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C & S
07-10-2002, 10:16 PM
This guy dropped me 3 weeks ago to go with someone else. Said I was doing a great job but wanted someone to do everything under the sun at his house so bye bye. Now I can't get him to pay the last bill. Any suggestions. I would rather not have to go to court.:mad: :mad: :mad:

KenH
07-10-2002, 10:18 PM
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Jimbo
07-10-2002, 10:39 PM
Chad,

If it's not alot of money you might want to consider writing it off at the end of the year. Talk with your tax advisor.
Of course try scaring him first.

I personally wouldn't hassle with court if it's under $500.00

Shady Brook
07-10-2002, 10:49 PM
.I think some of these people are professional theives. They know that they can steal from people little bits at a time cus it is not worth going to court, they put you off til a lien is out of the question, and it is not enough that they figure you will talk to your good friend Bobo to ruff them up :D.

I feel for ya for sure. Have you talked to him and he has actually said he will not pay, or is he ignoring you? You could knock on his door real early in the morning, or in the evening being such a nusiance thay he may pay you.

You could take a deposit on new customer in the future, say a month in advance to protect yourself from this kind of thing, but you run the risk of not getting the customer because no one else in your area may take a deposit.

Hope you get paid

Jay

C & S
07-10-2002, 10:50 PM
No, it's under $500. It's just the princeable of it. i thought I was dealing with adults. Live and learn I guess!!!

Jimbo
07-10-2002, 11:19 PM
Chad,

I dont think there is much of a lesson to be learned. Just some loser who doesn't like to pay his bills. I don't think people in our industry will go for advance payment, or 50% now, 50% when the job is done.
You just have to do the best you can and move on. I think this type of behavior will be the exception and not the rule.

Good Luck, I understand your frustration.

Jim

sirsweatsalot
07-10-2002, 11:33 PM
let the guy know that took over for you what has happend to you and may be he'll get the idea that this guy sucks, and drop him as well.

the guy could be extreamly lazy too. you never know.

HarryD
07-10-2002, 11:37 PM
ive got a shed full of ROUNDUP and a bad attitude hehe you get the idea :blush:

Albemarle Lawn
07-11-2002, 01:05 AM
Tell him you will have a summons delivered to his OFFICE!

Email him if he has email...

Call him at work....

Knock on the door....

It's all perfectly legal. Just make sure he understands that his least painful option is to pay you.

KB

JimLewis
07-11-2002, 01:51 AM
ive got a shed full of ROUNDUP and a bad attitude hehe you get the idea This is a very bad idea for a multitude of reasons. The first of which is it makes you the primary suspect. "Gee, who would have applied round-up to my lawn?" If you are going to do something vengeful and destructive (which I DO NOT recommend) then at least don't be so stupid as to do something to the landscape, which makes you the primary suspect. Sheesh!

As to what you should do; I have the perfect solution. This works for us 95% of the time. Send them a lien letter similar to the one I've attached below.

Lien laws vary from county to county and state to state. And whether or not you can really take out a lien on their house in this case is totally irrelevant. The thing is most people, when they read this, ASSUME that you will be able to put a lien on their home. And that's the last thing any homeowner wants.

Trust me. You'll have a check in your hands within days.

Phishook
07-11-2002, 03:27 AM
Good job jim.

A+

That's the most polite/threatening letter I've ever seen.

He11, I feel like I owe you money!!!:D

Tony Harrell
07-11-2002, 05:15 AM
I like the idea of the lien letter. Correspond with him regulerly and then when the season is over and you have time, take him to small claims court as well as anyone else who may owe you. It wouldn't be worth it during the busy season, but if you don't have anything else to do after the season, make him pay in court.

jeffex
07-11-2002, 07:26 AM
I had a lady last yr like this. She just decided she wasn't going to pay her entire bill. She claimed we didn't need to cut the lawn 4 times in a month. She was disputing the 2nd cut of the month after I gave her the bill at the end of the month. I went to her house on a sat. and reminded her that when she hired us I told her we cut on an as needed basis. Some months the service is every week. She remembered the conversation but has decided to cancel service and refuses to pay for 4 cuts. She sent me a check and paid for 3 cuts. I went back to her house and gave her a bill for the unpaid cut. I noticed on her walls crosses and pictures of Jesus. I pointed out to her that the $30 she thinks she is saving is money I earned for a service I performed. I reminded her that If she had a problem with a cut we did 2 wks later was not the time to dispute it. Then I told her I had heard of other lawn services throwing waterballoons filled with roundup on lawns of deadbeat customers. I said that is not my way but that I would say a prayer for her to do the right thing and I thanked her for the business she gave us. 10 days later I got a check for $30 I wonder if the fear of Jesus or the round up balloon is what got to her??

