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View Full Version : New Soap Opera for Lawn Care...


twins_lawn_care
01-12-2004, 04:55 PM
Since everyon ehas been through this cr@p, why not make this a common venting ground.

Here's the deal, I am trying to collect on a $315 debt from a soon to be former customer. Been to the house 5 times so far, getting the duck and weave every time.

I know this is everywhere on the site, I've been through the searches. Just wanted to give some people some drama to enjoy, and not have to go through it!

ANyways, I forgot who, but someone posted a site to get the collections letter printed, so I am trying that one now. Hopefully I will hear from them in a few weeks.

Now before anyone snaps at me to forget the money, I am doing this for 2 reasons:

1) the principle of the matter (theft)
2) this is my new hobby for the year....let me explain

instead of getting mad, I am going to enjoy this a bit. I know customers sit back and laugh when they think they can get away with not paying for something, so I am going to be laughing my a$$ off all year long bugging these people.

I'll try to fill everyone in on the outcome, but any suggestions, or things you'd like me to do, let me know, we can make this an interactive lawn care drama!

Man, I really am going to have some fun with this one.

To bring you all up to speed, did 3 months worth of work, billed each month (1st $60, 2nd $210, 3rd $45) and have been trying to collect since October.

Tune in for the next episode of Lawn Care Repo Man :realmad:

Lazer_Z
01-12-2004, 05:04 PM
Twins not to hijack but i'm a little worse off than you i'm owed a total of $665.00 from 4 people now the thing is 2 out of the 4 i know will pay but the other 2 i'll have to chase down

Good luck with you money hunt Twins

1 more thing don't it make you sick when some @ss thinks they can stiff you this is Mr./Ms. stiff "Well it's just the lawn guy who cares??" :mad: :angry: :realmad: sorry just had to add that

Zach76
01-12-2004, 05:09 PM
I'm looking forward to see how things turn out. Keep us posted.

promower
01-12-2004, 05:10 PM
This isnt something I would actually do but I think it would be great.

Have a customer "joe blow" not pay his bill?
Go to his house late at night and in his front yard use round up to to clearly write in large letters "JOE BLOW DOES NOT PAY HIS BILS" Now all his neighbors knows hes a loser but they probably knew that already.

twins_lawn_care
01-12-2004, 05:20 PM
Yeah, I have a ton of "Happy Thoughts" like you mentioned promower. I think that is why I am trying to have some fun with this one, to help deter myself from acting on them:D

Going to send the certified letter today, so I should get a nice little love note back from him by Valentines day! payup

STAN1366
01-12-2004, 05:23 PM
I don't know about "writing" anything on his lawn as it sure would point to who did it and maybe his neighbors wouldn't even notice anyway. A Zip-lock baggie w/ Round-up in it might be a better idea, but it might cause a problem for the next LCO he hires. He might take the blame for the customers grass dieing. I got stiffed for $900 by a friends father 18 yrs ago. Parents were going thru a divorce and I had been doing the lawn. My friend couldn't help get the money, but since I was able to borrow his dump truck, trailer & backhoe when I built my house I figure it worked out in the end. Good luck getting your money. Let us know how it works out.

greendave
01-12-2004, 05:33 PM
..they call it "theft of services" down here, and it IS a punishable offense. A collection agency should be able to help you here. Be careful about posting any signs - YOU could be getting into trouble for slander.... Be professional, you'll win....eventually

DFW Area Landscaper
01-12-2004, 05:46 PM
Take the guy to court. I've got my first small claims court date set for March 1st. Not much else you can do, really.

I plan to sue every single deadbeat who stiffs me. I'll pay the $62 court fee on all of them because I think it'll be a good investment long term. I figure most of them will find a way to pay me when they need a home equity loan or need to move and get a new mortgage.

As for 2004, it's my contract..."If the account is unreasonably past due, I charge $75 for each certified mailing and $450 if the matter goes to small claims court...these fees are in addition to actual collection cotsts." It takes a lot of time to go down to the post office and stand in line to send certified mail. It also takes time to file and appear in small claims court. I hope the court will allow these fees. We'll see what happens eventually.

I was really hoping the deadbeat would find the $250 he owes me when he got his summons to appear in court, but so far, no payment.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

Lazer_Z
01-12-2004, 05:56 PM
Guys how would one go about getting the dept put on somones credt repot and how do you file a lein on a property

I have herd things mentioned a # of times but forgot to ask how to go about it

Thanks

DFW Area Landscaper
01-12-2004, 06:07 PM
++++Guys how would one go about getting the dept put on somones credt repot and how do you file a lein on a property++++

Turn them over to a collection agency. They have the means to muck up someone's credit for non-payment.

Alternatively, if you get a judgement and file it with the county clerk, the credit agencies will pick it up there too.

As for a lien, the only type of lien I could get in Texas for non-payment of landscape maintenance would be wiped out by a personal bankruptcy. I figure filing a judgement with the county clerk is just as effective. In Texas, the only way to get a good lien is to file a mechanic's lien...you aren't entitled to that for landscape maintenance, though.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

Lazer_Z
01-12-2004, 06:26 PM
Thanks for the info DFW

PLI1
01-12-2004, 06:31 PM
Best wishes on your efforts, make sure to keep it legal so you aren't the one who ends up in trouble!

dvmcmrhp52
01-12-2004, 07:08 PM
I'm having fun with a lousy $75.00.
And it is fun at this point!

bobbygedd
01-12-2004, 07:33 PM
finally collected from a real pain in the butt lady. owed me since october 1st(for sept service) she didn't pay the bill, and wouldn't return the calls, called her night and day starting december. finnally got a check today, with a little note, "i'm hiring a new service, you don't need to come back here." i'm thinkin duhhhhh, i didn't plan on it

dvmcmrhp52
01-12-2004, 07:46 PM
It's great that she thought she needed to tell you that!
I love it!

