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  #11  
Old 11-27-2013, 06:56 PM
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jbailey52 jbailey52 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Horticulture
Posts: 1,052
I have thought about doing credit cards for our weekly maintenance customers. Couple problems I have
1) doing it every week would be a lot of work, we would do once a month, just as we do our invoices. ( no other industry would charge a card weekly I.e. Uniform companies that deliver weekly, fitness gyms etc)
2) I believe it is illegal to store anyone's cc number. So you would have to get verification every time you want to charge (my gym, health insurance, car payments etc are all on EFT from the bank, not credit card so that is how they can bill automatically monthly)
3) prices during the season are the same per service, but when leaf cleanup season starts their charge per week changes drastically and it is always different. Customers would always be calling PiSSED about not knowing what they were charged before they paid it. With paper invoices they see the charges, and can call with questions if they would like.

That is all. Happy Halloween
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  #12  
Old 11-27-2013, 07:48 PM
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DVS Hardscaper DVS Hardscaper is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbailey52 View Post
I have thought about doing credit cards for our weekly maintenance customers. Couple problems I have
1) doing it every week would be a lot of work, we would do once a month, just as we do our invoices. ( no other industry would charge a card weekly I.e. Uniform companies that deliver weekly, fitness gyms etc)
You are very mistaken. I know of many lawn mowing companies that debit the cards weekly, that's where I got the idea. Infact, one of the companies lurks on this forum and last I knew (3 yrs ago) was up to $3 mil in annual sales The point of doing weekly debits is it keeps cash flow flowing. Its better to debit a $35 cut and the debit be approved than to wait 4 weeks and try to debit $140 and have it declined. When we mowed at the end of the recession I did strictly c-card payments, no checks accepted. The customers loved it, they REALLY DID! Its the only way to go.
2) I believe it is illegal to store anyone's cc number. So you would have to get verification every time you want to charge (my gym, health insurance, car payments etc are all on EFT from the bank, not credit card so that is how they can bill automatically monthly) You can store numbers, I have a form that the client fills out and signed. Just like the form you fill out and sign when you enroll a gym membership. If you store it electronically it has to be through a SSL program that no one can hack.
3) prices during the season are the same per service, but when leaf cleanup season starts their charge per week changes drastically and it is always different. Customers would always be calling PiSSED about not knowing what they were charged before they paid it. With paper invoices they see the charges, and can call with questions if they would like. Not the end of the world, with careful thought you can come up with a fair and solid procedure. When we mowed lawns and we would do additional work, the customers would say "just put it on the card". This is the times we live in. people WANT convienience. They LOVE it. The easier you make their life - the more they like you. People want instant instant instant.

That is all. Happy Halloween

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My Equipment Brag List:

-1 CAT hat
-16 pairs of Hanes socks (the Heavy Duty model), many with holes.
-12 pairs of underwear, ranging from Joe Boxers to Jockey, many are in need of replacement. (no more photo requests please)
-hundreds of t-shirts. Some w/ grease stains, some torn & tattered.
-7 pairs of jeans, ranging from Levis to Polo to GAP. 1/2 of them have holes in 'em.
-1 belt
-1 pair of old worn out Nike shoes.
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  #13  
Old 11-27-2013, 08:07 PM
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jbailey52 jbailey52 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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I'm not saying the cash flow wouldn't be nice, but I know it would be more work than it was worth for my wife, who does invoicing, to try and do that every night.
Also for a customer to say "just put it on the card" still wouldn't work in leaf season. I am not on site on these jobs, and the price depends on the amount of time it takes them to do the work, so the amounts are always different. I feel like it would be hell charging them. And also if the amount is different from what they previously agreed for lawn service I believe I would have to get verification to run The card. Cintas has to call me monthly to get permission to run the card when my amount is not the exact amount I have agreed in the past.
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  #14  
Old 11-27-2013, 08:21 PM
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DVS Hardscaper DVS Hardscaper is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbailey52 View Post
I'm not saying the cash flow wouldn't be nice, but I know it would be more work than it was worth for my wife, who does invoicing, to try and do that every night.
Also for a customer to say "just put it on the card" still wouldn't work in leaf season. I am not on site on these jobs, and the price depends on the amount of time it takes them to do the work, so the amounts are always different. I feel like it would be hell charging them. And also if the amount is different from what they previously agreed for lawn service I believe I would have to get verification to run The card. Cintas has to call me monthly to get permission to run the card when my amount is not the exact amount I have agreed in the past.

The others with million dollar companys are not on-site either. Its a proven system, that works. Not theory.

