Dead Beat- Need Help

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Mike1977, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. Not sure if that was directed towards me?? All my clients are good clients. They pay their bills on time every month. Most of my customers are $450/mo or more, year round billing.
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  2. That's why ground rules need to be established from the get-go, such as a payment policy. What if the OP has a crew? 2 crews? He is paying payroll, WC, insurance, every week. If you are waiting to get paid for 3 months of past due service, big problem.
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  3. That would still be too long for me, and is why I bill at the beginning of the month, for that month. Us guys in Florida especially can't go out more than that cause we are spending more in the summer months to operate. Then you throw in a couple of 5 week months, and it's no good.
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  4. BPS##

    BPS## LawnSite Senior Member
    from WY
    Posts: 828

    You send another bill that month for extra services that the customer decides they want?

    Lets say their sprinkler busts and you have a $100 repair bill.
    Or they decide they want their tree branches trimmed and hauled off.

    When do you bill for that?
  5. Depends when the work is done. If its done say the 20-30 of the month, I'll throw it on next month. If it is earlier, but after I already billed, I'll send another bill during the same month. I trust all my customers and they have never proved to be late. Most of my customers pay me within 2-14 days of receiving the bill. A few pay b/t the 20-30, but it's in the current month...
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  6. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,144

    Yes but it happens to the best, sometimes we stick our necks out a little too far and then we get burned, other times we think we can trust this one, it just happens.

    That having been said there exist some legal ramifications concerning the threat of a $450 fee but I doubt you have much to worry about unless you try to enforce it which most likely by the time you go that route your attorney will know more about it than I do and there's little to worry about, you probably should not have said it but I doubt much will come of it, heck with it, might not be the most professional thing to let them know you are pissed but oh well.

    Stay on them if you want to get paid or what I have done before is make a "final" offer for a bit less, say they owe $117 I make my final offer for $90 and leave them the bill and let it go, hope they pay, more than a few do and you lose a bit of cash with this method but let me tell you it ain't worth your time to take it to court in terms of $27 you're better off give them the discount if it means getting paid...

    Usually when it comes to those "discount" offers they pay pretty quick, anywhere from a few days to 1-2 weeks...

    And beyond that, well...

    That's my advice.
  7. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,740

    I'm in sort of a standoff right now. A customer owes me for 3 jobs, and wants me to finish the month, and i won't do it. I'm supposed to be there tuesday, so if i don't get a check, i won't show. It's disappointing, because he's been with me for 8 years. He has a new baby and a daughter in college, etc., but i can't worry about that. I never try hard to get paid. It may be because i'm never owed that much. I had this lady who liked to complain, and when she left a message to call her, i knew she was going to whine. She wouldn't send the check unless i called her about her complaint, and/or corrected it. The last job, i had enough and decided to not call her, and write off the $45. Today i heard my mail slot open, and she decided to pay me. On the OP's situation: If i were to receive a partial payment, and then asked to continue, i would have put on the brakes right there. These customers can be very convincing and slick. Don't feel bad about hurting their feelings; they are hurting your income.

    Why didn't i think of this. Remember that post about round up ice cubes? This would be perfect for this customer.
  8. CL&T

    CL&T LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 493

    First you can't just say that you will charge $450 or more for attorney's fees. Attorney's fees have to be what an attorney actually charges you. Second, you cannot charge $25 per month as a late charge. Credit card companies can get away with that because they are exemp from usury laws, we are not. 1.5% compounded each month (18%/yr) is what is customary. And most of all you should have this spelled out on all invoices and contracts that you give the customer.
  9. Dave does lawns

    Dave does lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 260

    Do not worry about $117.

    Learn from this though so next time its not $517

    If and when you get paid, make them pay COD from now on, rather then firing them.
  10. JLSLLC

    JLSLLC LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,426

    Hope they pay you, ive been burned too this season, take it as a learning experience if it wasnt a big amount of $$

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