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rcreech
02-01-2009, 03:28 PM
Guys,

I have a handful of customers that have yet to pay off their 08 account.

I am going to turn them over to a collection agency but don't want to piss them off either.

Do you have a letter that nicely states you are going to be turning them over to a collection agency?

I want to be nice and give them 1 more chance and "threaten" them a little with a collection agency.

Any ideas on what to do here or any examples? How do you handle?

Thanks,
RC

mikesturf
02-01-2009, 03:39 PM
Have you spoken to any of these people? What's their story? Have they made any attempt to pay?

turf hokie
02-01-2009, 03:42 PM
Guys,

I have a handful of customers that have yet to pay off their 08 account.

I am going to turn them over to a collection agency but don't want to piss them off either.

Do you have a letter that nicely states you are going to be turning them over to a collection agency?

I want to be nice and give them 1 more chance and "threaten" them a little with a collection agency.

Any ideas on what to do here or any examples? How do you handle?

Thanks,
RC


It doesnt work, I tried the letter saying that I was going to turn them over to our collection agency if I did not hear back by X day. They dont think you will do it after all it is probably on $120 bucks.

I finally signed up an agency on Monday and sent 12 people to them. I cant wait for them to get the letters. The "I'll put it in the mail tomorrow" days are over.

dcgreenspro
02-01-2009, 03:52 PM
I just made some phone calls. People like to talk to me about what's going on and more than half didn't know that they had a problem until I pointed it out. If I need to call a collection agency, I would just assume to drop them.

turfsolutions
02-01-2009, 04:00 PM
I just made some phone calls. People like to talk to me about what's going on and more than half didn't know that they had a problem until I pointed it out. If I need to call a collection agency, I would just assume to drop them.

I don't think he will have to drop them as it isn't likely they will resign. The question is does he want to go through the trouble of getting the money he is owed. I would definately talk to the person on the phone before I handed them over to an agency so I could try and work something out. If they are hurting maybe they could at least cover your costs. If that doesn't work then hand them over. Hopefully you can get the money you are owed.

kootoomootoo
02-01-2009, 04:03 PM
gro some balls and knock on their door.

grassman177
02-01-2009, 04:55 PM
gro some balls and knock on their door.

nice one, this is what my dad does after too long. this wokrs well when you show up unannounced a their door demanding payment. they wont know what to do but cut a check right there. works 90% of the time. with these folks we started making these prepay for part of the season with stopped service once the money runs out, you may consider this option to keep them if they can do it, otherwise----- to the curb. we are worth the money

LIBERTYLANDSCAPING
02-01-2009, 05:20 PM
I had a handfull (5) that I had from 08 & sent a certified letter to them stating what their balance was & that they needed to pay in 10 days, or go to small claims court. ALL paid within 10 days. I had previously sent letters to all of them with no response. Certified has always worked for me. (Make sure you DON'T put your return address on them, or they may refuse to sign for it) Sending certified/registered also gives you evidense that you DID send them a letter, if you take it to small claims court.:rolleyes:

LIBERTYLANDSCAPING
02-01-2009, 05:21 PM
gro some balls and knock on their door.

I have done this in the past..Well, I'd slip the unpaid invoice in their front door:) I have had good response with that:weightlifter:

NattyLawn
02-01-2009, 05:24 PM
We add finance charges after 30 days. Most of the time the customers ***** about the finance charges or don't pay the finance charges at all, but at least they pay the original bill. Our office manager makes calls as well.

You can also say "we're a small company, and it hurts our bottom line to have delinquet accounts". If you know the customer and know what they do, try and flip it on them. "So Dr. Jones, how do you handle it when patients are late to pay?"

daveyo
02-01-2009, 05:43 PM
Guys,

I have a handful of customers that have yet to pay off their 08 account.

I am going to turn them over to a collection agency but don't want to piss them off either.

Do you have a letter that nicely states you are going to be turning them over to a collection agency?

I want to be nice and give them 1 more chance and "threaten" them a little with a collection agency.

Any ideas on what to do here or any examples? How do you handle?

Thanks,
RC

Kinda curious how much is it, I still have a few thousand out there easily, and just received a bounced check back from my bank for 411.95. Let the fun times begin for 09 its going to be interesting as consumers tighten it up and confidence plummets.

But to answer your question it isn't easy the nicer you are the more they take advantage, the uglier it gets the less chance of getting paid. Good luck.

jbturf
02-01-2009, 07:22 PM
ive had pretty good response to the "threaten collection agency" letter but its always equalled lost customer for me.

the couple times i resorted to showing up at customers house, i left with check in hand
each time, but it also equalled lost customer for me.

if you have to send a letter be sure you send it registered or certified so the customer has to sign for it

ed2hess
02-01-2009, 08:38 PM
if you have to send a letter be sure you send it registered or certified so the customer has to sign for it

When people owe you money are they going to go pick up a registered letter?
I am just asking?

kootoomootoo
02-01-2009, 08:39 PM
Its Business. If I have to go to your door I don't need you as a customer next yr. Give me my money have a nice life.

I had a plow customer on thursday....we get 12in snow I purposely don't show up. Get the call ......blah blah cant get in the drive.

