Register free!
Search
 
     

The Green Industry's Resource Center


Click for Weather
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #31  
Old 01-06-2014, 05:02 PM
mowerman41's Avatar
mowerman41 mowerman41 is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Cheshire, Connecticut
Posts: 235
Look in the paper for free fill then have them drop 20 yards in his driveway while he is at work. You won't get any money out of him but you will get some enjoyment!
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 01-06-2014, 06:01 PM
getdown getdown is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 277
Damage control:

Make a customer happy and they might tell three friends.
Make a customer upset and will probably tell 10 friends.
Take a jerk to court who thinks she's always right in the first place and help probably tell an entire village.

And people remember the bad stuff even if the person talking isn't credible

It's not worth the impact it would have on my brand

I'll eat the $125... It's a small price to pay.
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 01-06-2014, 06:09 PM
whiffyspark whiffyspark is online now
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Chesapeake beach
Posts: 5,416
I have a collection agency trying to collect almost 3 grand from a customer. Its been well over a year almost two. He refuses to communicate. They even sent people to his work. Some people are just deadbeats nothing you can do
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 01-06-2014, 06:31 PM
32vld 32vld is online now
LawnSite Gold Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: LI NY
Posts: 3,191
Quote:
Originally Posted by getdown View Post
Sean, I hear what you're saying...believe me. And I understand your point of view. Just not so sure it is the best advice given the circumstances. A) I can make more money in the time I would spend pursuing a small amount of money. B) I would be creating enemies I don't need, that could adversely affect my business in a major way.

I understand it's my money. I don't like people who think they shouldn't pay. But it's a waste of time. I know what my time is worth. Arguing with an idiot is a waste of time. Throwing dollars to save pennies and make a point, is dumb. I'm not hard headed enough to waste my time. I'm wise enough to walk away. Lesson learned. Karma will catch up.

I'm no wuss and not one to be given orders or to take crap. But I know when it's better to keep your mouth shut, and when to avoid emotions getting the best of you.

No point crying about spilled milk when you're trying to build a dairy farm...

Thankfully I can cry and vent a little bit here to my brethren on Lawnsite...which helped me avoid doing what could be a very costly thing: taking a government sanctioned thug to court for $125. He's a degenerate, but I do work in his area...my first ticket would cost more than what he owes. If I pissed him off by pursuing it, daily operations would be tougher. And I would be adding gasoline to a fire. He would talk trash about me to all his neighbors and slander me. Right now he thinks he just got a freebie and pulled a fast one on me and probably doesn't think twice. I figure, I could waste a punch of time, create a lot of enemies, and have him talk a lot of crap about my business, and get my $125. Or I could do a little venting/therapy on lawnsite and forget about it.

Completely understand what you're talking about when you say times have changed...I couldn't imagine not paying someone (and actually planning not to) who I had do work for me (and watched breaking back and sweating). Some people have a completely different moral guide. Scary that this guy is supposed to uphold the law. I could have easily slapped him with unjust enrichment and had my day in court, but not worth it. I am, however, acutely aware that there are still some amazing citizens out there. I am one of them, and I try to surround myself exclusively with them. Part of being in a business dealing with the public, however, causes us to meet all kinds of people. Better to get them out of our worlds sooner than later. Even if it cost me my hard work/$125. It's a cheap price to pay to rid yourself of something you don't want. But it would be more costly to try and get the $125 back and suffer angering someone with a big mouth/no moral conscience and lots of power.
A mentor at a job once said: Is it worth it to prove that you are dead right?

Because you will win the point now, but later on...........
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 01-06-2014, 07:45 PM
getdown getdown is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 277
Quote:
Originally Posted by 32vld View Post
A mentor at a job once said: Is it worth it to prove that you are dead right?

Because you will win the point now, but later on...........
Well said! By you and your mentor. We are lucky to have others to impart their wisdom to us so we don't have to learn all our lessons through hard experience. As a hard headed younger man I would have tried to prove exactly how dead right I was...but it would have proven to be to my detriment. There's definitely going to be sleeze bags we come across in this business...but it's often better to just let some bridges fall apart rather than setting them on fire!
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 01-07-2014, 10:40 AM
bpallazza's Avatar
bpallazza bpallazza is offline
Sponsor
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edina, MN
Posts: 12
Hi all. Sorry for the VERY late reply. You want to strangle late-payers. But you are also always looking for more business. Here are my two cents...don't get yourself in this situation in the first place. If you will be billing a customer regularly, require a payment method on file and automate billing. If you are doing a big job, do installment billing: get a portion up front. When you do, retain the payment method (credit card or ACH) and automatically bill the customer on regularly scheduled and agreed upon installments. To do this, you need the proper, secure solution.

