PDA

View Full Version : not a clue what to do!


mcwlandscaping
09-10-2006, 11:10 PM
got this one customer, now ex customer that has a $75 mowing bill run up. She wont pay it because she says she now has no money. She broke her hip and now can't work and SS isnt' sending any money. The electric company has cut her service, the cable company has done the same (not that she could watch tv without electricity!!) and she just got a threat of eviction letter from her current residense...question is, what do i do to get my money? Ide think people would have enough brain power to have the money to do soemthing before you do it, but, i guess lawn service people just get thrown in the bottom of the priority pile. Ive had pay problems with her before, but that was her just being lazy and dumb, right now its more for getting the money becuase ive earned it over i really really need the $75. Any assistance would be appreciatied. been about a month since last service i provided

LindblomRJ
09-10-2006, 11:33 PM
Sounds like it should be turned over to collections and stand in line. Maybe see if there is some sort of plan to be worked out w/o going that route. Does the customer have some children or something to manage the money?

lawnman_scott
09-10-2006, 11:51 PM
I think you should walk away and forget it. It is a lesson learned. With no power or tv you are the least of her problems, so you will get the least attention. Maybe consider advance payment or contracts for the future.

Raven386
09-10-2006, 11:54 PM
yea i think trying to get your money at this point is a waste of time. or if you really want your money you can just stand in line behind the phone,electrical,credit card, mortgage companys and any other outstanding debts she might owe.

HOOLIE
09-10-2006, 11:54 PM
That's a tough one Mike...realistically she's gonna pay for housing and power and all that before she pays for the lawn service. If her story is really true you probably won't get anything out of her for awhile.

You could try collections, or maybe see if she can pay something each month, even if it's a small amount.

Just be glad it's only $75, not $750...

TURF DOCTOR
09-10-2006, 11:57 PM
Tell how a contract will get your money.

YardPro
09-11-2006, 07:40 AM
if all that is true you are a POS....

think of all the problems this lady has, and you are freaking out over $75.00.....

if you are in such dire straits over only $75.00, then you are just as dumb as she is.... poor business management

mcwlandscaping
09-11-2006, 02:55 PM
if all that is true you are a POS....

think of all the problems this lady has, and you are freaking out over $75.00.....

if you are in such dire straits over only $75.00, then you are just as dumb as she is.... poor business management
thanks so much for the help and encouraging words

mcwlandscaping
09-11-2006, 02:56 PM
everyone else, i agree, im not going to persue it, $75 isn't very much money to me and with her situation, just let it go.

fulano
09-11-2006, 03:05 PM
The kid is only 16 give him a break. At that age $75 is a lot to anyone who didn't grow up with a golden spoon.
You are likely not going to collect anything from this woman. If I were you I'd just forget the debt. It will probably cost you $50 to go to court and even if you won she'd probably just do a slow pay or something where you'd get $2 a month over the next few years and that is only if someone else is not garnishing her wages or if she filed for bankruptcy. No sense in trying to ding her credit it is already dinged with not paying her rent and water and electricity and probably credit cards and car and everything else.

lawnman_scott
09-11-2006, 09:12 PM
if all that is true you are a POS....

think of all the problems this lady has, and you are freaking out over $75.00.....

if you are in such dire straits over only $75.00, then you are just as dumb as she is.... poor business managementhes a 16 y/o kid trying to make some money. Its people like you that make this site less than it could be.

stumper1620
09-11-2006, 09:28 PM
hes a 16 y/o kid trying to make some money. Its people like you that make this site less than it could be.
for some reason I thought he was older than that and i think yard pro did also, It is a shame to be in that spot for a 16 YO. Myself with her current situation I would let it go. being 16 you could go talk to her and see if she could give you 5 bucks at a time monthly or whatever. 5 per month is better than none at all. or just let her know you understand and if she can ever pay part of the bill you would be very appreciative.

Cheffy
09-11-2006, 09:39 PM
Communication is key learn from this. If you learn from this you will be able to read into such a situation in the future. If its only a $10.00 job then you waited too long to get paid. Possibly 6 or 7 weeks.

It happens to everyone don't let the big opperator's foal you they get stuck all the time to.

Tim Wright
09-11-2006, 09:53 PM
I have a customer, a single guy, who is going blind. He has had surgeries this summer but it has not helped.

I just cut his grass and he pays when he can. If he does not pay for awhile, that is ok, I'll soak it up. He is in need.

Perhaps this is one of those times when it is worth more to help someone in need than it is to get paid (use your best judgement) and seek advice from your folks at this point.

I know $75.00 can be a big deal, and I would not do it for free if I found out the person was using your money to get drunk every night, or sit on their can and be lazy, but if she is loosing everything because she can not work when she truly does, then that is another story.

And maybe I am just a sucker.

But its your call.

Tim

dlm17
09-11-2006, 09:53 PM
MCW, you may be young but you need to learn a little compassion if this lady is really in such dire straights you should be more concerned for her as a human being than about the money she owes you maybe i run my buisness a little different but ive cut yards for free to help people and ask for nothing in return but people talk and the buisness i got from the goodwill was worth a lot more than what it cost me to do the lawn put yourself in her position and how would you like to be treated remember you will not always be young

Tim Wright
09-11-2006, 09:58 PM
dlm-"jinks"

Tim

stumper1620
09-11-2006, 10:02 PM
Great advice from Both you guys on the last 2 post, I just wanted to add, if you decide to let it go, let her know you are going to let it go and that way she won't feel like she needs to avoid you. give her time and eventually (maybe years) you might just see your money.
I agree with Tim, It may be a good time to get your parents input on this one.

sheshovel
09-11-2006, 10:40 PM
Yes there really is not much point in pressing the matter. She has NO money and your her last priority.
BUT this is what I would do. I would go over and ask her if she has anything she can give you in trade for the 75.00. Like tools. Lots of these old lady's have garages full of tools that their dead husbands have left behind. If she does, then take what you think is fair and at least you have gotten something viable for your work. If not at least you attempted to.
I have done this several times and gotten some nice older but great hand tools out of the deal.

ALarsh
09-11-2006, 10:50 PM
Just drop it. You have had problems in the past. $75 isn't much and shes about to be kicked out of the house. You aren't going to get it.

Not sure what the deal is, if it was a one time cut or what because $75 ain't much for a month of mowing. If it was a one time cut, my policy is that I have to have $ before I do any one time cuts. I would suggest you doing this also.

J&R Landscaping
09-11-2006, 11:39 PM
The $75 isn't that much and if she's evicted, thats it. It probably a lost cause now but you never know. If you have had problems before with her, (as you said) I wouldn't kepp my hand on my a$$ waiting though. Its not that large of a bill so it could at least be worse. JMO

ChadsLawn
09-12-2006, 08:48 AM
if all that is true you are a POS....

think of all the problems this lady has, and you are freaking out over $75.00.....

if you are in such dire straits over only $75.00, then you are just as dumb as she is.... poor business management
Totally uncalled for. Your calling him a POS because he came here to us for advice on a situation? Id hate to see how you treat your family or people on the streets..You must think your better than everyone else eh?? Hmmmmm.... He could have done what alot of 16 yr old kids would have done. Maybe beat her, rob her or both. I give this guy and the rest of the young guys here alot of credit. There out doing what they love and making money doing it. Most kids there age are nothing but PUNKS that cause more harm than good.

Let the $75 she owes you go.. If shes there in a month or so and the yard is shabby. Knock on the door ask how shes doing. Then ask about paying what she owes( or to at least pay you something) Then go and do a quick mow for her. She will appreciate it and you'll feel good for doing it for someone in need. The man upstairs will pay you.

