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View Full Version : Do this for me but I ain't paying!!!!


MOW ED
12-30-2006, 10:36 AM
Allright this might get a little long but no one is too busy with snow, let alone grass.
I have (now probably past tense HAD) a customer for 10 years. Small 4K lawn but many planting beds and trees on the lot. The house is a ranch that has many add ons with many feet of gutters. This fall like all of the past falls I was requested to clean the gutters. The pitch isn't steep but the gutters get quite full because of a very mature silver maple that catches the predominant west wind and sheds to this roof.
The customers are husband and wife. The wife made the initial contact with me 10 years ago and has been pleasant but does ask for many services. The husband is the one who writes the checks every month. They are in their late 60's early 70's. She is an interior designer and I really don't know if he is retired now or what he did but they live comfortably.
The gutter job is done with the backpack blower and it does a great job but there are many feet of gutters and some valleys on the roof that pool leaves so I do a nice job and it takes about 20 minutes or so to get everything done well when the leaves are thick. Afterwards I will continue with the normal leaf clean on the property and blow the beds out and mulch it up. Bottom line is that I have done this for 10 years for them. Now I know some of you will beat me up for the next thing here but since they are regular customers I will go up there a second time at the end of the season and blow the gutters out again one last time before winter. They don't get charged again for that since they are multiple service customers (spring clane, mow, fert, weed, fall clean). The total charge is $35.00 plus tax for this gutter clean. The fall clean is billed seperately and is a decent sum lets just say its over $200.00 and is within the standards of this area.
Our final cleans are always done and all equipment is put away before Thanksgiving. The weekend prior to "finals" week we get a call on the machine from the wife stating that she wants the gutters cleaned again. My wife called back and spoke to the husband and told him that we will be there in the next few days and he was ok with that. I did the second cleaning and was done.
We billed for the fall clean and the hours were just about the same as last year and although I do not show the customer an hourly bill, this property is figured on it. I won't get into my pricing but will say the the fall clean total for this year was almost identical to last years. The gutter clean price is identical to last years at 35 bucks which I know is pitiful because its about 17.50 per trip. Hey I'm learning every year thats why I am writing this.
So if you are still with me, we get the payment and written in the margin is the words "DIDN'T PAY" and the gutter clean charge is circled. Below he wrote that I am working my way out of what he can afford and he would be willing to "talk" about this. He recalculated the bill and actually did pay for the fall clean and added the correct amount of sales tax.
At first I was going to just let it go and not respond but then I began to feel quite taken advantage of. I wasn't mad but I had to make a point. I was not able to make phone contact and quite frankly I did not want to. I assembled my data and wrote him a polite letter and gave him all the facts. I wanted him to have a hard copy of what he should know from my end. I also requested that payment be made prior to 12-27-2006 which gave him 10 days more to pay. At that time I did not institute my late fee of 10% as all customers know about my fees.
December 27th came and went without a check. I waited for the mail on Dec. 28th and then sent a certified letter to him now instituting a late fee asking for payment and also stating that if payment is not recieved by my 45 day limit, we will be in small claims court.
Wouldn't ya know that the check came on the 29th. He probably signed for my letter as I was getting his payment. There have been no phone calls or contact from him but I am assuming that we are done as business acquaintenances. Honestly I am not saddened by this but really stumped as to why after 10 years a guy starts to go goofy and decide to not pay me.

I can never say that I had experienced it all or know anywhere near enough about people and I deal with people every day. Yes I probably lost a customer over a 35 dollar bill but what did I do wrong except do what they wanted? One door closes and another one opens. Happy New Year. Now print up those contracts......:cool2:

newz7151
12-30-2006, 10:43 AM
With the Christmas holiday, you didn't exactly give him very much time after explaining the bill to get your check to you. I'm sure he cannot control how backed up the post office gets, and you should have waited until at least today (30th) for the mail to catch up.





Arrogance is the seed that grows stupidity.

