C 62 • How to Avoid Contract Disputes with Your Customers

June 2012
Permian Basin
Corpus Christi
San Antonio
No. 6
How to Avoid Contract Disputes with Your Customers
BBB has advice to help make the details of your work clear
ontract disputes are one of the most common
types of complaints received by BBB. Often,
consumers believe a business has not fulfilled
its end of the bargain or they are unclear about
a section of the contract. Because many contracts can be
worded in a way that may be confusing, BBB recommends
business owners make sure all terms and conditions in
their contracts are easily understood.
4. Itemize all costs involved
Include the specific materials used to complete the job,
the labor costs, taxes and any discounts you may have
offered. Make sure to set a timeframe for when payment
is due if the customer can pay in installments. List the
types of payment you will take, whether it is check, credit
or debit card. Consider using an escrow company for
larger jobs.
Take a look at the way your contracts are written. BBB
provides these tips to help keep your customers and your
business on the same page.
5. Include any warranties or guarantees
Your business should stand behind its work, so make
sure to include information about warranties, as this is
a common consumer complaint. Specify what is covered
under warranty, such as materials and/or labor. Make
sure your customers know if they should contact you or
the manufacturer for repairs or replacement parts.
1. Keep the language simple
Legal jargon can confuse many consumers. Use short
sentences, small paragraphs and clearly labeled headings
that highlight what is in each section of the contract.
2. List every detail
Include every task that is to be performed, no matter
how long it will take to be completed. This allows your
customers to know step-by-step what is being done, how
it is being done and what materials are being used to get
it done. It may be wise to leave space in the contract for
items that are negotiable with your customers, or items
that can be customized. This ensures anything that is
verbally agreed upon will also be in writing.
3. Be specific about the timeframe
Your customers need to know when to expect your work
will be completed. Some projects can be time consuming,
but putting an expected timeframe for each phase of the
job in the contract can help keep you and your customers
on the same page throughout the process. Be sure to
communicate with your customers should anything fall
behind schedule. If the completion date is delayed, make
sure it is communicated to your customers in writing.
For more tips you can use, visit:
78 Painting
A + Water Conditioning
A+ Federal Credit Union
About Smiles Family and Cosmetic
Affordable Insurance of Austin
Akimbo Card
Allstate Insurance Company Catherine Murphy
Alterra Inc.
Arbor Pointe Event Centre
Artisan Exteriors
AusTex AC Services
Austin Galleries
Austin Machine Shop
Austin Pain Associates
AV Connect, LLC
Blackhawk Enterprises
Blue Dragon Plumbing
Blue Marble Design
Capital Benefits Group & Capital
Wealth Management
Capital Commercial Cleaning &
Capital of Texas Stoneworks
Capital Risk Management
Capital Supply Company
Captivating Weddings
Centex Shred
Cen-tex Towing
Chevy’s Complete HandyMan
Clampitt Paper Co
Clear Solutions Pool Service
CND Signs and Printing
Compassionate Care Veterinary
Cool Cat A/C Heating & Remodeling
Cosmetic & Holistic Dentistry
D&R Remodeling
Devout Designs
DeWitt Heating and Air
Conditioning LLC
Douglas Landscapes
Drolette Construction Inc
Edge Roofing & Remodeling
Elegant Interiors Inc
Elias Electric LLC
Elma Fine Art Portrait Photography
Fiat of Austin
FineLine Custom Homes Inc
Glenda Smith DDS
Gray Renovation
Gunsch Insurance Agency, Inc.
HB Green Star Roofing
Highland Lakes Real Estate Inc
Home Theater Store
IT Data Recovery LLC
JB Remodeling
Kristen Joy Photography
La Bella Baskets
Law Office of Farren Smith
LawnScapes of Texas
Lenny Schwartz & Associates
Lone Star Transport
Master Paster Custom Paint &
Michelle’s Patisserie
Midnight Fantasy Photography
NetWorth Realty of Austin
Palm Valley Auto Sales
Patriot Fence
Powersport Superstore, Inc.
