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Third party wants to set up a contract but remain anonymous

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by digger242j, Dec 28, 2002.

  1. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    I had an interesting call yesterday. A gentleman asked about setting up driveway plowing and sidewalk shovelling for two residential properties. Neither of these properties are his. He wishes to contract for the service and pay the bills. He also wishes to remain anonymous to the two property owners. I didn't interrogate him as to his reasons, or his relationship to these individuals, but in the course of our conversation I learned that one of them is an elderly gentleman.

    My question is this--what do you see as the pitfalls in this setup?
    I've thought of a few, but to keep form influencing anyone's thinking process I'll just leave the question wide open.
  2. BRL

    BRL PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 1,277

    Well, if I catch some service provider on my property doing work that I didn't hire them for, they're going to hope that the cops get there before my shot gun ;) That's the first problem I see. Mr. Anon. may not be the authorized agent to obtain said services for the property owners. Make sure the contract has lots of things in there explaining no matter what, Mr. Anon. pays you (plowed or not plowed, kicked off property, etc. etc.). Other than that, I can't see any real problems. Good luck.
  3. Mick

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

    Contact each resident. Explain the situation and ask if that's ok for the person to remain anonymous. The resident has the right to say he doesn't want this. Then get some money in advance to work against unless your reasonably sure you'll get paid.
  4. BRL

    BRL PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 1,277

    I agree with Mick. I wouldn't do any work unless the property owner has approved it. Mr. Anon. may have the best of intentions, but if you show up to plow, Mr. Elderly might think you are trying to scam him, or he may have a shiny new garden tractor with snow plow sitting in the garage ;) . Either way, he won't want you plowing his driveway if that's the case. See: http://www.plowsite.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=7683
  5. Temco

    Temco Member
    Messages: 66

    Don't know if this is off topic or off post but as I was reading this something came to mind. How do you handle contracts where people who owe you money die or suddenly became deathly ill and are moved away to some assisted living facility? If Mr.Anonymous does just have good intentions for elderly neighbors, would the contract simply just terminate at this point?
  6. Mick

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

    Generally, if people die, you can send a claim against the estate to the administrator. If they become incapacitated, a bill should be sent to the conservator (person empowered to handle their affairs). In either case if this is a lawyer or a banker, they will want more than just a statement saying so and so owes me this much.

    You might be able to deal with a family member, which case you will be much better off.
  7. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I pretty much agree with Mick's original post. There's always a risk involved of a disagreement upon terms of service when you're not dealing directly with your client, but you can probably get a feel for the people you're dealing with when you talk to them.

    I'd proceed cautiously, but not write it off.
  8. Got Grass?

    Got Grass? Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    First I would talk to the resident of the property you will be plowing. Tell him that an anonymous friend had contacted you and is willing to pay for his driveway to be plowed.
    Give him a contract with the normal hold harmess clause & what you will be doing. State on the contract "PAID IN FULL" but before it's signed tell him you needed to make sure it was ok with him & after the other guy pay's you will have him sign it. Go back to the anonymous guy, make him sign a contract also for your records of what he paid you for. So he cant say you cashed a check but it was for his driveway. Get a check for the full ammount & cash it. Then go back to the one you will be plowing and make him sign the contract stated that he owes you NOTHING!
  9. Hawkz

    Hawkz Member
    Messages: 41

    I like the idea of someone trying to help out, but he may be causing more harm than good. Just my opinion- it might escalate into something far worse or on the other hand it may be a good proposition for you. Just think of any ways that it may backfire and keep that in mind, so when little old elderly comes outside and asks "What in the sam hell are you doing?!" w/ his shovel or snow removal equipment don't be surprised. I had a great experience w/ an elderly male, it was not bad, just caught me off guard.
    Is the man who called you a friend of the two residents, a local business man that they might know, unless they know them I would be a little hesitant on it. Some people enjoy shoveling snow even if they have to use a broken down piece of sheeit shovel. Some people seem to take offense to you asking them to do there shoveling or s. removal. It may be exercise for them, time to get out of house, or just plain old "I can do it, for christ sake. It seems to me that some really like the idea of you helping out and the other 1/3rd hates the idea. Maybe knock on the doors and introduce yourself, or maybe do the work until they come out and thank you. Either way- be careful, some elderly think that you may be targeting them for a scam. Hope this might help, Bring on the snow, Hawkz
  10. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    Thanks to those who replied. I had to call the gentleman and tell him we couldn't fit him into the schedule. The two accounts would have had to be our lowest priority and it didn't seem like it would be a good business move to add them.
  11. BRL

    BRL PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 1,277

    Oh come on! You couldn't at least find out the details to satisfy our curiousity? Booo!!! :nono: