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View Full Version : Finally, that *%#@*$# customer paid.....


justmjc
10-31-2003, 04:50 PM
It's been over 2 months since I've been paid by a homeowners association. I give them a 25 day window to return the payment and just finally, I get the money. I had called and called and sent them a nice, professional letter stating that I must impose a 30 notice before I seek legal action. The treasurer calls me up and explains that he has no time to run to the P.O. Box since the post office closes at 5 pm. NOT MY PROBLEM! He told me 3 weeks ago he wrote out the check, and he did. He didn't mail it for 3 weeks putting them over 2 months behind. That becomes my problem.

Anyways, he tells me the situation and says he doesn't apprieciate being threatend. I said, your all caught up now and we need to make better payment arrangements and keep better communication. He mentioned it's not like it's 6 months late, so I explained to him that this is not a forclosure process. Pay your bill and we won't have any hang ups as far as stopping and starting work. If you slip on a credit card bill, that goes on your report as 30, 60, or 90 days late. You should be so lucky I'm not seeking collections on your account. I provide a service and I expect to be paid in a timely manner. Would you like me to service your account for 6 months without a billing? I don't think so.

We now have alternative payment methods that should work fine and there is now an additional officer that can write checks out for the association. I do believe it to be a glitch, however, I HATE waiting on other people and dealing with their problems. But sometimes it takes an a-hole to straighten out one. I have the contract again next year none-the-less and they like my work.

I guess someone forgot to tell me that I don't get paid in this business. It's all for the senery.

m&m
10-31-2003, 05:17 PM
oh i have had many a run ins with people who dont wanna pay in a timely manner.......they think because its not the house payment they can just pay whenever........ i have somewhat put a stop to it...only ones i let slide on it are the ones who are single and work out of town a lot......i u nderstand they are not there to check mail and write checks.......but i have had them for yearsss....so i know i am gonna get my money.......its the ones who work "8-5" everyday and are home at night i have to worry bout......i have went asd far as the legal action and i also have went to a house to collect a debt that was 5 months behind and i parked my truck and trailer in the womans driveway blocking her in and then went and rang doorbell....guess what, she paid,lol......besides , she wouldnt have left house that day if she didnt write me a check....lol ...good luck in future

GrassBustersLawn
10-31-2003, 05:48 PM
I had a guy (got rid of him at end of season 2 years ago) that ran a bar and was up all night. He got behind 1 month on me once. I was on his front door step at 8 AM on a SUNDAY and KNOCKED AS HARD AS I COULD until someone answered. He finally came to the door all bleary eyed and hung over. Told him I was here to collect. I went and got his wallet, paid me up in CASH. Told him if he didn't want to be woken up on SUNDAY again to keep CURRENT! He did.

Mike

bob
10-31-2003, 06:04 PM
Originally posted by justmjc
It's been over 2 months since I've been paid by a homeowners association.

Is that all! I've got one that hasn't paid me anything at all this year. I did their last cut today. I'm not worried about getting my money. if it was an individual business or homeowner, I'd be concerned.

pcnservices
10-31-2003, 07:26 PM
Originally posted by bob
I've got one that hasn't paid me anything at all this year. I did their last cut today.

You're telling me you actually mowed that lawn for a full year for FREE!!?? You wanna come mow my lawn?
I have a policy where every job pays for itself ie. my cost to do a job cannot be paid by another job or else I am not making any money from that job. Is that common sense? Therefore I have a written clause in my contract that states: if no payment is received 10 days after billing the service will be stopped until payment in full is received. And I dont care if it is a residential or commercial account. If they are a poor paying client they are most welcome to try and not pay the next contractor too. If he wants to mow lawns for free that's his loss.

Good luck
PC

Lawn Dog2001
10-31-2003, 08:04 PM
Good for you for getting your money. Its funny how people act like you are being rude, trying to collect whats owed you. I had a similar run in with a real estate brokerage this year, who thought I was being ridiculous over a two month past due bill. They seemed to forget that they are at lest two to three months late at every cycle. 2 more cuttings left for them this year, and they can find new service next year.:D

creativedan
10-31-2003, 09:18 PM
I have a business that sent me a check last month for a mow I did in May.
Still have not paid for whole month of june then at the end of june told me they would not need my services any more (not because of poor quality but they couldn't afford me any more)
Have tried to collect nicely but nothing so I turned them over to a collection agency last week.
Still waiting to here?!?

riches139
10-31-2003, 09:23 PM
I will be starting my business in 2004. After reading the billing problems I'm seeing in this forum, it seems to me it would be a good idea on residential accounts to get a credit card # upfront.
Even if you have no way at present to redeem it, the customer doesn't know that. They'll assume that you will charge their card if bill is not paid in a timely manor.
No card, cash only.

