BREAKING DOWN 'Continuous Service
When entering into a lawn care service agreement, the provider may decide, and is strongly recommended, that continuous service be implemented automatically in order to renew the policy indefinitely. The language will define the purpose and existence of continual service. This will also outline the procedures the customer can follow in order to provide a notice of termination. The notice could be a written notice provided one month before services are set to renew, or may follow whatever notice period to which both parties agree. It is important that the customer be advised they can receive services for a season without automatically renewing, but only if explicitly requested. Continued service is an industry standard for lawn care. Largely because services are retained for several seasons typically. Missing early season applications can have serious negative repercussions for a lawn that has had great progress in the previous season. Ensuring a customer gets a full season of service each year will improve the look and health of any lawn.
Notice of termination must be given prior to a completed application or the service will be billed. Both customers and service providers are often in a quandary over whether to provide notice of termination or to allow the contract to continue. By ensuring sales members and front office representatives explicitly explain what and why continuous service is standard, confusion and disputed service charges can be avoided. Every invoice or emailed billing statement should clearly state that services are continuous. Having worked in billing, customers will often feign ignorance. If a customer confirms they’ve ever received an invoice or email, they are essentially responsible for reviewing said documents. Utilizing phone recording software can also be a great way of confirming customers were informed. Every sale competed and entered should be accompanied by copies of any documents used to confirmed the sale, as well as an audio recording where applicable. Informing customers of continuous service details is as important as telling them what they’re paying for each service!
Termination of Continuous Service
While continuous service may be renewed for an indefinite period of time, it will only remain in force up to a specified balance amount. This means that both parties have the ability to end the seasons program while not breaking the terms of the agreement by ending the seasons services while it is still active. Once a predetermined past due balance is reached, service will be automatically suspended pending payment. First year customers it is advisable to only do two applications before requiring payment. Customers with a solid payment history can be afforded a bit more leeway.