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View Full Version : Will we retain this customer?


1MajorTom
09-12-2006, 06:44 PM
The 2 main reasons we will drop a customer are because we are tightening our route, or else the customer all of a sudden starts going senile and wants to skip cuts. (we deal with a lot of elderly, and when I say senile, I'm not making fun)... anyhow... this is different, this time we dropped a client that we picked up this year because of late payments. We rarely deal with late payments cause the elderly pay quick, but this customer is not old, and late payments are not acceptable month after month. So in her last invoice I included a note saying that service was being terminated, blah, blah, blah, and the total was due immediately. BUT, we also service her mother who is a GREAT client and pays quickly. What are the chances that we will lose the mother, now that we stopped service at her daughter's house? It will be interesting to see how the mom will react. What has been your experience with this? Would hate to lose the mom as we already have a retaining wall scheduled with her this fall. Just throwing out a conversation.....

Charles
09-12-2006, 06:53 PM
I think I would have talked to the mother first and explained the situation. I had this problem and did that. She might have counselled her daughter into paying her bills on time. Nothing to lose since you were going to drop her anyway

richallseasons
09-12-2006, 06:54 PM
I had a customer that I picked up a couple of years ago,she was an older woman and she was on time and good about payments and my pricing ect.-well she asked me to do work for her daughter and it was the same story,late payments me sending notes,late fee's the whole nine yards until I received my final payment and dropped her.The mother must have taken her side because that was that,oh well. Obviously you have a 50/50 chance of retaining the mother-maybe she knows her daughter is a pita and you keep her.

HOOLIE
09-12-2006, 07:05 PM
Let me know how it goes...I have one customer that I think I'll have to take to Small Claims, and I do their parents who were one of my first clients and great people to work for.

1MajorTom
09-12-2006, 07:26 PM
I think I would have talked to the mother first and explained the situation. I had this problem and did that. She might have counselled her daughter into paying her bills on time. Nothing to lose since you were going to drop her anyway
glad it worked out for you, but nah, I couldn't do that. if Charles didn't pay his electric bill, would you want the electric company calling up your mother and telling her that you make delinquent payments??? lol... now if she was a deadbeat and wasn't paying her bill at all, then ok maybe. but terminating service was good enough, I couldn't shame her.

olderthandirt
09-12-2006, 07:32 PM
I take it the daughter must be middle age? If thats the case I doubt you will lose the mother, I'm positive that when parents and kids reach a certain age they both do what they believe is right and have no influence on one another.
That age is when the parents are elderly and the kids are late 40s early 50s

The mother believes paying bills on time is the right thing to do, the daughter does'nt.

parkeeee
09-12-2006, 07:42 PM
If I was a betting person, and I am, I am betting that the mother will keep you. Unless they live close, or the daughter does not fess up to mom, she might never know. Even if she does find out, if she's any kind of a reasonable person, I would venture to guess that if she has been with you for any length of time that she would want to keep the services that she has been used to. People are funny though, you never know.

Just my 2 cents.

Keep us posted.

Az Gardener
09-12-2006, 07:44 PM
I have had similar situations never lost a parent. Should be no problem for you.

Charles
09-12-2006, 07:46 PM
glad it worked out for you, but nah, I couldn't do that. if Charles didn't pay his electric bill, would you want the electric company calling up your mother and telling her that you make delinquent payments??? lol... now if she was a deadbeat and wasn't paying her bill at all, then ok maybe. but terminating service was good enough, I couldn't shame her.

Well what the daughter is going to do is lie to the mother and you may lose both.
The mother I spoke to told me to send the bill to her and she would make sure her daughter made it a priority lol

MMLawn
09-12-2006, 07:51 PM
You'll keep the mother. I doubt a daughter, even a grown one will likely tell her mommy that she doesnt pay her bills.

Sandgropher
09-12-2006, 07:56 PM
You will lose the mother , the daughter will say you dropped her for no reason.

This is the bad side of refferals, try to drop one and you lose all there friends or family.

Charles
09-12-2006, 07:59 PM
You'll keep the mother. I doubt a daughter, even a grown one will likely tell her mommy that she doesnt pay her bills.

Someone who doesn't pay their bills probably doesn't tell the truth either. Great thread Jodi:waving:

1MajorTom
09-12-2006, 08:00 PM
You'll keep the mother. I doubt a daughter, even a grown one will likely tell her mommy that she doesnt pay her bills.
agreed, I don't think the daughter will say anything voluntarily... however, since they only live a few blocks away from each, I'm just wondering if the mother will notice on her own.

MOW ED
09-12-2006, 08:52 PM
Is the daughter just chronically late or do you have to threaten her with legal action continuously? Reason being is that I have lost pretty decent customers that just had a hard time paying on time. I know we deserve to be paid quickly but I really had no other contingency plan for late payers except for getting Pizzed and eventually just terminating service. These people did eventually pay and always did but they were late. It is no doubt frustrating but it never was so bad that I ever had to start legal proceedings. Mostly 60 days and then we would get a check. I guess in retrospect I could have instituted late charges or have a pre-pay clause but I didn't. I lost some good money that came but came late. I learned. I don't know if the mom will bail on you, I hope she doesn't but reevaluate your service and see if dumping is the best for all.

Surf'n'Turf
09-12-2006, 08:54 PM
agreed, I don't think the daughter will say anything voluntarily... however, since they only live a few blocks away from each, I'm just wondering if the mother will notice on her own.

If she does, and finds out the truth...she might just get a scolding from Mom for leaving you hanging.

surgeon83
09-12-2006, 09:02 PM
I had a customer who was 9 cuts behind at the time I sold my business. They never sent me any money, so I came back one year later and became persistent with phone calls and waiting outside their house for hours when they wouldn't answer the door- I got my money.

Drive a $60,000 Lexus and can't afford to pay the kid who mows the lawn, when they have a son one year older than me- what trash.

MDLawnman
09-12-2006, 09:09 PM
I'm going to guess that you'll lose the mother too. Let us know what happens.

rodfather
09-12-2006, 09:19 PM
The mother believes paying bills on time is the right thing to do, the daughter does'nt.

I would concur.

Rons Rightway Lawncare
09-12-2006, 10:59 PM
I have about 1/3 to maybe 1/2 of my accounts due to referals. If one is not paying, I will let the others know so that if I have to drop that customer or get cancelled over it, they know their friend is the scumbag, not me.

1MajorTom
09-13-2006, 12:28 AM
If I was a betting person, and I am, I am betting that the mother will keep you. Unless they live close, or the daughter does not fess up to mom, she might never know. Even if she does find out, if she's any kind of a reasonable person, I would venture to guess that if she has been with you for any length of time that she would want to keep the services that she has been used to. People are funny though, you never know.

Just my 2 cents.

Keep us posted.

yep, i'll follow up in a month or two on here.