View Full Version : How to handle a past client who wont pay?

06-10-2011, 07:48 PM
I am only 16 so im not very intimidating lol, but I mowed someones lawn a few times and they owe me $72.00. To most of you this is nothing, but for a teenager, saving up for a truck and college, it is a bit of money which I would like if possible. The guy is really big and intimidating haha. I no longer cut his lawn for obvious reasons. I sent him a letter stating how much he owes and the dates that i cut on.

Should I just forget about it or is there something i could try?

Thanks guys!

06-10-2011, 07:50 PM
How long has it been since this bill was sent to him? (ie: How late is he?)

06-10-2011, 07:53 PM
Well I cut 3 times and each time i left a business card with the amount he owed. He finally called me up and told me that he didnt want me cutting anymore and I said ok fine but you owe me $72 and he said send me a bill. I sent the bill around 2-3 weeks ago.

06-10-2011, 08:09 PM
I would send him another bill, reminding him of the last bill and the service dates, as well as when that last bill was due. In your situation, maybe include your phone number again and ask him to call you with any questions/problems or with ideas how to resolve this issue. Maybe also include some sort-of note regarding the fact that even though he has chosen to go with another service (which is OK, it IS his choice) , you did in-fact provide service to him and need to be compensated for that time.

PS. Don't worry about his size.. I've found people are only as big as they think they are. And often, they're not even that big.

06-10-2011, 08:13 PM
Yeah that sounds good. I'll send out another letter with that included. What do you think I should do if I don't here from him after that letter?

TSB group
06-10-2011, 08:14 PM
First off, for anyone that doesn't think $72 is a lot of money, I will show you someone who will be out of business! Some of us can "take" it, but its never cool. You will find a lot of people take 30 days to pay. I would just send him another bill with past due on the envelope. And I would call him every 3 days to remind him.

06-10-2011, 08:32 PM
Yeah, basically ^^ give him some time to turn around, but never drop the issue. Try to be compassionate to his situation/choice, but don't let the remaining fact that you serviced his yard drop. Fact is, he agreed to let you do his yard for whatever price. Fact is, he's chosen to go with somebody else. (His own choice, for whatever reason.) Fact is, in spite of his own choice/reason, he agreed to let you do his yard and you did. He owes for that and nothing else. Don't let it drop.

And yes TSB, $72.00 CAN be absorbed, but I agree, WHY should it?! It is not an insignificant amount of money to anybody.

Sorry for the ranting. When I see a youngster trying to do this on the side for all the right reasons, (saving for education, merely WANTING to work, etc) I tend to get pissed when they get jerked around.

06-10-2011, 09:11 PM
you're 16, so get up early on a saturday and hold a large handmade sign that says mr X refuses to pay for services and wave it at passers by or make 5 cheap ones and plant them everyday in his front yard.

personally, I have all my customers on autopay so it's a non issue, but for me caseron is cheap.

you will go to Juvie hall if you hit him with a shovel, so avoid that.:hammerhead:

06-10-2011, 09:34 PM
Don't do crap like that. You worked hard and you built up a reputation. Don't let one deadbeat persuade you into ruining what you've worked so hard to develop.

Not a lot of money? Whether it is or isn't, there's an old saying: "72 bucks is 72 bucks."

You worked for it, you deserve it. Write him a business-like letter outlining your dates of service and the charges. Give him a week to respond.

If you don't hear back, call him directly. If no response, then get a parent involved.

Will P.C.
06-10-2011, 09:39 PM
I would wait until its been a month and send him another one if he hasn't paid.

He might be waiting for a paycheck or something.

Keep at it for another month. If he still hasn't paid, it is cheaper for you to drop it.

06-10-2011, 10:01 PM
How bad do you want your 72? :D payup

Well, all right, lets try the legal methods first. :laugh:

What do you think I should do if I don't here from him after that letter?

You have to give him the opportunity and the time to make it right, so wait two whole weeks past the day you sent it.
Lets take it from there.

The guy is really big and intimidating haha.

I think you'll get paid.

06-10-2011, 10:02 PM

06-10-2011, 10:05 PM
Anyone else old enough to remember that movie,I think of it every time I get stiffed for a lawn

06-11-2011, 01:09 PM
"Yeah that sounds good. I'll send out another letter with that included. What do you think I should do if I don't here from him after that letter?"

See if you can find a local attorney that will write him a nasty legal letter, you might even find one that'll do it for free, due to your age & good work ethic background.

Under NO circumstances should you forgive this debt. Call him up again...with one of your parents (or a mean uncle/aunt/grandparent) standing next to you & if he gives you the run around, hand the phone over to a parent & let him/her get tough with the bozo.

In the future, tell new clients you charge a late fee for late payments, say $5.00 per week & try and get paid immediately when the job is finished, rather that later.