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Unauthorized trailer cleaning, WWYD?

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  • Unauthorized trailer cleaning, WWYD?

    Over a year ago, my 2H Straight load gooseneck trailer horse compartment needed to be pressure washed. It is 3 years old, has a white skin and is stored in the sun so wasn't all that dirty but I wanted the mats pulled up inside, etc.

    I board at a private polo barn (am the only boarder) and asked BO about the guy who had done her trailer that year (it was the first time she had used him..he is a seasonal guy who was marketing his cleaning services.)

    She gave me his number and I called him. I left him a message with who I was, what I wanted done and that I wanted to see if he would set up an appt with me to look at the trailer and give me an estimate. He never called back.

    A couple weeks later, I went to the barn and my trailer was wet (inside and out) with mats down on floor, but clean. BO tells me guy has come and cleaned my trailer...no bill, no phone call. I didn't appreciate him cleaning the trailer without my permission, nor a set price. I never heard from him.

    Fast forward to today. Guy has called BO wanting my number to collect on services from over a year ago.

    On one hand, I do appreciate the fact he was motivated and got the work done but, otoh, he left my mats down on a wet floor, didn't have my permission nor was a price discussed...AND it is now a year later. It is a private polo community but BO does not have any allegiance to this guy either.


  • #2
    I don't pay for services I don't request period. But I would make sure BO didn't give the cleaner guy the go ahead thinking that's what you wanted them to do. It could all be a big misunderstanding and BO feels bad.


    • Original Poster


      Last year when it happened, BO said she saw him from a distance but never talked to him since she was giving a lesson..just assumed I had given him the go ahead. (BTW, the trailer is also located on her private property which I never bring anyone on without express advance permission. )

      If, just to be sure that things are smooth, I decide to talk to him and pay him...I am not sure what to pay him. It was not acid washed, but was nicely pressure washed. Any thoughts? I have paid $210 for thorough cleaning including acid wash and pull out of mats of this trailer since then.

      Thanks for your input


      • #4
        I couldn't tell you. I am that sucker that lets every non-trailer owning rider borrow her trailer, the plus side has been that a few times it has come back from being borrowed with a fresh power wash! I would talk to the guy about what happened and how you were shocked he did it without discussing it with you and see if you can agree on a price. Nothing bothers me more in this industry than peoples willingness to provide a service without being asked to provide it. I have had people hired to pull manes decide that the pony needed a clip too (prob. cause rent was due) and proceed to do it without permission and bill me for it! Needless to say I didn't help them pay rent. Wow LOL sorry this topic obviously strikes a nerve with me


        • Original Poster


          WOW! Now that is chutzpah! Clipping without permission?!

          I have never experienced overeager taskmasters...actually quite the opposite where I can't quite get whomever is scheduled to come do a task and I end up, in frustration, doing it myself.

          I wonder if I was remiss in not calling him last year in hindsight. But, I figured if he wanted to get paid, he would call or leave a bill and then we could discuss the lack of permission prior to performing said cleaning - but never considered he would wait a year. The types of things that worry me are the liability - if he said he slipped and fell in my trailer and hurt his back...in this litigious society - which is why it bothers me particularly that he didn't have permission and was in my personal property.


          • #6
            I think it's reasonable to hear how much he'd like to be paid, and if you think it's fair, pay him. But I'd let him know you prefer to work with a much higher level of communication, thanks for his time, here's your check, goodbye.
            Click here before you buy.


            • #7
              I dunno. I'd cut the guy some slack and remember that 1) It could be worse; and 2) Looking for seasonal work is a tough way to make a living.

              In other words, we'd like everyone to be super-professional about their work but we do benefit from people who will work for much less that do white-collar types, do hard jobs and will tolerate the odd-job way of paying the bills.

              All the stuff about the principle of not asking permission or the itinerant guy suing you? I'd do my very best to keep things in perspective before I got really mad.

              As to showing up a year later, hand out? It's surprising, but you did say that you waited for him to call you after he had done the work. Don't stand on ceremony and not pay someone because of that. I'd return his calls, explain the parts of what happened that make you unhappy and negotiate a price for what he did.

              If you don't like the price or his side of the conversation, let him know you're sorry for your part in it, but that with this check, you consider your business concluded.

              If you like the "total picture" of what he did and how he handles this conversation, you may have a great trailer cleaner on call when you need him, however infrequently. Tell him you will call him in the future with more specific instructions (the thing about mats replaced while wet).
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat


              • #8
                Holy Schmoly - $210!! Seriously, pulling out your mats and hosing down and scrubbing your walls might take you 30 mins if you did it yourself.

                I would find out how much the guy wants and then see if you feel that was reasonable. If I were you, and was unhappy, I would have complained at the time, not a year later.

                I don't even know what "acid washed" is and I have owned a trailer for 20 years.


                • #9
                  30mins?!?!!! LOL! Last year- it took me 30 mins just to hook up the pressure washer! It took me about 4 hours to clean the 4H trailer. It was completey mucked and swept already. 4 hours to pressure wash inside/out and putz with gates/mats, etc. You can get an acid wash at the truck stop for $50 or so. Cleaning the inside and messing with mats is worth quite a few bucks- its a pain!

