New Late fees & unpaid balances explanation sheet

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Lawn-Sharks, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. Lawn-Sharks

    Lawn-Sharks LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 912

    I was looking over all my past due invoices today and was disguised about how many people are paying 2 weeks late and that i have never charged a late fee! All of my updated contracts states a 10% late fee on top of service being stopped, well i have never enforced the late fee until now.. (no more Mr Nice Guy) I reprinted all the over due invoices so i could resend them with the 10% late fee added plus a new Late fees and unpaid balances explanation sheet that i typed up.. I know a lot of us are going through this and will have mixed opinions about what i wrote, but for the ones that would like to use this sheet, you are more then welcome to.Just take my business info off of it first. Thanks
     

    Attached Files:

  2. nlminc

    nlminc LawnSite Bronze Member
    from GA
    Posts: 1,671

    Kinda harsh. I think you should send them a $50.00 gift card just for paying you within 60 days!

    Okay...seriously, I would send them out a "friendly" reminder first and in that letter, reminder tell them about the new 10% fee. Don't go into liens and courts if these people have been steady customers for a while.
     
  3. brandtb1

    brandtb1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 153

    It seems a little harsh, but the electric company does not explain late fees, nor does any one else that charges them. I would just reinvoice with the late fee and maybe save the letter for the ones that are 30 days past due.
     
  4. Lawn-Sharks

    Lawn-Sharks LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 912

    you have a valid point, with commercial accounts your kinda out 30 to 45 days on payment and i should have said this was for my resi accounts. but if you reread i stated that i have never charged a late fee...at all...never, since I've been in business! with that said the conclusion you should have is that i have been a nice guy for too long and now i am fed up and taking a stand on the matter. I have always sent friendly reminders & phone calls and made minor threats to charge but never have until now and I shouldn't have to chase people down, so if it seem a little harsh then so be it. People need to "know what could happen" if the don't pay. Maybe people will take lawn care business more seriously when they are educated in what will happen if they choose to not take us seriously and pay. This isn't welfare it's a business! I am sending this to all of my resi customers that are past due with a copy of their contract and their new invoice.Thanks for the reply.
     
  5. Lawn-Sharks

    Lawn-Sharks LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 912

    Down here in florida the power company explains their late fees in bold print.
     
  6. Doug1966

    Doug1966 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 118

    with the economy being what it is - are you sure you want to put the question of whether they want to continue doing business with you in their minds?

    I would stay out of sight if I were you. 2 weeks doesn't seem so bad.
     
  7. nlminc

    nlminc LawnSite Bronze Member
    from GA
    Posts: 1,671

    I have never charged late fees either LS. I'm not saying you don't deserve to charge them. It's like what the above post says....people are cutting back and paying late because of the times right now. I have some letters I send out if someone is notorious, but for the most part all of my customers pay within 45 days. Actually, most within 10 days...you'll always have the stringers.........bankers, lawyers!!!

    I've had people canceling service left and right due to their budgets being busted right now. I'll be happy to take payments 2 weeks out!

    totally agree with you when you go on about people paying us last, but with lawn and landscape companies a dime a dozen, that's not going to change any time soon! I've been at this for 20 years..... some things will never change.
     
  8. Lawn-Sharks

    Lawn-Sharks LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 912

    Ahh... I had to go and mellow out i was pis*ed off when i typed it out and after mellowing out i am going to change it and not list the crap i wrote about the unpaid balances.. I should mention the reason why i was upset is because i have 11 accounts that are late right now,they recieved their bill little over 3weeks ago. To some people that might be a acceptiable time frame to wait for payment, but not us. I understand that i might lose some business over this and god knows i take care of every customer i have and can always use more work, but the way i see things is if i cant make a paycheck to support my family then doing this is what i will not be doing! I always let customers know that this is my business and not a large corporation with a big budget so if i dont get paid i cannot pay my bills, I let them know that i feel the affects of the economy just like they do as a matter of fact i feel it more then they do, we all do in here. So when i sit back and looking over all the account that are constantly late and the ones that are not going to pay,then things get a little harsh. I know this is all part of business but 11 account paying late is almost 25% of my customers (if they even pay) I alread have 4 that are avoiding me now.
     
  9. nlminc

    nlminc LawnSite Bronze Member
    from GA
    Posts: 1,671

    Hang in there LS. Just remember that you are better off running the show instead of working for someone else. I'm sure these customers will come thru and pay their bills. You have to try and not take it personally. Some people pay like this..

    I have a bank exc. who writes on my statement the 30th day from when he receives my statement and staples his check to it...mails it back on the 30th or even later....even though it's due in 15 days. He even took my statement with him to Alaska to mail my check from there while he was on a freakin cruise!! I mean come on...a $200.00 payment and you're going to drag it to Alaska with you? People are just f-ed up man!
     
  10. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 6,462

    Well it wouldnt open for me.
     

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