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View Full Version : What are the chances He'll pay


jeffex
12-16-2002, 08:00 PM
I mailed out a final bill to a customer I referred to as CHEAPO in another post. Just thought I'd take a chance on him paying. This was a guy who called us saying he didn't want his leaves done this year. My wife called him back asking him to forward paymet for 1 cut in Nov. They refused saying the lawn didn't need cutting. My note said the following;
The reason you didn't need your leaves done this year was because we mulched the leaves up at no extra charge when we cut in Nov.. As I told you the day you stopped to talk to me at the house down the street I was going to cut the lawn to prevent the leaf blanket from killing your grass. Then we would come and do the final cleanup at the end of the month as usual. We performed the service I am billing you for. I was not doing this with the intention of ripping you off but for properly maintaining your lawn as you had hired me to do.
Will I ever see this money??? He's my last hold out. Its only $25 but I have a good track record for getting paid . My wife asked me what I'll do If he sends the money and still wants to be cut next year. I'll tell him He's on the list , the $#@! list

Envy Lawn Service
12-16-2002, 08:30 PM
I hate'm!!!!

Cheap & a cheat...not enough 4 letter words in the english language :angry:

A slow economy and drought ect... can turn good customers into cheapo's if you're not carefull. It's aggrivating most of all though. This is why folks with signed papers in hand will be scheduled first next year. Those who have been with me and trouble free for years will be next. The rest will be lucky to get a spot in my schedule.

Nothing personal, just business and the way it has to be to relieve stress.

;)

General Grounds
12-16-2002, 09:08 PM
:blob2: be nice until you get paid, if he calls again tell him you'll be there and dont show, then he can see how it feels to get stroked. T

Mowingman
12-16-2002, 09:58 PM
I have had about 4 similar situations this year. Have gotten my money, finally, on all of them. Have already sent out letters to them stating that due to their record of slow payments, that should they desire service next year, they will be on an advance payment plan. This plan is where I bill them in advance for 5 cuts. I don't cut till I have the money in hand. After the 4th cut, I bill for another 5 while they still have one cut ,credit, left. and so on. I never cut after the money runs out until the next advance payment is received. In three years, I have only had one customer take me up on this offer. The others, I never heard back from. That was fine with me, I did not want their business anyway.:D

Runner
12-16-2002, 11:16 PM
Yeah, you might get it. JUst a little helpful hint: and this goes for ANY communication, written or verbal. Please don't take this the wrong way, as I am not trying to tell you what to do or how to do it, but anytime you communicate with someone in a conflictual type circumstance, nevr use the word "you". This ALWAYS puts people on the defense - even if it's subconciously. Perhaps a better way to word it would be "The reason your leaves didn't need doing", and instead of "As I told you", perhaps "As we discussed" could be used. See the difference? Anyway, I'm not trying to sound prudish, or like some "knowitall" (Lord KNOWS I'm far from that!), just trying to help! I hope you get it! It's not the 25., it's the principle of the thing.:mad:

Brickman
12-16-2002, 11:51 PM
In my opinion $25 is not worth sweating. Just move on, and if he ever calls back tell him that you won't consider him until he pays. If/when he pays tell him that you don't have time (FOR LOSERS) and to have a nice life.

scott's turf
12-17-2002, 07:41 AM
Unfortunally this is part of the business. I am hunting down four late payers right now. They always end up paying but this last payment of the year takes some work on my part. This is why we implimented a late fee for our invoices. So far this year 100% of the late paying customers have paid their late fee. Usually it adds up to around $300/year in late fees for me. I look at this money as payment for all the extra time and visits to late paying customers homes. I am one stubborn ******* when it comes to getting money that is owed to me. Keep at it and make a personal visit next time, those seem to be the most effective for me.

crawdad
12-17-2002, 07:52 AM
I have a slow-pay, it took until this spring to get paid for last year's cleanup and bush-hogging. He pays when he wants more work done. The man is sick, but I have billls to pay. If I worked for free every customer that was sick, I would be working for nothing all year.
Now, I am cleaning up his leaves, and he still owes me for 2 mows. I wonder when I'll get paid. I have gone so far as to check the obituary column when he doesn't reply to bills and phone calls. I am finishing up at his place today, but first, a more pleasant job is at hand, namely, cleaning my chimney.
I know just how you feel, not wanting one person to spoil a perfect record of allways getting paid.
Crawdad payup

jeffex
12-17-2002, 08:34 AM
Good advice runner. I WAS trying to be somewhat agressive with the wording but your way would increase my chances of getting paid. The $25 is not the point to me so much as the way this guy implied I was ripping him off. Up until this time his wife and him alway praised our work telling us we were the best service they ever had. I enjoy the challenge of dealing with people. For me, part of being professional is not resorting to revenge and petty conflicts.
The advice on prepayment is on the money for these types. I have had other customers try other services and come back to us before. I try and remain calm and professional to keep the door open for them to come back. When they call I raise thier price and welcome them back. For this guy he will need a price increase AND a prepayment plan.

rodfather
12-17-2002, 08:52 AM
Considering what you wrote, I think you have 2 chances...unfortunately they are "slim" and "none".

Seen a lot of these type in the past 9 years. Don't drop kick them to the curb until you know for sure you aren't getting paid.

stslawncare
12-17-2002, 09:21 AM
my advice is hound hound and hound, hound them till he gives you ur money, send letters, make phone calls, stop by etc etc etc. also make sure you document every time you call, what you said, every time your write, what you wrote, when and at what time you stop by and what you say. if after that it doesnt work then take the next step. you work hard for your money, dont let it go to waste because of a cheapo

65hoss
12-17-2002, 09:44 AM
Originally posted by stslawncare
my advice is hound hound and hound, hound them till he gives you ur money, send letters, make phone calls, stop by etc etc etc. also make sure you document every time you call, what you said, every time your write, what you wrote, when and at what time you stop by and what you say. if after that it doesnt work then take the next step. you work hard for your money, dont let it go to waste because of a cheapo

Not for $25.

rodfather
12-17-2002, 11:46 AM
Originally posted by 65hoss
Not for $25.

