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View Full Version : Enough is enough!


Madcape
08-08-2008, 06:57 PM
I have a customer that actually use to be my boss. He has a large scale commercial only landscape company. I worked for him for a year until I started my own company. Then 5 years later he asks me to mow his personal house intsead of paying his 3 man crew. So I started mowing his house as well as 3 of his foremans houses. This worked out great until the begining of this year. My computer went down at christmas and I had to send it to california for warranty. So when I finally got it back his bill was up to $4000 since then it has been excuse after excuse paying me $500 to $1000 at a time. He still owes me $2500 I dont want to just walk away from that kinda of money but I dont know what other choices I have. I dont think her will ever catch up. Any experience in this kinda problem?

browningv308
08-08-2008, 07:08 PM
sounds like you should have made some other provisions to send out the bills ever tried to hand write a bill works great for me from time to time if your making $4000 in a year from 1 account you should be able to get a new computer I personally wouldn't pay you either can't pay the bills without a bill

ambersLawnmowing
08-08-2008, 07:12 PM
I have a customer that actually use to be my boss. He has a large scale commercial only landscape company. I worked for him for a year until I started my own company. Then 5 years later he asks me to mow his personal house intsead of paying his 3 man crew. So I started mowing his house as well as 3 of his foremans houses. This worked out great until the begining of this year. My computer went down at christmas and I had to send it to california for warranty. So when I finally got it back his bill was up to $4000 since then it has been excuse after excuse paying me $500 to $1000 at a time. He still owes me $2500 I dont want to just walk away from that kinda of money but I dont know what other choices I have. I dont think her will ever catch up. Any experience in this kinda problem?

Experience no....But it seems to me that you should have seen this coming. I bill once a month and it is due in 15 days if no payment... no mowing for you. But you let it go to $4000?????? WHY I have done landscapes less then that and get half down before i leave with sign contract. And why bring up the computer problem? Does your computer go and collect money from customers? I back all my billing stuff up on disc and if i dont have my computer i go to freinds and use his/hers. If your blaming this on him or your computer you should buy a PEN and Paper.... $4000 man i would not have had it get past $400 but thats just my opinion and thats the way i do it. Goodluck

CkLandscapingOrlando
08-08-2008, 08:17 PM
You really screwed up huh.I would buy a reciept book just in case.I know the guy should pay but thats gotta hurt his pocket. how far behind was he?

david shumaker
08-08-2008, 08:26 PM
I've found that anything that has to do with computers, you need a back-up.

ALC-GregH
08-08-2008, 08:33 PM
I can't see letting it go that long regardless of what happened. Dude, $4000.... your crazy. Best tell him you need to be squared up before you can continue or he will always be behind on payment.

Madcape
08-08-2008, 09:20 PM
Yeah I dropped the ball! But I have never had a customer not pay me. Most of my customers have me on auto bill pay. He is the type of person that if he can get away with it he will. I didnt know that until all this. I personally would pay my lawn guy even I didnt get a bill. I mean its the same price every month. I didnt have any other problems with the other 90 accounts I have so that doesnt hold water with me.

Madcape
08-08-2008, 09:25 PM
He like I said is in the business and should know better. I talked to him today and he expressed his frustation with his customers that own him 85,000, that his secretary forgot to bill. Well I guess you live and learn I will never do this again. I have been in business 8 years and never had somebody do this to me. Thanks for input

topsites
08-08-2008, 09:26 PM
Yeah but then I owe more than that on a 0% loan which just got extended well into next year and guess who can't pay it back right now even if he wanted to? Dang straight, and they can beg and plead and they'll be as lucky as I will be IF I can pay it by the time the note becomes due. And it's not that I intend on skipping out on it but things are just a wee bit tough for more than a few folks out there, myself included.

So I would be glad to be getting $500 to a g at a time, wow I would be so humble the man is writing those kind of checks, the other thing is I would be doing whatever to keep it from getting worse when I can clearly see the man is doing everything he can.

Once a customer falls behind I start to cut out certain parts of the service, that's my first warning sign and
if they just happen to be slow payers that usually works out just dandy too :p

I feel for the customer in this case, that's a lot of money and I don't care who you are.

I've found that anything that has to do with computers, you need a back-up.

