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how low will you stoop, to collect your money?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Nov 8, 2003.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    a young man asked advice today, about collecting on a dead beat customer. i told him that different people, with different personalities, require different collection strategies. this, reminded me of a story: last year, i started this customer, he was very nice, soft spoken, a bit timid. he was a bit picky too. ok, i can deal with that. we had our differences on how it should be done, but managed to settle in nicely. my only problem with this guy was, he only wanted to pay cash. this is not real good, cus, well, u know, if thier not home, etc, u find yourself driving back and forth to get paid. and he was always late with the payment, but the first to call if it rained or something. well, so its the end of the month, and good old mr. w owes me $220. i tell him ill be by on tuesday, please have it ready. if yur not home, put it in the gas grill. he says ok. tues, he's not home, nothin in the grill but charcoal. call him, say, "hi, u werent home, i'll stop by now." he says, "no bob, not now, im very tired." i say , "ok leave it under the matt." he says, "no, its just not a good time." i say, "well, is everything ok? i mean, financially?" he says, "sure, no problem." i say, "well, when is a good time to come by?" he says, "ill call you, ill let you know." now, im pissed! i mean, payment is due, and you are gonna call me , when we already had arrangements, and u blew me off? not good. ok, so i start calling him twice a day for 3 days, it's never a good time. so, i call and say this, "mr. w, its bob again, from the lawn service. listen, i'm not trying to keep hounding you, but i'm in a bad situation here. i'm very embarresed , but here's my problem. as you know, i have two small children. money has been very tight, since my wife got sick and can't work anymore. i'm at the point right now, where i can't even buy diapers for the kids." he says, "o my god, why didn't you tell me?geeze bob, please, come by, i have your cash." i go over, knock, he says, "here bob, here is the $220, and an extra $5 too, i hope it helps. now you take care of those kids. " i said, "thank you sir, i really appreciate it, and i have a question to ask you. DO I HAVE AZZHOLE TATOOD ON MY FOREHEAD? now find someone else to cut your ratty, weed infested lawn!" and away i went.truth is, i wasnt broke at all, but, i wanted my money. has anyone ever gone a similar route to collect on a debt?
  2. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,366

    You never cease to amuse me Bobby. But no, I have never went that low before. :cool:
  3. Cheesedawg1

    Cheesedawg1 LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 283

    That is the FUNNIEST s*** i have ever heard!!!
  4. socty

    socty LawnSite Member
    Posts: 108

    I had a customer who was SLOWWW paying, took him all year to pay last year's bill. I put his number in my cell phone memory. Every once in a while, when I had time while driving, I would call him to remind him. Now he only owes me $50, and his wife says she'll be sending it this week. He was all BS when it came to explaining his delinquency.
  5. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,366

    Actually, I do recall a time stooping a little. A couple of years ago, I had a customer run up a big bill, before I realized he had never signed the contract. He owed about $400. Kept calling him and kept getting "the checks in the mail". Finally I sent him a final waring notice. After I still had no response, I had a friend call him and claim to be a collection agency. BS'd the guy, and told him that I had a recorded verbal agreement between the customer and I and it would hold up in court. Well I guess the guy cr@ped his pants a little, because I was paid in full. :cool:
  6. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    ROFL great idea i may have to use it!! thanks!
  7. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    I embarrassed a woman right in the middle of some tea party trying to collect. I knocked, she opened the door and had a half dozen women in her livingroom. So I said, very loudly, 'You OWE ME $250, and I'm not leaving until I get it." She was pissed, and I could see all her friends smiling and giggling about it behind her back. BUT, I got paid!
  8. EastProLawn

    EastProLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,110

    I have had my share of shady customers, here one short story:

    I was in the middle of a big fall clean-up and this "gentleman"
    comes over and asks me how much it would be to clean his yard,
    the yard was very small ( 300 sq. ft. ) I told him $50.00 would cover the clean-up and leave dumping, in return he agreed. I told my guys to continue on the bigger job while I cleaned up this smaller one by myself, just as I was finishing he comes up to me with a pair of sneakers & two pairs of pants and tells me " this should just about cover it" I was dumb founded, I did not know what to say, I tried to explain that I needed to be paid in cash or check but he just continued to push the sh_t my way, finally I just asked him straight out if he was going to pay me and he still said
    " this more than covers it" I walked away back to my guys and told them what had just happened and after a good laugh, I had my guys "BLOW ALL" the leaves over to this guys house, about 2 days later he calls me saying that he needs another clean-up???
    I say sure but this time I need the money in advance:D

    I know it's a little off the subject, but I hope you enjoyed the story
  9. the scaper

    the scaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 690

    thus far i've just cut off and re-invoiced the slowbies, they always seem to come around when the yard becomes a mess but that just costs me and i got real sick of it. i recently let the worst ones go and am glad i did cause it eliminates wasted time. next year i'm putting a late fee on my invoice and the second time i have to cut customer off is their last. oh yea , topic. well .. umm..i'm a southerner and we have to incorporate that hospitality thing into all of out endeavors but overall, i've been blatently not paid only $180 in three years. never ceases to amaze me how someone can order a service that they cant pay for, especially the yard boy for cryin out load
  10. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    jeans and sneakers???...now that is original

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