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Carolina Cutter
05-19-2005, 10:27 PM
Collection ISSUES!!!!!!!!!

Well got my first 2 slow pay/no pay people......agggghhhhhh

I got SOME money from one.......but a longgggg way from the total amount she owes.

The other....NOTHING.....collection letter has been sent but absolutely NO RESPONSE......time for letter number 2 and then its knocky knocky time....if that doesnt work....time to go for a lien and a report to the credit agency.

Anybody else had any problems yet??

South Florida Lawns
05-19-2005, 10:42 PM
i just makes me mad. i should start charging late fees.

lawnwizards
05-19-2005, 10:44 PM
everyone might laugh at me, but i collect after every cut and you know what? i've never had anyone stiff me... it may take a little longer but just look at the headache you would've saved by doing so. goodluck with your problem. :)

topsites
05-19-2005, 10:50 PM
i just makes me mad. i should start charging late fees.

It frustrates me, too.
Here in Virginia, so long they have 'intent' to pay, we have to give them 90 days. And unless they explicitly say 'I am not paying,' it defaults to intent.

So after 30 days, they get a second invoice which states:
1) The amount due.
2) The address to send it to.
3) An add-on which says: Prompt payment voids late fee.

After 60 days, they receive another invoice:
1) The amount due plus 75 dollars late fee. (yeah cauz FTS!)
2) The address to send it to.
3) An add-on which says: Prompt payment voids legal action.

90 days later, 5-day payment due letter which tells them if they do not pay, a lien is put on the house ... By the way, this doesn't work with renters.

I always get my money in the end, but yeah, what a pain.
By the way, here in Virginia there is no limit to how much you can charge for a late fee, only thing is you have to be able to justify the amount, whatever it is. I personally like 75 dollars, it sends a tough message.

Good luck.

topsites
05-19-2005, 10:51 PM
everyone might laugh at me, but i collect after every cut and you know what? i've never had anyone stiff me... it may take a little longer but just look at the headache you would've saved by doing so. goodluck with your problem. :)

Yeah and wtf do u do when they're not home?

And just wait until you get the customer that goes inside their house while you're cutting and when you are done, doesn't answer the door, LOL !

topsites
05-19-2005, 10:52 PM
Collection ISSUES!!!!!!!!!

Well got my first 2 slow pay/no pay people......agggghhhhhh

I got SOME money from one.......but a longgggg way from the total amount she owes.

The other....NOTHING.....collection letter has been sent but absolutely NO RESPONSE......time for letter number 2 and then its knocky knocky time....if that doesnt work....time to go for a lien and a report to the credit agency.

Anybody else had any problems yet??

How do you report to the credit ag? I checked with equifax and it involves a LOT of money and bs...

jt5019
05-19-2005, 10:55 PM
85% of my customers arent home during the day when i cut. It would be pretty hard to collect right then.

deereman
05-19-2005, 10:58 PM
Lawnwizards , how can you get buy with doing that? I mean dont that really slow up your day? Every time I see one of our customers I always get to talking and that just kills my schedule. I love to talk, and I am a firm believer in communication with our clientel but after every job I wouldnt get a thing done. But the no late pay would be nice. On all of our lawn care customers I have only one that is late. And that is one of our high dollar an hour jobs that we do. There billing cycle is sometimes out 60 days but I know that we will get paid. And Ive got a lot of other jobs because of them. They are one of my first jobs we had when we started. But on the other hand landscaping jobs that we do I find my self always waiting for someones check to come. Thank god we require at least 50% down and balance upon completion. but I have waited for final payments on landscaping jobs more that I care to mention. ;)

lawnwizards
05-19-2005, 10:59 PM
Yeah and wtf do u do when they're not home?

And just wait until you get the customer that goes inside their house while you're cutting and when you are done, doesn't answer the door, LOL !What kind of properties are you cutting? They come out when you arrive and then go inside when youre done? 95% of our customers are retired elderly people that love to gab. the other 5% know when we'll be there and leave us a check on the door. :realmad: I'm not really mad, my 3 year old daughter liked that one and i picked it for her.

South Florida Lawns
05-19-2005, 10:59 PM
I hate when it has to come down to this. A lot of times its the same ppl that i have to keep reminding, you would be amazed the kind of excuses that i get.

lawnwizards
05-19-2005, 11:01 PM
Lawnwizards , how can you get buy with doing that? I mean dont that really slow up your day? Every time I see one of our customers I always get to talking and that just kills my schedule. I love to talk, and I am a firm believer in communication with our clientel but after every job I wouldnt get a thing done. But the no late pay would be nice. On all of our lawn care customers I have only one that is late. And that is one of our high dollar an hour jobs that we do. There billing cycle is sometimes out 60 days but I know that we will get paid. And Ive got a lot of other jobs because of them. They are one of my first jobs we had when we started. But on the other hand landscaping jobs that we do I find my self always waiting for someones check to come. Thank god we require at least 50% down and balance upon completion. but I have waited for final payments on landscaping jobs more that I care to mention. ;)
most of the time i send my helper whos isn't really a talker. he just goes up collects and were on our way... i'm not saying it works for everyone, especially those with 100's of customers. but for me its worked so far.

topsites
05-19-2005, 11:07 PM
What kind of properties are you cutting? They come out when you arrive and then go inside when youre done? 95% of our customers are retired elderly people that love to gab. the other 5% know when we'll be there and leave us a check on the door. :realmad: I'm not really mad, my 3 year old daughter liked that one and i picked it for her.

That's all fine and dandy but even thou I have 50+ accounts, a LOT of folk here don't care to pay in advance ... Thou maybe I'll start that venue soon.

