What are the chances He'll pay

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jeffex, Dec 16, 2002.

  1. jeffex

    jeffex LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,933

    I mailed out a final bill to a customer I referred to as CHEAPO in another post. Just thought I'd take a chance on him paying. This was a guy who called us saying he didn't want his leaves done this year. My wife called him back asking him to forward paymet for 1 cut in Nov. They refused saying the lawn didn't need cutting. My note said the following;
    The reason you didn't need your leaves done this year was because we mulched the leaves up at no extra charge when we cut in Nov.. As I told you the day you stopped to talk to me at the house down the street I was going to cut the lawn to prevent the leaf blanket from killing your grass. Then we would come and do the final cleanup at the end of the month as usual. We performed the service I am billing you for. I was not doing this with the intention of ripping you off but for properly maintaining your lawn as you had hired me to do.
    Will I ever see this money??? He's my last hold out. Its only $25 but I have a good track record for getting paid . My wife asked me what I'll do If he sends the money and still wants to be cut next year. I'll tell him He's on the list , the $#@! list
     
  2. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    I hate'm!!!!

    Cheap & a cheat...not enough 4 letter words in the english language :angry:

    A slow economy and drought ect... can turn good customers into cheapo's if you're not carefull. It's aggrivating most of all though. This is why folks with signed papers in hand will be scheduled first next year. Those who have been with me and trouble free for years will be next. The rest will be lucky to get a spot in my schedule.

    Nothing personal, just business and the way it has to be to relieve stress.

    ;)
     
  3. General Grounds

    General Grounds LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 902

    :blob2: be nice until you get paid, if he calls again tell him you'll be there and dont show, then he can see how it feels to get stroked. T
     
  4. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 4,666

    I have had about 4 similar situations this year. Have gotten my money, finally, on all of them. Have already sent out letters to them stating that due to their record of slow payments, that should they desire service next year, they will be on an advance payment plan. This plan is where I bill them in advance for 5 cuts. I don't cut till I have the money in hand. After the 4th cut, I bill for another 5 while they still have one cut ,credit, left. and so on. I never cut after the money runs out until the next advance payment is received. In three years, I have only had one customer take me up on this offer. The others, I never heard back from. That was fine with me, I did not want their business anyway.:D
     
  5. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Yeah, you might get it. JUst a little helpful hint: and this goes for ANY communication, written or verbal. Please don't take this the wrong way, as I am not trying to tell you what to do or how to do it, but anytime you communicate with someone in a conflictual type circumstance, nevr use the word "you". This ALWAYS puts people on the defense - even if it's subconciously. Perhaps a better way to word it would be "The reason your leaves didn't need doing", and instead of "As I told you", perhaps "As we discussed" could be used. See the difference? Anyway, I'm not trying to sound prudish, or like some "knowitall" (Lord KNOWS I'm far from that!), just trying to help! I hope you get it! It's not the 25., it's the principle of the thing.:mad:
     
  6. Brickman

    Brickman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,249

    In my opinion $25 is not worth sweating. Just move on, and if he ever calls back tell him that you won't consider him until he pays. If/when he pays tell him that you don't have time (FOR LOSERS) and to have a nice life.
     
  7. scott's turf

    scott's turf LawnSite Senior Member
    from NH
    Posts: 949

    Unfortunally this is part of the business. I am hunting down four late payers right now. They always end up paying but this last payment of the year takes some work on my part. This is why we implimented a late fee for our invoices. So far this year 100% of the late paying customers have paid their late fee. Usually it adds up to around $300/year in late fees for me. I look at this money as payment for all the extra time and visits to late paying customers homes. I am one stubborn ******* when it comes to getting money that is owed to me. Keep at it and make a personal visit next time, those seem to be the most effective for me.
     
  8. crawdad

    crawdad LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,939

    I have a slow-pay, it took until this spring to get paid for last year's cleanup and bush-hogging. He pays when he wants more work done. The man is sick, but I have billls to pay. If I worked for free every customer that was sick, I would be working for nothing all year.
    Now, I am cleaning up his leaves, and he still owes me for 2 mows. I wonder when I'll get paid. I have gone so far as to check the obituary column when he doesn't reply to bills and phone calls. I am finishing up at his place today, but first, a more pleasant job is at hand, namely, cleaning my chimney.
    I know just how you feel, not wanting one person to spoil a perfect record of allways getting paid.
    Crawdad payup
     
  9. jeffex

    jeffex LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,933

    Good advice runner. I WAS trying to be somewhat agressive with the wording but your way would increase my chances of getting paid. The $25 is not the point to me so much as the way this guy implied I was ripping him off. Up until this time his wife and him alway praised our work telling us we were the best service they ever had. I enjoy the challenge of dealing with people. For me, part of being professional is not resorting to revenge and petty conflicts.
    The advice on prepayment is on the money for these types. I have had other customers try other services and come back to us before. I try and remain calm and professional to keep the door open for them to come back. When they call I raise thier price and welcome them back. For this guy he will need a price increase AND a prepayment plan.
     
  10. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Considering what you wrote, I think you have 2 chances...unfortunately they are "slim" and "none".

    Seen a lot of these type in the past 9 years. Don't drop kick them to the curb until you know for sure you aren't getting paid.
     

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