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Boarder leaves with horse and texts

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  • #21
    If the ex-boarder takes lessons, then I would want payment up front whenever the credit for lessons you allow runs out. I would worry about further payment, and I wonder if the boarder will only come to you for lessons as long as there is credit left, and then bail on you too.

    However, I wouldn't do the lesson credit anyway. You had a boarding contract, and it calls for 30 days notice. I think you are being generous about not making the boarder pay more than one month.
    Last edited by JanM; Oct. 13, 2012, 05:01 PM.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White

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    • #22
      Originally posted by ptownevt View Post
      Yeah, texting is less than classy but a lot of people are terribly uncomfortable saying things like this face to face or even over the phone. It seems more and more are using text to avoid any kind of unpleasantness or discomfort.
      Yeah, I know. That's also the reason I'd keep my side of the street clean as the BO and proceed with impersonal-ness and caution going forward. The HO is adult enough to own a horse, get into a financial relationship with that, can do something inconvenient and a bit surprising for the BO.... but can't stomach a conversation about that?

      If this were me, I'd only be pulling a horse after 7 days in two circumstances:

      1. There was something really, really wrong with the care.

      2. I found a helluva deal that I didn't want to miss.

      In either case, I'd assume that I lost October's board. I'd assume (but have to ask) if we could just assume our contract was over-- I didn't owe for November's board.

      I once boarded at a training barn with a nice/unusual clause in it's contract that would have helped here: Either side could bail on the deal within the first week and have the whole thing end. I believe that in that case the rest of that first month would have been refunded. The point was to allow anyone who was seriously unhappy to leave. The BO took some risk as the stall would sit open for 3 weeks (maybe). But then again, the trainer didn't have to put up with a very bad fit and also had "bought" the right to kick out a HO who revealed in that first week something that she just couldn't live with.
      The armchair saddler
      Politically Pro-Cat

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      • #23
        This.

        Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
        You can pretty much do whatever you like since they are the one who broke the contract. Do what you feel is fair, and won't leave you resentful.
        The problem with political jokes is that they get elected.
        H. Cate

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        • #24
          I really don't even see why this is a question.

          Originally posted by Frizzle View Post
          Well, her horse was @ your barn for a week, so at the very least you should keep 1/4 of the board. Personally, I don't think you should refund her any money, through lesson credits or otherwise. She signed a contract and agreed to your terms, so she needs to stick to them. I don't think you would get a bad reputation for simply holding someone to the (very reasonable) terms of the contract to which they agreed.
          This. Someone comes in, pays board, then moves horse a week later with no notice, for no reason? To heck with that noise. Put on your big girl panties and stick to the contract you both signed. If you're worried about getting a bad business reputation, you can guarantee just that by making people sign contracts that you don't honor.
          In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
          A life lived by example, done too soon.
          www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

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          • #25
            Echoing what several others have said, she broke the contract without notice and you do not owe her anything. I personally would not want continued business with someone who would handle a business transaction this way. If she does wind up taking lessons with you, I hope all goes well, but I have a funny feeling she might be as fickle about that or turn out to be a PITA student.

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            • #26
              I used to be very accommodating in situations like this. Over time I have come to the conclusion that it is most often better to just stick to the terms of the original contract fair and square. Being fair to yourself as a business owner is nothing that will tarnish your reputation with any reasonable person.

              I think you have gone above and beyond to offer a lesson credit to this person. I would just remain pleasant and professional, explain that you were entitled to charge an additional 30 days, but you decided to offer a lesson credit as a gesture of goodwill, note the different daily vs. monthly rate and leave it at that.