For the other part...
NO, they come out when you arrive and go inside, really it doesn't matter WHEN it's just that they go back in, regardless, point is that when you go knock/ring door after you're done, nobody answers even thou they are there!

lawnwizards
05-19-2005, 11:12 PM
That's all fine and dandy but even thou I have 50+ accounts, a LOT of folk here don't care to pay in advance ... Thou maybe I'll start that venue soon.

For the other part...
NO, they come out when you arrive and go inside, really it doesn't matter WHEN it's just that they go back in, regardless, point is that when you go knock/ring door after you're done, nobody answers even thou they are there!
Topsites, do whatever works for you. What I do works for me and i have 30+ accounts. Just throwing out my opinion. take it just as that. goodluck.

topsites
05-19-2005, 11:12 PM
I hate when it has to come down to this. A lot of times its the same ppl that i have to keep reminding, you would be amazed the kind of excuses that i get.

I wish it WERE always excuses but yeah I've heard them all and that doesn't phase me, bottom line is No check - No cut. But of course they got ONE free cut and some the slick ones pay good for a bit and slack off later.

Sometimes they're 'just not satisfied' and they're 'not paying until they're satisfied...' Or any other number of supposed 'reasons' why 'we're not paying.'

Technically that kind of crap is considered strongarming and if the amount were large enough it would be called racketeering.

Carolina Cutter
05-19-2005, 11:15 PM
i just makes me mad. i should start charging late fees.

I do, I did...and nothing...

DennisF
05-19-2005, 11:21 PM
Late fees mean nothing to someone who will not pay their bills.

The only thing you can do is eliminate deadbeats. It ain't easy to do, but you cannot survive in this business working for people that won't pay their bills. Get rid of em'.

If one of them stiffs you for $100 or more...most states allow licensed contractors to lien the property.

Shawns Lawns
05-22-2005, 09:14 AM
I just recieved my first returned check for non sufficient funds and when i was at that customers house this week i showed him the letter and the returned check and he apoligized and paid for the fee and the lawn cutting. He is a real nice guy and i always get paid by check but this was the first one that bounced. :waving:

Carolina Cutter
05-22-2005, 09:18 AM
Well I have gotten one check from one of the deadbeats. It was made out for the amount of one cut (I cut it the first time while she was there) and the late fee. So that makes her about $75 short. I guess she figured since she wasn't there when I cut it the other times that I must have not cut it.

I guess the grass just "magically" stayed short and the edging just "magically" stayed neat......

Some people are dumber than a box of pencil erasers....

I guess I am gonna have to fight for every penny of this one....

SproulsLawnCare
05-22-2005, 01:07 PM
You may not be able to put a lien on the property if the person is renting, but I wonder if you could send the bill to the landlord. He may not have signed up for the service, but it might be the same as utilities. I get a little concerned when I get a bill from the utility company that my tenants didn't pay. You can bet I'm right there knocking at their door! If it doesn't work the same with lawn care, I bet the landlord would still be in contact with the tenant. :realmad:

I have a slow/non-paying customer that I am dealing with right now. The last day that I cut for them I was already fuming over that fact that they hadn't paid the bill yet. I had to stop in the middle of the cut to pick up some stuff and notice a door hanger that a collection agency had left for them. It was real hard to be professional and finish the lawn! I sent them their second notice with a message that service was discontinued until all was paid. We'll see where it goes from there.

surfisher211
05-22-2005, 03:30 PM
knock on wood all my clean ups were paid but one , but she is a friend and i know she is good for it . good luck with getting your cash !

ProCare Lawn Service
05-22-2005, 09:21 PM
I have 2 customers that have yet to pay me for February, March, and April. They each owe about $250. The second bill I stamped past due on it. The third bill I sent a letter with it. The last bill I stated all services suspended until payment made in full. If they do not pay I will send to a collection agency and have it put on their credit report. The thing is these are very wealthy people. They probably have this much in the ashtray of their car. :realmad: These are their summer homes that I am or was maintaining. Every time I am near their I check to see if they are home, but have not caught them yet. Customers, especially wealthy I have found out, don't seem to understand a small business needs $$$ to operate. Oh, there will also be a fee charged when (if) I have to start back maintaining their lawns.

LittleOranges
05-23-2005, 08:10 AM
Save all of the clippings you get during the day mowing. Bring them to the non pay customers house. Dump them on lawn. Spread them out. When they come running out of the house, tell them that you are putting back the grass you cut because you didn't get paid. :p

Carolina Cutter
05-23-2005, 08:31 AM
You may not be able to put a lien on the property if the person is renting, but I wonder if you could send the bill to the landlord. He may not have signed up for the service, but it might be the same as utilities. I get a little concerned when I get a bill from the utility company that my tenants didn't pay. You can bet I'm right there knocking at their door! If it doesn't work the same with lawn care, I bet the landlord would still be in contact with the tenant. :realmad:

I have a slow/non-paying customer that I am dealing with right now. The last day that I cut for them I was already fuming over that fact that they hadn't paid the bill yet. I had to stop in the middle of the cut to pick up some stuff and notice a door hanger that a collection agency had left for them. It was real hard to be professional and finish the lawn! I sent them their second notice with a message that service was discontinued until all was paid. We'll see where it goes from there.


Actually no. You cannot bill the landlord and since the landlord OWNS the property and not the tenant the landlord can actually get you for tresspassing if they wanted to. Working for renters is a "chancey" situation at best.....I do it.....but I know there's always the risk of not getting paid.

ProCare Lawn Service
05-23-2005, 06:52 PM
Finally got paid by one of the wealthy slackers. 1 down and 1 to go.