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View Full Version : "i will NOT pay your late fees!"


bobbygedd
08-21-2005, 06:43 AM
i hate late payers. i hate them for a reason. that reason being= having some schmuck cut your lawn, is a luxery, not a neccesity. it's not like medical care, or running water, or electricity. it is something, you can do without. so, is this being sneaky, and underhanded? here's the scene- i have a customer, under contract, who is continually late on her payments. i am very busy right now, and i don't care to pursue legal action. so, we play "cat and mouse". she's late on her bill, i interrupt service, it gets a foot high, she sends a check, late, and i resume service, etc, etc, etc. the other day, i told her, i MUST be paid all my late fees, and i want this account brought up to date. she says, no way in hell she's paying a late fee, who the hell do i think i am? so finally, after six months of being late, she brings her account up to date, and then gives me a check, for a month in advance. but still, refuses to pay the late fees. DUMB MOVE on her part. i am taking the advance payment, adding up the late fees, keeping that, and sending her a cancelation notice. is this sneaky and underhanded? would you cancel a client who is late, every single month, and refuses to pay late fees?

OH-grasshopperlover
08-21-2005, 07:12 AM
Like you said Bobby, it's a luxury. Your Bank would drop you if you didn't pay your late fee's right? You seem to have enough clients that do pay so turn and burn.

RICHIE K
08-21-2005, 07:18 AM
I would do the same thing :cool2:


RICHIE K

www.kulakandcompany.com :blob3:

rodfather
08-21-2005, 07:54 AM
Is the advance enough to cover the late fees? If not, what then? Or, how about if the advance is more than the late fees added up. Are you still going to cancel service and if you do, are you going to send her the amount over and above what the late fees added up to?

Sounds like fun to me...I wouldn't consider what you're planning to do underhanded or sneaky though. Good luck.

TURFLORD
08-21-2005, 08:31 AM
I have a couple of customers that are late payers quite frequently but they always catch up. Nobody has ever refused a "finance charge". An odd twist to this approach. One customer who Finally paid up to last Nov. nothing yet on this year, Thought it was ok to owe me money because I was charging interest. I had to explain it to him a little better. I'm not an Equal Opportunity Lender.They're definitely slow, but are paying everything. And yes I would drop and smack anybody that tried not to pay a late fee.

FrankenScagMachines
08-21-2005, 08:53 AM
Bobby, two words........


GIT R DONE!!!!!!!!! I'm behind you 100% on this one! If the prepaid amount is less than the fees, but close enough then I'd just do it and eat the rest to be done with it. If the prepaid amount is more, TOO BAD!!!!!! Thats the PITA factor FEE!!!!!

Man this is how its done.... she's too stupid to see that prepaying you might result in this, and dumb enough to try to not pay late fees which I'm sure were stated on the contract/initial agreement, so she deserves this and so do you.... I'd be all over this man... I love when justice is done....

Take care Bobby.
Eric

bobbygedd
08-21-2005, 09:43 AM
i'm actually making a mint off her, and i'll tell you why, it gets complicated, try to pay attention: the fee for all season services are added up, and broken down into 10 equal payments. the payments are $200 a month, due 3/1, 4/1, 5/1, etc, etc. now, even though i get a payment march 1st, i am not working yet till usually early april. by this time, i have $400 of thier money, already. this is where it gets really good.....if they are late on thier payments, i interupt service. i don't go back until a payment is made, in this case, i've been cutting her lawn an average of one time per month, but STILL collecting the entire fee. the contract states that, if payment is not made on time, we have a right, at our discretion, to interupt, or cancel service. when service resumes, we may, or may not, at our discretion, refund monies for missed services. on this one, i opted not to refund anything, so i'm getting 4 times the grasscutting fee, for showing up once. it's not thick grass, and usualy just a double pass makes it done. now, her advance payment covers the late fees for every month, plus quite a bit extra. my plan, is to refund the difference.........when i'm good and ready :sleeping:

southlin
08-21-2005, 10:44 AM
Hey bobby, Might want to be careful. If it doesnt say anything in your contracts bout late fees, she could take legal action on you. If it doesnt say anything in the contract, you might want to revise it for future incidents.