YardPro
09-13-2006, 07:32 PM
Ide think people would have enough brain power to have the money to do soemthing before you do it, but, i guess lawn service people just get thrown in the bottom of the priority pile. Ive had pay problems with her before, but that was her just being lazy and dumb, right now its more for getting the money becuase ive earned it over i really really need the $75. [/B]

this is why i made the response i made....
and chads.. you are having a knee jerk reaction.... i am telling this kid he is a POS for making statements like this about an old lady who is having a really hard time in her last years, and will could very well end up as a homeless geriatric getting beat up and molested in the alleys.......

why would my sticking up for a poor old lady make you think i "treat my family or people on the street" badly.....

i show the same compassion for them as i have for this poor old lady....

not i made my comment not knowing how old this kid is, but why does HIS age matter????? It actually makes his statement worse. What bills could a 16 year old kid have? Does he have a mortgage, or a wife and child that depend on his income to eat? Does he have utilities to pay, or medical bill concerns?????
How could he possible be in such dire straits to so desperately "need" this $75.00 so much that he will make a poor old lady's hard time even worse????

If he has some real NEED for the money, I'll gladly pay it for the poor old lady to help the poor woman out...


if you are in business and cannot eat a $75.00 loss and do not know how to show it as a bad debt at the end of year tax time, then i stand by my statement ....."poor business management"......

this is a lession to the kid that things happen in business, and that is why you should know how to run a business if you choose to do so....otherwise he'll be out of business soon...

mcwlandscaping
09-13-2006, 08:22 PM
i don't NEED it, been saying that since the beginning, i pay quite a few things for my age, car insurance, taxes, gas, loans (real ones, not just barrowing $20 from parents), and anythign that needs fixing on my equipment, kinda hard to make the money to pay for this around going to school, but i do it and then some....so i am not some POS, i have extreme compassion for people in bad times, this situation, was different for me, so that's why i asked for ADVICE.

i don't want to start anything at all, fighting on the internet is pretty dumb, but i came here for help, not go get put down and called things.

WildLake
09-13-2006, 10:08 PM
I used to mow grass for a really poor old guy and his son down the street. Him and his son would drive about 45min to the city each night and work as cabbys. He started having car problems and got behind due to needing a car to make money. Anyway he owed me around $100 and I wanted to quit cause he couldn't pay but my Pops said I had to keep mowing it, being it was the right thing to do and all. Eventually this guys son was murdered driving a cab and the dad just lost it and got evicted. Atleast five years later coming home I passed the old guy leaving my neighborhood and when I got home my dad gave my a note from him thanking me for all the mowing and there was $500 in twenties with it.

Point is, doing the right thing was worth it alone, but when you treat people right, it will usually come back to you. I don't think he owed me more than $250.

YardPro
09-13-2006, 10:09 PM
mcwlandscaping....

that post was not directed at you.. you took my first post with the grain of salt that it was intended.... the comments i made above were not at all in any way meant to attack or insult you.... they were made to make a point to others that were quick to bash me for what i said...

i don't think you are a POS... i think you are a go getter for running a business at your age. good job..

i do think your calling a little old lady stupid and lazy, etc... was a little out of line.. and i do also think that since you posted your comments here and were requesting help on how to get you money, you are not very empathetic.

I would hope that the youth are more understanding to the problems of the elderly, but i cannot blame you. I was brought up to respect and help the elderly. I help old people carry heavy groceries, open doors for them, let them out in traffic, etc.... it is just a way of showing respect for them helping to pave the way for us as the next generation.

I still can't believe that you "need" the money so badly that you will go after a poor defenseless old lady. YOU cannot legally sign a contract or take out a loan until you are 18 years old, so these loans, what are they for???

If you are running a successful business and charging what you SHOULD be charging than the $75.00 sould not put you in a bind at all...You have no significant bills...
do you have a mortgage?
do you have utility bills?
do you have to pay for your health insurance?
do you HAVE to pay your grocery bills?
do you have prescription bills for medicine just to stay alive?
do you have children?

