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bobbygedd
12-31-2001, 10:31 PM
well, i have only a couple of customers left who are not under signed contract, and sure enough, this dirty bum is smoking me for 2 bills. when i went to clean his leaves, he said he didnt have any cash on him, and his wife had the checkbook, would i please do the work anyway, he will pay me tuesday. so, i did it, this is a customer ive had for 3 years now, never gave me a problem. now(for 5 weeks now), he wont return my calls or respont to my letters. now what????what would u do? i know alot of u r gonna say"just forget it, and move on", but im afraid i couldnt live with myself if i did that. please help

1stclasslawns
12-31-2001, 10:45 PM
Did you get him to sign a ticket? If you did and you relly want to file a property lein. Youll get your money.


Jim

bobbygedd
12-31-2001, 10:55 PM
im afraid there was nothing more than a verbal agreement. we were kind of "chummy" for the last couple years, hed invite me in for a soda and we would chat for a few minutes about this and that. guess im silly, but i kinda trusted him

Andy Miller
01-01-2002, 12:25 AM
Visit him again. And keep visiting until he he feels real uncomfortable. He may choose to pay you to just get rid of you.

geogunn
01-01-2002, 12:53 AM
bobby--never forget about two bills. go after him.

if worse comes, return the leaves. you can find some somewhere.

GEO

scagman
01-01-2002, 01:12 AM
This is why Im in the process of creating my one year contracts. This last summer a younger women called and wanted a bid on cleaning out the beds and weekly mowing. I gave her the est. she was very happy so I cleaned out her beds for $60 and mowed her lawn 7 times @ $25 per mow. The really funny thing is that she would come out and ask me to do little things like edge the flowerbeds and edge along the curb, so I would do it. After sending like 3-4 invoices I stopped mowing yes I was tring to call her, but no answer and no voicemail she gave me her cell#. The fifth and last invoice I sent was returned to me reading RETURN TO SENDER PERSON HAS MOVED AND HAS LEFT NO FOWARD ADRESS I was furious, so I bring up her file and get her cell # guess what? dissconected.

I still cant sleep at night

fivestarlawnken
01-01-2002, 01:27 AM
keep visiting,or just dump a big load of leaves in his driveway..:eek:

strickdad
01-01-2002, 01:33 AM
i would find them and give them a visit at the most "inopertune" time.

lawncare
01-01-2002, 02:23 AM
I know it was wrong but this guy got me for about 45 bucks so after 6 tries i went 1 night and flat all 4 tires on his vehicle so i said to my self he'll pay someone. but it burns me for him to keep saying ill pay u and dont i rather u tell me no the give the runaround im wasting gas going cross town when you tell me to come and no 1 there.

Evan528
01-01-2002, 02:44 AM
Small claims court has done the trick for me. 9 times out of 10 they will pay befor the court date because they know they have no argument. I just filed to take a customer to court the other day for the remeinder do from a landscaping job ($1200.00). Its costs me about 90 dollars for court fees and sending a constable out to serve the person. When I win the case I will get that money back.

BigJim
01-01-2002, 03:39 AM
Nothing worse than being stiffed for your lawn money,but it always hurts more when its a regular job who you thought you could trust,but if he still lives in the same place just drop by weekends or evenings when they dont expect you ,as mentioned above,take some friends with you for a ride,big,mean,ugly ones are paticulary good,if you cant sleep at night worrying ,phone him then,12:30-1:00am are good times,if he dont reply try an hour later each evening,keep billing each month,add $50 each time for collection costs,be nice,but persistant,they generally pay up just to be rid of you,hopefully by getting rid of this loser you will gain a better customer and the loser who stiffed you will have to put up with using second rate scrubs for the rest of his life.

awm
01-01-2002, 05:47 AM
bobby ,something dont sound right. he has been a good customer for 3 yrs. and now is avoiding you.
he may have financial problems,and is so covered up he is
embarrassed and avoiding a lot o people. he still got to pay but
u might take a little time here and see if u can save a good customer and get your money to.
then if he is just plain trying to beat u , a thief ,show him cow horns will hook.the direct approach is something most people dont want to deal with.key is dont get thrown in jail ,or shot.:) later now

