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Unprofessional "Professional" Mowed My Lawn, But Did Not Call Or Take Payment

Unprofessional "Professional" Mowed My Lawn, But Did Not Call Or Take Payment

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  #1  
Old 06-22-18, 07:43 PM
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Unhappy Unprofessional "Professional" Mowed My Lawn, But Did Not Call Or Take Payment

I called on behalf of my mom (whose English is weak) to ask this person whose business is literally just his first and last name to come mow our lawn. Nothing else, just mow the lawn. He appeared on our designated date, almost an hour before the appointment I made with him, did not call first.

I asked him how much it would be, he said '$35' I said 'Ok.' I showed him the front and backyard and asked if he would be able to mow today. He said he was 'Very behind' and had to catch up with a lot of other lawns. I said 'Ok' and I asked if he was free on Friday. He said 'Yes, what time?' I said '11'. 'OK, see you then.'

It's Friday, 10 AM, this time he did not even come to the door. I was downstairs doing the laundry when he came by, mowed the front lawn only and left. I went upstairs and saw the lawn had been mowed? I thought maybe he will come back for the backyard at 11. It became 11:15, I called and asked 'Will you be coming back to do the backyard.' He said 'I don't know, very busy. Your gate was locked.' I said 'I wish you had called or knocked, I would be able to just come out an open the gate. When would you be able to come back?' he said 'I don't know.' I said 'Well, if you come by today I will pay you for the front lawn and we can call it a day.' He said 'OK' I asked 'How much will it be for the front lawn.' He said '$20 I guess.' 'OK I said, see you later then.'

It is now past 8:30 PM and according to 'business hours' he is closed. He never came by to pick up the $20. My main concern is can he try to take some sort of legal action against me, like that he came and mowed and I didn't pay? He did not call, knock, text nothing when he arrived and I can't hear anything downstairs. He did not come at the times he made an appointment for. He mowed without even checking if anyone is home. I In the end I called my brother to mow the back lawn (my mom and myself can't because we have the same back issue which makes pushing the mower impossible). Do I have to be afraid that this person might take some sort of action against me after not coming to collect his payment? As he said he would?? Any advice or knowledge on these kinds of issues would be appreciated. Thank you!
 
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  #2  
Old 06-22-18, 08:12 PM
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Not all people are great communicators - this guy is a great example. You owe $20 and have learned a lot about him. Tell him that you need advance notice to unlock the yard if he wants the full time responsibility for the property. He most likely will not sue you over a small payment. It is just a learning experience that you two need to understand and work through. If he cut the lawn nice in the front, then for $35 for the whole property, it is a nice price. Work with him, give him the benefit and understand that he may be great at cutting lawns, but not so good as a business man.
 
  #3  
Old 06-22-18, 08:20 PM
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I'm sure if he wants his money he will stop and get it. I would not worry about it.
 
  #4  
Old 06-22-18, 09:54 PM
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Exactly.

And just to add, I don't know of anyone who makes "appointnents" to mow a yard. I know that if he couldn't be there at the time you agreed on, he shouldn't have said yes, but whatever. I understand being busy... you can't be everywhere at once. I also don't know of too many people who need/ want paid on the spot... unless that's what was agreed upon. Personally I just keep track of all my work hours and then usually I do all my billing at the start of a new month. That's when most people expect bills anyway. Billing is the least favorite part of my job.

If you need a lawn service that is more professional / timely I think you probably need a bigger outfit to do the job. But I doubt they would like encountering locked gates either. For lawn services, time is literally money.
 
  #5  
Old 06-23-18, 05:00 AM
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I had a couple large trees (75'-80' tall Hemlocks) damaged in a windstorm on April 5th, and arranged to have a local Arborist (timberjack) come and cut them down and remove the debris on April 6th.

When I didn't get a bill after a week had passed, I sent him an email reminding him that I needed an invoice and documenting the fact that "if" one had been sent, I didn't get it.

I got an email response the next day saying that billing isn't his best feature and that a bill hadn't yet been prepared . . . . I guess he wasn't too worried about being paid; and I ceased thinking about this as an overdue obligation.

So I was out working on my car when the Arborist drove by on May 5th and stopped and gave me an Invoice . . . . and I wrote him a check on the spot. But I'm glad I had earlier documented my concern about not being billed.
 
  #6  
Old 06-23-18, 07:38 AM
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Well said XSleeper!
This time of year your lucky he fit you in at all, just judging by my own experience in my own lawn mowing business.
One rain day and your behind, one employee does not show up, mower breaks down and your screwed.
This time of year I'm working 7 days a week if it's not raining just trying to keep up.
(I'm home now because it's been raining for 2 days and I have to wait for things to dry out)
I have some customers that want it done every week, some every 2 weeks, even some once a month.
Then I always get the people that call at the last min. that there's mowers broken down or can not make it down to do it there self.
Some pay when it's done, others I have to email or text to let them know it's been done, still others pay me ahead for a month at a time.
I have some customers that in 9 years I've never even met in person.
Every week I get new customers without even looking for them.
It's all I can do to try and keep track of it all.
Every week I hear something like, while your here can you trim my bushes, cut down this tree, spread some mulch Ect.
Plus all the time spent trying to maintain the equipment.
 
  #7  
Old 06-25-18, 01:35 PM
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czi, vermont, tolyn Thank you for the helpful feedback.

For the ones saying I'm lucky he fit me in and be more specific. If he was unable to fit me in, he should have been honest and said it was not possible. I also asked him *several* times when he would be by to pick up the payment to which he responded "I don't know" I even asked him if he could tell me when he would stop by to pick up the payment, his answer was "I don't know." I can't stay home all day to wait for when it will be "convenient" I work a very packed schedule. As I said, if he had simply called or texted I would have been able to let him in. The gate is not even locked. Literally you can lift the latch and it will let you into the backyard.

Anyway, thank you to those with helpful feedback. I'm going to attempt to contact him one more time and make a cashier's check to be paid to the business.
 
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