Customer changing terms in contract

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by shovelracer, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    So I get a contract back a few days ago from a 2 year customer. Payment grace period for her is 10 days for services performed month prior. So I am already 40 days out before it is late. Last year she was good for the first few, then a little later, then "it fell behind the desk" 60+ days, then december came and no check, "sorry the holidays were tight" 50" TV box on the curb. Her final payment was 90 days from date of service.

    She took it upon herself to cross off my payment terms clause and write in: "We pay 30 days from date received. We get paid every 30, you get paid every 30." I found this a little upsetting, mostly because I feel I could have at least received a phone call about the matter. So basically according to her I will see money 60-75 days after service. I have been mulling over the pending call, just not sure which approach to take. Opinions are welcome.

    I'm leaning toward payment a month in advance, credited toward final invoice.
     
  2. billslawn89

    billslawn89 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,364

    get rid of them, before you know it, you won't get paid at all. i have a clause in my agreements, if past due after 30 days, service will stop until paid in full.

    then once i get paid, i'm done with the client. don't need clients like that.
     
  3. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    I stop services as well, and have before on this lady. It is a little more complicated than that. My parents live 2 doors down and I have a few on the street. Problems with me could mean problems for my family. She actually called the town on the guy next door when he put in a pool, he had the permit though. This lady has had a pool for 15 years. Apparently his pool hurt her eyes. I wont accept her terms, but I need to give her the option of making it right before I send her on her way.
     
  4. billslawn89

    billslawn89 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,364

    i would tell this woman, " there are circumstances out of my control, that i will no longer be able to service your property ", then RUN..it will never get better. once she pays you, tell her that. i've used that line before! LOL make up something man! i would not put up with that BS! changing my terms of service...WTF?
     
  5. touhey33

    touhey33 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 771

    no offense, but a payment from most companies is not considered late until after 30 days after bill is recieved. Example Electric you get service the month prior and then payment is due usually 30 days after you recieve the bill. Most of my customers will pay within a week after they get their bill, but some customers will pay at the end of the month.
     
  6. billslawn89

    billslawn89 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,364

    all my invoices had a due date on them, and also most of my clients pay within the time frame, only a few lag behind a few days past, but always pay....thank goodness! :clapping:weeding out the dead beats this year!
     
  7. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    Fine, understood. Now are you already billing 30 days after service as well. I can tell you when I get my LP bill it is clearly due within 10 days. My problem is the change in terms without my approval. I will reject the changes of course. My problem is they know what they are getting billed for, it is not my problem if they can't figure out that 4 mowings a month every month except the 2 that are five will create a bill of X dollars. and this bill will come every month. This tells me that they can't budget themselves to pay for a service till they see the invoice.
     
  8. kaferhaus

    kaferhaus LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,444

    My commercials are either net 10 or net 30 (most are net 10). Residentials are due when service is rendered period. I realize what some of you guys do (put up with) is the "norm" in your area, but it sucks none the less.

    Our folks are either home, leave the payment or pay by credit card. If they "forget" we cut it the first time with a follow up call. If we haven't recieved payment by the time the next service is due, no service.

    This has been an issue in only a handfull of occaisions over more than 20yrs. If they want "billing" my competition can have them. Those customers are much more likely to leave you holding the bag (and it's been proven here... only newbies tend to get sucked into the monthly bill system here)

    Now we do offer annual contracts with "level billing" Those customers (few) pay a month in advance.... so they miss a payment and service stops and depending on the time of year I may lose a few bucks, but usually not.
     
  9. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 7,053

    I have all my customers pay when services are rendered. A few when 2 weeks due to simply forgetting to leave the check but a quick call lets them know and they apologize and double the payment the following week. I had one I dumped last year. I should have seen it coming. She wanted to do monthly and like a greenhorn I agreed. After the first months payment was late, I went ahead and cut it. They when I asked for the payment, she said I never cut it that many times. I told her that her property was the lowest priced lawn that I cut and that her lawn was a weed infested lawn and then told her to keep the money and have a nice life. For the small amount she owed, I was happy to get rid of her. and ugly, man.....:hammerhead: she looked like the dude getting hit in the head. LOL
     
  10. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 7,053

    As for your problem, I'd set it up to be paid a month in advance and give them 30 days to receive payment or services stop. I think we all know to never let the customer dictate your business and in this case, to change your contract agreement to benefit them. Offer them the advance pay program and if they want it, they'll sign, if not, let them know you can't service their property anymore. Be very firm with them as well so they can clearly see your in charge of your company but try to be nice. :)
     

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