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jsslawncare
08-20-2011, 12:15 PM
I say it every year but, next year when I interview a new customer (yes I feel like I'm interviewing them for them to be my customer) somehow in talking -do you own or are you renting? Why ask this? Because as LCO's we all know this happens from time to time. A great customer moves without telling you. No contact info but a disconnected phone number. So next year this is how renter's will pay.
1. Cash at time of cut before any equitment is unloaded.
2. No cash. You weren't there when I showed up for service. You will be cut the next time I'm in your area for 1 1/2 times the amount. I cut the same yard, same time every visit. Except for holidays or rain.
3. Crappy yard and a renter, Sorry I'm all booked up for the season. Maybe if someone drop's me I can pick you up if you don't have anyone. (no one's going to drop me)
If I cut and you don't pay, I lose.
If I decided to not take you own as a customer, I lost out on income but, no out of pocket money. A chance I'm willing to take.:hammerhead:

These are just my thought's and yes this happened this week. The lady wanted to pay at the end of the month when she got paid. I really didn't have a problem with it. Untill she moved.

Dr.NewEarth
08-20-2011, 12:41 PM
Some Options: Get post dated checks or start accepting credit cards.

Then even if they don't want to pay by credit card, you still insist on having their number and contract on file for security.

Nothing is foolproof though. Occasionally, some-one will find a way to rip us off

David Haggerty
08-21-2011, 06:17 AM
I got to where I wouldn't mow for tennants at all. Only the property's owner. If the tennant wanted to pay the bill, that was fine by me.
The power company don't get ripped off. The propane company don't get ripped off. That's the way they do it.

grincon
08-21-2011, 10:07 AM
Yep. Pay in advance for tenants. Get billed monthly for property owners or managers.

bkruk
08-21-2011, 11:13 AM
I am still waiting on a payment since the first cut in April. Multiple invoices were sent. The renters moved and I have no way to contact them. But its my own fault for mowing it for months and waiting on them. I allowed the customer to rely on my weekly visits just as anyone else, but now I have about 20 cuts in. And at $45 a pop that's a big hit for me!
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Wayne 55
08-21-2011, 11:23 AM
Well sounds like you need to send bill to old address anyways to see if it gets forwarded. You got the name of the dead beat customer now just use resources like the police, US mail, property owner, even a lawyer to find out where she moved to. These sort of things happen and sometimes its a pain in the arse to do this extra footwork but the rewards are well worth it if even for a laugh later. Don't just forget this and write it up as a loss go that extra mile and get the money you worked and sweat for.

knox gsl
08-21-2011, 11:46 AM
I've only been stiffed by one person since I started and it was a renter. The most hassle I've ever had is from a landlord so I do my best to screen them both now. I've found that my best customers are middle class home owners like me. They may not get alot of extras but they pay on time and don't expect perfection at a bargan price.

jsslawncare
08-21-2011, 08:12 PM
I've only been stiffed by one person since I started and it was a renter. The most hassle I've ever had is from a landlord so I do my best to screen them both now. I've found that my best customers are middle class home owners like me. They may not get alot of extras but they pay on time and don't expect perfection at a bargan price.

Well put, Same for me.

lawnman_scott
08-21-2011, 08:29 PM
I charge everyone in advance. But we charge a flat monthly rate here so it is alot easier. I would certainly charge renters in advance.

CutterCutter
08-27-2011, 10:30 PM
Payment is a pet peeve of mine whether it's a renter or owner. If you are in this business for several years you are going to get stiffed a few times. Not paying in a timely fashion is the quickest way to get me to drop a customer.

The key is to wade through a bunch of customers until you develop a group that has proved they can be trusted to pay when billed. That's only possible if you're a small operation and not a LCO that's constantly looking to increase the number of accounts. If you're always adding new customers you're always going to have newer people that aren't proven payers.

I have a couple accounts that have to get a phone call about what they owe from time to time. Everybody else pays like the Bank of England and has been doing so for a long time.

PLS-Tx
08-27-2011, 10:49 PM
I had a one lady for 14yrs that was a rented. She just moved this summer. Simple lawn, paid good and on time.

bjm95
09-03-2011, 12:33 AM
Sign up with American Profit Recovery collections and they can do a skip trace and find out where they moved. Add GPS so they can't say "you never came"

David Haggerty
09-03-2011, 06:39 AM
Sign up with American Profit Recovery collections and they can do a skip trace and find out where they moved. Add GPS so they can't say "you never came"

Tell us more! Is there a fee to sign up? And what's this about adding GPS? Add GPS to my phone so it keeps a history of my movements? Or what?

billpiper
09-03-2011, 07:22 AM
Most of my work comes from Landlords / investors / renters. These are people I have good relationships with before I start cutting their lawns. Having just started this season, I don't have as much experience as the rest of you, but it seems to me that if you don't service anyone that's past due, you only get stiffed for one or 2 cuts. I would only do monthly billing for owners, especially if you're cutting weekly. You may have redress against the homowner, even if it's the renter that you contracted with by filing a mechanic's lien against the property. I may change my tune as I grow...

jsslawncare
09-27-2011, 08:02 PM
Most of my work comes from Landlords / investors / renters. These are people I have good relationships with before I start cutting their lawns. Having just started this season, I don't have as much experience as the rest of you, but it seems to me that if you don't service anyone that's past due, you only get stiffed for one or 2 cuts. I would only do monthly billing for owners, especially if you're cutting weekly. You may have redress against the homowner, even if it's the renter that you contracted with by filing a mechanic's lien against the property. I may change my tune as I grow...

You'll change. It seems every customer has a different payment method.

Patriot Services
09-27-2011, 08:27 PM
As of last six months EVERYBODY is prepay. I tell people up front your 100 dollars or whatever amount is not worth my freedom, business or family. Prepay ensures you will enjoy uninterrupted service all month. Any extra servicesare billed and due at time of service. I stopped chasing money and my stress level is way down. Wooooossssaahhhhh!
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PR Fect
09-27-2011, 09:41 PM
We had a renter try and stiff us once. We got the home owners name and address off of county tax records website. Called owner and told them what their renter owed us. And said if we did not get paid we would place a lien on the property. Land owner paid and took the money out of renters security deposit. No one wants's a lien on their property. Contractors in Wisconsin can do this for work performed. Not real hard to do.