Uranus
12-30-2006, 10:51 AM
Good for you for not backing down. You have to stick to your guns. You probably pissed him off when he got the last letter and threatened court but who is he to tell you to do the job and then say he's not paying for it. I usually dont jump to the next step as fast as you did. I give a due date and wait about 2 weeks before making contact again. Sometimes people get paid every other week for example and dont have the cash on your due date. Nobody ever said business is nice. We all try to be as nice as we can but sometimes we have to be A$$ holes. Good luck with him and I hope it goes well.

1MajorTom
12-30-2006, 10:58 AM
We have about 20 customers that we have left from when we started 8 years ago. I think it becomes almost like a "comfortable factor" with them. They get so confident and comfortable with you that they almost forget and think they are calling the shots. Almost like they feel that you will accept anything they say because you need them. (yes, we all need our customers to a certain extent, but not enough when customers start dictating when and how much they are going to pay).

Uranus
12-30-2006, 11:02 AM
Jodi----Thank you for losing the Christmas count down thing. T

MOW ED
12-30-2006, 11:03 AM
To NEWZ7151,Hey thanks for the last line in your signature and you certianly have a right to your opinion and if you think I am arrogant so be it.
His ORIGINAL bill was sent on the 27th of November. It was DUE on the 5th of December. Now stay with me my friend. I got his first check MINUS the gutter payment on the 4th of December.
I then wrote him and gave him until the 27th to pay. The payment that came yesterday the 29th was POSTMARKED on the 28th. He lives 1.25 miles from me.
You are right in the statement that he cannot control how backed up the post office gets. No brainer. He can control his fingertips and call to leave a message that payment was made, he had plenty of time to do that. he did not ever call and I know it for a fact because my caller ID has no record of call.
A little advise for you to take or leave here is that many people will listen to someone with an opposing point of view but if you become personal and start with that BS in your last line, many will discount you as a pompous goof that has little value to an intelligent conversation. So please consider my advice as friendly but smart a$$ comments like that will surely get a smart a$$ reaction. I wish you a happy new year.

AndyTblc
12-30-2006, 11:13 AM
When you recieve a payment on the border line of regular and late fee. And you get the bill 1 or 2 days after the late fee would be initiated. Do you look at the postage date on the envelope or do you go by the day that you revieved the money?

Uranus
12-30-2006, 11:15 AM
:laugh: The post office being backed up.:laugh: If I mail out my bills on sunday at the post office I have gotten checks in the mail on tuesday. There is no way that they cant get a letter to someone in the same town with in 3 days max. If its put in the local delivery box then it should be in hand the next day, two days if you missed the afternoon pickup time.

DUSTYCEDAR
12-30-2006, 11:18 AM
i love when people think they can change a bill try that with the phone company and see what they do

1MajorTom
12-30-2006, 11:41 AM
Jodi----Thank you for losing the Christmas count down thing. T
:)
Don't worry, I won't do a valentines day countdown. :eek:

ECS
12-30-2006, 12:13 PM
To NEWZ7151,Hey thanks for the last line in your signature and you certianly have a right to your opinion and if you think I am arrogant so be it.
His ORIGINAL bill was sent on the 27th of November. It was DUE on the 5th of December. Now stay with me my friend. I got his first check MINUS the gutter payment on the 4th of December.
I then wrote him and gave him until the 27th to pay. The payment that came yesterday the 29th was POSTMARKED on the 28th. He lives 1.25 miles from me.
You are right in the statement that he cannot control how backed up the post office gets. No brainer. He can control his fingertips and call to leave a message that payment was made, he had plenty of time to do that. he did not ever call and I know it for a fact because my caller ID has no record of call.
A little advise for you to take or leave here is that many people will listen to someone with an opposing point of view but if you become personal and start with that BS in your last line, many will discount you as a pompous goof that has little value to an intelligent conversation. So please consider my advice as friendly but smart a$$ comments like that will surely get a smart a$$ reaction. I wish you a happy new year.I take it that you also can control your fingertips. Did you use them to call him?

MOW ED
12-30-2006, 01:55 PM
I take it that you also can control your fingertips. Did you use them to call him?

Here is a finger,tip for you. I conduct business with hard copy. That way I have a paper trail of what transpires. You tell me how do I prove that I or my customer "said" something if its not written down.
If you don't believe me just post your phone number here and I will give you a call and we can talk about alot of things. Then you prove what is said.

