking lot. All was agreed verbally, shook hands....dropped contract off for her to review & note any changes she may want to make.....after not hearing from her for a week, I stop in to pick up the contract & she says she decided to go with someone else?!? I'd like to sue her but I hope her new guy screws her over this winter!!!

    Bad business practice, especially since she's the head of the business association!!!
  2. NorthernSvc's

    NorthernSvc's Senior Member
    Messages: 781

    im sorry ... i guess I am missing something... on what grounds would you like to sue her? no signed contract = no contract verbal dont mean spit...get used to it, happens all the time
  3. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    any more its not a new contact till its signed Hand shakes or verbal agreement doesn't mean crap these days.
  4. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 9,069

    This is what's wrong with some parts of the country and why our insurance cost what it does.

    Agree 100%.
    I will admit I has a couple loooooooong term customers I don't have contracts with. I just have a email confirming the scope of service, cost and billing, I'd like to think someone that has seen my kids go from riding to shoveling to driving wouldn't screw me.
  5. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    Your Email if the customer has replied to it is a contract

    I have few verbal agreements left had for 20 + years on driveways But them agreements are dying off use to have over 100 drives I have 10 now I don't advertise doing driveways. If they didn't die they moved away or in a nursing home. Around here no money in driveways to many kids running around plowing drives on a ATV.
  6. aloe

    aloe Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 285

    That's what I did, I smiled, etc & was very polite. But, I don't think how she handled it was professional at all!! But please call me in an emergency & watch my price go up!
  7. CashinH&P

    CashinH&P Senior Member
    Messages: 448

    Why would you sue her? She rewiewed your contract, decided she did not need your services and went with some one else. This happenes all the time. Oh and his comment was deleted by the mods he didnt delete it himself.
  8. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge PlowSite Veteran
    from NJ
    Messages: 3,699

    This is some kind of NY / Metropolitan mental psychosis that's spreading elsewhere. I have a neighbor who was born, raised and spent most of his life in Brooklyn. His entire existence is based upon suing people, and staying home, boozing it up off of the proceeds. For many years I spoke to him as a human, but then after his scheme to bilk his employer, the state W/C fund, and anyone else he could, I'm glad I don't speak to him anymore. I'm just wondering when I'll get sued for not being neighborly. :cool:
  9. JTVLandscaping

    JTVLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 862

    I lost out on a great job like that once. Private road with a few houses on it, "Great, we like the price" she said "Just get the contract to me and your proof of insurance." It was sweet, I was in a tough spot financially and needed the work. She called that night and apologized but one of the neighbors had already hired someone else. No hard feelings, it's business. If she had called back, I'd give her the same price because that's what it's worth.
  10. jasonv

    jasonv PlowSite.com Addict
    from kannada
    Messages: 1,122

    If you want the contract, have it signed then and there, and bring the signed contract back with you. If the other party doesn't go by those terms, it means you do not have a firm contract, rather they are just in the "thinking about it" stage.

    What the other party did is effectively; "sounds like a good deal, but I'll need to mull it over a bit and will let you know if its a go." -- note... that's an "if its a go", not a "one way or another".
  11. svc turf

    svc turf Member
    Messages: 58

    A signed contract doesn't mean spit anyways, especially in the snow business. They can say you weren't living up to your end of the contract so they decided to terminate it. What are you going to do....take them to court because you had a signed contract for a $4000 plow account? Nope. It isn't going to go very far and you will get nothing out of it.
  12. BigBoyPlowin

    BigBoyPlowin Senior Member
    Messages: 301

    When you've been burned several time, you just get that mentality that everyones out to screw you over! This way you're not sad when it happens.. it also allows you to prevent it from happening! Don't think you have a contract until you have a john handcock and a payment.

    A verbal is just that, a Verbal.
  13. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 761

    That's why I like seasonal contracts.
    You split the payment into 3, first one in Nov, second one in Jan, last one in March.

    Write into your contract;

    Either party may elect to terminate this agreement, at any time with a 30 day advance written notice vie U.S. mail, fax or email. If a storm happens with-in the 30 days written notice, the contractor will still be liable for plowing, unless the client has already contracted with another company.
    The client will be responsible for all costs of services rendered up to the cancellation date.
    A final invoice will be sent to the client within 30 days after notification for any balance due.
    There will be No Refunds issued for unused time or services set forth by this agreement.

    Knock on wood I have never had a client do this to me, been plowing the same contracts for years now, but I still CYA in my contracts.

    I ran into a similar situation this year.
    Bid on a place, the guy emailed me and said he liked the price and they were going with me and asked for the formal contract.
    I sent the contract and after 5 days of getting nothing back I contacted him, "Oh we went with someone else, they beat your price"
    So even after they said they liked my price and said they were going with me, they still shopped around to try and get a lower price.

    I don't count on anything until I have a signed contract with a check in hand.
  14. Meezer

    Meezer Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 300

    This type of stuff doesn't just happen in snow removal. This is quite common in the construction/home repair trades.
  15. snowcrazy

    snowcrazy Senior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 409

    not sure its rights to sue someone but what is really sad is that all of you think a hand shake means nothing......... That's sad.... Im right there will ya bro, I hope whoever got it plows the mall over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Thumbs Up
  16. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    20 years ago it mean you had a job with a hand shake
    Back in in the 80s and 90s a hand shake was a bond or a man/woman words was a bond.

    People this days I don't trust anymore till its a signed contact or I have a PO number
  17. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    I love the accounts , management companies even that require your insurance cert, that could cost $100-$500 for them specifically, and then don't go with you... or don't assign any sites, can't get the money back. So no accounts, no cert.
  18. Meezer

    Meezer Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 300

    True, which is why I tell them they will get all that after they sign the contract.
  19. aloe

    aloe Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 285

    Thank You! All of you who say it's no big deal...should I over load my route expecting 5% of new accounts to drop me?

    I'm sure all of you have gone out to eat at some point...maybe reserved a table & had to wait an hour?? This is in part why you wait. Restaurants have to over book because people make reservations & never show. It really is BS!
  20. aloe

    aloe Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 285

    Exactly!!! Now, maybe things have changed...but I was always under the impression that a verbal contract was binding in NYS. Could be grounds for a suit but I have better things to do with my time & money.