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              • #27
                Originally posted by ptownevt View Post
                I'm actually surprised by the tone of responses. It seems to me that similar threads have sided overwhelmingly with no refund, no way, no how.
                Anyway, if you have a signed contract that requires 30 days notice you owe nothing. I don't know of any boarding barns that would refund anything on this type of situation nor do I know anyone who would think poorly of the barn owner for refusing. Perfectly legitimate to just follow the contract. The barns I know would likely bill for the week used.
                Yeah, texting is less than classy but a lot of people are terribly uncomfortable saying things like this face to face or even over the phone. It seems more and more are using text to avoid any kind of unpleasantness or discomfort.
                Exactly. To me, giving her a refund shows that you can be walked over/run over pretty easily. You have a contract! Apply it. It was HER decision to sign the contract and to leave. Too bad, so sad.
                You care about your reputation? You did nothing wrong, why would your reputation be at risk? except that now, you would look like easy to manipulate.

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                • #28
                  Refunding ANY money or giving ANY credit against lessons sets a dangerous precedent for your business. If you do it for her, you could easily end up legally having to do it for everyone & anyone. When you have a business & have contracts set up, you can't just go picking &/or choosing who gets to stick to them.

                  Business is business & contracts are contracts. It's unfortunate that more horse-owners don't realize this.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    In my professional world contracts are broken and typically never read. As a consultant we are always willing to do what we have to keep clients happy. It really does suck at times but getting paid is the only thing that matters. There have been clients that I have had that behaved like entitled teenagers, so I am not sure why the horse world should function any differently.

                    Just my observation.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by stolen virtue View Post
                      In my professional world contracts are broken and typically never read. As a consultant we are always willing to do what we have to keep clients happy. It really does suck at times but getting paid is the only thing that matters. There have been clients that I have had that behaved like entitled teenagers, so I am not sure why the horse world should function any differently.

                      Just my observation.
                      I agree with you in principle - but in the tiny world that is the horse world, disregarding a contract for one person can & most likely will at some point come back & bite the BO in the ass in a serious monetary fashion down the road. And there's only so many times one can say that they "bent the rules" for "special circumstances". We ALL have "special circumstances" at one time or another in our lives. But if everyone always "bent the rules", it would be chaotic.

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by stolen virtue View Post
                        In my professional world contracts are broken and typically never read. As a consultant we are always willing to do what we have to keep clients happy. It really does suck at times but getting paid is the only thing that matters. There have been clients that I have had that behaved like entitled teenagers, so I am not sure why the horse world should function any differently.

                        Just my observation.
                        I'll bet you get paid better than most BOs.

                        In general, everyone has an internal calculus for figuring out how much shite they'll take for how much money. If the pay is enough, it's easier to agree to what we consider poor treatment. And if one pays enough to get people to endure poor treatment from one, one can reconsider the cost of that.
                        The armchair saddler
                        Politically Pro-Cat

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                        • #32
                          If the horse owner is new to the whole owning/boarding thing maybe you should contact her and ask her what she thinks the contract says and what she thinks it means. She may think what she paid you was an either/or (board or lessons) unless I misunderstood what you have written so far. Either way I would not refund the money since boarding is a pay in advance deal.
                          My blog: Crackerdog Farm

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                          • #33
                            This ~

                            This sounds "right' to me ~

                            Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
                            You can pretty much do whatever you like since they are the one who broke the contract. Do what you feel is fair, and won't leave you resentful.
                            Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

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                            • #34
                              If I were you I would treat the remaining October board as payment in lieu of 30 days notice, which means the ex-boarder still owes you 7 days board. You can let her know you are waiving the additional 7 days.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by Woodsperson View Post
                                If I were you I would treat the remaining October board as payment in lieu of 30 days notice, which means the ex-boarder still owes you 7 days board. You can let her know you are waiving the additional 7 days.
                                Definitely the best idea so far!

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #36
                                  Boarder's daughter has taken lessons for a little over a year. Horse came Sept 1st and they are building a barn which should be done end of this month. So this was not a long term boarder, but they left via text 7 days into the month. Asked me to use "credit" to pay for a blanket they wanted me to pick up. Which really that is money out of my pocket.