Its business my friend and when it becomes legal business you have to prove yourself. Then again I am not surprised by a response like this because the lawn service is full of people who can cut grass but do not know how to do business. Take it as a learning experience. By the way you can even refer back to it because I wrote it down.

Happy New Year.

DUSTYCEDAR
12-30-2006, 02:07 PM
:)
Don't worry, I won't do a valentines day countdown. :eek:

AND I WAS LOOKING SO FORWARD TO THAT!

Grass Kickin
12-30-2006, 02:08 PM
I think you could have given this 10yr customer a little more time. However if someone refuses to pay me for something I did work for, Houston, we have a problem. Maybe it is for the best. Maybe you cut your own throat by doing the right thing and going back a second time in the fall to tidy up the gutters and they came to expect that.

ECS
12-30-2006, 03:07 PM
Here is a finger,tip for you. I conduct business with hard copy. That way I have a paper trail of what transpires. You tell me how do I prove that I or my customer "said" something if its not written down.
If you don't believe me just post your phone number here and I will give you a call and we can talk about alot of things. Then you prove what is said.

Its business my friend and when it becomes legal business you have to prove yourself. Then again I am not surprised by a response like this because the lawn service is full of people who can cut grass but do not know how to do business. Take it as a learning experience. By the way you can even refer back to it because I wrote it down.

Happy New Year.If I had a customer for 10 years, I would had the decency to call them and ask why they are not paying you and ask where your money is for the work you have done. If they tell you it is in the mail, then wait a few days then send your registered letter with your data and your threat of taking him to small claims court. As it was, you did get paid. I would want to know why after 10 years they weren’t going to pay. At that time maybe he would have told you not to do that for him anymore. You make the call, make notes to yourself, then proceed if you want to pursue it further. But I would not send out a threatening letter for small claims court over $35. Yeah, I know it is not the money but the principal of the matter. Obviously, that customer of 10 years did not mean as much to as the $35 or a phone call.

I was not able to make phone contact and quite frankly I did not want to. Why were you not able to make phone contact? In your first post you made reference to this. Then in your reply to me to said you wanted a hard copy and a paper trail. Is this because in your first post you also made note that you did not want to call him?

Why would I want to post my phone # on here or anywhere else for that matter? I you did call me, I could prove it by recording the conversation, which is legal for me to do here, don’t know if it where you live or not.

MOW ED
12-30-2006, 04:33 PM
Ya ECS your make great points. I'll take your good advice to heart. Hows about you run your business your way and I'll run mine the way I want to.
I can see why many people get tired of the goofs on this site sometimes and move on.
Its funny to see how many experts there are here but we really don't know how successful these so called experts really are. I do quite well because I have never had one customer get away with stiffing me. I have always been fair and did more than I really have to on many long time customers lawns. If someone thinks so little of my work that they are trying to dictate how much they should pay then I could really care less about keeping them. I work on and am driven by profit. I am not full time as many would categorize it but I treat this business as if I was raising my family from it.
You hobbiests are definately part of the market and some of you pull it down but this is no hobby for me and when I do work I WILL get paid.
ECS you have a smart guy tone and I will read your post but weigh it at about a 2 out of 100 on credability. If you want to be a smart guy thats fine but I have no more to say to you. Winter is fun ain't it.

Uranus
12-30-2006, 04:40 PM
Who wants the boxing gloves. WOW

Hard Worker
12-30-2006, 05:05 PM
Ed, Most of my customers that I've had for that amount of time I have come to know quite well. I understand that point of you wanting a paper trail, good advice. One thing that I have done in the past for customers that I know well is deliver it in person and explain things face to face. Sometimes it helps relieve tensions that occur. Just my thoughts, hope it works out.

Dunn's
12-30-2006, 05:25 PM
Who wants the boxing gloves. WOW

They can borrow mine.(look above)

Daner
12-30-2006, 05:31 PM
From what I see here, Ed has His policies... and he is sticking to his guns.
I too have my policies and I also stick to my guns. If there Is a legitimate mistake made by the customer...that to me would be a whole different Ball game...If there were any changes to be made on that Invoice ,It should have been done only by Ed... He runs the business Not Mr+Mrs Smith.