ProMo
07-11-2002, 08:11 AM
https://www.legaldocs.com/docs/con_de_1.mv this letter has never failed me in 10 years of service


http://home.cfl.rr.com/mowing/images/promo_logo.gif

Barkleymut
07-11-2002, 10:06 AM
Show up on a weekend when they have company over. Send them professional letters like the 2 attached to this post. If that doesn't work, wait 3 years and then throw a couple gallons of diesel fuel on their yard. Much better than roundup. Nothing will grow there for over a year. Hey they asked for it!

AL Inc
07-11-2002, 10:14 AM
My friends Vito and Rocco will help him find his wallet if you know what I mean.:) Mike

bruces
07-11-2002, 10:27 AM
Round up, diesel fuel, why not just burt their house down?

I thought this was a forum for professionals.

I can't believe people are actually posting that you should do damage to someones property.

In case you folks advocating this behavior don't know it, this is probably a crime.

Is is worth it?

What is a few hundred dollars worth to you guys?

I know it is irritating when someone doesn't pay for our hard work, but a little of that is part of being in business.

Either pursue it through collection letters, small claims court, etc, or forget it and move on with your life.

AL Inc
07-11-2002, 10:36 AM
Your right bruces, I was just joking. I've been in this situation before, went to small claims court once, and it wasn't worth the effort for $400. Now I just write it off as a bad debt expense and never go back. Fortunately it is only a small amount that I can't collect. One great thing this business has taught me-how NOT to treat people. Good luck Chad

Just Turned Pro
07-11-2002, 11:20 AM
Send these guys over to collect!


Imagine when they look through the peep hole to see these mugs and hear... " I think you owe are friend here a little money!"

photo from hbo.com

awm
07-11-2002, 01:51 PM
thanks promo ,that site went on my favorites in a hurry.

ProMo
07-11-2002, 05:03 PM
it lets u print a verry effective letter last guy I used it on owed me 370 dollars and told me he had to discontinue service because he couldnt afford to pay me even tried to offer me some coupons to a greek restaurant (yuk)when i refused he said i just wasnt going to get paid I sent that letter and within 3 days got a check rom his wifes account

Barkleymut
07-12-2002, 10:38 PM
Hey I don't WANT to dump diesel fuel in their yard but if they are not gonna pay then thats what they get. I am as professional as anyone and if I didn't pay my bills then I would expect some serious action would be taken against me. BUT BUT BUT I PAY MY FREAKIN BILLS LIKE ANY PRO. SO if these people are not gonna pay then I'm gonna spray! I don't have the time or resources to go to court so I will solve it to MY satisfaction. And you say what is a hundred bucks? Well that is a day at the beach that I now cannot take because some ahole cannot figure out how to pay his bills. I say spray it!

HarryD
07-12-2002, 11:50 PM
ive never done the roundup job on anyone but have sure felt like it many times :D

Brickman
07-13-2002, 01:57 AM
I cannot believe that nobody mentioned a COLLECTION AGENCY. Yes they do take a cut of the money but not that bad. One witch I sent to collection owed me $92, I got $70 some back after paying collections. Not bad if you ask me. And collection agencys can mess up your life, and scare the stuff out of you if you are on the receiving end of their nasty letters.
After the experience with the above mentioned witch I have on the bottom of ALL my invoices, "all accounts go to collection at 60 days" I will not mess with them any more. Either pay up or face the music.
My tax accountant says you can write off services performed in this biz. Only acctual product used, gas, fert, parts. No time.

odin
07-13-2002, 02:06 AM
I got a buddy on the west side of chicago who i served with in vietnam.
For 10% of a 1000 or more he will bring me fingers if i want em:D

JimLewis
07-13-2002, 02:39 AM
I cannot believe that nobody mentioned a COLLECTION AGENCY. Well, I, in particular, didn't mention one because in this case it didn't seem like the best option.