                  I agree w/pps. I would talk to hm and see what he expects. Explain that while you would always pay for a scheduled job, you didn't expect him to do the job without discussing with you first.


                  • #10
                    I'm with delta on this one!

                    Look, although the guy didn't call you with his estimate he did do the work. If the price is reasonable I'd just go ahead and pay the guy, but tell him it's not to happen again unless he has authorization from you! Hopefully he will just go away....

                    Look, times are tough--see if you can come to a meeting of the minds on the price. The guy did do the work and maybe he needs the money now.
                    "I'm not much into conspiracy theories but if everyone thinks alike you don't need a plot!" ~person from another bulletin board whose name has been long forgotten~


                    • #11
                      He comes asking for money a YEAR later? He's SOL in my book.


                      • #12
                        I would decide what the job was worth then cut a check and include a WRITTEN statement with the payment about the fact that the cleaning was never authorized nor a price agreed upon, although you appreciate the fact it was accomplished...and if he wants your business again (and wants to be paid for it) a price must be agreed upon BEFORE the work is done - or you consider the job to be free!

                        Putting it in writing (as long as he can read) will make it clear - just be certain you CLEARLY state your expectations and waht will happen/will NOT happen if he fails to abide by what you've written.

                        Include his and your contact information on the write-up along with a date a re-cap of the circumstances that occurred so you have everything documented in case you ever need it again. (Keep a copy).
                        Now in Kentucky


                        • Original Poster

                          Thanks all for your input. My gut says to figure out what a pressure wash cleaning is worth, put it in writing, keep a copy and pay him. He DID do the work. I just was very surprised he waited a year to contact me. Polo season starts in Oct so it isn't like he just made it back to this area.

                          Re: acid wash. Very useful for aluminum trailers. Although it can be done at a truck wash for $75 in Ocala, there is nothing close to where I live so the price goes up since it is a manual process...and pulling up the mats and scrubbing all the crevasses...I have done it and it takes hours so am willing to pay someone for the hard labor it took them.


                          • #14
                            We had a tree removal company do the same thing. Wanted a written quote and a copy of their insurance. Came back from vacation and the tree was down. And they left the wood just behind our fence.

                            We said no way were we paying them what they wanted, they needed to remove the wood and we negotiated for 1/2 of what they wanted.

                            I would just pay him what ity was worth (and I would think that $210 would be highly overpriced, considering he did not pull out the mats.

                            Good luck.


                            • #15
                              Sorry, I wouldn't pay ANYBODY for ANY unauthorized services. And they for sure would be SOL a year later. I don't care how much care they took or how nice the job was. If you pay them they will be popping round anytime they need a buck. Some woman around here was arrested for breaking into someone's house, cleaning it, and providing them a cleaning bill for her maid service, and well she should have been arrested. I would be especially indignant about anyone entering any vehicle I own without prior authorization. I mean, what next? Farriers or vets popping by and providing services because you called to ask the prices of shots, trims, shoes or castrations? Bunch of BS in my book.
                              America dialed 911. Donald Trump answered the phone.

                              Stop pumping money into colleges and start getting ready to earn money in the projected tradesman shortage of 2024. Make Trades Great Again!


                              • #16
                                Slight difference here.

                                First, OP did not receive a service she did not want.

                                She plainly wanted her trailer washed and said so.

                                Although she did not get a quote and agree to the price, whatever it is, she did receive value and a value that she wanted.

                                Therefore, she should pay.

                                If the charge is out of line, say so and adjust the payment.

                                Give a lecture on the proper way to conduct business, but don't mistreat a guy whose only mistake was not understanding good business practices.

                                The fact that he waited a year to ask for his money makes it clear that he is not skilled in business practices.

                                Obviously he needs some coaching.


                                • #17
                                  Remember the old days, when you'd pull up at a stoplight in New York or Acapulco or somewhere, and a kid would materialize out of nowhere, slop dirty water on your windshield, briefly brandish a squeegee, and demand to be paid?

                                  The OP's situation is a bit different, of course, because if the trailer was actually cleaner after the procedure (unlike the above scenario), everyone wins. Pay the poor guy.
                                  Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life


                                  • #18
                                    Folks, this thread is from 2010...
                                    Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by kookicat View Post
                                      Folks, this thread is from 2010...
                                      HAHAHAHA...thanks for being our wide awake, noticing things, voice of reason!

                                      sheesh. I read the whole thing too........never even taking notice.
                                      "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                                      --Jimmy Buffett


                                      • #20
                                        We had a tree that we wanted to have taken down in our backyard back in Baltimore (a townhouse). We asked for quotes from several tree trimmers, asked one for his insurance info. We went on vacation, came back and the tree was gone. Not only did he take the tree down without permission, but he didn't remove the felled trunk and branches, just stacked them behind our fence on community property. We made him come back and remove the wood, and paid him 1/2 of what he billed us.