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  1. #1

    Question Client Put Stop Payment On A Check For Work Already Completed

    Sorry for the long post but we need some serious advice which is greatly appreciated! We have a Home Improvement Business here in Florida and have been well established for about two and a half years.

    We gave our client a quotation in October and she accepted to have the work done right after Christmas. She paid the down payment per check (mostly used to buy materials) and we performed the work on thursday - installation of approximately 180 linear feet of aluminum gutters all around her house. After she inspected the work she gave us the final payment check as agreed upon in our quotation "final payment is due upon satisfactory completion of the work". The first check was for $700 and the second one for $480.

    She called saturday and said that she was not happy with the work and we suggested to come out on monday to fix what they thought was wrong with the gutters. Her roommate called also a little bit later and DEMANDED that we came out the same day (saturday) to fix the gutters RIGHT THEN OR ELSE - she was very rude. We bought more material and fixed only a small section because it was getting dark. Aluminum gutters are different from PVC gutters which are angled already, aluminum gutters are very hard to install perfectly level. We also pointed out BEFORE we started the job that there would be seams and that we would seal those. Both women agreed to that and didn't seem to have any problem with the seams. While we were performing the repair, 3 guys were constanly around us and acted very intimidating and pointed out issues we were going to address later. We said that the homeowners needed to take a look at the work and let us know on sunday during the day how they liked the section we fixed and we would come back out on monday to do the rest of the gutters the same way.

    They never called us on sunday. We called back on monday and the demanding one of the two women said that they wanted a FULL REFUND of the money for the whole job (including the money for the materials - adding up to around $650). We suggested to get together face to face to resolve the issues they are having.

    This morning the nicer woman called and we set up a time to meet. Later in the morning the demanding woman calls and threatens to take us to court if we would not agree to their demands, a whole refund. Tonight we met for coffee with the nicer of the two women and we suggested to her to come out and redo the work completely. She said that she was not going for that and that she had lost confidence in us completely. All of a sudden the demanding woman shows up and gets very hostile with us. Again, she threatens to take us to court and to destroy our good reputation if her demands would not be met.

    She also mentioned that she put a stop payment on the second check (she only mentioned the second check, we don't know if she also put a stop payment on the first one which we used for the materials). So that means that we are going into the hole with our bank and that the money we paid to our workers is out the door as well.

    Did they breach the contract and what legal consequences follow? Can we take them to court for non-payment for services performed? We offered remedy but they declined - we always go the extra mile to make our clients happy. Do they have a legal leg to stand on by threatening to take us to court? The mean woman also mentioned that she is considering to have someone else take down the gutters for $7 per linear foot and bill us for that work even though we offered to take down the gutters for free - can she do that?

    Thanks for any advice!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Client Put Stop Payment On A Check For Work Already Completed

    You can choose between suing for the money owed (and probably getting hit with a countersuit), waiting to see if they sue you (and then, if you wish, countersuing), or redoing the work and hoping they like it the second time around (which doesn't seem promising, from what you have said).

  3. #3

    Default Re: Client Put Stop Payment On A Check For Work Already Completed

    Thanks for replying! See, that is the problem - they won't let us remedy the "problems" at all - we are professionals and have done gutters many times before and never had a problem - there is nothing wrong with the gutters at all except they have sealed seams every 10 ft which was ok with the clients before we started the job and that they are not 100% level because of the way their facia is shaped and the aluminum gutters are made. We have offered numerous times to come out and completely redo the whole gutters free of charge - we even made a trip out to their residence 25 miles one way away from where we live on saturday afternoon. We think, since it took them 2 months to decide that they want the work done until after Christmas, that they are in a financial crunch and just noticed that they really can't afford to have those gutters done and now just want out of the contract.

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