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People and Payments

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by drh76, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. drh76

    drh76 Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    I just opened a payment from a woman who I met face to face with and agreed on 40 per storm for her plowing and steps. She emailed me to confirm we are all set to go and cost would be 40 per storm. Payment contained check for 30 with note saying we agreed on 30 per storm. Like I was trying to hose her.
    This is not the first discrepancy I have come across with people. Like someone sending a check for what they thought would be the last storm of the season for 5 dollars less than normal rate saying they would like to retain my services for next year .
    I would like to call them and quote Bad Santa" are you F'n with me" but I already know the answer is yes.
    So there are always a few bad apples. Do you find ways to deal with such people or through them back in the pot?
    For me at the moment I will have to deal with them, to a point.
  2. grasmancolumbus

    grasmancolumbus Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    there are always going to be people out there that do this kind of sh111t. This is what they do they beat you down or just plain out rip you off. You are not the first person that they have done this too and you wont be the last, this is how they are you wont be able to teach them any lesson. All you can do is maybe write down your price and have them sign it. Next time when the snow starts to pile up remind them that they have a balance even if it is 5 bucks if they dont pay it then dont plow it they can screw someone else. Good luck
  3. BSDeality

    BSDeality Senior Member
    Messages: 736

    I call it the priceline syndrome. I had the same thing happen this year with a new client. She said I quoted her $35. I told her I've never, ever, ever quoted, much less plowed a driveway for $35. Just another case of people tryin to be cheap.

    same thing last year, we had a client playing Priceline with us. signed them up $48, she called back after the first storm asking us to plow for $35. I said "I'm sorry ma'am, but thats not what our service agreement calls for" She replies "but I got a flier on my mailbox saying any driveway from XYZ for $35, you ought to match it if you want to keep my business". I knew damn well XYZ didn't quote it for that cause I took it from him @ $45 when I signed her up. It was confirmed when I ran into XYZ on the street and he asked me if I was killing the market flyering people for $35. I said hell no. She was just trying to play us against each other, I told her its $48 or find someone else and next time please don't waste my time playing name-your-own-price. Remember the Customer is always right, except when they're really wrong and you catch them in the act...
  4. grasmancolumbus

    grasmancolumbus Senior Member
    Messages: 148

  5. Turnerlandscape

    Turnerlandscape Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    For my driveway customers, every year they sign a simple one page contract. it states what the prices are.and that I leave a bill after every storm and they have 15 days to pay. if not received they incur heavy late fees. I have never had a problem with this.. and for the ones who dont like the contracts, to hell with them, that just proves they are the jerks and I dont need there business
  6. dforbes

    dforbes Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    I print a copy of all important emails and put in the customer file. I also give a written estimate so we both have a copy.
  7. RdTeK

    RdTeK Member
    Messages: 71

    With my customers, I have a seasonal contract price; in my flyers that I send out, it's stated that if payment is not received by certain date, service is stopped. This happened to me last year with three customers, just as a 30cm snowfall happened. These peeps weren't long coming up with the balance once they seen their driveway was buried in snow....talk about a sheepish look on their face too when paying up!!!!!
  8. Kenyou

    Kenyou Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    Years ago when I had a Locksmith business, I got a call from buisness lady in the wee hours of the morning to install some locks on her place of business. I quoted her the price and she said fine, I need it done. I finished the job and left. I didn't get paid, so I called her and she said she wasn't going to pay until I brought in the invoices for my costs and she would decide what the price would be. I about died. Ended up in small claims court and that was a joke. If she had pulled that while I was there, I would have destroyed the locks or put a special key in them so they couldn't be used and the next Locksmith that came to fix it would know that she doesn't pay her bills.
  9. iceyman

    iceyman 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,925

    why not just have people sign a sheet giving all your prices on it.... then when they try to bs ya you can take this paper out and say see you signed up for 45 over 3 inchs etc....
  10. albhb3

    albhb3 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,523

    damn orbits
  11. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064

    One word: Contract.

    I don't do ANYTHING without a contract. It covers your a$$! If you have it in writing, there is no "he said, she said" to it. You have a piece of paper signed by the customer stating price, payment terms, when you'll plow, etc. That way, it's pretty easy to state your case if you ever do end up in small claims. Customer signed the contract, but defaulted on it!

