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bobbygedd
03-03-2004, 08:56 AM
can you believe this: signed a client on our 10 month payment plan. first payment was due march 1st. the phone call i recieved....."hi, i recieved your contract, i'd just like to comment that it is a bit harsh. i've never heard of late fees and interest from a grass cutting company, in fact, i've never heard of a signed contract from a grass cutting company. however, i will sign it and send it in, but, i'm afraid i'm going to be late on the payment." so what is this, a test of how serious we are about our payment policy? this is a new account from our newspaper add, never met or worked for him before. another lawn for little timmy i think. should i tack on late fees for this first late payment?

crawdad
03-03-2004, 09:06 AM
So, what was your reply, or was this a message on your answering machine?
Crawdad

swim
03-03-2004, 09:07 AM
I see no reason for you to change any of you contract agreement and for a new customer at that. If your contract says interest and late fees, then interest and late fees it is.

This maybe a sign of things to come but even if not, if you sign up for a service or buy something new or are late on your 1st credit card payment, they don't say well it is the 1st month so its ok. No, they tack on the fees just like always. I see no reason why you should let it go.

What is the purpose for your contract if you don't go by it.

Pay the late fees or hit the road!!!!! I got bills to pay to!!!!!!!!

bobbygedd
03-03-2004, 09:11 AM
this was the messege i recieved at 7 am, the answering machine picked it up. i didn't call back yet, not sure i will.

CNYScapes
03-03-2004, 09:30 AM
Sounds like they don't take you seriously - " I've never heard of late fees and interest from a grass cutting company". What are we, the bottom of the barrel? Call her/him up and tell them you are a LAWN TECHNICIAN, are the late fees and interest OK now? PAY UP $#?!

brian mon
03-03-2004, 09:43 AM
try his.......

Call back, thank them for accepting "contract".....and find out how late is late?

Tell them you would be willing to spread late fee out over the next few months....if next payment will be on time.


If not.....send over cousine Vinnie

DFW Area Landscaper
03-03-2004, 10:02 AM
Bobby,

This guy has never paid you before and he says he's gonna be late with the very first bill????

He's either testing you or he's a complete deadbeat.

Charge the late fees. You waive the late fees for customers who accidentally miss a statement, but have paid you on time for several months.

Remember, the purpose of the late fee is to get them to call you after they've missed a payment and are now promising payment. In return, you waive the late fee. (Never waive a finance charge...you're not a bank.)

I wouldn't let this guy get very far behind. If he intends to pay you, the signed contract shouldn't have been a problem and the late fees shouldn't be a problem. If the customer is complaining about your late fees, that's a huge red flag.

FWIW, I had another customer turn deadbeat on me last month. No more. I signed up to accept credit cards and now require that a valid credit card be left on file. So far, I've not had any objections. I just got signed up with the merchant services folks last week and I've already got three customers signed up with credit cards. I can't tell you how good it feels to know that there is nothing to worry about as far as uncollectibles are concerned.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

TRex
03-03-2004, 10:10 AM
Since they have never heard of a contract for lawn service and late fees it probably did come to some what of a shock and they are just calling to feel you out to see if you are going to screw them over or if those things are there to protect both of you. It is somewhat of a game, but not to have fun, but rather to see how much they can trust you Bobby. They have already shown that they are ready to play because they are going to send you the signed contract and all you need to do is reasure them that they made a good move by doing that. Make sure that they know they are going to be well taken care of by you and I bet the money will be with the contract. If they havent even signed the contract and sent it to you were they just supposed to send the money before march 1st. The fact that didn't send the contract in yet and the payment was already due might have been another factor.