Beau Rivage
12-30-2006, 06:44 PM
I don't know...after all it just said "didn't pay" not "REFUSED to pay". Sounds to me like you roughed 'em up pretty good with out bothering to even ask them why. A newbie, yes...a 10 year faithful customer??? 35.??? I don't know...I know I'm new at this and still have a lot to learn but I have to say I wouldn't have gone off on 'em quite that quick. From everything I've read here, faithful customers are pretty hard to come by but hey...if you can afford to give 'em up, more power to you. I'm sure someone will take them off your hands.:drinkup:

brucec32
12-30-2006, 06:55 PM
Mow Ed was right. Why should he waste time calling someone who just gave him a slap in the face by not paying a legit bill, treating him like he's trying to rip them off, etc, when he's doing them a favor with such a cheap rate? Call a gutter cleaning service and that'd be $100. They're looking a gift horse in the mouth. He put it in writing. It's a business. So many of you guys just don't get it. You're a business, not a beggar. Do you think the phone company or your credit card company is going to phone you up crying "did we do something wrong?" when you randomly decide to not pay some of the bill? No, they simply send you a notice to pay up or be canceled and collected on. The customer was the one not paying the bill in full as agreed. THEY have the obligation to phone up and explain why, if anyone does. The only reason they paid was the certified letter. That scares the crap out of some people who dread the idea of a day in court. He's better off w/o them.

I don't know what happened to some guys here in their childhoods that seems to have beaten them down so much they have no self respect, but they seem to have this groveling attitude about dealing with customers and earning a living. You don't work FOR them, you have an business arrangement. People will often treat you how you act. If you carry yourself like a beggar, you will be treated like one. If you act like your time is valuable and you have certain fair policies you stick to, they will conform. If your policies are clear and in writing (Like MowEds) then there really is nothing to talk about when someone betrays your trust and fails to meet an obligation. Do you really want customers like that? Face it, a lot of Americans are big babies and like someone who comes home from work after a bad day and kicks the dog, they sometimes think they can jerk around the lawn guy. They mistakenly feel you need them more than they need you. Well, in my market that is far from the case. And because of the self-esteem deprived individuals who just sit there and take it, many of them can get away with this attitude.

Even if you NEED the money, never show it, or you will regret it. You might as well put your finger in the guy's belt loop and follow him around like they do in prison. They smell your fear and once they do it never gets better.

And some of you just miss the point. The very fact that they are 10 year customers means that they should have the respect to let him know why they dispute a charge or will be paying late. He's earned it. A psychologist would find it interesting that you immediately assume that YOU should be giving them the benefit of the doubt, rather than vice versa. Self-esteem issues.

Beau Rivage
12-30-2006, 07:11 PM
If it had indeed said "REFUSED TO PAY, then I wouldn't have batted an eyelid. As it turned out, he got his money the same day the old man got his certified letter, so in reality it didn't have any other result than to piss the old guy off probably forever. But as I said...someone will be glad to take them off his hands.

Maitland Man
12-30-2006, 07:28 PM
What I would do now is......drop him a call, acknowledge payment, and thank him. Apologize to him if he felt that the letter was a bit harsh, but explain that it's a "form letter" and that you still value and want his business.

There...then you've stuck to your guns, and have a customer for another 10 years :)

Dennis

brucec32
12-30-2006, 07:46 PM
Yeah, I just reread that about the cert letter timing. But it's a good technique and at this point I'd be thinking about replacing them in the spring anyway. MowEd's only fault here was that he may have trained them to expect something for nothing (by actually doing the 2nd gutter cleaning for nothing). Doing little extras that are of negligible value is a good idea (brining in the paper or emptied trash cans, etc) but anything of substance sets the table for problems later.

But it's certainly not unreasonable that when someone fails to pay a bill due in one month, then you write them with a detailed explaination of the bill and give them another few weeks to pay it, then they fail to meet that deadline, that you send the next demand for payment via cert. mail and include language to make it clear you won't just go away with your tail between your legs. If you let it slide till the 30th, you pretty much just said it's ok to pay you in January for work perfomed in November. Heck, even in this example, the guy chose to pay the bill so late that it arrived a day after the 27th due date. That just screams that he isn't worried about losing his lawn service or has already decided to replace them. Neither is good for MowEd.

