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How would you handle someone avoiding you?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by stevenf, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,612

    One of my newest customers was late on the first months payment. I called her about 10 times within a 4 day time frame and she never answered nor returned my phone calls. I tired calling her one more time and she didnt answer, I then called her with my girlfirends cell phone(different area code) and she answered after the first ring. I then said who I was and said " I havent received the bill yet from last month, I was just checking to see if you had time to send it out........" She then tells me that her phone has been acting up and sometimes it rings and sometimes it doesnt and that she never received the bill from that month but she did just get an invoice in the mail, could I please leave a copy of the invoice taped to her door.
    First: She answered when I called from a different phone.
    Second: She tells me her phone is haveing problems and I never ask nor complained about the previous calls.
    Third: If she got an invoice, what did she think had happened to the missing one?!?!?!?!?

    I taped the invoice on her door. What would you do? How long would you wait until you called her again asking about it? When would you stop cutting?
  2. TforTexas

    TforTexas LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 260

    I would call her again from a different phone a day or two before the next scheduled mowing and tell her you have her lawn scheduled but cannot mow without recieving a payment. Have her leave a check taped to the door, under the mat, etc. If it's not there, don't mow. You don't have to be heavy handed or anything just explain you cant mow without recieving the previous payment.
  3. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    taping it to her door was a mistake. you should have drove over in the evening when you knew she was home, knocked at the door and gave it to her personally. when she came to door, say "here's the invoice, while i'm here i'll just collect the payment now." make yourself present, making phone calls, it's easy to avoid those. a lot harder to avoid the person that is at your door.
  4. poolboy

    poolboy LawnSite Silver Member
    from earth
    Posts: 2,408

    Drop her now. She'll end up being a PITA.
  5. toac

    toac LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 350

    bottom line...no more service until payment is received
  6. Prolawnservice

    Prolawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 612

    That same scenario had happened to me twice(some people, you'll learn the warning signs, can't be trusted), now we get paid up front for mowing or it does not get done. I know everyone is going to say you can't do that around here blah blah excuse blah. I thought the same thing but was not going to chase people for money or get beat any more so I tried it, its like an automatic deadbeat weeder outer. Just make sure if you do get paid in advance, you do show up on time, and do the work you agreed to do.
  7. capetan

    capetan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 226

    go to her house when shes home get the check , and stop service
  8. Dave_005

    Dave_005 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 359

    any time one of my accounts gets 2 weeks behind i suspend service Imediately until the account is brought up to date. then i require payment in Full for the month in advance. in 3 years i only had to suspend one account due to late payments.
  9. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    a summons will work wonders..............
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    4. What does her phone not ringing have to do with her not returning the call,
    I'm assuming when you speak of returning the call that you left a message?
    That's assuming her story is true.


    Now I will say I have worked with folks like these and it takes some doing and some couth or finesse but it can be done...
    I have one now that is a bit like yours who in time has paid up I just have to keep working on it, but it does work.
    I think for myself it helps if they either tell me the truth or just skip the story.
    That they didn't pay in time is one thing, I just don't care much for once I get to wondering...

    And yes it also depends entirely if you're willing to go through that trouble, also I know that one day I stand a fair to fine chance of not getting paid up in the end but with some folks I'm basically all right with that.

    All depends how they rub me, I guess...
    How much work I got, too. :p

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