Checks are soon a thing of the past. Not much else to say. You can be a nah-sayer if you like, we all know where that gets people

ok, holiday time. see all you ladies later
__________________
"It's You vs. You"

"People Throw Rocks At Things That Shine"


My Equipment Brag List:

-1 CAT hat
-16 pairs of Hanes socks (the Heavy Duty model), many with holes.
-12 pairs of underwear, ranging from Joe Boxers to Jockey, many are in need of replacement. (no more photo requests please)
-hundreds of t-shirts. Some w/ grease stains, some torn & tattered.
-7 pairs of jeans, ranging from Levis to Polo to GAP. 1/2 of them have holes in 'em.
-1 belt
-1 pair of old worn out Nike shoes.
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  #15  
Old 11-27-2013, 09:51 PM
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RSK Property Maintenance RSK Property Maintenance is online now
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credit/debit cards are definitely the way of the future, but i just have to find a way that quick and easy for me. I take them but its only online through my billing system which uses paypal and charges them 3% per transaction so how are you guys dealing with this. just charge it to the customer or what? i just charge it to the customer and he just pays his bill same day or the next day and then it take 2 days to get into my bank account.
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  #16  
Old 11-28-2013, 12:33 AM
stebs stebs is online now
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Location: Eastern KS
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As a former restaurant manager, I can attest to the fact that checks can be a headache, but for some, its the only way. One big problem is, CC processors take a percentage of the bill in fees whereas checks don't. Although, I had more problems with bounced checks than CC's. bounced checks for me were darn near impossible to collect on. On the flip side, chargebacks on the CC are darn near impossible to fight and win. Also, some people dont even have CC or debit cards. My grandparents don't have a debit card or a CC. If a place doesn't take checks, they don't go there or deal with them.

I will say that tonight checks saved my bacon. Ordered pizza from a local restaurant. My checking balance was enough to cover it plus some, and have several pending deposits not yet posted. For some reason, their CC machine had a glitch and apparently lost connection in the middle of running my card. It then declined my card TWICE after that. Ended up writing a check to pay for the food. Checked my account online and it shows a pending transaction for the place, which dropped my balance enough to make the card decline when it finally went through. Will be interesting to see how that plays out in the next few days...

Edit: Meant to mention. PCI compliance can be a royal pain in the butt. Standalone terminals arent bad, but running through software on a PC can be a headache. Start storing card numbers and it becomes an even bigger headache. You have to be able to prove that your system is non-hackable and completely secure.
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  #17  
Old 11-28-2013, 02:00 PM
SoCalLandscapeMgmt SoCalLandscapeMgmt is online now
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You know, kind of off of the subject, but kind of related.... last week I had a parent teacher conference for my second grader. After the conference we were talking just in general about some of the challenges of teaching and the teacher said that one of her biggest challenges the last couple of years has been teaching kids to count money, specifically identifying coins and their value. The thinks that it's because that nobody uses cash anymore and that everything is either charged or paid for with a debit card. I thought that was pretty interesting.
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  #18  
Old 11-28-2013, 02:12 PM
NJ Grass NJ Grass is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Bridgewater NJ
Posts: 77
I'm having similar problems and will be offering and encouraging the use of credit cards next season. My biggest problem this year was having a few customers insist that they sent me a check and I never received it. It puts me in a awkward position. If they did mail the check and it was lost they're most likely going to have to stop payment on it and get hit with $30 charge. I sometimes feel responsible because I still require payment in the form of a check.

I'd have to agree that it is a sign of the times. The only thing I right checks for is payroll.
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  #19  
Old 11-28-2013, 03:30 PM
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SRT8 SRT8 is online now
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About 95% of payments we receive are checks. We never have an issue with them. The other 5% are direct deposit, that works out the best because we get paid within a couple days of sending the invoice.
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  #20  
Old 11-29-2013, 09:06 AM
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DVS Hardscaper DVS Hardscaper is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSK Property Maintenance View Post
credit/debit cards are definitely the way of the future, but i just have to find a way that quick and easy for me. I take them but its only online through my billing system which uses paypal and charges them 3% per transaction so how are you guys dealing with this. just charge it to the customer or what? i just charge it to the customer and he just pays his bill same day or the next day and then it take 2 days to get into my bank account.
All merchants pay a discount rate. Usually 3 percent average.

So when you go to the local WAWA and buy 2 Monster energy drinks, a pack of gum, and a bag of chips - that discount rate has already been factored into the price before thy ever put it out on the shelf / in the coolers. As c-cards become the only form of payment (and it will happen) you will have to factor in the cost jut like you do with All your other overhead
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