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I figured out one foul problem

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by topsites, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    It has been very dry here of late and I am sure more than a few competitors are by now done, and right about now I've also been bugged by the sheer quantity of loser customers (for lack of better words).

    The yards are crap, the money is tight so I bid it, they almost always say yes, then I do the work and never get paid. Sometimes they're there when I do the work yet they ask I leave a bill, right then I am thinking 'great here we go again.'

    You know, it doesn't surprise me that a lot of people out there don't think twice about simply not paying the lawn guy. What does bother me is these people evidently call one after the other to play that game, they get free grass cuts year round by simply never paying, soon as one loses interest they call the next.

    What also bothers me is the apparant lack of FEAR of retribution, these folks have absolute confidence that no Lco will ever do anything about it, that is other than threatening words and letters perhaps, they figure so long they can stand up in a halloween fun house then this is not much worse.

    And try as I might there will always be 90% of businesses that fail within the first 5 years, so out of 200 Lco's in my town there are always 180 fly-by-nighters, and there is a long and never-ending list of these folk who never have a worry in the world to satisfy each other's needs, so to speak.

    It's just sick, this world, sick.
  2. Nosmo

    Nosmo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    You know what I believe on some of those fishy looking types I'd just tell them until we have a chance to get to know each other it'll be cash for the first few mows.

    In California back in the 1950's when I was in the Navy the coffee shops and cafes made us (Sailors) pay when we placed an order --- not after we ate.

  3. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Posts: 1,667

    What surprises me even more is how long some of you keep going when you're not getting paid.

    30 late letter, 45 late letter, 90 late letters lol. I would never wait that long, I would phone them Every single day, I yell, scream, get reported to the BBB lol.

    I give them till the end of the month, the month I billed them for. I usually drop it off in the last week of the month while i'm giving the last cut. If I don't have the check by the first cut of next month I phone them and remind them, ask them to leave it in their mail box.

    People that I don't know, say for window cleaning (I'm about to put out my fall flyers) have to leave a cheque in the mail box or be home if they want out side only. Of course they have to be home if they want the insides done to.
  4. delphied

    delphied LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,067

    I have had only a 33 dollar bill go unpaid and I didnt bother her because she was a nutcase. One other one owed me 425 and I told him I quit and then kept leaving messages every few hours on his cell. He paid within 2 days of that. If he hadnt, I would have figured out another way to harass. I like the idea of a 7 am doorbell on Sunday. I would even stripe their lawn too. You know, mow every other width and leave every other long. If the cops come by, I would take my medicine. If all else failed, RoundUP
  5. dwlah

    dwlah LawnSite Senior Member
    from Argo Al
    Posts: 558

    New customers I tell them if they dont send a check
    I know where you live
    Ive got a 4 gallon sprayer full of roundup
    and I know how to spell cheap:laugh:
    seriously I give them a 100 dollar limit
    Hit the limit and your cut off until caught up
    Hasnt failed yet but this is my first year full time
  6. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,200

    Apparently the lawn boy isnt' the only one not getting payments based on the scope of the housing problem. I have rental property and when I run credit checks eveybody owes a LOT of bills. Many owe on electrical, water, gas, TV and many even owe people they previously rented from.
  7. KTO Enterprises

    KTO Enterprises LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,286

    This is why I no longer take clients who are not a referral. I have found that to be the best chance you have at getting quality clientele. If the ask a friend who is good, and they dont pay you have someone to tell their payment history to. I have found people dont like to be embarrassed. I have seen people who owe me money in town and said loud and clear enough for everyone in the restaurant/store/gas station/whereever else to hear that they owe me money and I dont like being stiffed.

    I went far enough to make a sign and put it on my truck and park it in front of where a guy worked that he is a non paying person. i have methods to make sure I get paid quickly.

    Only taking customers from referrals seems to me to work the best.
  8. Dunn's

    Dunn's LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,546

    That is because Americans believe that the deserve to party every weeked and go out to eat every night, because they work so hard even though most of the time they work as little as humanly possible if they work at all. The baby boomers have destroyed our once great country and it willl probably never climb back from the damage they have done. Not unless they all start croking around 50 because of all the drugs/alcohol and fast food the have consumed.

    I can dream can't I
  9. causalitist

    causalitist LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 610

    require credit cards... i do, and bill weekly. and the most im ever out is one mow ... that has yet to happen probabily because the act of requiring a credit card screens em.. i transitioned over this season, i have 2 customers left on monthly invoicing.. and guess what? they are both biweekly cheapskates and were always the ones i had to call and beg for payment. next year its credit card or nothin.

    i dont even send out invoices lol ... they dont get anything, its mowed, card is charged, i save a record of it on my computer.
    im a solo op, and i still have yet to meet in person half of my customers. the majority i talk to on the phone initially to get there cc# and never again.

    and you can also do credit reporting on em ... it'll show on there credit score.
    why not? every other business does it! it's like $10 or something to have it go on there credit score.

    i've never had to use that though.. had to threaten with it one time and it worked. real friendly too: "ok sir, well im sorry but you should be aware we report bad debts to all three credit berous" lol got a 3 month overdue check 4 days later.

    WALKER LANDSCAPE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,415

    Hey you ever get the warm fuzzy hair on the back of your neck feeling when bidding mowing. "What happened to the last LCO that was cutting for you?"

    RUN AWAY!!! :walking: :walking: RUN AWAY!!!!

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