Sorry Mam you didnt pay for Nov and Dec. You leave check me come plow...real simple. She got the message.

rcreech
02-01-2009, 08:42 PM
I am now taking credit card...and I was also wondering about calling them and asking them if they would like to go that route!

Would this be acceptable?

I only have about 11 accounts but they total up to about $1900.

Thanks for all the input!

turf hokie
02-01-2009, 08:58 PM
I am now taking credit card...and I was also wondering about calling them and asking them if they would like to go that route!

Would this be acceptable?

I only have about 11 accounts but they total up to about $1900.

Thanks for all the input!

Absolutely, we take Mastercard and visa for this reason.
Dont think that we just send people to collections because it is easy.

Kooter said to grow a set and knock on doors.
I live in NY doncha think we already dunthat. Have had the cops called on us, restraining orders threatened b/c we knocked on the door whilst the man of the house was not around.

These are people that are no longer customers and have refused to acknowledge that we worked for them. I have copied checks, etc to show that at some point they acknowledged us.

We were nice, made phone calls, we got stern and sent in-house collection letters, we got adamant and sent threatening letters. NOTHING. Now deal with the guy that will f--- your credit a--hole. I'm done with you, shoulda paid me while I was nice.

LIBERTYLANDSCAPING
02-01-2009, 10:18 PM
When people owe you money are they going to go pick up a registered letter?
I am just asking?

No, they won't-If you put your return address on it. I purposley leave off the return address, so they don;t know who it;s coming from & are more likely to sign for it:)

group501
02-01-2009, 10:28 PM
I especially like it when they tell you that they were unhappy with the service. They never call and let you know something is wrong, ignore several late notices and then act like you did something wrong. I say COLLECTIONS.

Perfect Image TLM
02-01-2009, 11:29 PM
I have a couple customers I want to send to collections. How do I do this? Is putting a lien on the property better or even an option?

Thanks

Branch manager
02-02-2009, 12:02 AM
I have cut loose clients for slow pay. I refuse to work twice for my money, especially as reasonable as my rates are. I agree that being too easy will lead them to abuse you, and being a harda** will get their back up. Try to keep clients as current as possible. I rarely leave a job without a check in hand, with a few exceptions. I know a LCO that just went to the county courthouse to file liens on several properties that are way past due; one commercial account filed for bankruptsy! Glad I'm not him? Darn right. Communication up front is crucial; explain that you rely on prompt payments to keep your business running, and provide good service.There are enough clients out there; avoid/drop the slow-pays.Did they treat themselves to a flat-screen for X-mas or the Superbowl instead of paying old debts? I know that times are hard,and things are tough all over!:dizzy: Here's hoping for '09:confused:Cheers!:drinkup:

ted putnam
02-02-2009, 12:23 AM
I have cut loose clients for slow pay. I refuse to work twice for my money, especially as reasonable as my rates are. I agree that being too easy will lead them to abuse you, and being a harda** will get their back up. Try to keep clients as current as possible. I rarely leave a job without a check in hand, with a few exceptions. I know a LCO that just went to the county courthouse to file liens on several properties that are way past due; one commercial account filed for bankruptsy! Glad I'm not him? Darn right. Communication up front is crucial; explain that you rely on prompt payments to keep your business running, and provide good service.There are enough clients out there; avoid/drop the slow-pays.Did they treat themselves to a flat-screen for X-mas or the Superbowl instead of paying old debts? I know that times are hard,and things are tough all over!:dizzy: Here's hoping for '09:confused:Cheers!:drinkup:

I take care of it about the same. I don't receive that many payments while servicing the property for the simple fact that most of my customers are at work. However, I don't mess around with late/non payers. I cull them from the "herd" in short order.

sprayboy
02-02-2009, 08:36 AM
Usually send one last letter with envelope marked "mail copy, last notice" and leave one at residence marked "home copy last notice" marked in red ink. I explain in the letter if money not received by certain date that I will file a claim in small claims court and that the court costs are always awarded to me, therefore increasing the total amount due. This usually works well as I have not had to file in three or four years.

rcreech
02-02-2009, 08:43 AM
Usually send one last letter with envelope marked "mail copy, last notice" and leave one at residence marked "home copy last notice" marked in red ink. I explain in the letter if money not received by certain date that I will file a claim in small claims court and that the court costs are always awarded to me, therefore increasing the total amount due. This usually works well as I have not had to file in three or four years.

Thanks Sprayboy!

Thanks to everyone for your help!

Never had any issues in the past...but as I grow it seems like I am getting more people that "don't know me" and they don't pay.

My first 200 customer were friends, family, and "nighbors" and they were all good payers.

Now that I am getting people I don't know at all...it has changed slightly!

Thanks again!

sprayboy
02-02-2009, 08:51 AM
Thanks Sprayboy!

Thanks to everyone for your help!

Never had any issues in the past...but as I grow it seems like I am getting more people that "don't know me" and they don't pay.

My first 200 customer were friends, family, and "nighbors" and they were all good payers.

Now that I am getting people I don't know at all...it has changed slightly!

Thanks again!


I noticed the same thing as far as the more customers the more aggravating it gets collecting. It seems like people think we are part finance companies with no interest as well as a lawn care company.