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That instinct I had was right!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by HighGrass, Jun 27, 2004.

  1. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Posts: 1,237

    I've had this account for over a year. Big lawn but she's not to fussy. With trimming, takes me an hour or so to do. She let's me park my truck in her driveway so i can do another account right next to hers on the same day, so only charge her 48.00 per cut.

    You should see this house, must be a 4500 square foot colonial (repro) built about ten years ago. A house like this in our neck of the woods goes for at least 650 to 750K! So, what's 48 bucks a week right? New Lexus SUV, kids got all the toys.

    About 5 weeks ago, she started forgetting to leave a chack for me under the old ceramic bunny on the porch. And, when I did see her, she would write out a check for this week, and forget to add the last weeks mowing that she forgot. I would say, "judith, this is for this week, but you still have a balance due from last week." She would make some excuse about it and i would just tell her wwe would catch up next week.

    Current balance due 96.00 as of today.

    I show up on Thursday and she's home. As a matter of fact I follow her into her driveway behind her car. She gets out and comes over to the truck and leans against the open window. "I'm so glad I'm here when you are for a change...yeah...well it's like this, I'm going to have to go to mowing every 2 weeks because I just can't afford the mowing payments every week. And, I think I just want half the lawn done and not the entire piece over there" points to large piece over behind the house. "Can we skip this week and start every other week next Thursday?" I tell her that's fine but due to the 2 week growth rate, even though I'm cutting less, the price may stay the same. Her response was if to say...Why isn't it half price?

    We came ot an agreement finally and i was getting ready to leave...I asked for a check for the 96.00 that she owes and she seemed to transform into something this side of defensive. "Can i pay you next week?" I said sure, but she would have to include another 48 bucks for a total of $144.00 which would bring us up to date. She seemed to be a little pissed so before I drove away, i told her if for some reason she couldn't do that, please let me know before the day that i mow (So I don't drive my happy butt alll the way over Only to find out I'm getting stiffed)

    Any bets as to what happens this Thursday?
  2. fixer67

    fixer67 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,100

    Yes, she and her kids have all the nice new toys but what do you want to bet the bank owns everything she has down to her red lace panties. You will see a for sale sign on that house within a year maybe less.
  3. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Posts: 1,237

    Good call...I was thinking the same. I don't care either way, I think I can snag the next person since I'm in the next yard every week anyway. i think she'll pay me what she owes...it might be dfferent if she wasn't friend with my other client next door.
  4. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    This is the beef I have with credit/creditors/people these days.

    It's really sad to say, but this is becoming more typical all the time. There is nothing wrong with having nice things and why not if you have them money? But they are only things. Trying to live like a millionaire on a 6 figure income.... that's what it sounds like to me.

    This is a pitiful lack of judgement on the part of the consumer and greed on the part of the creditors. I don't think creditors should be allowed to assist people in tapping there resources so heavily that they are doomed to die a painful financial death before it's over with. The creditors don't care because they have default insurance, foreclosure/reposession and resale or high default interest rates on non-secured lines.

    Forgetting the house.... if you drive a Lexus SUV and can't afford to give your lawn service $48 per week so badly that you are behind on payment and begging for reduced services.... you need a serious reality check.... a wake up call.... something for god sakes!!!!!

    Moral of this story?........

    Know your means.... live well within them.
  5. Likestomow

    Likestomow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 997

    What you are experiencing are WARNING FLAGS --- don't ignore them. If you are in business, you better focus on getting paid, because she sure isn't. Why extend credit to someone who obviously isn't creditworthy?

    You are being manipulated. Call a spade a spade and demand your money --- it works.
  6. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,227

    start taking credit cards?
  7. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    agree to every other week. use the next 14 days to get caught up on back payments. tell her if she gets caught up, you'll bill her at the end of the month for future work. when she's caught up, stop showing up. if you cancel her now, you will never get the money she owes you. it's the oldest trick in the book, a customer will hold your money hostage, always be behind, so they can keep you on a leash, keep you commin back. don't play the game.
  8. allstar

    allstar LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 282

    You'd be surprised at how many people there are in this country who live in expensive homes,drive nice cars and have every "toy" imagineable who are in absolutely desperate shape financially.Many are deeply in debt,live paycheck to paycheck and have zero savings.
    As your financial condition improves you'll get letters almost every day from people who want to lend you money and extend you credit.It's very tempting and easy to get into a big financial mess,regardless of your income.
  9. primecutmo

    primecutmo LawnSite Member
    from SWMO
    Posts: 85

    i passed out fliers in a very nice neighbor hood this year 250-500K house and did not get any calls. the same day i passed out fliers in a neighbor hood with 120-200K houses and got 16 yards to mow. i think the people in the first neighbor hood were what i call house poor. all the money they make goes to the house and the cars. they live in a 500k house and have to mow their own grass while if they lived in a 250k house they could afford nice landscaping and mowing every week. just doesnt make sense. if i buy a 500k house you can bet im never going to mow my grass.
  10. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Posts: 1,237

    I agree. I think some folks that live a little more conservative, tend to be better at money management because they either had to at some point in their lives or that's the way they were raised. Not a week before I had this conversation with her, I saw her getting out of her car in an expensive fencing uniform and found out that she was actually going to school to get her degree in education administration. (She's 50 BTW) Does this mean we get to look forward to her as a principle or someone who looks over the budget of our public schools.....YIKES.

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