LAWNS AND MOWER
10-31-2003, 09:40 PM
Originally posted by pcnservices
You're telling me you actually mowed that lawn for a full year for FREE!!?? You wanna come mow my lawn?
I have a policy where every job pays for itself ie. my cost to do a job cannot be paid by another job or else I am not making any money from that job. Is that common sense? Therefore I have a written clause in my contract that states: if no payment is received 10 days after billing the service will be stopped until payment in full is received. And I dont care if it is a residential or commercial account. If they are a poor paying client they are most welcome to try and not pay the next contractor too. If he wants to mow lawns for free that's his loss.

Good luck
PC Ok Let me get this right. You send me a bill, I don't send you the $$ within 10 days, so I'm terminated? Sounds like you have serious cash flow problems. I consider it money in the bank when I look at my accounts receivable. I've been stiffed twice in 12 years, and for a grand total of $150.

the scaper
10-31-2003, 10:02 PM
i've dropped most of my slow paying/pita customers in the last couple months and still have plenty of good ones left. for the last few years i've bent over backwards for these people excepting their late payments , cutting off their service and restarting at standard rate upon recieving payment but next year is gonna be different. 15% interest due on monies owed after 30 days and service will be interrupted, upon restart a cleanup fee may be assessed depending on condition of property. upon 3rd late payment service will be terminated. hows that sound on the bottom of an invoice??

justmjc
10-31-2003, 11:57 PM
Originally posted by pcnservices
[If no payment is received 10 days after billing the service will be stopped until payment in full is received. And I dont care if it is a residential or commercial account. If they are a poor paying client they are most welcome to try and not pay the next contractor too. If he wants to mow lawns for free that's his loss.

Good luck
PC [/B]

I tried only 10 days and a majority of my residential customers have no problem paying that up to about the 15th of the month. However, for whatever reason, my commercial accounts can't seem to move the billing through the accounts payable department fast enough so I give them a window of 25 days.

olderthandirt
11-01-2003, 12:34 AM
Originally posted by GrassBustersLawn
I was on his front door step at 8 AM on a SUNDAY and KNOCKED AS HARD AS I COULD until someone answered. He finally came to the door all bleary eyed and hung over. Told him I was here to collect. I went and got his wallet, paid me up in CASH. Told him if he didn't want to be woken up on SUNDAY again to keep CURRENT! He did.

Mike [/B]
I did it at 6am sun morning, woke up the kids and all. Felt sorry for waking the little ones. The guy asked if I'm nuts to stop at that time of morning and I tell him no more nuts than you were jumping in your suv to go golfing as I'm loading the equipment up becouse I'm finished. Contract says payment in full when work is completed. And he knew it

justmjc
11-01-2003, 12:48 AM
Bravo! The only problem I see with that is that I don't wake up at 6am if I don't have to. I'd be pissed if I had to make an exception for him. Then I would charge a wake up fee. LOL

Rustic Goat
11-01-2003, 01:37 AM
justmjc, You've now experienced one of many versions of the 'no pay' run around.
The reasons that your customer stated, I've heard before, if there's any reality to it, well, it's still THEIR problem to make sure they pay you on time.

Once, contracted a job to completely replace a concrete parking lot for an apartment complex. Set payments up to be made by certain percentages when different phases were completed. One completion phase was the removal of old parking lot materials.
When I heard payment was going to be a problem, I stopped all work, told everyone to stand down till I returned. Keep in mind there was no way any apartment dweller could park any where near, parking lot was now about a foot and a half lower than it used to be, nothing but dirt, it had been raining too.
Walked in to building owners office, calmly asked what the problem was, got some mumbo jumbo about 10 days for his finance company blah blah . . . . . .
I stood up and just said, "Well, OK, like our contract says . . . . . " Then I told him that I was going to send everyone home, and work would begin again as soon as I got a check.
Could see the red color raise above his shirt collar and fill his head till he looked like a ripe tomato. He then picked up the edge of his desk pad, reached in, pulled out a check and handed it to me, it was dated two days prior. I went back to work, never had a payment problem with him again.

This was kinda long, my point being, no matter who holds the magic check writing pen, too many associations, corps, etc. won't pay till they have to.

You really ought to consider walking in to the office and requesting payment BEFORE you begin any more work, and don't move until you get a check.

justmjc
11-01-2003, 01:50 AM
Well, I mean i've dealt with this for years under many different senerios. However, this one was playing political games because of this certain person. The treasurer. I dealt with someone else, another officer, to get the account and still do now. He didn't even know that I wasn't getting paid from the treasurer. What pissed me off was that they said the money is there and we have no intentions of ripping you off, it was just that this goon was the ONLY officer that could cut a check. I said, no way, we need someone else with that authority. And since I stated so, my will has been done. lol

pcnservices
11-01-2003, 09:38 AM
Originally posted by LAWNS AND MOWER
Ok Let me get this right. You send me a bill, I don't send you the $$ within 10 days, so I'm terminated? Sounds like you have serious cash flow problems. I consider it money in the bank when I look at my accounts receivable.

:angry: Assuming that I have cashflow problems from a simple regulation/rule I have in a contract just shows me of what you know what's going on in your own business.