This is how you manage accounts receiveable. Failing to do so on a wholesale basis runs companies out of business when the dollar amounts are higher. If this had happened mid-season he might have been "in the hole" for a few hundred dollars, not just $35, and by the time he figured they were not gonna pay at all unless he comp'd them the gutter cleaning he'd be hurting much worse. And good luck suing for the payment in court over maintenance. They can just lie and claim you never showed. Unlike an auto lender, you can't just come reposses your work. Your work deteriorates within days. So you have to be strict about it.

Put it in perspective. If the phone or cellphone company doesn't get paid, they cut you off pretty quick and add lots of late fees and reconnection charges. They also make you prepay each month, so they never lose a dime if you fail to pay. And if you don't pay them, what extra work did they do that they lost? nothing. A lawn guy has to eat hours and hours of hard work. It's a little harder to take. My advice is if you want to not get all bent out of shape and angry about your work in this business, get paid promptly and don't let anyone get so in debt to you that they have power over you, either financially or emotionally. Better to drop 1-2 customers a year prematurely for chronic slow-paying or other disrespectful acts than to drop even 1 too late.

DLCS
12-30-2006, 07:53 PM
Mow Ed,

I would have done the same. :)

Beau Rivage
12-30-2006, 08:22 PM
Yeah, I just reread that about the cert letter timing. But it's a good technique and at this point I'd be thinking about replacing them in the spring anyway. MowEd's only fault here was that he may have trained them to expect something for nothing (by actually doing the 2nd gutter cleaning for nothing). Doing little extras that are of negligible value is a good idea (brining in the paper or emptied trash cans, etc) but anything of substance sets the table for problems later.

But it's certainly not unreasonable that when someone fails to pay a bill due in one month, then you write them with a detailed explaination of the bill and give them another few weeks to pay it, then they fail to meet that deadline, that you send the next demand for payment via cert. mail and include language to make it clear you won't just go away with your tail between your legs. If you let it slide till the 30th, you pretty much just said it's ok to pay you in January for work perfomed in November. Heck, even in this example, the guy chose to pay the bill so late that it arrived a day after the 27th due date. That just screams that he isn't worried about losing his lawn service or has already decided to replace them. Neither is good for MowEd.

This is how you manage accounts receiveable. Failing to do so on a wholesale basis runs companies out of business when the dollar amounts are higher. If this had happened mid-season he might have been "in the hole" for a few hundred dollars, not just $35, and by the time he figured they were not gonna pay at all unless he comp'd them the gutter cleaning he'd be hurting much worse. And good luck suing for the payment in court over maintenance. They can just lie and claim you never showed. Unlike an auto lender, you can't just come reposses your work. Your work deteriorates within days. So you have to be strict about it.

Put it in perspective. If the phone or cellphone company doesn't get paid, they cut you off pretty quick and add lots of late fees and reconnection charges. They also make you prepay each month, so they never lose a dime if you fail to pay. And if you don't pay them, what extra work did they do that they lost? nothing. A lawn guy has to eat hours and hours of hard work. It's a little harder to take. My advice is if you want to not get all bent out of shape and angry about your work in this business, get paid promptly and don't let anyone get so in debt to you that they have power over you, either financially or emotionally. Better to drop 1-2 customers a year prematurely for chronic slow-paying or other disrespectful acts than to drop even 1 too late.

Every bit of this makes perfect sense, and certainly nothing in business is more frustrating than a slowpay... I'm only saying that I would have taken into consideration this or any customers track record. I'm assuming he's had no trouble with payment or whining for ten years. In your earlier post you mentioned the customer should have been the one to call him and not the other way around...you're perfectly correct...but he didn't, and I agree it could end up being a problem for MowEd......if repeated. I imagine the old man was too embarrassed but without knowing them I couldn't say. I worked in finance for years and I had to learn patience. It wasn't easy. You want everything to run perfectly and everyone to pay perfectly but the reality is sh!! happens. I like most people don't like it so I determined from the beginning to stay small and run a pay as you go operation. No contracts, no invoices...Bich better have my money or I go to the next one.:laugh: Now my only concern will be whether or not the check clears...if it doesn't, I keep verifying funds over the phone with the bank until it's good and then run down there and cash it...and oh yes...drop them like an anvil.

