Customers taking advantage of the end of the year invoice!!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Evan528, Dec 15, 2003.

  1. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,144

    Every year around this time I go through the same thing trying to collect large sums of money from clients. Because generally its there last invoice of the year and no more services will be provided untill March they feel as if they can just pay when ever they feel like it. All of Novembers payments were do today! Well looking at my customer balances it looks as if I now about just over $10,000 past due. I woud love to strangle these people. I have my own bills to pay just as they do. I wonder how they would feel if there employer decided to withhold there packcheck for 2 months!:angry: :blob2: :angry: :blob2:
    Please tell me im not alone here with getting payment at the end of the year!
     
  2. GreenQuest Lawn

    GreenQuest Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 822

    No, Evan you are not alone, I am going through the same BS.


    I need a huge guy (named vinnie or something) to run around and collect for me and to threaten a good arse kicking or some broken knee caps.
     
  3. Southpaw

    Southpaw LawnSite Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 88

    My last two clients have yet to pay me. I'm not nearly in the same category as some of you old pros, but I would like to be paid before I have to involve invasive action. One is 4 weeks behind and the other is 6 weeks behind.

    The next time I do an install with a hefty pricetag, I will ask for a deposit payment up front to assure myself that they are serious about it. I guess I was too new and too trusting to think that these customers wouldn't just pay me. I called one of them and he said "Well, I know that I owe you money, but with the Christmas Season, you know how it has been hard." WTF, don't I have a budget too?
     
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Same thing,... every year. My interest charge is 2% per month on anything overdue, but that doesn't seem to have much of an effect - probably when compared to credit card interest bills that tend to add up at this time of year from all the holiday shopping. Next year, I am going to do two things that are different. First, in addition to an interest charge, I am also going to instill a LATE PAYMENT FEE (otherwise known as a Penalty Fee) for all amounts overdue past 30 days. This way, I have about about a 10 to 20 dollar (haven't decided amount yet) jump on it. I feel this will cure a whole lot of the overdues in the first place. Next, on the last invoice, this will be emphasized by instead of being written in the regular sized font, It will say "Just A Reminder........". Hopefully, this will catch their attention, and we will have better luck with being paid on time.
     
  5. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,073

    This is really the first year that we have experienced this out of 5 years..
    We are always all paid up and finished by this time.

    We're down to three people now that owe.
    The first one is always a late payer, but this is the longest it has been from him.

    Number two is the one I am more concerned about than any other. They owe for all of October plus November's services, and no word from them yet.

    Number three is a first year customer and owes the least out of three. Will be interesting to see if she is going to pay her bill.

    My dilemma is this. Out of the three, Customer Two is the one I would like to keep the most as a customer.
    So I'm wondering, what steps or how much pressure I should apply to get our money? I've been thinking to just let it ride out until after Christmas, but the longer it gets, the more I think none of them will pay.

    So my question is to people waiting on money. Do you continually hound these late payers or just sit back and wait?
    As stated we always have all our money by this time, so I'm just wondering.
     
  6. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,927

    Yea, ... same old story. I think I'm a small operator than most of you. I have been told, "... you are too small to do anything." The November invoices are way behind what other month's payments have been. In some cases of other years, not paying November (or even October) has been their way of saying "we are getting somebody else for next year, so why should we pay you." However, I don't believe that I have any of those any longer. I did do a single mowing in early December for somebody new -- he hadn't mowed since September and couldn't do it himself. Now, he has yet to pay, so I may never see the money.

    I've said in other threads, most pay for services rendered, others pay just so I will return next month to work. But, I thought I had all those of the second class weeded out for 2003, but maybe not!
     
  7. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,218

    Ahhh, the classic excuses. I hear them every year. I just don't want to hear it anymore. People expect you to negotiate and it just isn't happening. I look at it as a cleaning process. Anyone who still has a balance in January or February is cut. This way you know your starting next year with less problems.
     
  8. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    10 grand?

    Damn, I wish that's all I had owed to me right now...I would be one very happy camper.
     
  9. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    I'm at about $5k out right now. Hopefully it will be in soon.
     
  10. Blades of Steel

    Blades of Steel LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 599

    i checked this morning. I jhave about 8400$ passed due. wtf!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I understand everyone is strapped this time of year but damn!!!!!!!!
     

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