Play tough, but play smart.

Lux Lawn
08-21-2005, 10:55 AM
Sounds like easy money to me.I understand that late fee's are there for a reason but sometime's they need to be over looked.

$200 to the the lawn once a month sounds pretty good to me...you can always hide the late fee's in an extra service.

OMG
08-21-2005, 10:59 AM
Bobby, one thing you're missing out-----if you stop service and start back, the 1st trip back should be 50-100% extra added to the normal fee.----depending on the amount of time service was stopped.



(More grass, more money)

jtrice11
08-21-2005, 11:09 AM
i hate late payers. i hate them for a reason. that reason being= having some schmuck cut your lawn, is a luxery, not a neccesity. it's not like medical care, or running water, or electricity. it is something, you can do without. so, is this being sneaky, and underhanded? here's the scene- i have a customer, under contract, who is continually late on her payments. i am very busy right now, and i don't care to pursue legal action. so, we play "cat and mouse". she's late on her bill, i interrupt service, it gets a foot high, she sends a check, late, and i resume service, etc, etc, etc. the other day, i told her, i MUST be paid all my late fees, and i want this account brought up to date. she says, no way in hell she's paying a late fee, who the hell do i think i am? so finally, after six months of being late, she brings her account up to date, and then gives me a check, for a month in advance. but still, refuses to pay the late fees. DUMB MOVE on her part. i am taking the advance payment, adding up the late fees, keeping that, and sending her a cancelation notice. is this sneaky and underhanded? would you cancel a client who is late, every single month, and refuses to pay late fees?

If you contract clearly states that late fees apply. Then you are doing the right thing. Keep her damn money.

topsites
08-21-2005, 11:15 AM
i hate late payers. i hate them for a reason. that reason being= having some schmuck cut your lawn, is a luxery, not a neccesity. it's not like medical care, or running water, or electricity. it is something, you can do without. so, is this being sneaky, and underhanded? here's the scene- i have a customer, under contract, who is continually late on her payments. i am very busy right now, and i don't care to pursue legal action. so, we play "cat and mouse". she's late on her bill, i interrupt service, it gets a foot high, she sends a check, late, and i resume service, etc, etc, etc. the other day, i told her, i MUST be paid all my late fees, and i want this account brought up to date. she says, no way in hell she's paying a late fee, who the hell do i think i am? so finally, after six months of being late, she brings her account up to date, and then gives me a check, for a month in advance. but still, refuses to pay the late fees. DUMB MOVE on her part. i am taking the advance payment, adding up the late fees, keeping that, and sending her a cancelation notice. is this sneaky and underhanded? would you cancel a client who is late, every single month, and refuses to pay late fees?

This time I'm on your side for the only reason I HATE late payers especially those who like to let their grass grow a foot tall MAN that crap used to really burn me so today I have no customers like that. For just THIS exact scenario I have a rule which states once an account goes through collections I reserve the right to drop them based solely on this as it comes in handy for pitas who like to push things to the edge without actually breaking a rule, so to speak. It could even be a game they play on purpose is to pay late while they THINK they're saving money / getting their money's worth by making you come out ONLY when the grass has gotten really bad thou in your case with contracts this may not hold true whereas in my case (pay-per-cut) it does.

Far as it being sneaky and underhanded, I have no qualms about doing it in this particular case and anytime someone tests my rules or thinks they're being really slick or in other ways I am constantly getting pissed off everytime I service their yard at that point I use ANY method available to drop them and WHEN it IS sneaky then I just figure it's tit for tat.

Far as the late fees, I am a bit peeved about this bit and could use some advice too as I have NEVER in 4 years collected a late fee thou it is a nice thing because it gets them paying but yes they pay only the amount due minus the fee. Now if you think this one's a pisser wait until you get a bounced check and they refuse to pay the surcharge now THAT one makes me angry as hell I don't even want to get into this one when the bank charges me $5 and it costs me another $5 to send them a certified letter (actually, hand-delivered letter taped to their door works better but isn't necessarily cheaper because the post office in my case is usually closer) so there's 10 bucks of my money GONE and they don't pay it.