In this case, just serving the deadbeat with a lien letter is simple, takes only a few minutes, and is successful at getting you 100% of your money within just a few days. So why would I recommend someone go pay a collection agency?

Furthermore, most collection agencies have certain minimums. No collection agency in my city will handle your collections if they don't total at least $1000. And many of them have minimum monthly requirements. And since Chad was talking about a relatively small amount, it seemed silly to recommend a collection agency.

I am not knocking collection agencies. They have their purpose and they are fairly effective in certain circumstances. We use one. But I only refer to them clients who don't live in their homes any more (e.g. moved out and didn't pay their last bill). Because in that case I can't send a lien letter.

But even at their best efforts, my collection agency has only managed to collect only 50% of the bad debts I sent them. Some dead beats will just never pay.

Bob Minney
07-13-2002, 09:27 AM
Brickman
You are lucky if you found a collection agency that will take care of you. I'd be happy to give them their 33/40/50% if they would just do a job then give me a follow up. It seems the $50 - $300 accounts just are not worth their time. I would tell them up front how many accounts and how many dollars I averaged needing collected. All I asked for was a status report 1 X month. After 3 in 5 years I went back to doing my own.( yeah, maybe I was a pita)
The first one was the best, they did actually collect some $ but they always had trouble with the %. 1/3 them - 2/3 ME. That would get switched 1/2 the time. A couple had set up payment plans then the collector would forget to pay me. Also sometimes when a customer gets a letter from they agency the check finds its way to you. I would always send them their %, they would always forget to clear the account.
The second one collected the first 2 we sent to him then nothing for a year. Get a call one day from the Co. that bought them. We were going to review the accounts one day soon, I followed up 2X and never heard from them again. Had to send them a letter that they were not authorized to collect in my name.

Anyway
forgive the long-winded & probably boring rant, but my veiw on collections agencies - they are as welcome as customers with dog $#!t on their yard

I've found that I'm my best collector, an hour or so 1 or 2X a month and I keep uncollected $ under 1%

Brickman
07-13-2002, 03:11 PM
The one I used is a local Cheyenne company. And the woman that owns it is no nosense. I talked to her in person when I took the account in. I probably would not have messed with trying to collect $90, but the person that owed was a major real estate agent, and I wanted to make a statement. I almost called her boss that I work for as well and telling him that one of his agents was a dead beat. But I didn't. I even considered taking an ad out in the paper and telling people do NOT buy from her because she writes bad checks and does not pay up. But I figured that I could get sued for defamation of character and so did not do that. But the collection worked for me, as I have always said about many different issues the best way is what works for YOU, and your biz.

cos
07-13-2002, 06:07 PM
Collection agencies should be the final decision. They cost you money!!!

Samurai WeedWacker
07-13-2002, 11:04 PM
Great thread. Excellent resources.

Small claims court is easy. It never takes more than a couple hours of time (in this town anyway). I've gone to small claims court for less than $100.00. Fees are paid by the loser.

Albemarle Lawn
07-14-2002, 12:29 AM
LET IT BE OFF-ROAD DIESEL!

Why pay the road tax unless you use it over the road!

KB

KenH
07-14-2002, 11:49 AM
Im telling you, this Clientcheck.net is the way to go. At least you are warning other contracotrs who to stay away from. How cool would it be if the customers who screwed you couldnt get anyone else to work for them.:p (Or at least you could threaten that.)

JimLewis
07-14-2002, 10:45 PM
Clientcheck.net doesn't appear to be all that effective at all. First of all, it seems like nobody is using it, which presents a big problem.

I went there when you first posted the link and signed up. Then I did a search for my city (Portland) for a ton of very common last names (Miller, Jones, Lewis, Williams, etc.) and I wasn't able to find one single person who had been reported for my city.

I think, in concept, this is a great idea. But in reality, if nobody is really using it then it's not effective at all.

Bob Minney
07-15-2002, 12:48 AM
Jim
I did the same thing not one hit- in a metro area with around 2,000,000 people.