J&R
03-03-2004, 10:14 AM
With all the posts that you have about bad people in your area. WHY DON"T YOU MOVE. and get away frow your mother-in-law too.

bobbygedd
03-03-2004, 10:26 AM
trex, i already been through the nurturing phase with this guy. assured, reassured, gave references, you name it. payment was due with signed contract in my mailbox by 3/1. j&r, move? me? how could i accomplish my goal to rule the east coast if i move? there are bad people here, not all, but enough to keep me on my toes. besides, my life would be boring if i didn't have at least 3 arguments a week.

mbricker
03-03-2004, 02:02 PM
Bobby, did this contract come as a shock because you didn't get around to informing him you would be sending one for him to sign, during all the prep discussion? If not, I think the guy is trying to see how far he can push. My thinking is, at end of season, he gives you that, "Well, you weren't here to do any work in Dec., so I don't think I should have to pay."


If this customer's work is not going to be extraordinarily profitable, tell him he should find another lawn service that is more to his liking.

STAN1366
03-03-2004, 02:32 PM
The consciences seems to be either the customer pay up or you drop him. Sometimes people can be real pains in the arse. Maybe since this guy hasn't seen you do any work at his house yet, he's apprehensive about "pre-paying" which is probably what it looks like to him. Maybe new accounts need a modified contract to get the ball rolling with them? You start work, cleanup, 1st mowing, etc, and they have to be caught up by a certain date, say May 1st? Once this guy gets used to doing it your way things will smooth out. Good luck.

dkeisala
03-03-2004, 04:03 PM
I have found that people fall into patterns when it comes time to paying their bills and it's pretty cut and dried - either they pay on time or they don't. In my experience, people that pay late typically always pay late. Sure, there is the rare exception when someone spaces it off or forgets to mail payment on time but those situations are rare and I will waive the late fee. Otherwise it's 4% of the outstanding balance per month. It's not much but enough to get people to pay their bills on time. I've got better things to do than stress out about when I will get paid for work that has already been done.

Screw me once, shame on you, screw me twice, shame on me.

bobbygedd
03-03-2004, 04:03 PM
stan i understand your point, but, this is our policy, and i been selling them like hot cakes on these terms, no one else seems to mind. this, combined with the fact that the guy was a bear to sell to, i refuse to bend or even discuss the matter further with him. it's as simple as this: no dough, no mow

swim
03-03-2004, 04:06 PM
That sounds like the right decision to me.

Jason Pallas
03-03-2004, 05:22 PM
The writing is on the wall - drop the customer. If you don't, chances are - you're in for headache and trouble down the road. Take my advice, it's a sign of things to come.

hole in one lco
03-03-2004, 07:39 PM
So that means if you get a job you can call off the first week.

If he signs the contract he is agreeing to the terms of the contract. What good is the contract if he pays when ever he wonts.:angry: :angry:

lawnman_scott
03-03-2004, 09:29 PM
My first thought is forget him, or something like that. I have had people want something done now, but no money that day, so i say ill be here whenever, leavea check, and go there and no check. Never hear from them again. Most I think had no intention of paying. But, I see you posted today, and 1st payment due march 1st. Maybe he just meant that he was late getting it signed and sending the check out. I doubt it, but may be worth looking into.

Soupy
03-03-2004, 09:48 PM
maybe they just got around to looking at the contract. It allready being March 3rd would make them late. You might recieve the contact and payment tomorrow. This customer might not have a problem in the future, It's just that he didn't think to pick up the contract and read it untill now.

General Grounds
03-03-2004, 10:49 PM
:blob3: bobby see the writing on the wall and run like a bat out of hell the other way, i smell trouble, lose this loser. tony


ps. please dont give him my number when you dump his ass, or maybe you should i wouldnt mind having some fun.

Johnny
03-03-2004, 11:27 PM
Late fees are needed to pay for the extra acocunting steps.

STAN1366
03-03-2004, 11:35 PM
Originally posted by bobbygedd
stan i understand your point, but, this is our policy, and i been selling them like hot cakes on these terms, no one else seems to mind. this, combined with the fact that the guy was a bear to sell to, i refuse to bend or even discuss the matter further with him. it's as simple as this: no dough, no mow

Ok Bobby. I guess if it's working for you then that's the way to go. If this guy's wasting your time then you're better off moving on. Can't please everyone, right?