Agreed...before you know, you will have spent more than $25 in time and effort. Move on.

Gravely_Man
12-17-2002, 12:50 PM
Good luck in getting paid. Fortunately it was not a large amount that they owe you. I would go along with Runner's suggestion on the wording. If you start off too harsh you have no where to go but if you start off nice you can then go to firm if the situation deems it necessary.

Gravely_Man

jeffex
01-07-2003, 06:02 AM
CHEAPO's wife sent a check today for $12.50 My wife asked me if I'm going to tear it up and send it back[they owe $25]. Heck no I told her . I'm going to cash it and never look back. I won't cut thier lawn in 2k3 though.

crawdad
01-07-2003, 07:04 AM
You can change your name to "Name your own Price Landscaping." Maybe advertise on that priceline website. NOT!
Let us know in the spring, if Cheapo calls you to mow.
Crawdad

wriken
01-07-2003, 07:39 AM
I have a slow pay and I sent him a collection letter I got off here, gave him 30 days then I just turned it over to a collection agency, actually I don't care if I ever get paid I'm at the point of just putting a bad mark on his credit. Bad thing 2 days after he recieved his notice from me he got a 1500.00 bonus from work still no pay. When I was mowing his lawn, kids had alot of stuff, wife went to exercise class, bought a new car, and put in a snap-together floor. But they could'nt pay me.

Some told me for cases like this we could put a lien on their property for the amount owed, it would show up if they ever wanted to get a loan. That could be a life time though, and I don't even know if it can be done. I guess that could be done if you went concerned about the $ that bad.

Anyways he won't be getting mowed by me ever again.

65hoss
01-07-2003, 09:32 AM
Originally posted by jeffex
CHEAPO's wife sent a check today for $12.50 My wife asked me if I'm going to tear it up and send it back[they owe $25]. Heck no I told her . I'm going to cash it and never look back. I won't cut thier lawn in 2k3 though.

Guess you could always send it back with a note.
"Sorry you have run into financial troubles. Since you apparently need the money more than I do I will return it to you. I hope you get out of your financial troubles soon. ---Sincerely, the generous lawn guy"

That should make a nice statement. ;)

odin
01-07-2003, 09:37 AM
Just chalk it up and forget it 25 bucks aint going to break you.
Man o man i wish 25$ would be all i ever had to worry about from deadbeat moron ex-cilents

Andrew S
01-07-2003, 11:37 AM
If He does pay up and then comes back to you later-take the job back but because of his previous track record demand pre payments before you accept to do his work again

lawncare3
01-07-2003, 12:26 PM
I have a guy taht still owes me (3 years later) $120- for a cleanup I just said screw him I don't have time for cheapos like that. (he's an alcoholic)

STAN1366
01-07-2003, 01:34 PM
Originally posted by jeffex
CHEAPO's wife sent a check today for $12.50 My wife asked me if I'm going to tear it up and send it back[they owe $25]. Heck no I told her . I'm going to cash it and never look back. I won't cut thier lawn in 2k3 though.


:cry: I'd send him the check and say, "Sorry, but no thank you. The balance is $25." If you cash the check it implies you're paid when in fact he still owes you $12.50. I had a customer a few years back who saw me doing all his neighbors lawns. Gave him a price of $35 a mow. Went there next week to do everyones lawn and saw his was mowed. This happened for 3 weeks in a row. He still had his mower and was doing it. Finally I see it not mowed 1 week and I do it. That evening I'm in the neighborhood to talk to his neighbor about some work. I see this fellow out in the yard and stop over to talk to him. That's when I notice that after I cut the lawn that morning, he did it after work w/ his push mower! That's when he tells me he wanted it cut short(didn't say that when we 1st spoke, and it had to be done by wednesday). Then he said, "Do you expect me to pay you?" I gave him about 5 seconds of silence and just replied, "Forget it." It wasn't worth an arguement. His neighbors know he's cheap! The following week I got a check for the $35! I still thought of sending it back though, but only had dust in my wallet so.......$$$$$$$

LAWNS AND MOWER
01-07-2003, 02:15 PM
Get in touch with Jim Lewis. He can turn you on to a letter to use that implies that you intend to take a property lein out if they don't pay. It's not the $$$ issue, it's letting this deadbeat know he can't get away without paying you. Good luck.

Expert Lawns
01-07-2003, 04:55 PM
Originally posted by 65hoss
Guess you could always send it back with a note.
"Sorry you have run into financial troubles. Since you apparently need the money more than I do I will return it to you. I hope you get out of your financial troubles soon. ---Sincerely, the generous lawn guy"

That should make a nice statement. ;)


This is how I would handle it. Great advice Hoss. If they pick up on the sarcasm, great.....if not, then they get what they deserve....feeling like dirt

jeffex
01-07-2003, 06:24 PM
I'll give you his address and you can mail him the money back. I see my cup as half full and I'll take 12.50 instead of 0 . I never expected to see a dime !

grassdaddy
01-07-2003, 06:34 PM
I'd spend that 12.50 on round-up!!;)

jeffex
01-07-2003, 06:42 PM
I know all about water balloons filled with roundup but I pass all my revenge upstairs. I'm now only out $12.50 for the year. 51 customers paid in full ! 1 deadbeat