Primrose School Vista Ridge
Reliant Pest Management
Runkle’s Custom Homes
Sentinel Roofing & Sheet Metal
Solar Royal, LLC
Southwest Design Group
Starbird Jewelry Design
Tatra Metal Roofing Supply
The Art of Subtraction
The Boutique Real Estate
The Wedding Shoppe
Top to Bottom Roofing and General
Contracting LLC
TriStar Equity
V R Business Brokers
Victory Cleaners
Blackwell Photography
All American Auction
C Ford Transport
CCC Construction
Jose Hernandez - General
Lone Star Pin-Up
Lucio’s Roofing & Construction Co
Martin’s Rod and Custom
MH Hill Sheet Metal & AC
Orlowski & Hansen Homes
Sta-Dry Roofing
Steel Fitness Gym, LLC
Steel Oilfield Services
StoneCoat Solutions
Stump Grinders
Sturdivant Automatic Transmission
Service, LLC
Superior Glass & Aluminum, Inc
The Money Investments
Wiltin Machine Shop
Yanez Tree Services
Alice Pest Control
Coastal Bend Appliance
C-Scapes Coastal Landscape
Specialist Inc
Done Right A/C
Edlin Electric
Home & Garden Pest Contol
JBS Construction
Macareno Signs & Graphics
Pro Drive Brakes & Service
Singer Sewing Center
Victoria Iron Works
Armstrong Backus & Co., LLP
B & B Wrecker & Recovery, Inc.
Barreno Insurance
Bruce Story Roofing
Chloe Parker Senior Home Care
Jonezy Hot Shot Service
KC Construction
Lone Star Roofing and Construction
Lori’s Cafe
PaperWerks, LLC
Ross Hotshot
Town & Country Drug
Woody’s Advanced Fabrication &
Truck Repair, Inc
AA Tex Air Conditioning, Heating &
Commercial Refrigeration
AC One Freedom
Alamo CNC
All Project Construction
Allinnia Creative Group
Allstate Auto Sales
Arrow Moving and Storage
Barlyn Custom Homes
Camargo’s Custom Machining &
Children’s Dentistry of Hausman
Cinderella Pools
Clair Booth, CLTC
Comfort Connect
Corridor Equipment Co Inc.
Cox Design/Build LLC
CS Total Services LLC
Dan Corrigan Insurance Agency,
DeWinne Construction
Dixon Plumbing
Dynamic Car Service
Ed Grams Custom Pools, LLC
Empire Enterprise
European Car Parts
Global Security Solutions
Greenville Custom Homes &
Greg Brown Home and Termite
GVS Ideal Management Group
Honest Mechanics
HRH Carriage Company
Innovative Grass Technologies
Jeff Crumrine Air Conditioning &
Heating Inc.
Marhofer Homes and Remodeling
Mario’s Electric Motor Service
Masonry & Glass Systems of Texas
My Cinderella Creations
Nelson Skinner Attorney at Law
No Limit Painting
On the Move Insurance Agency
On The Move, Inc
One-to-One Reading Tutoring
Paradise Lawn & Maintenance, Inc
Perez Home Improvement
Performance Automotive &
Pete Narvaez House Painting and
Custom Murals
Professional Lawn Management
Reeso Tiles Inc.
Roger Perez Construction
SA RoofMasters LLC
Service Uniform Rental
Sisters Boutique & Gifts
Southern Comfort Construction,
Spring Creek Animal Hospital
Studio J The Salon & Spa
Suburban Child Care Center, Inc.
Sub-Zero Air Conditioning &
Heating, L.L.C.
The Lawn Barber
Trotter and Morton Facilities
Services of Texas, Inc.
Vanhemelrijck Law Offices, L.P.
Ware Roofing & Construction
Yellow Rose Carriage Co
Local Custom Sign Company Fails to Deliver a Quality Product
Business owners complain they have nothing to show for orders with Everything Neon
s a business owner, nothing is more important
to your storefront than an eye-catching sign.
Signs can help attract new customers and
strengthen your brand. Unfortunately, BBB
continues to receive complaints from business owners
across the country regarding custom neon and LED signs
from Austin-based Everything Neon.