Good thing in my case it appears thus far a check only bounces about once every 2 years or so, on average.

bobbygedd
08-21-2005, 12:33 PM
yes, my contract says there is a late fee. it will need to be revised next season, i only have it at 3%. that's way too cheap. believe it or not, in 10 yrs, i've only had 2 checks bounce, and one stop payment. i collected on the bounced ones, the stop payment one, she could not be located. she was renting, handed me a check, moved the next day, and stopped payment.

southlin
08-21-2005, 12:39 PM
Collect, Collect. Any Way Possible, If Your Contract States It Your Covered

JimLewis
08-21-2005, 01:29 PM
would you cancel a client who is late, every single month, and refuses to pay late fees?

Duh! That's a no-brainer. Yes, definitely. Without hesitation.

bobbygedd
08-21-2005, 02:24 PM
yes mr lewis, it is, isn't it? i have 2 aquaintences who have each been in business 20+ yrs each. here is thier opinion on late payers- #1- " that's rediculous, charging a late fee, is rediculous. having a due date on your bill, is rediculous. you can be replaced at the blink of an eye, if a client is nice enough to allow you to cut thier grass, you should not show disrespect by hassling them for money, and having due dates, and late fees, IS HASSLING them." #2-" i like when they take thier time paying the bill. the longer they take topay the bill, the more money i save. you see, if i don't have it, i can't spend it, so i think of it like a savings account." man #1 works 7 days a week, dawn till dark, and never spends a nickle, or has any fun at all. man #2, refinances his house every year, to make it through the winter. both are beat out of money on a regular basis, and niether have ever been to court to collect. niether use contracts, and both laugh at me when i mention the word contract.

heavenlydeere
08-21-2005, 10:06 PM
bobby, i really enjoy your post , i wish more people would take the initiative and post some positive , thought provoking , threads like yours ! i do agree, people who dont , wont , or refuse to pay are really in my way of growing my business to the point where i want it ! i am in this to make money, i really dont need the practice! your two buddies just dont get it and neither does your account, i would take her advance pull out your late fees and send her the rest and send her packing! i ve cut loose some high paying accounts for the similar reasons only to find several good ,on time, paying accounts , that more than make up for the money lost from booting the late payer! i just dont let my accounts run my business and thats what late payers do!!!

Brianslawn
08-21-2005, 11:33 PM
id say take the money and drop her, but then again if youre only cutting once a month for $200 a month, she might be worth putting up with.

Jason Rose
08-21-2005, 11:52 PM
You own a business. It's in the contract that you can and will charge late fees. So does just about everyother business... Tell her to go to blockbuster and rent movies, take them back LATE and see what happens. tell her to pay the city for the water and trash service and see what happens. Hell, with the city, not only do you get to pay the LATE FEE, you also get to have service interupted and when you decide to pay and get it back you have to pay them even more for a re-connect fee!

Only charging a late fee is BEING NICE!

DynaMow
08-22-2005, 12:07 AM
i'm actually making a mint off her, and i'll tell you why, it gets complicated, try to pay attention: the fee for all season services are added up, and broken down into 10 equal payments. the payments are $200 a month, due 3/1, 4/1, 5/1, etc, etc. now, even though i get a payment march 1st, i am not working yet till usually early april. by this time, i have $400 of thier money, already. this is where it gets really good.....if they are late on thier payments, i interupt service. i don't go back until a payment is made, in this case, i've been cutting her lawn an average of one time per month, but STILL collecting the entire fee. the contract states that, if payment is not made on time, we have a right, at our discretion, to interupt, or cancel service. when service resumes, we may, or may not, at our discretion, refund monies for missed services. on this one, i opted not to refund anything, so i'm getting 4 times the grasscutting fee, for showing up once. it's not thick grass, and usualy just a double pass makes it done. now, her advance payment covers the late fees for every month, plus quite a bit extra. my plan, is to refund the difference.........when i'm good and ready :sleeping:

hey bobby how many days after the first is it late, any grace period? by the 5th or whatever? (no I bet, by the first). Only reason I ask is I know some industries are like due on the 15th, late fee if not paid by 25th. Just wondering, I commend you, would love to see your contract you use.