Preferably pen and paper :p

Come to think of it...
I always thought the computer IS the backup! :p

Genlandscape
08-08-2008, 09:48 PM
Topsites, it souns like you have posted too many threads onthis site and neglected your business. If you can't make your loan payments, it's time to hang up the keyboard, and start networking. There is plenty of work out there, even in drought ridden areas, you just have to look for it. If you are just mowing, it may be time to diversify. Any way, back to the thread. Our customers get thirty days, if there account becomes past due, they get a phone call and thier service is suspended. On the computer issue, you can buy a cheap laptop as a backup for less than a good backpack blower. We have a seperate system that runs our business software. Never had any probs. It's your business, therefore it's your responsibility to collect payment for services rendered.

Madcape
08-08-2008, 09:54 PM
I guess I forgot to mention when i first brought him the $4000 bill he said this. I was talking with him about business and he said he was bringing in $260,000 a month. Granted he has expenses but after he told me that I figured when I gave him the bill for $4000 he would have mno problem paying. So He has the money he said to me a few months back that he could pay me or make money with the money he owes me that is the only reason he is taking his time. He is taking advantage of the situation that I presented. I hat e when I owe someone money and cant wait to pay them back. So it is hard for me to understand how someone can be like him and dont give a dam. It is a learning experience for me and it is a expensive lesson.

Az Gardener
08-08-2008, 10:04 PM
Just make up a payment program to get you paid off by the end of the year. Set it up on a weekly schedule so you are piking up a check every week preferably from his bookkeeper. I don't think it is as big of deal as everyone else here. You just have to take some initiative here and get the ball rolling. I would also calculate a budget for any extras he is likely to get through out the end of the year so you are getting paid in advance for those. Things like winter lawn overseeding or seasonal flower change outs, fertilizer applications etc.

Madcape
08-08-2008, 10:20 PM
Thanks ! maybe I am stressed out about nothing, just worried he will try to just walk away without paying.

ambersLawnmowing
08-08-2008, 10:37 PM
Make sure to get a late fee. I would stop cutting, But then you are starting a battle and he more then likly wont pay you anymore, But why waste your time, You dont work for free. This is a customer not a freind. If it is a freind then o well. I never work for freinds or family. You have 90 customers and no one has ever been late or not paid for a month? man i want your customers...LOL i send bills and stop service and then they call to ***** and then i say pay and i will cut no pay and you cut??? They pay but they are asses about it.

Bottom line is MAN up and call him on his bluff if you think he has the money. Grow a sack and wack him with it until he pays you. The worst thing that can happen is you wont be cutting his lawn??? Well you dont work for free so that isntr a bad thing. Also people that say they have money DONT!!!!!! I have over 600 million in sales this year... Trust me or not???? 600 million blades of grass..LOL just cuz he says doesnt mean he has.. Do the local court access and see if he is being a good boy??? Every state has one and i check all my customers on it.. I dont cut Pedophiles lawns and people that dont pay there bills or taxes pay before i unload mower.. Simple... I trust my wife and Dog no one else, hell i dont trust myself half the time....

doubleedge
08-09-2008, 01:20 AM
Make sure to get a late fee. I would stop cutting, But then you are starting a battle and he more then likly wont pay you anymore, But why waste your time, You dont work for free. This is a customer not a freind. If it is a freind then o well. I never work for freinds or family. You have 90 customers and no one has ever been late or not paid for a month? man i want your customers...LOL i send bills and stop service and then they call to ***** and then i say pay and i will cut no pay and you cut??? They pay but they are asses about it.

Bottom line is MAN up and call him on his bluff if you think he has the money. Grow a sack and wack him with it until he pays you. The worst thing that can happen is you wont be cutting his lawn??? Well you dont work for free so that isntr a bad thing. Also people that say they have money DONT!!!!!! I have over 600 million in sales this year... Trust me or not???? 600 million blades of grass..LOL just cuz he says doesnt mean he has.. Do the local court access and see if he is being a good boy??? Every state has one and i check all my customers on it.. I dont cut Pedophiles lawns and people that dont pay there bills or taxes pay before i unload mower.. Simple... I trust my wife and Dog no one else, hell i dont trust myself half the time....