ECS
12-30-2006, 10:38 PM
I can never say that I had experienced it all or know anywhere near enough about people and I deal with people every day. Yes I probably lost a customer over a 35 dollar bill but what did I do wrong except do what they wanted? WOW, don’t you have the attitude. You are the one that asked and it is apparent that you do not want to hear the truth. You asked and I gave you my opinion, simple as that. If you don’t want to hear negatives, then don’t ask a question.

Let’s see. You have a customer for 10 years and never a problem getting paid and the time of the year it was with the PO living up to their usual postal duties of not delivering, delivering late and then throw on that the back log of work because of the holiday season. I find it pretty poor on anyone’s part to send a threatening court letter because of this. From what I have read in your posts, you were just too chicken chit to pick up the phone to a valued 10 year customer. Well maybe they were not a valued customer, because you right away wanted to take them to court instead of working with them or even finding out what the problem was. As far as what Bruce has said, the phone companies, electric companies and credit card companies will work with you on a late pay or non pay once the communication is there. Communication is a two way street, but apparently you do no wish to do any communication with a 10 year customer that has been faithful to you and has help support you for the last 10 years.

Yes it is your business and you can run it as you like just like I can do with mine. But the next time you do not wish to hear any of the negatives to a question, then do not ask. You had no problem working for them, taking their money and saving or spending it for 10 years, then you get all pissed off, and for good reason, but not concerned enough to find out why and perhaps save a lot of headaches and confusion and still have that customer for another 10 years.

As far as my smart guy tone, tough! All I was doing is questioning you. Even though I thought you were wrong, I questioned you thinking that there may be more to the story. Guess I was wrong and therer was no more to the story and you are the one with the smart guy tone. I could care less if you have a smart guy tone to me or any where else on the Net, but if this is the same smart asses tone you have with your customers it is not a wonder you didn't get paid from them. Did you confirm the work before you did it or did you just take it upon yourself to do it because they had you do it in the past?

And yes, winter is fun. I will continue to read your posts because I may indeed learn something that I did not know or have not thought of to date. Have a safe and a Happy New Year.

howardsells2000
12-30-2006, 11:43 PM
What I would do now is......drop him a call, acknowledge payment, and thank him. Apologize to him if he felt that the letter was a bit harsh, but explain that it's a "form letter" and that you still value and want his business.

There...then you've stuck to your guns, and have a customer for another 10 years :)

Dennis


Forget all this negative stuff and do what Maitland Man suggests. You did what you did. You can't change it, but I don't think you will lose this customer.

Good Luck

MOW ED
12-31-2006, 08:47 AM
Its real easy to get into these digital pi$$in matches on the net and I have to admit that after being on this site since almost the beginning I still get hooked by a few of you. Bravo to you.

Now truth be told we all have opinions on how everyone else handles things. I read a post by Jodi a few weeks back and she had a similar situation. I had an opinion on that situation also. I will tell you that I did what I did with much forethought. You notice that I didn't come here first and ASK anyones advice on the situation. I came here after I did what I had to do and I would do again.

