Do you have a boilinig point?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by outrunjason, Apr 23, 2005.

  1. outrunjason

    outrunjason LawnSite Senior Member
    from dallas
    Posts: 703

    I ask that question in relation to customers. I have reached a boiling point with customers who don't pay. This year I said to myself if someone doesn't pay I will take them to court. I took a few to court last year and got my money. This year no exceptions for anyone.

    Well I have not had any problems until about 2 weeks ago. I talked to a lady on the phone she asked me to come out and mow her yard. I set it up for that Friday. I showed up that friday and when I got there I knocked on the door while my guys took care of the yard. We require payment for the first mowing. However no one came to the door. We were only there 15min as the back gate was locked. We left. 2 weeks later I show up because she wanted a bi-weekly schedule and I get there and the lawn has been cut. I knock on the door and she says what are you doing here. I said well I am here to mow the lawn but it looks like it has been done. She said well you never showed up 2 weeks ago so we hired someone else. She refuses to pay her $25 that she owes me for the last mow.

    Now I have had several heated conversations with her since then and she claims that we never came out and she never heard us and that I am trying to run a scam.

    So, what do I do? Take her to court for $25 bucks so the next guy doesn't get ripped, I get my $25, and I make my point?

    Or do I just let it slide it's only $25

    Or jack that price up to lets say around $100 for having to keep calling her, going to her house to talk to her, paying to get her personal information. Whatever it amounts up to.

    Thanks, Jason
     
  2. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    contracts!
     
  3. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    Pardon me, but you first logged onto Lawnsite in Feb of 2002 and you're still getting ripped off for a $25 cut.......

    Have you learned NOTHING about how to run your business in over 3 years?

    You deserved to lose that money.

    Maybe you'll remember next time.
     
  4. outrunjason

    outrunjason LawnSite Senior Member
    from dallas
    Posts: 703

    Believe it or not I have signed up about 20 customers on contracts this year but it was such a hassle so I just sudenly stopped. This lady would have probably been someone that I would have put on our contract after the first mowing.
     
  5. outrunjason

    outrunjason LawnSite Senior Member
    from dallas
    Posts: 703

    I have 120 accounts. Last year I only had to take 3 to court for non payment. Any other late payers just payed up. I have been in the business long enough to handle my customers and No I am not just getting ripped off right and left for $25. But in this case it seems I got ripped. Other cases I might just get delayed on getting payed. I just want opinions on what others would do on a first mow thing. I am more for the principal of thing. She said come out and we came out. Now pay up or lets face off.
     
  6. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    Here is how to solve your problem.

    NEVER mow until you have been paid.


    I have been doing this all my life, 30+ years. Professionally, full time, the last 6 years.

    I have yet to be stiffed for work I completed.

    I will not mow unless I have cash or a signature.

    Period.
     
  7. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    I'm not saying contracts are the only way to run a business.....

    But I can say this.....getting your money before you mow is THE ONLY way to insure you always get paid for work.

    I can't understand the mentality behind people who come on here and complain about not getting paid, even once, then go on to say how contracts are such a hassle.

    What am I missing?
     
  8. outrunjason

    outrunjason LawnSite Senior Member
    from dallas
    Posts: 703

    Your right. I usually ask for payment for the entire month up front on the day we arrive. Most leave it under the matt. In this case the minute we pulled up my guys were already on the lawn as it was small and they were done before I even got an answer. Now the lady is trying to say I am running a scam.

    I just want to take her to court to prove my point or I could just wipe the sweat off and say forget it.
     
  9. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    You know what to do.......
     
  10. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,952

    I have found that new customers and even some of my regulars will not pay me up front. They want to make sure you dont short them on quality because you already have been paid. its also something they have been taught all their lives--dont pay until the work is done or you receive the product to your satisfaction.
    For new first cut customers I require they be at home and pay me for the first cut. I knock on the door BEFORE unloading and confirm the agreement. Never had a problem doing it this way
     

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