Maybe you failed to read the post, but he is getting paid. He is just getting paid very slowly. If he started to be an ass about it, he would lose alot of money.

mr mow
08-09-2008, 01:36 AM
Topsites, it souns like you have posted too many threads onthis site and neglected your business. If you can't make your loan payments, it's time to hang up the keyboard, and start networking. There is plenty of work out there, even in drought ridden areas, you just have to look for it. If you are just mowing, it may be time to diversify. Any way, back to the thread. Our customers get thirty days, if there account becomes past due, they get a phone call and thier service is suspended. On the computer issue, you can buy a cheap laptop as a backup for less than a good backpack blower. We have a seperate system that runs our business software. Never had any probs. It's your business, therefore it's your responsibility to collect payment for services rendered.

oh boy!!!! lmfao!!! ah you beat me too the punch! t.s. you always come across as an expert, yet always complaining. maybe its time to hangup the mow instead and ride the keyboard. seriously! how about a topsite only thread or topsite for pres! *trucewhiteflag*

milkie62
08-09-2008, 03:28 AM
Do not stop cutting.If you are doing a good job kep it up .If you can break down your bill go thru small claims court.That way you can get a judgement and it will mark his name and you will eventualy get your money with little money spent.

kleankutslawn
08-09-2008, 03:40 AM
good luck!!!!!!!!

CkLandscapingOrlando
08-09-2008, 08:53 AM
Dont kiss his ass what ever you do.You forgot to bill him but he knows good a damn well he owes you every month.The first month I can see but the second one he would have realized it.I always except responsibilty If I miss a bill but they still have to pay me on time once they know.Over 200000 a month and I cant get a 4000 doller check cut.Kiss my ass.This aint a single mom or old lady its.

Charles
08-09-2008, 08:55 AM
He is probably punishing you for not billing on time. Long as he keeps paying something decent, then I would keep cutting. Being in business himself he surely knows what it feels like not to be paid in a timely manner

brucec32
08-09-2008, 10:28 PM
Lawnsite posts are getting screwier with every year. I'm gonna have to call BS on this one.

Owners of lawn services that hire outsiders to mow their home lawns? Foremen who have lawn services at their personal homes? Who here wants an outsider mowing their lawns? What business has a single client who runs up a $4,000 tab in a few weeks time in December (even in Orlando it's hardly high season) and can't send out invoices due to a $250 PC going down?

Topping it off is the insipid question that is basically "anybody ever have problems getting paid?" duh.

This site is becoming more like a creative writing class.

LushGreenLawn
08-09-2008, 11:04 PM
Lawnsite posts are getting screwier with every year. I'm gonna have to call BS on this one.

Owners of lawn services that hire outsiders to mow their home lawns? Foremen who have lawn services at their personal homes? Who here wants an outsider mowing their lawns? What business has a single client who runs up a $4,000 tab in a few weeks time in December (even in Orlando it's hardly high season) and can't send out invoices due to a $250 PC going down?

Topping it off is the insipid question that is basically "anybody ever have problems getting paid?" duh.

This site is becoming more like a creative writing class.


I couldn't have said it better myself!

Az Gardener
08-09-2008, 11:39 PM
I would suggest if you have not been in the situation listed you are hardly qualified to give advise.

Just because you bill out 200-K a month does not mean that is what is coming in.

If you have a L/S crew that is generating 1500-2-K per day you would be an idiot to pull them off a job early one day a week to mow your lawn. Landscape is a different business than maintenance different tools different mindset.

If your foreman valued having their yards cared for and you can write it off as a business expense and keep good help happy... Its a no brain er, called thinking outside the box.

A 4-k bill is not that big of a deal in some markets, mine included.

The only oddity I see is not having a back up in place for a computer problem, and that is not all that odd either. You think it will be a week maybe two tops you can get by without it for that long. The next thing you know it is six weeks and you are getting worried but surly it will be back any day right... :hammerhead: After you have been through it once you won't make the same mistake again.

Its a big world out here people just because things are not plausible in your mind does not mean they don't go on.

CkLandscapingOrlando
08-10-2008, 10:12 AM
I agree.I've worked for guys that paid to have their lawns maintained because it did'nt make sence to send 40 dollars an hour across town 4-5 times a month to do what a smaller guy or local guy will do for 100 a month.Just so we all know,we bill year round in orlando.Thats right we work all 12 months with no snow and very few days below 45 so we bill year round.This means its very possible to get behind at that time of the year.When we aint cutting were trimming palms, cutting back tropicals, throwing mulch and all that good stuff