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Old 02-11-2013, 02:44 PM
nozzy nozzy is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Northern Washington
Posts: 67
I've offered two payment options for years. I have the normal, pay only for the services you received during the previous month, and I have a pro-rated plan based on the total work I expect to do in the year (28 mows, 6 fertilizes, aeration, etc.). I divide the total by 12 to give them the same monthly payments each month. I tell them right off the bat that if I don't mow 28 times they will receive a credit on their 12th month. As far as invoicing - the top line of services on the bill reads "Prorated monthly service" with the amount. Then below that I have the date and service for everything we did during that month with a $0.00 for the amount. That way customers can see what work was done that was included in their prorated monthly account. It is easy for them to go back and add things up to confirm in their heads they are getting what they are paying for. On my original contract I stat that the plan will automatically renew each year and they can cancel at any time which will result in a final bill OR credit based on the actual amount of work that has been performed during the contract and the exact amount of payments received. I added this after being burned once by a customer that signed up in the spring and then decided to cancel in the winter. Now I would just send him a final large bill with a copy of his contract highlighting the reason for the final bill. I have also found that offering to let them cancel any time takes away some of the reservations people have for agreeing to the prorated system. Lastly, I have been very successful in signing up new customers in the winter offering a free month of service. If a person signs up in the spring you weren't getting anything from them all winter anyway. If they sign up in the winter, you aren't actually starting the work yet so giving them a free month actually doesn't cost you anything. Their annual contract will be fulfilled a few months sooner but almost everyone just renews anyway. Having said all of this, my system is always evolving a bit. I'd be curious what others think...
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