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behind on payments, asking for extras

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Apr 13, 2003.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    kind of an awkward position i was in today. a customer, who is usually behind on their monthly payments, and has been for years(usually around 3 months behind), came out and asked about pricing on installing several shrubs and trees. i was thinking to myself, "dont u owe 3 months of service fees?". very awkward, cus the guy is cool, never gives us a hard time, but cant afford to pay his bills. how do u handle something like this?
  2. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Simple bobby.

    Just go ahead and give him a price. If he says "fine, when can you do it?", you say, "just as soon as you get caught up on the other things we've done for you sir/ma'am".

    Just be polite and professional about it and I don't think you'll have any problem doing it this way.
  3. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,491

    Not to pick on you, because I don't know your situation. But it never ceases to amaze me how our industry can let customers get so far behind on payments. Are you that desparate to keep accounts that you keep providing this deadbeat with service? I have written into my contract (that "all" my cutomers must sign) that if I haven't received payment by the 10th of each month that I can impose a $10 late fee or discontinue service. Don't let people take advantage of you!
  4. fox

    fox LawnSite Member
    from MN
    Posts: 57

    mowerman hit the nail on the head!!! could not agree with you more.
  5. nelbuts

    nelbuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    from SW, FL
    Posts: 1,053

    Agree!! I bill on the 25th of the month and they have until the 10th to pay. In my commercial accounts I have in the contract that if they become 30 days past due I can at my option cease service and collect 1/2 of the remaining amount if I choose!! So protect yourself. You have bills that need to be paid and you don't want to be late. The guy may be cool but he is taking advantage of you. I would ask for my money and once I got it I would dump him.
  6. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    Mowerman hit the nail on the head. Contracts, contracts, contracts. Get everything in writing and have them sign before doing any work. If payment stops so does service.

    The gas company will not let you get 3 months behind....try it sometime.
  7. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    actually, they are under contract. i guess im guilty of letting them continue being habitually late. its like, they fall behind, and stay that way. its been like this for 2 years. i always do get paid, just not in a timely manor. i remember this other client i had(he did get dumped). was behind on his payment(first year client), i cancelled service, and notified him that i was doing so. he gave me a sad story about how he couldnt do the lawn himself(bad back) and how he lost his pension, and had a hard time paying his bills, etc. i said im sorry to hear that, but we cant continue. finally, he calls and says please continue service, ill mail a check. i said nope. when i get it, ill continue. he said ok, ill leave it in the gas grill , in the back yard when u come on thursday, i said ok. so dig this, when i go thursday, i see this monsterous new grill(the check was there). my wife and i were shopping for a new grill and saw this same one, we considered buying it, but decided it was too expensive. IT COST $2400! yes, thats two thousand and four hundred beans! but he was behind on his service payments. incredible
  8. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,491

    Love the story about the gas grill, stuff like that happens to all of us LCO's down here in FL all the time. You go to give the estimate, they cry that they're "on a fixed income" expecting you to feel sorry for them and lower the price. Once a price is finally agreed upon they tell you "oh, by the way, I won't be here next week when you come, I'm going on my annual Alaskan Cruise, so be careful you don't hit my Cadillac with your mower, it's brand new you know".

    How 'bout it FL cutters, am I right or what?
  9. nelbuts

    nelbuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    from SW, FL
    Posts: 1,053

    LOL! I had a guy try to haggle down my price a few years ago. In his garage was a BMW and a Benze. But get this he told me that"You don't know how hard it is to maintain two houses". Here is my reply, "you are right I don't, I have a hard enough time maintaing one when everyone tries to beat me down on price". Then I walked away. He realized how stupid he was and he called me back. I explained to him that I was not interested in his property and thanked him and left.

    Mowerman90 is right we get that all the time. The other good ones are from Canada. They want it cheaper because their dollar is worth less in the states. You just have to laugh. :D
  10. fatboy5803

    fatboy5803 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 330

    I have three customers from India, Only one is willing to pay for extra's, They all have nice homes. The one's that's willing to pay I try to do a little extra for them as I appreciate good customers... When I get an elderly couple that I know are just getting by I'll give 'em some slack...

    Lou :cool:

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