DFW Area Landscaper
01-12-2004, 07:59 PM
++++finnally got a check today, with a little note, "i'm hiring a new service, you don't need to come back here."++++

I had a similar situation. I did a fert/herb app for a guy in early August. Sent my regular monthly statement out on the 25th. He didn't pay. Send him another statement with late fees on the 25th of Sept. No check. Early October app comes due, but he's on credit hold for non-pay. Send another statement with late fees on the 25th of October. Still no check. Send another statement with late fees and a letter threatening legal action via certified mail on November 25th.

Finally, I get a check on December 5th. Over 17 weeks after I did the work. He finds it necessary to include a note stating that he feels his lawn is now under control and he'd like to cancel service.

What are these losers thinking? Are they thinking they need to make sure we understand we just lost a "valuable' customer? I don't get it.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

mbricker
01-13-2004, 12:13 AM
DFW, you're on the money about small claims court. It is fairly easy to document your claim--if you've been billing them in writing and have copies.

But none of my customers have ever let it get to court. The letter I finally send when I threaten to take them to small claims, says "A judgment against you will show up on your credit record and have an adverse effect on your ability to obtain future credit." The court clerk told reps from all the credit bureaus show upafter court days and pick up the lists of judgments.

And yeah, they all think even a cr@p customer is something golden we don't dare let go of.

By the way, that last letter also says "Payment by check or money order may be mailed. Cash WILL NOT be accepted. Payment MAY NOT be made in person." Last thing I want at this point is to be provoked into a shouting match, be handed $300 cash and then be told I was given $500, or worse, be accused of assault.

No, I never go back to one of these.

BravesFan
01-13-2004, 12:32 AM
Originally posted by DFW Area Landscaper
++++Guys how would one go about getting the dept put on somones credt repot and how do you file a lein on a property++++

Turn them over to a collection agency. They have the means to muck up someone's credit for non-payment.

Alternatively, if you get a judgement and file it with the county clerk, the credit agencies will pick it up there too.

As for a lien, the only type of lien I could get in Texas for non-payment of landscape maintenance would be wiped out by a personal bankruptcy. I figure filing a judgement with the county clerk is just as effective. In Texas, the only way to get a good lien is to file a mechanic's lien...you aren't entitled to that for landscape maintenance, though.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

Yes...a 'public record' is FAR WORSE on a credit report than a negative report from a creditor. Those reports can always be disputed and will fall off the report after a brief period. Public records hit hard.

Dennis

1grnlwn
01-13-2004, 01:10 AM
O.K. Well I have a happy story. Today I drove over to my customers house and picked up the $970 she owed me. I have been sweating this one for about a month. It's three fold. 1. 970 is a shzload of money. 2. Her son is a lawyer. 3. I don't want to loose this big of job. Now she somehow misplaced Oct. bill and I was not too excited. I sent the Nov. a couple weeks later sent a statment with a copy of each invoice. Also called and talked to her explaining what I was sending. Well X-Mas hit and all bill paying ceases. I called Jan 2nd and she was shocked she didn't send, said she would mail immediately. Well mail came today no check. So I called and said instead of her mailing another (her idea) I would drive over and get it. As far as I can dissern she did mail it but I didn't get it. We BS ed for a half hour and I left. I really don't know what the deal was, almost like she forgot (many times). I am glad I kept my cool though.

I am Me
01-13-2004, 01:39 AM
Twins,

Go to their house around dinner time ,and knock on the door. When they don't answer, go out into the street (public property) and hold up a large double sided sign that reads:

"Now 62 days past due. repossession can be avoided."

Stand there about 10 minutes honking the horn.

They won't laugh after that.

troblandscape
01-13-2004, 01:47 AM
Bleach Balloons, Fill a balloon with bleach and launch them on to their lawn late at night, drive by a few days later:laugh:

I learned this from a former employee on what his old boss did when his customers didn't paypayup

mtdman
01-13-2004, 08:08 AM
Kinda off topic here, but this is exactly why I don't want to do 12 months of payments. I finish up the season in November here. So what happens if I do 7 months worth of work, and then somebody decides to dump outta the last 5 months worth of payments? That's a lot of $$, and a lot of hassel to collect that money.

Twins, I'd start showing up at 10 pm at night, or 6am. Wait in front of their house for them to come/go from work. Ambush 'em. Get your money!

:D

Jusmowin
01-13-2004, 09:43 AM
Hey Ive got over $800 owed to me from one customer and they are almost 60 days past due plus the $25 late fees I charge each month. Im just glad It was a side job and not part of my monthly contract money due every month, but dont get me wrong I STILL WANT MY MONEY!

jwholden
01-13-2004, 10:01 AM
DFW,

I hear you about those losers thinking we are lucky to work for them. My big learning experience was a guy I let string me along all winter. When I called in the spring both he and his wife said 'we'll send you the check'.

When I went to the house and knocked on the door this sob starts saying his lawn is thin and is full of weeds. He made these statements FOUR months after I sent the invoice.

I thought this guy was a cheap idiot from the start. Shame on me for letting a bill accumulate and working for him in the first place.

I wonder how I could have been so desperate to work for these idiots.