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Customer nonpayment

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by millenium_123, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. millenium_123

    millenium_123 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    Hey guys, I have a customer who has been giving me the runaround for almost a month now. She has one excuse after the other. Is there anyway I can get her to pay me? I'm no longer doing her yard because she called the cops on me for "peeking in the windows" which I did not do. Any advice, thanks...
  2. Down2EarthLawns

    Down2EarthLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 191

    There is no legal way to make her pay you. You can go through legal processes. But sometimes, the best you can get is a bad mark on her credit. If its not big $, same yourself the hassle and move on. If you want to go after it for any other reason, contact your lawyer and get it going. You only have 60 days after the job is complete, usually, to file for lien. I really hate this part of the business. We work our asses off out there and you consistantly run into people that have a pre-determined perception that we are not REALLY that important. No problem......But if you feel that way, why don't you get your lazy ass out in the heat and get r done on your own? Sorry....rough week.
  3. Scagguy

    Scagguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,522

    How long has she been a customer and how much does she owe you? If it's under $100 I'm not going to spend much time in going after it unless they are a new customer. I'll slap a lein on their house at 24% interest and forget about it.
  4. millenium_123

    millenium_123 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    I have been mowing her yard since april. She owes me $180. What is that about a lien on her house?
  5. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,012

    You can file a lien on her house for the bill that she owes you. If she ever tries to sell the home, she will have to pay the lien first.

    Advice for the future; have some sort of contract that states that they agree to pay you by a certain time, whether it be the 15th, after every service, or monthly. State late fees also.

    This sort of deal will allow you to send it to collections and have them bug the crap out of her.

    My collection lawyers take 20% off the top of the bill when they collect. To compensate for that a bit, I charge a $15 late fee after the 7 business day later period, after 30 days, they get a $30 late fee and its sent to collections. That way, if and when you get your money, you dont lose 20% to your collection agency. Three instances of non payment and these guys have pulled through within a month on all three instances.

    Hope this helps, and good luck.
  6. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    Great advice...

    However make sure you get approvel before charging late fees and such, and make sure they know about them......

    We dont do rental proptery anymore because we can only turn in bad dets to a collection agency.........

    I had much rather get paid, But if it comes to it. I had much rather sue and put a lien against the proptery

    Good Luck
  7. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,192

    Most lawn firms that you do business with will gladly handle these kind of problems. They put their junior people on it and 99% of the time the money comes almost immediately. If it doesn't they proceed and don't charge us anything they simply add it on to the bill. We have had a lot of success with this method.
  8. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,012

    Oh yes, the late fees are in the same Terms of Service that they agree to when they confirm that they understand our billing practices (and collection practices). This confirmation happens when they click "submit" to schedule service. Whether they actually read it or not isn't up to me. As long as I have a statement leading to it from the submit button, its valid.

    On paper, they might actually take the time to read it. It seems like they seem to brush it off when it is electronic like my method. A little sneaky, but I've gotta protect my business somehow.

    You want a sneaky contract.... if any of you get the chance to read a bill of lading (delivery bill) that is used to deliver freight (trucking companies use these alot) flip over the paper and check out that very light printed, very small print on the back that basically states "You agree to all of this if you sign the front". Sneaky sneaky.
  9. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,273

    I've got one customer also that won't pay me. Its not too much money, about $85, but enough that I would like to get it. I did a quick spring clean-up job in April for this guy but I never recieved payment. I left another bill with him a few weeks later, he then calls and says that he had a bank check sent to me. I returned his call to tell him I haven't recieved payment yet but only recieved his voicemail. He hasn't been returning my calls yet. I try to stay on top of this but it is getting a little out of hand.
  10. Yater

    Yater LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 687

    Dump your clippings in his yard...for the rest of the year.

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