I am not saying to not be agressive on collections, but in this instance you should very easially be able to let it slide...

this should be the time of year you have money stockpiled for the winter. If you don't the you will not be in business long. You need to either look at your pricing, or look at your spending, becuase one of the two is way out of line

now to make a point...

read the last line of your last post

"...i came here for help, not go get put down and called things."

you are right, you DID NOT come here to get called things and be put down... you came here for help.... for HELP getting the $75.00 this poor old lady owes you......


like i stated earlier... you contact me and prove you really desperately need the $75.00 more than she does, and i'll cut you a check on the spot.......

mcwlandscaping
09-13-2006, 10:37 PM
thanks for clariffying, i understand where you are comming from now,...no i dont need the $75, not much money at all to me.

bigjeeping
09-13-2006, 10:53 PM
Sorry to hear that. Small claims court is an option. Go to your court house and they'll show you how to do it.

bigjeeping
09-13-2006, 10:59 PM
Business is Business. If you want to run a successful one you need to put your foot down. Unless you like doing charity work, the money you have earned is YOURS and nobody else's.

There's a difference between a customer who CANT pay and a customer who WONT pay. If they can't pay you need to talk with them and work out a payment plan (put it in writing in case you need to take them to court later down the road). If they won't pay you need to start with some sort of collection procedure.

topsites
09-14-2006, 10:33 AM
I think you should walk away and forget it. It is a lesson learned. With no power or tv you are the least of her problems, so you will get the least attention. Maybe consider advance payment or contracts for the future.

Yeah I kinda agree, it's going to be tough but there is one thing you might can try which is to offer her a discount to mark the account 'Paid in Full.'

But first I would advise you need to make sure there is visible evidence of her financial hardship, you might try driving past some late evenings to see if there are lights on inside the house, if you get my drift. That's just to make sure she's not bs'ing you, not saying she is, but it's because of this next part, if it were me I would make sure they really ARE hard up for money first.

What I have done before is someone owed me $120 and same basic story, it was really bad and I knew there was trouble ... So, I offered them a one time deal, pay me $60 and I mark the account 'paid in full' and I do not send it to the collection agency and do not put it on their credit record and do not take them to court, and so it is I got paid 50 cents on the dollar. Whether I would do this again is another story but it resolved the issue somewhat at the time, I still lost some money, but not all of it...

The thing of it is, if things really are as bad as you say, that is likely your best bet because I doubt there is much you can do beyond what the big boys are doing, see what I'm saying...
So anyway, hope that helps.

topsites
09-14-2006, 10:39 AM
If it was a one time cut, my policy is that I have to have $ before I do any one time cuts. I would suggest you doing this also.

Ohhhh I like that policy, a lot.
Sheshovel had a really neat idea as well, I might can try that one with an elderly lady one day.

/////////////
And btw, I don't do charity work, at least not after the fact (and I think real long and hard if it comes clear before hand).
Yes, we get the short end of the stick sometimes, well so do the customers and it might be the right thing to do but a deal is a deal.
It would be a different story if you had agreed to do it for less, but you didn't, and neither did she.

Again you can try that 50 cents / dollar thing OR you can pursue it knowing that you likely won't get your money but it's one more mark on their credit record, I do not know but my attitude is simple: Either you can afford it, or you can't - And don't slide your money problem over into my money problem lol.

MarcSmith
09-14-2006, 11:11 AM
Another good point that I did not see, again not trying to bash, but this is a good example of why sometimes renters can be bad clients (it sounds like to me that she was a renter) renters have little if any tangible property that you can get your hands on. If she owned the house. you could have placed lien on the property and then atleast you have secured a spot in line.

Is 75 bucks worth chasing, your call to make. I have started the court proceding after 100 bucks. But I have also walked away from the kind of money. If its a D-head client thats not paying, then I figure its my job to teach them a lesson. If its someone who has fallen on hard time's they may get a break, it depends on their history. I too have given people a break and walked away, and I have also been the reciepeint of a nice suprise of finally squaring up on the bill.

You are young, and dont' have some if the bills others have, but if you are trying to grow a business that will sustain itself, every $$$ counts.