Confirm your online purchase is secure
Always look in the address box for the “s” in “https://”
and in the lower-right corner for the “lock” symbol before
paying. If there are any doubts about a site, right-click
anywhere on the page and select “Properties.” This will
let you see the real URL and the dialog box will reveal if
the website is encrypted.
Specifically, business owners complain they purchased a
sign online for several hundred dollars from Everything
Neon and received a broken or defective product, or a
product that did not match their order. Other business
owners complain the sign they purchased was not
delivered on time, if at all.
Pay with a credit card
Under federal law, you can dispute a charge if you do not
receive the item. You also have dispute rights if there are
unauthorized charges on your credit card.
The company has failed to answer or resolve numerous
complaints received by BBB in the last three years.
BBB contacted Everything Neon in March to request
the company address its pattern of complaints and
substantiate “best quality” and “lowest price” claims on its
website. The company has yet to respond.
Dan Yarbrough, owner of WineStyles Montgomery
Plaza in Fort Worth, has yet to get his $475 back from
Everything Neon after the company sent him the wrong
Keep documentation of your order
After completing the online order process, there may be
a final confirmation page or confirmation e-mail. Save a
copy of the webpage and any e-mails for future reference
as a record of the purchase.
Know your rights
The Federal Trade Commission’s Mail or Telephone
Order Merchandise Rule requires that orders made by
mail, phone or online be shipped by the date promised.
If no delivery time is stated, the order must be received
within 30 days. If the goods aren’t shipped on time, you
can cancel and demand a refund.
“The company promises to send a refund after the product
is returned, but the refund doesn’t come,” Yarbrough said.
BBB reminds business owners to keep the following
advice in mind when making expensive purchases online:
Use other BBB Accredited Businesses
Start your search with BBB to check for companies who
are BBB Accredited. All BBB Accredited Businesses agree
to meet and maintain high standards for trust. Always
look for the BBB seal and click to confirm the company’s
Accreditation status.
Official variations of the Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC logo:
Special thanks to our Corporate Partners!
Trust Talk | June 2012
Better Business Bureau, Inc.
1005 La Posada Drive
Austin, TX 78752
Return Service Requested
Inside this issue
How to Avoid Contract Disputes with Your Customers .... 1
New Accredited Businesses …….…............................................... 2
Local Custom Sign Company Fails to Deliver a Quality
Product ................................................................................................ 3
April Activity Report .............................................................................. 4
Trust Talk is published by Better Business Bureau 1005 La Posada Drive, Austin, TX 78752. Trust Talk is published for executives and employees of BBB Accredited
Businesses in its 79-county service area. All rights reserved: the contents of this publication may not be reproduced in whole or part without written consent of the
publisher. References to or mention made of any company, product or service herein is not to be interpreted, per se, as statements derogatory of such company, product
or service, but as information obtained from sources believed to be reliable for the use of BBB Accredited Businesses and subscribers. Because the matters contained in
this Trust Talk concern matters of the utmost public importance and concern in providing a free flow of information to our companies concerning business enterprises
in the Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin area, BBB encourages BBB Accredited Businesses to contact their local BBB with any follow-up material
concerning the reports in this newsletter or any other matter to assist BBB in fulfilling its function of improving the economic system through informed decision-making.
Increased total Accredited Business locations to 11,007
Provided customers with 144,418 BBB Business Reviews
Handled 1,799 disputes
Assisted 5,832 people over the phone
Hosted 433,262 website page views
Sent 797 Request a Quote customer referrals to Accredited
Top 10 Inquiries
Impact & Influence Report
In April 2012, your BBB...
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Montelongo Inc: Failure to respond to one or more customer
complaints filed with BBB
A-1 Collision Super Center: Unresolved complaint(s)
Appliance Specialists: Failure to respond to one or more
customer complaints filed with BBB
Law Office of Gordon Hardin: Failure to eliminate the
underlying cause of complaints on file with BBB, failure to maintain
required licensing and failure to respond to BBB requests for
further information to evaluate compliance with BBB standards
MB Construction: Failure to respond to one or more customer
complaints filed with BBB
All Around Fencing: Unresolved complaint(s)
Contact BBB
BBB Corporate Office P: 512.445.4748
1005 La Posada Drive F: 512.445.2096
Austin, TX 78752
@: [email protected]