Sorry but here comes the shameless self promotion. My name is Brant. I founded ReliaBills (www.reliabills.com) for businesses like yours. I have lawn care clients here in MN (lemme know if you'd like a reference). We give you the tools to 1) securely accept payments online. 2)Automatically send payment reminders and notifications. And 3) Automate recurring billing and payments. The key to this is a customizable portal that let's your customers self-manage their account (view payment & billing history, make payments, etc.).

I am sorry that I cannot help in collecting from existing late paying customers. But going forward, we can help eliminate this for you. If I can be of any help, please let me know.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 01-07-2014, 11:02 AM
The Turf Guys The Turf Guys is online now
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Midwest
Posts: 106
In the past deadbeats used to drive me crazy. I would devote way to much energy and time being mad about it and I'm sure it had a negative impact on my overall work.

This is the 1st year I used a local collection agency. They have collected on all 4 customers I sent to them. One of the customers debt was over a year old and they still got me the money. They charge 30% but I figure that is fair enough for me to not have to worry about it.

***I am a Fert and Seed company only

My process
1. Leave invoice with each Application
2. After 30 days I send a Late Payment Notification via mail or email
3. After 60 Days I stop service and I send Final Notice telling them the will be turned over to collection or taken to court if payment is not received within 15 days. I also include in this letter that additional fees will be added to the payment per state regulations
4. If still no payment then it goes to collections

I don't care how small it is. One of the customers only owed $35.

Maybe it makes enemies but I'm not looking for customers who don't pay bills. Luckily new customers are not to hard to find.

This year will also be the 1st year to just not renew people who are a PITA whether that be with late payments, or needy people or the Call In Advance people. I have found a significant correlation to the PITA types and late payers. These non renewals will account for 2% of my business and I am confident I can more than make that up with new customers.

Just my 2 cents.
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 01-07-2014, 11:10 AM
Bridging Financial Bridging Financial is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Greensboro, North Carolina
Posts: 8
Hello,

Something that works great for us. Ask the client WHY he can't pay (Bad things happen to good people). How much he can pay per month and what day is best for the client. Then What is the best way for the client to pay Credit Card, Cash, Check, Money Order, Pay Pal, Exchange services, Trade personal property for service. We get 98% of the money owed to clients by doing these basic things.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 01-07-2014, 04:40 PM
getdown getdown is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 277
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bridging Financial View Post
Hello,

Something that works great for us. Ask the client WHY he can't pay (Bad things happen to good people). How much he can pay per month and what day is best for the client. Then What is the best way for the client to pay Credit Card, Cash, Check, Money Order, Pay Pal, Exchange services, Trade personal property for service. We get 98% of the money owed to clients by doing these basic things.
Great advice. People are human and hiccups happen in personal finances. There's a very good chance to person wants to pay you and is embarrassed...they aren't necessarily trying to rip you off (unless they make it obvious they are)...show you're sympathetic to their situation and willing to work terms (at least you get your money eventually). Also, it's possible that if they are trying to pull a fast one on you they aren't 100% scum bag like my experience and only partially scum bag: your show of compassion and good will might be enough to guilt them into doing the right thing.

Still though, amazes me about humanity in general, how someone can watch us bust our butts working to make their home look it's best...all along knowing that they aren't going to pay us...and feel that's alright. Too bad landscape maintenance can't put mechanics liens on homes...more of a slap in the face to the owner than filing unjust enrichment and more likely to get paid.

Had a guy talking to me about how he can understand the mentality of not paying some huge credit card company (not that he would do it because he's a stand up guy and cares to do the right thing)...but that they have insurances on top of insurances for this kind of thing. But intentionally screwing a small local business is beyond bad citizenship...it's proof of being a degenerate. I've always given free passes to people who were sincere and needed one...It's just good people to do that for others. But the golden rule is a good one and if someone demonstrates they aren't worth my time I am happy to be rid of them...and if it's worth it I take them to court.
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 01-09-2014, 03:01 PM
Locqus's Avatar
Locqus Locqus is online now
Sponsor
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Detroit
Posts: 688
Huge problem with collections as well with my smaller operation. It is really hurting us to make payroll when half of the route lags on payment and I am always fighting for it. It gets exhausting. Trim the fat every year, but still seems like almost half of my time is clawing for the money we worked hard for. Thinking about maybe a credit card on file policy, which probably won't go over well.
__________________
Paul Proctor
www.Locqus.com
Paul@Locqus.com
Office: 800-647-1951
Locqus - Free Field Service Management
Proud owner of Shamrock Landscaping LLC
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump





Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.comô - Moose River Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:23 PM.

Page generated in 0.08033 seconds with 7 queries