slap em all with a late fee?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    my contracts start 3/1. i sent out a bunch of them. payments are due 3/1. alot of these are new clients. a confirmation was made by phone prior to mailing. it's the last day of feb, and i only got a few contracts back, some even came without checks. people tend to drag thier feet on paying you when they don't see you. too bad, an agreement is an agreement. i have a good mind to slap every one of them with a late fee. would you apply the late fee to all of them? even the brand new ones?
     
  2. theturfsurfer

    theturfsurfer LawnSite Member
    from mtka,MN
    Posts: 102

    Yes, I wouldn't but from your reputation on here you probably will. I give my new customers a chance to learn my system first.
     
  3. The Dude

    The Dude LawnSite Member
    Posts: 221

    Does the cable company give you a chance to learn their system? or how about the Electric company?. Fact is unless we start acting like businesses, people will treat us like the 10 year old kld who cuts their grass.

    Bobby, why didn't sign them up for a recurring credit card payment?
     
  4. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,274

    Might be okay to put the late fee on them if your contract stated that the bill was due on Mar 1 and there is no grace period. Here it is only Feb 28, so they are not late yet, and most places, probably including New Jersey, consider a postmark on or before the due date as having satisified the payment terms. Then it comes back on the USPS as to how fast they get it to you.
     
  5. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    Give them a break man, in this business you kinda have be patient. Don't go makin a big fuss to them or they just might sign with the next guy that puts a flyer in their door. Give em a LITTLE time. I find that some people don't read ther mail even the good customers, you call em their like "what contract I never got anything in the mail"
     
  6. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    i don't accept credit cards. this is why i don't do 12 month contracts. it's hard to get payments on time when you havn't actually done any work yet, or you are done for the season. it is also ANNOYING, not to mention against our policy to allow late payers. the terms were explained thoroughly, then documented for all to see, and STILL i have to make phone calls
     
  7. The Dude

    The Dude LawnSite Member
    Posts: 221

    Any particular reason for not accepting credit cards? It would certainly save alot of headaches with non payers, esp. if you are asking them to pay ahead of their service. Just add the added expence of accepting the card into every bid you give out. that way you don't have to eat the cost.
     
  8. theturfsurfer

    theturfsurfer LawnSite Member
    from mtka,MN
    Posts: 102

    Most companies (cable, phone) have grace periods. If you want to lose a new customer over what might be a misunderstanding be my quest. If a lawn is worth $1500 a season I don't want to start off on the wrong foot charging a late fee. There are other ways to set your self apart from the kids mowing, like great customer service. I would rather set my self apart from the kids mowing that way than by charging a late fee.
     
  9. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,565

    Bobby, the heck with the late fee, just go to their homes and slap them. They'll get the message. :dizzy:
     
  10. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I would give them a call up and remind them. If you don't have someone in your hand by the end of the week, then send out a late fee
     

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