                                  The board goes toward grain, hay, insurance and paying me for my time. We are not talking expensive board. 200 a month! So boarder wants blanket to go as credit and then lessons. I do think after they use up lessons I will never see them again as horse is at home and we all know how that goes.

                                  The board was "corrected" as boarder said 200 a month at 31 days is 6.45 and I said the daily rate is 9.00 a day if horse comes in for just a few days. My barn my rules there.

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                                  • Original Poster

                                    #37
                                    Originally posted by Woodsperson View Post
                                    If I were you I would treat the remaining October board as payment in lieu of 30 days notice, which means the ex-boarder still owes you 7 days board. You can let her know you are waiving the additional 7 days.
                                    This is a great idea, but then again small horse world. I'd love to say "this is what I SHOULD do". I do agree on the "if I let this person control me what will I do for the next?" It's a second business the horses and I need to treat them as such. Or I could just not answer anymore emails or texts and therefore credit could never be used. I do not text, ever. Other then to my husband once in a while. I think it's impersonal and unprofessional for things like this.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by ptownevt View Post
                                      Yeah, texting is less than classy but a lot of people are terribly uncomfortable saying things like this face to face or even over the phone. It seems more and more are using text to avoid any kind of unpleasantness or discomfort.
                                      Does anyone remember when it was just appalling to leave a voice mail about something that really should have been discussed in person -- or at the very least in a 2 way phone call? I think I've spent the last 20 years on the war path about using email professionally for anything besides communicating factual information and dealing w/ emotional fallout (DRAMA) from email misunderstandings amongst others.

                                      I can see the allure of using a text to terminate a business arrangement w/ someone that you are irate with and know that you will never see again (though I've lived long enough to believe that you will always see a person again-- especially if you burn a bridge / make an ass out of yourself); but, this is just weird to me. She signed a contract requiring 30 days notice; then decides to move her horse w/o notice; and is okay w/ lesson credit -- meaning she will see BO in person, so she's not that uncomfortable.

                                      OP, did she originally seek a refund and then indicate she would "settle" for lesson credit?

                                      I don't know - thankfully in my professional business experience, I have always had very open and honest relationships, and we sat down at a table to discuss things. And, the few times that we decided to part ways; both parties felt that the decision was fair and for the best. I guess in my own professional life, negotiation was such a rewarding process & really an art form; but it's about figuring out what everybody really needs and usually involves eye contact and shaking hands and relationships that last a long time -- also, both parties FULLY grasped what signing a contract meant -- though the written contract was a formality - "shaking on it" meant something. So, I may be old school; but no, you are not going to send me a text as if you never signed a contract requiring 30 days notice and expect a refund / credit; but if you call and ask to sit down and discuss the 30 days notice and share some sincere, legitimate reason / justification for a refund or credit, I'm glad to discuss it and consider it. And, even if I decided that I would NOT give the refund; I would try to be as diplomatic as possible and part on the best terms possible. In this case, off of the top of my head, I would go over the terms of the contract; make it clear that the 30 days notice is required. However, If I was able to re-rent the stall within that 30 day period, I would be willing to consider a refund for the days the stall was rented less any costs to advertise the available stall; which still wouldn't cover costs of additional time & effort on my part to meet w/ prospective boarders, thoroughly clean & sanitize stall for next horse, quarantine new horse, etc. Again, not a barn owner -- thank goodness -- but I have to suspect that in addition to being clueless about appropriate interpersonal communication; this boarder is clueless about the the real world -- or at least the professional real world, and the time/money/effort involved for BO. OR, boarder is smart enough to figure that it's worth a shot to just ask for refund as if contract doesn't exist and her actions are the norm???
                                      Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by halteralter98 View Post
                                        I had a boarder that paid for a month of board on Oct 1st. On the 7th said boarder left with horse and took to another barn. Sent a text and said "X offered to keep horse". That was it, that was all. Would you be willing to give boarder a credit on unused board toward lessons or would you be apt to say "too bad, so sad?"

