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"My bill is wrong again"

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Expert Lawns, Oct 7, 2003.

  1. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,660

    Anyone have this problem:

    Send out your monthly bill and after 3 weeks, you get no check. So, with their next invoice I put on the bottom "Total Amount Due" and then give them their total outstanding amount.

    This summer, one customer called me on 3 seperate occassions telling me that my bill just couldn't be right and that this is way too much money. To make a long story short, it is THEIR problem that they let their bills rack up month to month. If you write out a check when you receive my invoice, then it will only be $120 instead of triple that.

    I dropped that customer due to the fact that he always let his invoices rack up and then had the ballz to call me and tell me that I was charging when I wasn't mowing. I think he just wanted to get a free mowing or two out of me. no sir.
  2. mower_babe

    mower_babe LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 790

    you should be tackin on interest and suspending mowing services with the understanding that if services lapse and the lawn is a foot tall before they pay the bill, then the first mowing is treated as clean-up at a higher rate. Just an idea.
  3. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    when i have invoices that are 2 to 3 weeks due, I usually call them up and remind them about it. And I also tell them that services can not continue until the invoice is paid in full. Nine times out of ten I get a check the next day. The other 1, I have to call them up a second time usually a week or two later and remind them that if they do not pay that bill I will have to take them to small claims court.
  4. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,660

    I told him that I haven't been in business this long keeping bad records and making up false invoices. I finally told him that I was suspending services until his balance was back to $0.00 He then said, well I was going to purchase a lawn mower and have my son do it next year. I told him that was a great idea and that I expected payment within 14 days or further actoin would be taken.

    I had to do this earlier this year, but threatened that guy with sending him to collections; we'll see if he sends payment. (i really don't have a collection agency nor have I ever used one) just a scare tactic.
  5. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    I booted a longtime customer earlier this year for non-payment and slow payment. She usually runs late, but after being a month behind all the time, I gave her an ultimatum. I also overlooked her snow balance that was overdue for 2 months in order to keep her for mowing.
  6. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,194

    Why would you continue into a second month (and more) of cutting when customer had an outstanding balance. If you don't keep them honest, who is?
    Past due = No more cutting until bill caught up, then would consider going to a pay per service acct. if you keep customer.
  7. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,028

    I have good results when I send the customer their ACCOUNT HISTORY.

    I include every job done, the dates, payments they have made, their check numbers etc.

    Sometimes you have to spell it out for them.
  8. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,660

    In hopes that they will pay the balance and I can keep them as a customer. Some people have extenuating circumstances, like the time one of my customers went on a cruise for 2 weeks, but they paid as soon as they got back. I don't jump to conclusions, everyone deserves a chance. We have all have issues now and again. But, after 2 months, then yes, they will be canceled and payment is expected.
  9. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,381

    I do the same thing that Gene Simmons does. Keep a running total of all services and charges to date and include a copy with the customers invoice. So far it has worked well for me.
  10. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,194

    Once in a blue moon for a good customer payment problem is one thing. Even then, why stick your financial neck out?
    Have also found that customer percentage wise, once a client starts late payment habits, they are most likely going to continue it again.
    Guess if you're rolling in dough and like playing banker you can run free credit services, for the rest of us it doesn't make good money/business sense. Your money is just as valuable as theirs, so why let them have no charge terms accounts?

    Not meaning to be busting your chops on this, just asking you to look at the big picture, late payments ultimately make you the financial loser.

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