Atlantic Lawn
01-01-2002, 07:29 AM
As they say verbal contracts aren't worth the paper they're written on.I have turned deadbeats over to a collection agency.They really work and I don't have to hassel with small claims or phone calls.I'd do that before I waste half day of work waitin' for some deadbeat to show up in court.

bobbygedd
01-01-2002, 07:16 PM
yea, thats the whole thing that really pi**es me off, we have always been on good terms, so the first letter i sent said that if r short on cash, etc, its not a problem, just please touch base with me and let me know u r eventually gonna pay me. he wont pick up the phone or answer my letters. one time this happened along time ago, and i went to police station, to file a complaint of theft, they told me forget it, no written contract, no go. very odd, but i think the persistance thing may work.

heybruck34
01-01-2002, 07:24 PM
Fertilize a nasty word in his yard. It's not destruction of property since you are "helping" the grass. Then he has to wait it out or fertilize the rest of his yard which means he has to pay someone else to cut it more often or do it himself. I did this when I was cutting yards in highschool. Went over at about 3 am with a couple gallons of spray and sprayed the "F-bomb" on their lawn.

Didn't get any money but it was funny as hell to drive by 2 weeks later!!!!!

johnnywalker
01-01-2002, 07:26 PM
Originally posted by bobbygedd
this is a customer ive had for 3 years now, never gave me a problem. now(for 5 weeks now), he wont return my calls or respont to my letters. now what??

You sure he's not on holidays or out of town for some reason? Have had customers called away on personal matters or vacations I thought were going to stiff.

LAWNGODFATHER
01-01-2002, 07:34 PM
Take him to small claims court.

If he doesn't have the time to pay you he wont have the time to go. So no show means he looses.

And yes a verbal agreement WILL HOLD UP IN COURT.

Hope to see you on Judge Judy.;)

bobbygedd
01-01-2002, 08:09 PM
well, we have called and the gutless %$##$ makes his little child answer the phone and say mommy and daddy arent home.

keifer
01-01-2002, 09:08 PM
I vote for round up not bad words but the whole place beds and all.

awm
01-01-2002, 09:16 PM
ok bobby. dont want to get u hurt here. ride over to his house
and tell the men not to say anything. knock on the door.
im bettin hes not going to come to the door. just give his kid or
leave a note in the door . mr. so an so, i exspect to be paid , the sooner the better.
if by chance he does come to the door say the same thing in a nonthreatening way.jus be careful a scared man will shoot u.
ive seen this work a bunch .i qualify this as jmho
later now an good luck

Sean Adams
01-01-2002, 10:06 PM
Bobby,

You are encountering something that is part of running a business and there really is nothing to say other than it really stinks. I've read some of the other suggestions and I'm assuming the people who posted were joking (dumping leaves, fertilizing swear words into the lawn, visiting at 2 am, etc...). Often times our industry gets a black eye when it comes to reputation - unreliable, unprofessional, uneducated, etc.... This is your chance to prove the stereotypes incorrect. Two hundred dollars is two hundred dollars no matter how you look at it, but don't let it allow you to make a mistake you will regret. This person knows that when it comes down to it, the mortgage, the car payment, the utilities, and the credit cards are first priority. Be professional. Send a letter in the mail and send the exact same letter via certified mail. Make it very clear in the letter that you performed a service he agreed to and it is his responsibility to pay you. But you will have to draw the line somewhere. Your time is worth far more than $200. If it seems hopeless, simply write it off as a bad debt on your 2001 taxes. It is a risk you take as a business owner. I hope the situation works out for the best. If you treat all of your clients fair and reasonably, you should expect the same treatment. It's a shame that there are people out there that will take advantage of anyone they can.

Sean Adams

bruces
01-02-2002, 09:43 AM
I agree with Sean.