dixiedemon
08-22-2005, 12:15 AM
i'm actually making a mint off her, and i'll tell you why, it gets complicated, try to pay attention: the fee for all season services are added up, and broken down into 10 equal payments. the payments are $200 a month, due 3/1, 4/1, 5/1, etc, etc. now, even though i get a payment march 1st, i am not working yet till usually early april. by this time, i have $400 of thier money, already. this is where it gets really good.....if they are late on thier payments, i interupt service. i don't go back until a payment is made, in this case, i've been cutting her lawn an average of one time per month, but STILL collecting the entire fee. the contract states that, if payment is not made on time, we have a right, at our discretion, to interupt, or cancel service. when service resumes, we may, or may not, at our discretion, refund monies for missed services. on this one, i opted not to refund anything, so i'm getting 4 times the grasscutting fee, for showing up once. it's not thick grass, and usualy just a double pass makes it done. now, her advance payment covers the late fees for every month, plus quite a bit extra. my plan, is to refund the difference.........when i'm good and ready :sleeping:
if your a professional you can edge with a wacker almost as good as an edger

lawn_jockey
08-22-2005, 12:15 AM
Re-connect fee....now we are getting somewhere payup

fourseasonlawns
08-22-2005, 12:17 AM
Customers that never complain, never ask for special service, never demand a certain day or time, what's a missed week or two on a check? My customer's are good for it. knock on wood, they haven't bent me over yet. Usaully, when they do pay, they apologize and/or include $5 or $10 dollars extra without hesitation.

Customers that call and complain; I, in return, call and complain that I didn't get my check. If they don't want to pay the bill, they are not going to want to pay late fees or clean-up fee for missing a week or two.
I try to collect and run like he**.

I leave before sunrise and return after sunset. I don't have time to chase deadbeats. I finally made it to the point where I can/could lose a few PITA's.

Dwan
08-22-2005, 12:17 AM
Smiply rase your price enough to cover your late fees. Next year.

I do a major chain store that is known for late payment so I raised there price 25% higher then anyone else. it is worth it to wait for my check now. I also affer a 10% discount for payment recieved within 10 days of billing if they sign a 5 year contract. or 5% if a 3 year contract is signed and payment is recieved witin 10 days of billing.

yrdandgardenhandyman
08-22-2005, 12:18 AM
I have a couple of customers that are late payers quite frequently but they always catch up. Nobody has ever refused a "finance charge". An odd twist to this approach. One customer who Finally paid up to last Nov. nothing yet on this year, Thought it was ok to owe me money because I was charging interest. I had to explain it to him a little better. I'm not an Equal Opportunity Lender.They're definitely slow, but are paying everything. And yes I would drop and smack anybody that tried not to pay a late fee.


In this case, I would probably bump their fee up to what it is now including the late fees. Then when they are late, charge the late fee on that amount. If they are still habitually late, do it again. They will either, eventually reach the point where they don't want to absorb the late fees and start paying on time or they will cancel. If they start paying on time, well, problem solved. If they cancel, well, good riddance. :) I hate late payers. I've got bills to pay too and I count on a certain income on a certain date to pay my bills. My creditors charge a late fee too and if I'm late, chances are it will go on my credit report.
I heard a certain economist actually advocate paying your bills late but to always pay before the late fee kicks in. He said it's like borrowing money from your creditor, interest free. In other words, if the bill is due on the 1st then a late fee usually doesn't begin till the 10th. Pay on the 9th. That way you have the creditors money for 9 days, interest free.

kleankutslawn
08-22-2005, 01:09 AM
be careful not to get a bad rep in that area

bobbygedd
08-22-2005, 06:40 AM
be careful not to get a bad rep in that area
this is such a crock. i've heard this so many times, it does not happen.

bobbygedd
08-22-2005, 06:42 AM
hey bobby how many days after the first is it late, any grace period? by the 5th or whatever? (no I bet, by the first). Only reason I ask is I know some industries are like due on the 15th, late fee if not paid by 25th. Just wondering, I commend you, would love to see your contract you use.
"late", is anytime after the due date. no grace period, i aint no credit card company