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My customer threatened to take me to court

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by martyman, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. martyman

    martyman Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    Ok...So I have a customer that so far I did exactly what is required of in the contract, but kept, bugging me, so I offered to refund him his money. I only recieved half the money and the other half is post dated until febuary. This is only a two car residential and I only wanted to get out of the contract because I know this guy is going to bother me the whole winter and today he threatens to take me to court. This year I have 53 customers and we have had one major snowfall and this is the only guy that kept calling me and saying I wasn't doing a good job...My friend did his property before and said that he was a hassle, but I did his lawn in the summer and dealt with his wife, but the husband is a real pain in the ass...Any suggestions on how to deal with this? I have called them and offered to refund the money if they return the contract but they refuse.
  2. Robhollar

    Robhollar Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    What exactly is he asking for?? Give me more details please..Rob
  3. martyman

    martyman Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    He want's to take me to court...I tried to talk to them but they said that I could talk to there lawyer...I think they are just pissed because they are too cheap to pay someone more than the price I gave them...very cheap people that want extra work for a small fee.
  4. bugthug

    bugthug Senior Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 268

    Did he sign and send back a copy of the contract? If not I would tell him to piss up a rope . I wouldent put up with a customer like that. cant make some people happy.
  5. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,951

    tell him to piss in the wind and open wide
  6. RAZOR

    RAZOR Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    I don't think he is going pay a lawyer $200-$300 per hour to take the you to court. If you did everything your contract stated what can he take you court for? I would just put up with him for the rest of the season and dump him next year. I wish I had a good friend like yours that would give me such a PITA customer.
  7. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation Senior Member
    Messages: 413

    A post dated check ? The date doesnt matter , a check is valid when signed .
    You can deposit it and the bank has to honor it. Let him take you to court , you have to have grounds to sue.
  8. Young Pup

    Young Pup PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,522

    Why does he want to take you to court? Did you have stated in the contract that his property would be done by a certain time? Need a little more info to comprehend the problem.
  9. grotecguy

    grotecguy Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    Give him his $$ back and fire him as a customer.

    Some people you will never please.
    Mark K
  10. scuba875

    scuba875 Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    I've gotten into a jam like this before with an owner of a fun center I had a pm contract with. I finished out the contract and then raised the quote for next year by 3x what he payed. It was the longest year of my life but he signed the next years contract and is paying me to put up with his bs and even has backed off some. He's just one of those guys who is never happy. Most of my customers I don't charge travel time and even shave some time off bills because they do things for me like hook up my family with free admitance or free rides at the local carnival. They treat me good and I return the favor. Not this guy though I charge him for everything even when he calls on the phone to ask how to reset a timer on one of his rides its 125.00 bucks. Hold up your end of the contract and hit him hard for anything extra. Then decide if you want to do it again. If you decide you want to, take into consideration all the bs and charge accordingly. One or two things will happen he will find someone else or sign and you will have accomplished two things. You will show him that it costs him money when he is an a## and you will make a lot of money teaching him that lesson.
    Good Luck
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2004
  11. Duplantisjj

    Duplantisjj Senior Member
    Messages: 111

    I guess I'm also wondering exactly what is he wanting you to do? Get closer to the garage? Straighter edges on the driveway? Stack snow in an impossible location? Need more info to understand why he would threaten you with a lawsuit. :confused:
  12. stumper1620

    stumper1620 Senior Member
    Messages: 222

    just curious what the contract states & what his bi**h is, if the contract states plow at 2" and no shoveling and he's claiming your not there at 2" or not shoveling or whatever, carry a pad of paper a ruler and check time,
    keep a record for you and stick one in his door when your there showing your measurement, time your there & time storm started, then tell them no ups on service and no extras, and no freebies of any type unless they back off.
    incl. returns for city plow-ins. i know when i plow almost all my customers are done before county plows even think about their roads, as a courtesy i usually plow their side of the road on the up stream side so the drive wont get plugged, but its not in the contract nor is returns unless the whole drive requires plowing again, (full charge) any returns,my politeness, is just that, its not a requirement and i can revoke the extras at any time. i even shovel the steps for a few elders just because, but, bit** at me or hound me and it wont ever happen again. :nono: payup :gunsfiring: :drinkup:
  13. martyman

    martyman Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    thanks for the replies...

