drop em?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by jbturf, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. jbturf

    jbturf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,429

    What would u do?
    Customer of about 3-4 yrs now, i svc 3 of their properties 1 com and 2 res, billed to their busoness on 1 invioce per their request. They were reffereed by local landscaper co that i do alot of business with, and who also services at their properties. So they are always late paying the bill, typical is 60.-90 days. I realized the first year and offered them net30 terms instead of dor, no change. Last year i started a late fee policy. Needless to say fees have accrued significantly and gone unpaid ,and it seems i uave to call to get payment of invioces at all. They have enventually paid all invioces.

    So i just got a very rude email from their office girl, stating i am to remove all fees and deliquent charges from their account , and if i want to keep doing business with them i will recieve payment at 90 days or whenever they can pay.

    .wow.
    So the issue is not collecting on late fees, if they pay their invioces and ask to remove the fees, no problem. but i think this has gone too far.
    What do you think?

    Please assess the whole of the situation, not just the kneejerk reaction , ty
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  2. TTS

    TTS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 615

    Will losing the account have a significant impact on your business? Are you turning down other work to keep them on the schedule? Are they smack in the middle of a route or are they on the edges? Have you met with them to discuss the issues and come to a resolution that everyone is happy with? Some businesses it legitimately takes 60-90 days for invoices to make it through the process. Ridiculous I know but that's how it works. On the other hand if they're behind because they can't afford to pay that's different.

    You can choose to answer these questions here or just answer them for yourself but they should help guide you to the best answer for your business.
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  3. twomancrew

    twomancrew LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 940

    I hate this because I am liable for the sales tax the moment I write the invoice. If I was waiting a full quarter to get paid I'd be p'd too.

    Do you like the accounts other than the late pay? You didn't mention that part. Is there a contract in place? It's OK if you don't, I am guilty of that a little bit too. Working for family sucks like that- they wanna babysit and family don't think you need a contract because they "got you covered man".

    Business 101- It's way harder to get a new customer than it is to keep one.
    Business 101- You gotta get paid.
    Business 101- ...good luck.
     
  4. jad004

    jad004 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 282

    As long as your late fee charges were on the invoices or in something they signed, they are required to pay. Here is the letter that I would send them.

    No, I do not want to continue to do business with you. You have 30 days to pay all fees and charges that are on your account. If this amount is not paid within the 30 days, then I have no choice but to turn this account over to a collections agency and a collections fee of 40% will also be applied to the account. Have a great day.

    In my opinion, you should have never taken on this account. If they want it all sent in 1 invoice to the business then that means they are having personal things deducted from taxes on business expense. I know no one likes to pay taxes, BUT, if they are willing to cheat the Government, then they are willing to cheat you. I refuse to send invoices like this all the time. If it's a personal lawn, then I only bill it seperately with the customers name on it. I will send it to the business address if they want, but it will have their name on it.
     
  5. PenningsLandscaping

    PenningsLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,855

    Honestly, you're taking care of their residentials and their commercial, and it doesn't sound like a 90 day turn around on invoices, it sounds like they want to be able to pay whenever they feel like it.

    I personally have no patience for this kind of stuff. Slow to pay, I can deal with it. I'll just require a massive deposits for any service that costs me more than gas. But getting chewed out for late fees from a customer that's 90 days behind is nuts.

    It sounds like they're getting hostile. Meet with them, feel it out, and if they still have an attitude id move on. Late payers become no payers way too easily, and if they're 90 days behind that's a serious burn.
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  6. jbturf

    jbturf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,429

    Alot of good questions and input, ty

    yes i have a waitlist on new customers, and the two res accts are classified 3x difficulty, gated pools, small areas, alot of edging, pets etc.

    I will talk it out with owner and see if we come to terms.
    I run a business and i pay all bills upon reciept. I have contracts and policies in place for a reason, cant see waivering for this, but im cooled off and we will try to fix it
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  7. Nate'sLawnCare

    Nate'sLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,001

    I would talk to whoever does their accounts payable and find out what their normal terms are for paying all vendors. If it really is 90 days and you can't live with it, move on. I suspect it's not 90 days, so it appears they're just jerking you around.
     
  8. PenningsLandscaping

    PenningsLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,855

    You have a waiting list?

    Print out this email, meet with the owner, explain that just because their policy is to pay their bills whenever they feel like it, doesn't mean it's yours. Ask for them to pony up the balance within 30 days or it goes to collections with a 40% collection fee.
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  9. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,869

    drop.
    get new customer.
    done.
     
  10. TTS

    TTS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 615

    With more details I'm thinking drop em and move on but definitely talk to them first so if anything comes of it you can truly say you did everything you could to make it work
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