    Another important reason to have a contract is to include an indemnification clause which is simply your get out of jail free card. It doesn't mean they can't sue you, but it can give you substantial protection in the event of a suit. If, for instance, you have a customer that has a friend come over and the friend slips, falls, and breaks their wrist, subsequently suing your customer's homeowner's insurance, they in turn would likely investigate. The customer might say...well yes, I pay XYZ company to remove the snow AND ice from my driveway and sidewalks. The homeowner's insurance company is now seeing $ signs...they can recover the dollars they paid out from you! You protect yourself immeasurably by having a contract. It secures your fee, outlines what's expected, and limits your liability among other things.
  12. suzuki0702

    suzuki0702 Senior Member
    Messages: 649

    i had a lady do that...not to be discriminate but, she was muslim. we agreed on a price.. i sent her a bill...she wrote me a nice little note saying...

    we agreed on such and such price, i adjust price accordingly! lol i was rolling, ill never forget that saying. so i call her up and tell her thats not the deal. long story short i quit servicing her, and she eventually ponied up and reinstated her service.

    id call your customer out on it!
  13. drh76

    drh76 Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    I had saved the email she sent confirming the price, so I sent it back to her with a polite note, she did offer to pay the difference. It just funny, I know if got to her house a hour after they have to leave for work and said I though you needed to be out by 10 I would expect to be let go.
  14. bob00

    bob00 Senior Member
    Messages: 143

    i had a flag down costumer we agree its 20$ i did is drive and he came back paying me with a 10$ bill i didint say nothing and plow back all the snow then i run to me saying i was sorry about this and he give me 40$ to clear his drive again bing nasty sometimes it pay
  15. clark lawn

    clark lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    from NE ohio
    Messages: 1,233

    i like the ones that "forget" about the sales tax. its right on the invoice and they have been customers for years and had tax on their invoice for years.
  16. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064

    Luckily, in MN, there is no sales tax on snow removal. Back when I did lawn care, I had to collect tax on that, but not on snow.
  17. rosswidebeef

    rosswidebeef Member
    Messages: 38

    plow all the snow up to the garage, hit the gravel and grass as deep as possible while doing so. Theyll learn.

    I just had a lady call me and tell me she wanted to break the contact because I didnt come when it snowed, I clearly put it in the contract that I would come when she called for my service. I had been out there 10 to 12 times. keep in mind this is a tiny driveway and a block away from my house. I charged 150 for a year, no biggy. She told me to count up the pushes I've done and send her the difference. Soooooo just to be a dick I sent her a bill for another 50 dollars. Should of just kept her mouth shut and called me as needed for the rest of the season... Picky ass people wanting the whole world handed too them for pennies in return.
  18. ScnicExcellence

    ScnicExcellence Senior Member
    Messages: 352


    It is just good business.
  19. Winterized

    Winterized Senior Member
    Messages: 120

    If it's in writing.... they can not dispute it!.... But they can still ignore you....

    Having said that.... Got a reply to my Craig's List ad after a big snow storm. Not going into all the story but we agreed on price. This Lady was out of town at a meeting and needed snow cleared before she got home, about a foot. For setting this up SHE WOULD NOT CORRESPOND WITH ME ON THE PHONE.... had to go with email. I did call her.... but would not return my calls.

    Anyway.... job got done very well .... sent two bills, with SASE..... just will not pay. Very nice brick home that has turned into a crap shack. Rotten garage door panels... crap piled all over... driveway full of weeds growing in all the cracks.... you know what I'm saying.

    I'm writing her off for several reasons. She's a lady that runs a women's support kind of group at one of the local churches. THIS IS NOT A FIGHT I COULD WIN without looking like the bad guy.... not after seeing what a dump her home is as well. Am I being too judgmental? Maybe so, but life is too short for some battles.
  20. clark lawn

    clark lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    from NE ohio
    Messages: 1,233

    i accept credit cards, when i get a call or email for any one time job i get a cc# to bill it to, dont have to worry about not being paid. only had a few people that wouldnt give me a number and my thoughts are that they probably wernt going to pay anyways so no loss