Considering it money in the bank when you look at your accounts receivable I dont understand either as an accounts receivable report is not a bank statement as that money is NOT in your bank account yet.

I didn't talked about good paying accounts, they pay on time so why worry about them. I talked about poor paying clients. And I've also said they're welcome to try and not pay the next contractor too. He's going to treat them the exact same way. I have accounts that pay me 19 days after invoicing but that is contractually pre-arranged.

The 10 day rule I have is not set in stone. I am, and from what I read here it looks like more of you are flexible when it comes to applying the "termination rule".
That rule is not there to manage my cashflow. I use different management tools for that. It's merely a disipline thing.

If you are going out there and just accept that people can pay you whenever they feel like it, then what type of business infrastructure do you have and how are you going about building a strong reputable business?

gramps
11-01-2003, 01:11 PM
I agree. I'm not in the loan business. We will be last in the payment line to some people , if we let them.

Tommy D
11-01-2003, 10:08 PM
we have some accounts that also are slow pay, just last month we finally collected from someone who was two months behind when my wife finally got a hold of the wife (she works and her hubby is a surgen) anyway when my wife told her we are going to report her as being late(60 days) to the credit reporting agency's Her reply to my wife was " I don't understand what the big deal is, it's only my lawn for crying out loud!) this was two months behind! at $165 per cut x 9 cuts =$1,485.00 the only reason I put up with these kind of people is the fact that it does pay very well and they are fairly easy cuts. I never could figure these wealthy people? I wonder if they pay every thing else they owe on the same way they pay us ?????? :waving:

Dr. Mow
11-02-2003, 01:12 AM
today is nov. 1 , i got home about 8:30 pm had 3 messages on my machine of clients that were calling because they have not gotten their oct invoice yet, I mail my invoices out on the last day of the month every month; and have billed these people like this for 3-5 yrs now and every month they are calling to make sure i did not forget to bill them. ( I love clients that just beg me to come get my money)

mtdman
11-02-2003, 10:02 AM
I know a fellow LCO that was doing a HOA, and halfway through the year they told him they were out of money and he wouldn't be getting paid anymore. They blew their landscaping budget with snow removal that year. So he was out $1200 a month for the remainder of the season. They wanted him to keep mowing it for free through the end of the season. :rolleyes:

I have had problems in the past with bigger commercial accounts not paying, so I stay away from them now. I don't have a cashflow problem, but at the same time I don't want to wait 3 months to get paid. I wouldn't expect to wait that length of time were I an employee of the company, I won't wait that long just because I'm the lawn care company.

A positive about doing mainly residentials is they usually pay on time, and you won't be out big $$ if they do go delinquent.

LAWNS AND MOWER
11-02-2003, 03:16 PM
Originally posted by pcnservices
:angry: Assuming that I have cashflow problems from a simple regulation/rule I have in a contract just shows me of what you know what's going on in your own business.

Considering it money in the bank when you look at your accounts receivable I dont understand either as an accounts receivable report is not a bank statement as that money is NOT in your bank account yet.

I didn't talked about good paying accounts, they pay on time so why worry about them. I talked about poor paying clients. And I've also said they're welcome to try and not pay the next contractor too. He's going to treat them the exact same way. I have accounts that pay me 19 days after invoicing but that is contractually pre-arranged.

The 10 day rule I have is not set in stone. I am, and from what I read here it looks like more of you are flexible when it comes to applying the "termination rule".
That rule is not there to manage my cashflow. I use different management tools for that. It's merely a disipline thing.

If you are going out there and just accept that people can pay you whenever they feel like it, then what type of business infrastructure do you have and how are you going about building a strong reputable business?
OK, now I'm getting confused. You stated in a previous post, "I have a policy where EVERY job pays for itself...........if no payment is received 10 days after billing the service will be stopped". But the above post says, "I didn't talk about good paying accounts, they pay on time so why worry about them. I talked about poor paying accounts." So I guess it's not EVERY customer. Excuse me for not being a mind reader, and read between your lines. You also failed to include my last sentence when you quoted me, which was, "I've been stiffed twice in 12 years, for a grand total of $150". This is a sign of a "strong, reputable business". I have more important things to worry about than if people are going to pay me.

pcnservices
11-02-2003, 04:14 PM
Originally posted by LAWNS AND MOWER
I have more important things to worry about than if people are going to pay me.

Then go and worry about those things - don't come here and make assumptions from statements I've made and tell me what's going on in my business. I tried to make a valuable contribution to this thread and you picked me to start an argument with.... Get out of here!

LAWNS AND MOWER
11-02-2003, 06:51 PM
Originally posted by pcnservices
Then go and worry about those things - don't come here and make assumptions from statements I've made and tell me what's going on in my business. I tried to make a valuable contribution to this thread and you picked me to start an argument with.... Get out of here! Start an argument??? I just commented on how I thought it was a little harsh to terminate a customer because they don't pay in 10 days, and then you turn Postal. Take a chill pill. Just curious, what assumptions have I made??