Take trip to your local tavern. I am sure you can find one of the regulars
there who will give him a $50 attitude adjustment. During the adjustment,
have the adjuster remind him that you expect free shoveling for life, or
another adjustment will be given.
I suggest that you do the following:
*Write the man a letter* (do not do this verbally) saying the following:
1. You and I agreed on ______ (date) that you would clear my driveway of
snow throughout this winter for $300. This amount reflects a revision we
agree to after you realized that my driveway was longer than average.
2. We agreed that I would pay you $150 downpayment that i would pay the
remaining $150 in January.
3. This past week (give the date) you then demanded the remaining $150,
several weeks earlier than we agreed. I paid you early.
4. Now you want even more money than the $300.
5. Even though you have failed to clear my driveway of snow several
times (though you did clear the snow from my neighbor's driveway on
these occasions) I did offer to pay you more but only if you would
guarantee to clear my driveway by 8AM. I am under the impression that
you refused to accept this quid-pro-quo modification to our original
6. I would like to restate my offer. I am willing to pay you $___ extra
whenever you clear my driveway of snow before 8AM as a "quick response
surcharge". But this additional surcharge will be paid to you on each
such occasion, not as an advance. No further monies will be paid to you
7. Please be advised that the next time you fail to clear my driveway of
snow, I will consider you in breach of our original agreement and may
file a claim in small claims court seeking a partial refund of the
monies I paid to you under our agreement, for failure to perform services.
If you agree to this 8AM surcharge, please sign and date below and give
this letter back to me, keeping a copy for your records. If you do not
agree, our original verbal agreement is still in full force and effect.
You name here his name here
date ( ) date( )
He doesn't have to sign. Her letter is a written record of their verbal
agreement. If he doesn't respond, either in a writing of his own or by
signing her agreement, it amounts, pretty much, to his tacit acceptance
of her statement of the terms of that verbal agreement.
It also puts him on notice that she intends to have him live up to the
Most important of all, the letter sets up a possible win-win scenario:
she will pay him some surcharge for reliable and extra-prompt 8AM
service, but not as a lump-sum advance. It's a possible way out, where
she doesn't lose her money and he stands to earn some more money from
Optimistic maybe, but not stupid.
Dan C wrote:
Hell, I'll do it for $250. Of course, you have to pay up front. I will e
mail you my snail mail addy where you can send the small denomination bills
in a plain envelope.
I'll get back to you as to when I can work you into my busy schedule.
Probably after snow melt.
If he doesn't come back, which is likely to happen, and you want to get
some satisfaction, you can sue him in small claims court. Of course
that will take time, but may make you feel good. There are two
! - Proving your case
I assume you don't have anything in writing, which is a lessoned
learned. If you live in a state that allows recording of phone
conversations with only one party's consent, you could try to get him
on the phone and record him discussing the deal. You say look, I
paid you x, you agreed to do y, you didn't show up, etc. If he
doesn't deny it, you have pretty good proof. You could also carry a
pocket recorder, again if your state laws allow this. Sometimes jerks
like this will leave a mesg on your answering machine that is good
evidence of what they did. Be sure to save it if he does.
2 - Collecting a judgement
Most of these skunks are judgement proof, so unless you know he has a
real job or assets, collecting will likely be impossible.
I hope you got a written contract. Otherwise there is little you can
do other than beat the crap out of the guy. DO NOT give him more
With that said, you really are posting to the wrong newsgroup.
Take this to one of the newsgroups with the word "legal" in the name.
Actually, just as the 'man' said (the one who called me an ignorant
bitch), I'm pretty much just venting here; wasn't looking for legal
advice because I know there's no way to deal within the legal system
with this kind of guy. I also wanted to hear what people had to say
about paying up front. Some of you say I should expect to do it, some
of you insist it shouldn't be necessary. The two contractors I've used
successfully for a number of jobs only asked for anything up front when
one of them had to buy a chain link gate and a storm door that I asked
him to install. He asked me to pay for those up front, which I happily
did. My other contractor wouldn't even take payment right after he
finished the job--he insisted on sending me a bill and having me pay
Still, I understand the concept of paying up front as a good faith
gesture. It's just that I don't seem to be getting any such gestures
back from these guys who insist on getting paid up front.
Probably for every good contractor out there who insists on money up
front, there is one who doesn't. I just have to find those. I don't
mind paying for jobs up front when specific materials are involved, but
when it's just labor (or substantially labor), what about THEM trusting
ME as a gesture of good faith for a change?!?
You must understand that Dan C is just a boy who is left alone a lot by his
strolling mommy ...
wasn't looking for legal
Legally, you are screwed. You can get a judgement in small claims, but it
is only good for toilet paper and fire starter.
I also wanted to hear what people had to say
I am mixed up. Is this man a CONTRACTOR? If so, you should have recourse
through your own state's agencies. What he is doing is illegal. In our
state, this would be a felony.
Some of you say I should expect to do it, some
It's the deal YOU make. If some workman doesn't like your terms, find
The two contractors I've used
See. Every deal and workman is different.
He asked me to pay for those up front, which I happily
Now, that man is a real contractor. Invoicing you, having a check from you
as proof of payment.
No, it's not good faith. It's some slimeball whispering in your ear, "Trust
It's just that I don't seem to be getting any such gestures
Ask the men for their licenses, and for their insurance company to mail you
DIRECT a copy of their liability insurance and worker's comp. That will
separate the real contractors from the slimeballs.
You still call these men contractors, and some of them are not. A real
contractor has licenses. He has insurance. He is bonded to finish the job.
A real contractor will whip these out or have their insurance companies mail
you certificates. DO NOT accept any insurance certificate they provide,
only those mailed DIRECTLY to you. Insurance certs are easily created or
copied. All the others are slimeballs who are at the same time are
whispering, "Trust me", and sliding their hand down your pants.
Steve, an ex steel erection contractor in the State of Nevada
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.