Hopefully no one was really serious about letting air out of tires, spraying yards, etc.

If anyone is really that stupid to do something like that over money, then you are no better than the people that stiffed you.

That kind of behavior is true "scrub" behavior. If we want to be perceived as professionals, we have to act the part.

How many other business owners do you think resort to some sort of retribution if they get stiffed on a bill?

Grow up people!

walker-talker
01-02-2002, 10:23 AM
I feel your pain brother,

I do business with a guy that own his own real estate management frim. I mow his lawn, in addition to one time mowings. He is always the first to pay when the invoices are sent out. I have sent him 2 now and he still owes $280. I have not tried to call, but will be doing that soon.

MATT

kris
01-02-2002, 10:51 AM
Originally posted by bruces
I agree with Sean.

Hopefully no one was really serious about letting air out of tires, spraying yards, etc.

If anyone is really that stupid to do something like that over money, then you are no better than the people that stiffed you.

That kind of behavior is true "scrub" behavior. If we want to be perceived as professionals, we have to act the part.

How many other business owners do you think resort to some sort of retribution if they get stiffed on a bill?

Grow up people!

My thoughts exactly... take all the neccesary legal action that is needed. Don't go beyond that. If he is been around for 3 years I would place my bet on the response that he is having some sort of cash trouble. Do you take credit cards as payment? If not , maybe it's something you should look at.

ps. do you fellow lawnsite members realize that many customers may follow this site ... Keep the bs to the off topic , which in IMHO should be , some how, not for the general public to read.

1stclasslawns
01-02-2002, 11:05 AM
Bobby somthing I noticed in a couple of the replys is that they have mentioned illegal activities as far as collections go ie; calling at very late hours.

If you are trying to collect a debt and break collection laws set up by your state, the debt is considered null and viod and they owe you nothing. And could possably sue you for damages and win. So check with your atterny befor doing anything you are unsure about.

I have just found out that the mortgage company I first went with befor they sold my mortgage to another co lied to me about several things and if I hade proof of what they said (not selling my mortgage, changed intrest rate at closing, changed points at closing) I could sue them and my debt to them would be null and void, too late for me though I could have had my house paid for!

Jim

lawncare
01-02-2002, 11:22 AM
I gotta few nail to send you aint nothing like going to work and all tires are flat and the you'll be late cause tire places dont open till 830 or so.:blob4: :blob3: :jester:

kris
01-02-2002, 11:51 AM
Originally posted by lawncare
I gotta few nail to send you aint nothing like going to work and all tires are flat and the you'll be late cause tire places dont open till 830 or so.:blob4: :blob3: :jester:

You sure you don't want to change your profile? It says your 31!??:rolleyes:

bobbygedd
01-02-2002, 01:24 PM
to tell u all the truth, i have dealt with others who owed me money, ive never threatened anyone, or damaged thier property, but have definitly acted like rabid animal, and guess what? it works! this particular customer though has left me off balance, and with them i dont care to go crazy, but i still want my dough. my lawyers advice is to send a certified letter, then after 30 days file a complaint of theft with the police. for me personally, all i want is for them to contact me and at least let me know that they someday do intend to pay up, as it stands right now, it seems they will not pay, and have no intention of ever paying. thats not good.

cos
01-02-2002, 04:03 PM
Put in a letter that you are now forced to send this invoive to our collections agency. Please do not damage the fine credit that we have either with us or any other agencies. Add interest with the letter. It worked for me. I got a phone stating that he never received the other bills. and then he inturn sent back the first bill with payment. HMMMMMMM " didn't get the other bills, did ya?" It worked for me.

Russ
01-02-2002, 05:38 PM
I've never been not payed for work I've done. I dont do small clames, add interest, threats, or round up. I don't stop calling. How have you been? How are things going? Whats up? It's been a while since I talked to you. How's that thing in your lawn or landscape doing? Don't know why it works, but don't get mean or develop an advisorial relationshp. just stay in touch and you will get paid. Adleast it works for us!