                                        I WOULD definitely want to talk to boarder -- preferably face to face, but at the very least in a phone conversation (no text / email / voice mail) -- to make sure that there was not a legitimate complaint / problem / concern that you need to address for the benefit of current / future clients. If there is a problem, you need to know. EVEN if there was a problem; I would NOT be giving credits to anybody who hauled off her horse and sent me a text after the fact; BECAUSE if I had been notified of a problem / complaint / concern, I could have attempted to address it. The only exception I can think of would be if, for some reason, the boarder had an experience that made her fear for her or her horses safety -- like some weird interaction w/ a helper or boarder or something.

                                        But no way would I have immediately offered a credit; but I guess you have done that, and you are stuck. However, you need to sit down with her and #1 find out if there were any problems #2 go over the terms of the contract she broke requiring 30 days notice. She needs to grasp that she legally owes YOU through Nov. 7; and that you have NEVER had anything like this happen before, so you were completely baffled by this situation #3 Put the terms of the credit agreement IN WRITING & have 2 copies of it for the both of you to sign & initial; and I highly suggest that you put a strict time limit in writing - that the lessons must be scheduled within x days and completed within x weeks -- any missed lessons and any lessons not completed prior to the deadline are forfeited w/ absolutely no refunds. And I would break that down into bulleted line items and have her initial each of them & you initial as well. I am assuming that this boarder is over 18, yes???

                                        You do not want any misunderstandings about this lesson credit; and you do not want it going on indefinitely -- definitely not carried beyond year end.

                                        The lesson in this is to put your termination policy in BOLD & UNDERLINE in your contract, and have boarders initial it.

                                        The other place probably said, "Since you've already paid for the month at your old place; we'll just charge you for feed" or cut some other special deal.

                                        If, for some reason, I decided to leave in a similar fashion; I would be doing everything I could think of IN ADDITION to paying for 30 days in the hopes that YOU, OP, didn't warn every boarding barn in the area about the flakey boarder.

                                        My husband's military orders to Rhode Island were delayed through no fault of our own at the last minute, and we had to utilize the military clause and cancel the lease w/ 30 days notice prior to the move in date. We certainly forfeited our deposit to cover that 30 days; and had to provide all kinds of official documention; and I am extremely concerned that having to cancel that lease will negatively impact our ability to rent a place through that management company when we finally move up there. I also did major apologizing to the woman who runs the boarding barn where we planned to board -- and we hadn't signed a contract there. So, in my professional & personal opinion; your boarder's handling of this is unacceptable,
                                        Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by halteralter98 View Post
                                          Asked me to use "credit" to pay for a blanket they wanted me to pick up. Which really that is money out of my pocket.

                                          The board goes toward grain, hay, insurance and paying me for my time. We are not talking expensive board. 200 a month! So boarder wants blanket to go as credit and then lessons. I do think after they use up lessons I will never see them again as horse is at home and we all know how that goes.

                                          The board was "corrected" as boarder said 200 a month at 31 days is 6.45 and I said the daily rate is 9.00 a day if horse comes in for just a few days. My barn my rules there.
                                          WOW!!! That is some nerve! They broke their contract, and are now trying to dictate how they should get their "refund," plus changing your rates?! Not cool.

                                          I would NOT buy them the blanket and would not refund any money. Just hand them the contract they signed and, like someone else mentioned, inform them that, while they really were required to give you 30 days notice and should therefore owe YOU money, you are willing to let that slide. Say it politely with a smile and go on your merry way. You don't foresee them bringing you any business in the future, and simply holding them to their contract is beyond fair.

                                          Don't let these people walk all over you!
                                          Topline Leather -- Bespoke, handwoven browbands & accessories customized with Swarovski crystals, gemstones, & glass seed beads. The original crystal braid & crystal spike browbands!

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