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backdating checks

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    i have a couple customers that love to play games with the payments. they never send them by the due date, they are always 10-15 days late, but they backdate the check to one day before the due date, like maybe i won't notice. i consider this an insult to my intelligence. would u nail on a late fee every single month, cancel them, what would you do? and one in particular, he doesn't send it until he gets a phonecall, "hello, mr. smith, this is your lawn service, AGAIN, reminding you that you are late, AGAIN! what seems to be the problem, THIS TIME?" then he will call back, "o, i forgot, i'll send it right now.'" and he does send it. there is nothing that pizzes me off more than late payers. how do you handle things like this? they are otherwise great customers, with no complaints, and they pay a premium price for our services, not to mention, they are all "grouped".
  2. marko

    marko LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 963

    Bobby, auto payment with a credit card or pay in advance by check for the month! Keep their # on file, charge same day every month. Tell him its this way or the highway due to his late payments and your wasted time tracking down his money!
  3. ALVW

    ALVW LawnSite Member
    Posts: 23

    Not certain of your billing policy but perhaps one month prebill for the late payers.
  4. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    late fees are there for a reason. Use them. At least that way you are getting paid for the hassel.

    For the check backdater. Kindly inform him that the post mark date is theone you use to determine lateness. And up your late fees to a dollar amount not a %. Perhaps $10 or $15 per occurance.
  5. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    ok, let me further explain, these ARE PREPAYS. first payments have a due date of 3/1/05, but, we don't actually step foot on the property till around 4/1/05. the due date on the next payment is 4/1/05, they are always late. the payment due 3/1/05, will come in around 3/15/05. the payment due 4/1/05, will come in around 4/15/05, and so on
  6. ALVW

    ALVW LawnSite Member
    Posts: 23

    Then definately apply the late fees. One other option is to build the late fees into bills for those late payers (eg. upping the fees for certain services). Then you don't have to worry if they are late. This, of course, if the late payers can absorb the increase & not move to a competitor based solely on price.
  7. traman

    traman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 712

    give them a self stamped address envelope. the .37 cents plus envelope is cheap insurance to get your payment on time . plus you get another tax write off for office supplies
  8. marko

    marko LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 963

    Late fees then. If that does not work, prepay for the year (maintenance) or the shovel
  9. Precision Lawns

    Precision Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 283

    We go by the date of the postmark. We don't care when they wrote the check, we care when they mailed it. If it is postmarked on or before the due date, late fees don't apply. We also have a 10-day grace period, but postmarked any later than that and they get late fees.
  10. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    Make a copy of the actual envelope that has the postmark date that it was mailed, then send them a copy of that along with either a letter explaining the late pay policy one more time and that you will be enforcing it, or do the same with a copy of the envelope and instead of the letter send an invoice for the late fee.

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