    When I first signed this customer up I stated that I do not do walkways or entrances until the second plow..of course he calles my home (which I told him not to do) and tells my wife that I didn't do the entrance on the first plow. I called the guy up and told him that I recieved back his signed contract and he wrote on the contract in pen that he wanted the walkway and entrance done and the side of his house that has high drifting snow to another entrance...I phoned him back and told him that I don't do extra walkways and If on the second plow I have time I will do his entrance like I had told him a dozen times before giving him the contract...So the two times I plowed his driveway where on time and done...two day's after we have an inch of snow and this guy calls me up to come and clean his driveway...I drive all the way over to his house and tell him that he can't call me to do and inch of snow and asked if I can return his money if he is not happy with my service and he said "fine" and slammed the door. Today he called me and said that he can't find another service and won't return the contract and is taking me to court...just ********...
  14. alittle1

    alittle1 Member
    Messages: 35

    Anytime that a contract is changed, it must be signed and initialed by both parties, otherwise you or him could write anything in you want and send it back and call it a contract. I don't think that you have a contract, but contact your lawyer if you are in doubt. At best you may have an offer to do services for a specific price, but the slave law was repelled over 100 years ago.

    Next thing to do is put 'call block' on his phone number at your home.
  15. martyman

    martyman Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    I wish I could do that...I don't even have call display except on my cell phone...You know I don't mind to refund this guy's money but he is just a dink..and my friend didn't recomment him he actually warned me that he was a bit of a dink....
  16. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I would call his bluff and not fool around trying to appease him. I agree with RAZOR, he's not going to pay a lawyer for something like that. He can't substantiate (or prove) anything. His writing on your contract is not valid. I would also not take anymore crap or slamming doors.

    I go "above and beyond" with customer service, but I will not tolerate berating or bullying. Think about it, if he broke your contract would you pay a lawyer hundreds or thousands of dollars, plus court costs? A competent lawyer would advise him of the same. It's sometimes called "frivolous lawsuit".
  17. stumper1620

    stumper1620 Senior Member
    Messages: 222

    simple enough, no extras, plow his drive first and don't do returns to clean the end unless its in the contract, penned in don't count unless you signed acknowledging the add on. no extra shoveling first or second trip with out a very high extra charge, that should be in your contract anyway "extra charges apply for extras as described in comments" thats mine. he said he can't find someone else so charge hard for extras he's a pain, be one back!
    the one thing that may be a hang up is if you had the contract before cashing the first check, if you endorsed the check that basically accepts the contract with his note added. if thats the case honor the contract as stated but, you can still make it unbearable for him with what is not included. :gunsfiring:
    this is a add on, i just reread what you say he said today, if i were you and i was going to continue to finish the contract i would call him and inform him that i am at the bank and am going to cash the second check now, i recommend cashing ASAP because i get a feeling from what you say he said that he will stop payment, then you don't' get half your money after the season is as much as over. cash it now! payup
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2004
  18. martyman

    martyman Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    So, am I required to continue his contract? He has only paid for half that I have cashed $150...
  19. QMVA

    QMVA Senior Member
    Messages: 431

    Call someone up and order a dump load of gravel. Tell them that you wont be home but to make sure its right in the middle of the driveway. Then find out when they are going to be their wait for them to drop the load. Drive up and place a big bow and letter saying how you will not be able to plow their driveway and as a gift you leave them this load of gravel. :D
  20. Robhollar

    Robhollar Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    Do yourself a favor and drop this guy. The worst a court would prob do is award him his money back anyways. You tell him either you do the drive as the contract says or your not going to do it at all.

    Or you could go this route: continue to do the drive as the contract says take pics when your done. The if he still owes you money at the end of the year sue him bring out the pics and cash your check after the court awards you your due money. ...Rob