It is not that I do not care about my customers. I do. I have had many of them for 8 to 10 years but I get new ones every year. My bottom line continues to grow but its because I work at making it grow. I always give my customers respect. I expect the same. I work on the premise that I will treat you well and with respect. I do not take advantage of my customers and never have. On my end I ask for the same. I am not a 12 year old kid doing lawn care for a lollipop and a pat on the head. I am in business to make a profit. My time spent away from my family and a sizeable investment in creating and maintaining a business has to be paid for by those I work for. That means I have to get paid.
I am "friendly" with my customers but my customers are not my friends. We have a business agreement that is mutually understood. I perform lawn services that the customer asks for and I charge a certain amount. It is really that simple. If you break our business agreement, I will take that as a breach of contract. Its business and legally I have a few options. When this guy wrote on his bill that he wasn't paying and then recalculated it and sent it to me, am I to assume he may want to pay in the future if I call him and ask him to? Get real. Run that scenario thru your business. Long term customer or not, if someone decides not to pay once they are setting the stage for something else in the future.
He stated his reason at the bottom of the page, I was working myself out of what he can afford. My rate was identical to the previous year, so what am I supposed to say? Oh I am sorry how about I lower your rate just to make you happy and allow you to afford my service. Mayby some would do that but not this business. There are people who can afford my service and I have a full plate of customers who pay and continue to recommend me to others.
I do not know what will happen in the spring with them. I will send a service letter to them as I have done in the past. I will make no apologies to them for anything that I have done as in my head I know that I would not have done any of it if he had just paid for my service because THEY asked me to do it.
As stated, I am still learning and feel that I will be forever. Learning about people and different attitudes, weaknesses of character, human nature in general. That goes for members here as well as about customers. I know that I am not 100% right in all I say or do but I know that I am successful and that is something that I am proud of and will keep on doing.

drmiller100
12-31-2006, 01:39 PM
old people get goofy. i would have eaten teh 18 bucks, and upped their weekly mowing bill 5 bucks, which would have caused them to find someone new.

MOW ED
01-18-2007, 06:58 PM
:::::::::::::::UPDATE:::::::::::::::::::

I was at home and the mail lady rang the bell. She had me sign for a letter that was not delivered after 3 attempts. It seems that my customer didn't want to sign for the letter so he has no idea what was written in it. (unless he reads this site:hammerhead: )

Today is Jan. 18, 2007 and that letter was sent Dec. 28, 2006. Who knows what will happen in the spring with the new pricing arrangement. I think I may just retain him and recoup my losses in advance of work being done. Happy New Year.

corey4671
01-19-2007, 12:11 AM
NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! You MUST froce him to accept that letter!! After all this crap you've talked you gotta back it up brutha!! Send it back...SEND IT BACK!!!

HOOLIE
01-19-2007, 01:31 AM
I would've just called the customer to begin with...that usually works a lot better than a letter. However the customer was VERY wrong to write that little "note" on the bill....HE should have called you if he had a problem. You were certainly within your rights to pursue the money, I just would have handled it differently.

Going back to one of the first posts....I keep a 'phone log' where I jot down all (or most) incoming and outgoing calls...I have brought these logs to court and the judge has allowed it as evidence/proof that a conversation took place.

Envy Lawn Service
01-19-2007, 01:38 AM
MowEd,

I've had this happen to me a few times over the years too. I had more aggravating issues when I did 'list billing' like you do. The only time I run into it now is when I do 'list bill' for some reason.

The moral of that little story being... avoid all possible 'list billing' and a site/customer you have serviced for 10 years CERTAINLY qualifies as possible. All your charges for services at that site should be built into an annual agreement with equal billing by now.

That being said, I still get this every now and then. Mostly on first-year customers and bare-minimum customers requesting additional services.

But as you probably already know, I'm a very 'frank' person, and might even be considered a bit confrontational when someone messes with me like that. You can bet your @ss they are going to "HEAR" from me one way or the other. By phone or in person. If the issue is not resolved... then they will 'read' from me.

The moral of that little story being... talk to a man before you mail him a written threat.

Beyond that though, I feel you handled it exactly as you should have. Good for you for having self-respect and sticking to your guns. Most people here won't admit it, but a big reason why customers will try this crap is that 95% of LCO's would have rolled over and accepted that treatment.... members here included.

HOOLIE
01-19-2007, 01:42 AM
IF you keep this guy for '07....first time you mow it, leave about a 10 square foot patch of grass unmowed. right smack in the middle of the front lawn...put a sign on a stick in the ground, reading "DIDN'T CUT" :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

MOW ED
01-19-2007, 09:14 AM
IF you keep this guy for '07....first time you mow it, leave about a 10 square foot patch of grass unmowed. right smack in the middle of the front lawn...put a sign on a stick in the ground, reading "DIDN'T CUT" :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

I think I like this ides the best.:waving: