Clients who don't pay? what to do?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by ryan41, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. JuneBug06

    JuneBug06 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    I work as an Office Manager for a lawn care company. We bill the customers in the middle of the month (15th) and give them the option to either pay it early or on the 1st. We have them pre-pay for services to ensure we get paid for it instead of going to do the work and having to think of the nicest way to ask for payment after. There's always a few people who don't like the idea of pre-paying and that's fine. Those are usually the ones who do not pay on time anyway and we don't like doing business with people like that. After the invoices are late, I send e-mail reminders and mention that if we do not see payment, services will be interrupted. I also call. If nothing, cut them loose. I hope this was helpful :)
     
  2. inzane

    inzane LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,361

    How do you collect from someone when you don't have a signed agreement? I have a similar situation to the OP. Customer owes me for 3 cuts. Can't get a response now, she normally ignored my "due upon receipt" invoices, and would have a check for me every month (after i called of course) end of the year now, and its time to pay up for last month, but can't get ahold of her. I feel like if i pursue this, she can just deny that she ever did business with me. $90.00 for 3 cuts on a tiny yard, and i'm about ready to just let it slide. Probably the reason I will crash and burn in this biz. lol. Gonna be letting my wife take over collections, she's kind of fiesty, but i think she can be nice.. hah. t i am not a nice person to deal with when somebody doesn't want to pay, so probably best out of my hands.
     
  3. dnc19694339

    dnc19694339 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 208

    I required all new clients this past year to provide a cc for billing at the end of month. We picked up about 25 accounts and only 1 refused, she said "I dont have a cc", I said well you can prepay with check or cash and she said I will get back to you. Never heard from her again. haha

    I dont plan on making my existing customer pay by cc, only if they start falling behind.

    So for the guys that are thinking about doing this, I only lost 1 out of 25 and she looked like she couldnt afford the service anyway just by looking at the house and car she had.
     
  4. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    This is one of the best decisions you can make for your business!
     
  5. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,128

    I don't require clients to give a card number when service begins, but I really push it as the best option. If a client remits a late payment twice in a season for any reason, I require them to put a card on file for automatic payments from there on out. If they balk, I walk.
     
  6. wildstarblazer

    wildstarblazer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 982

    Most people have debit cards but not everyone has credit cards. When you say credit card, I assume a debit card can be used the same way?
     
  7. ralph02813

    ralph02813 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,041

    Just go talk to them, find out what the problem is, and before you go think of a couple of ways they can make themselves whole, partial payments until they are caught up or weekly billing or cutting and billing every other week - bring your customer a solution to your problem.
     
  8. lazor-cut

    lazor-cut LawnSite Senior Member
    from Wixom
    Posts: 315

    Yes CC is the way to go! Processing only takes 24-48 hours to get into our account.
    Also we do the same billing process (Out on the 15th with intentions of being paid by the 1st!)
    It never seems to be like that though. We stop service if they don't pay and will send a worker to the door. I used to think "that wasn't professional" but I don't care anymore.

    We also initiated the following this year, "ALL customers must pay their PREVIOUS balance before any Fall Cleanup will be performed." Also all Cleanup Payments must be on the door or in a specified location before we arrive. This has done us well.. We do have a few that we invoiced, like return trips but most have already been paid for. The reason did this was because, last year we were getting lawn and cleanup payments all through the winter! This way everything is payed up!
     

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