Old bad customer calling again for estimate

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LoneStarLawn, Dec 20, 2001.

  1. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,415

    An ex-customer we had when we first started 2.5 years ago is calling for an estimate on her yard. We dropped her for a good reason..

    It took 2 months to get paid for a one time maintenance job....

    What do you do...?

    I know I don't want the job, but do you call back and let them know why? or ignore the call?
  2. Turf King

    Turf King LawnSite Member
    from Ozarks
    Posts: 32

    Lonestar theire is a special place for no payers and slow payers in this world. Personally I woul call her back and tell her the reason, tell her if she wants youre services she will have to pay a month in advance, if she did it once she will probably do it again.
  3. Jim Feder

    Jim Feder LawnSite Member
    Posts: 87

    Yes you call and let them know that thay are on your jackass slow pay list and thank them for calling.:angel:
  4. KDJ

    KDJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 325

    Well you have to respond to protect your good name.
    I would say that Iam so busy that I just don't have the time. But check back from time to time. If you did the job for her add 20% to the bid for the risk. You did get your money before right?
    These days 20% on your money is real good.
  5. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    Depends what mood I'm in the day I call her. Not that I'm a Jekyll and Hyde, but somedays I don't feel like dealing with some people. I guess I would have to decide wether she is worth the risk or not. Like it was said by KDJ, did she payup before though, even being a slow payer. Maybe you can factor in some interest in whatever you quote her for work.
    The one thing I learned my first year in business is that slow payers are better than no payers. I don't like it or condone it, but it has happened. Being it was my first season doing this I felt I had to eat a little crow until my business and name gets a little bigger. I already went through next seasons contract and made things a little bolder in print about late payments and will start to enforce them. It's BS when people are late with payments. When I started this business a major factor to me was to make sure all my bills are kept current. So far so good. The fact that I always pay on time really urks me when others are late. Sorry to get off track here a little. It's really your calll Lonestar. Good luck with it.
  6. What kind of services is she requesting?
  7. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,579

    Doing commercial work I am use to waiting 2 months.

    I think you should phone her regardless. If it is a one time job again I would be very clear that you expect payment upon completion. Schedule the work on a day that she will be home.

    Some of our best customers are slow payers... sounds like a conflict but it's not... I just know that they are always good for the money and do not worry at all about it.
  8. Atlantic Lawn

    Atlantic Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Outer Banks NC
    Posts: 939

    Charge her double what you normaly charge, get 50% before you start on the job.If she asks tell her you are forced to do this because of her past credit history problems, this is your policy.If she agrees with it then you make twice as much on her job.If she tries to stiff you for the other half, fine you're already one step ahead of her.
  9. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    You have nothing to lose by calling her back.

    Let's break this down.
    If you don't call her back, she is left wondering why you didn't return her call. She may mention to a neighbor, friend, or relative how she called Lone Star Lawn Care and was never given a courtesy call back.

    If you call her back, and tell her that don't want her as a customer because she doesn't pay promptly, you don't gain anything there either. In fact, you would end up just leaving a bad taste in her mouth. All you would get from that is a little satisfaction in informing her about her tardy payment.

    So, in conclusion, you call her back and say, "Hi Mrs Smith, this is Lone Star Lawn Care. I'm returning your call. Unfortunately our schedule is booked, and we will be unable to service your lawn at this time. We do though appreciate your interest in our company."

    You end up looking like the good guy, and you don't get stuck with a lame account.
  10. andyslawns

    andyslawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 83

    Bid it so high she will not ever want to call you back again :D

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