With renters I have either gone upfront fo rmoney, or contacted the landlord directly and had them sign a contract adn then they pay the bills, and he adds the bill to the rent.

willretire@40
09-14-2006, 11:20 AM
I didnt read all the replays but i would say go to her and tell her not to worry about paying you and it will proably make her day b.c she has so many other people on her back. I bet you it will come back to help you later with your business. So since you know you are not going to get the money why not make her day......

meathead1134
09-17-2006, 12:19 PM
got this one customer, now ex customer that has a $75 mowing bill run up. She wont pay it because she says she now has no money. She broke her hip and now can't work and SS isnt' sending any money. The electric company has cut her service, the cable company has done the same (not that she could watch tv without electricity!!) and she just got a threat of eviction letter from her current residense...question is, what do i do to get my money? Ide think people would have enough brain power to have the money to do soemthing before you do it, but, i guess lawn service people just get thrown in the bottom of the priority pile. Ive had pay problems with her before, but that was her just being lazy and dumb, right now its more for getting the money becuase ive earned it over i really really need the $75. Any assistance would be appreciatied. been about a month since last service i provided

I'm in the similar sitution here. My next door neighbor died in a motorcycle accident about 1 month ago and he has a wife that has the beginning stages of MS. I know of this because I would talk to him from time to time when we crossed paths. I noticed something was up when I didn't see or here of him in 2 weeks ( I don't notice much nor do I pay attention). So when I found out that he died. I went over and cut her grass for her. When she saw me cutting the grass. I stated to her sorry for her loss and don't worry about getting the grass cut. I'll cut it every week when I do mine and I'm not going to charge you. I actually saw her smile. She has no money the house is going up for auction in a month or so. She is trying to give me things everytime I cut the grass. She has a small fishing boat in the yard with trolling motor that I'm going to buy. She wanted to give it me and I stated no, I'll buy it from you for what ever you want but I will not just take it. Last week she wanted to give me some shot guns :dizzy:

YardPro
09-17-2006, 01:15 PM
kudo's to you meathead

that is the kind of thing that you will reap the benefits 10 fold. This is exactly the kind of "pass it on" goodwill that the world need more of. Far too many people are so self centered that they cannot go out of thier way to help a fellow human beong that needs assistance.
I am not, however advocating handouts for those that can do for themselves, but choose not to.

DBL
09-17-2006, 04:00 PM
it feels good to have some sympathy for people sometimes because some people are just down on their luck some times. we cut a acre lawn for a quadropledgic??? for $35 to help him out...he died this spring during a surgery and no one lives there and we still cut it for the family

Waterscapes By Design
09-18-2006, 09:38 PM
........group hug :dancing:

DBL
09-18-2006, 09:42 PM
........group hug :dancing:

hey sometimes thats needed

tinman
10-28-2006, 05:58 PM
got this one customer, now ex customer that has a $75 mowing bill run up. She wont pay it because she says she now has no money. She broke her hip and now can't work and SS isnt' sending any money. The electric company has cut her service, the cable company has done the same (not that she could watch tv without electricity!!) and she just got a threat of eviction letter from her current residense...question is, what do i do to get my money? Ide think people would have enough brain power to have the money to do soemthing before you do it, but, i guess lawn service people just get thrown in the bottom of the priority pile. Ive had pay problems with her before, but that was her just being lazy and dumb, right now its more for getting the money becuase ive earned it over i really really need the $75. Any assistance would be appreciatied. been about a month since last service i provided

You can harass her if you have time but if she is getting kicked out & has no electricity she will not pay you. Consider yourself lucky it is only $75 ( I know it sux even tho it is a smaller amount)

tinman
10-28-2006, 06:06 PM
if all that is true you are a POS....

think of all the problems this lady has, and you are freaking out over $75.00.....

if you are in such dire straits over only $75.00, then you are just as dumb as she is.... poor business management
Little harsh YPro. IF the lady has these problems, that sux. But how is it his fault. It's not. Whether he is in dire straits over $75 is irrelevant . He worked , she did not pay. No way any blame goes to him.

You're in his shoes with a big job and you get stiffed for $2500 because the CEO of the manufacturing plant you mow for ran off to Europe and bankrupted the company. You still feel sorry for the company and employees who missed paychecks. I don't think.

MowerMoney
10-28-2006, 06:07 PM
You, my friend, are the least of her worries. I would expect that you will not be getting this one. Maybe talk to her that you will call occasionally to see if she's getting back on her feet (no pun intended) and she could later pay you in small increments.

YardPro
10-29-2006, 05:16 PM
Little harsh YPro. IF the lady has these problems, that sux. But how is it his fault. It's not. Whether he is in dire straits over $75 is irrelevant . He worked , she did not pay. No way any blame goes to him.

You're in his shoes with a big job and you get stiffed for $2500 because the CEO of the manufacturing plant you mow for ran off to Europe and bankrupted the company. You still feel sorry for the company and employees who missed paychecks. I don't think.


that is totally different...
the employees would not matter becuase you would not be trying to collect from them. And the situation you just hypothesized is someone intentionally not paying, and profiting from your debt...

his situation is an elderly lady who is having a very difficult time due to circumstances that are not a direct result of her actions....

If someone can forget a $75.00 debt to help out an old lady that is having such a bad time, then i stand by my statement that they are a selfish POS.

And once again, I stand by my statement that i will pay the debt for her if he is in such dire straits that he REALLY needs the money.......

ALarsh
10-29-2006, 05:34 PM
I have a guy that owes $420 for lawn mowing in September and a little in October (have stopped service on his account)... Could you send that check to me also? I'll PM you my address.

YardPro
10-30-2006, 07:23 AM
you guys amaze me with your lack of compassion for people in need.

Alarsh
you really think the average bad debt is what this guy is talking about???
I don't think so...
my offer was to help out a little old lady that may well end up homeless, and obviously is having some serious problems and has no one to help her... What a lonly helpless feeling that must be...

I do not have the same feelings towards the average deadbeat, or the person that cannot pay becuase they spend to much money on crap..
these people have control over thier situations

dlm17
10-31-2006, 07:53 PM
yard pro, its refreshing to see that there are still people out there doing buisness with more than the almighty dollar on their mind i would like to somehow get the message across to these guys that alittle good will will do more for you and your buisness than you could imagine some times its just a good felling to know you "just did the right thing" not worrying about the profit. i guess i should take these rose colored glasses off but my life looks pretty good through them

tthomass
10-31-2006, 08:09 PM
i didn't waste my time reading more than just your post but.......i'd just walk away

there's a real problem going on and she doesn't have control of her life at the moment.........sometimes business needs to be set aside and hopefully good upbringing kicks in because some people just need some help

BBN
10-31-2006, 08:44 PM
Send her a note in the mail and tell her you forgive her debt. It will go further in helping you too. Meaning if you let it go that's that much less stress to deal with. You never know when you're going to need someone do the same for you.

TGK
11-02-2006, 07:05 AM
You know what you might want to do if the property looks decent, tell her that to compensate you for the money she owes you are putting a sign somewhere in her front yard with your business name etc. This way you get free advertising. If the place is a real dump then forget it.

MarcSmith
11-02-2006, 07:22 AM
You know what you might want to do if the property looks decent, tell her that to compensate you for the money she owes you are putting a sign somewhere in her front yard with your business name etc.

that woudl only work if you are actively maintaining the property. and I don't think he's doing that.

stumper1620
11-02-2006, 07:37 AM
you guys amaze me with your lack of compassion for people in need.

Alarsh
you really think the average bad debt is what this guy is talking about???
I don't think so...
my offer was to help out a little old lady that may well end up homeless, and obviously is having some serious problems and has no one to help her... What a lonly helpless feeling that must be...

I do not have the same feelings towards the average deadbeat, or the person that cannot pay becuase they spend to much money on crap..
these people have control over thier situations
Well Yard pro,
I think your beating on a dead horse here. they will never understand what your getting at. Its scary to think this is whats coming.
simply put to those of you that just can't seem to get it.
WRITE IT OFF!!!!!!!:dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead:

TGK
11-02-2006, 07:43 AM
Marc you took my quote out of context. In addition to that I did say if the place is a dump forget it.

georgiagrass
11-02-2006, 08:22 PM
Unfortunately, part of every business enterprise is writing off bad receivables. It sounds like that is what should happen here.