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What do you do when you get a wrong feeling?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by topsites, May 10, 2006.

  1. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I got a call yesterday from a business phone which does reverse-lookup to a local office so I'm ok with that. The person asking for the estimate gave me an extension, and a cell number (in addition to the address of the house, of course). Still, it's a bit insufficient for when it comes to collections, I need more specific information, and I need to be able to verify it.

    When I pulled up to this house to give an estimate today, the first thought that crossed my mind is nobody lives here. Don't know how to describe it, but it just had that look to it, of course nobody answered the door, and there was no mail in the mailbox... So I went ahead and estimated the work but right now I have a half a mind to not even bother calling back... I mean, I guess I could just say I won't be able to take care of it at this time...

    It's either that, or someone has to leave me a check under the mat and call me after the check is in place, time after which I'll head out there and if the check ain't there, keep right on getting it, too. I am not sure if this would even work, but I guess it's also worth a shot...

    Just wondering what other folks might do in a case like this...
  2. ALarsh

    ALarsh LawnSite Silver Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 2,412

    And your point is?

    They could be just moving into the house. I was asked for an estimate a couple days ago on a house. I get out there and there is nothing in the house. I call him back with an estimate and he tells me they are getting ready to move into the house but they periodically check in. He said they get the mail and there won't be a problem with getting the invoice. I got the job.
  3. MDLawnman

    MDLawnman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 229

    Call the person back and let them know your misgivings. Get more info - it may be OK. Personally when I get that feeling and I can't get more info I move on with out them!
  4. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Credit Card..............................................
  5. PJDiesel

    PJDiesel LawnSite Member
    Posts: 146

    When I was in the business, some of my best and most consitant paying customers were never home (vacation properties, bank foreclosures, rental properties)
    You touched their Mailbox??! (Federal Offense):nono:

    Juct Kidding, I'd give them the benefit, for now at least. If they buck even in the least, .... then forget about em.
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    The point, and the problem is getting paid. Of course I can get the job, I don't doubt that for one minute but I'm already chasing 100-some dollars I don't think I'm ever going to get, and to be quite honest, I get tired of submitting non-payment issues to the credit reporting agencies for collection issues.

    Last time I had to chase 100-some dollars, 4 months later I finally got paid, miracle of miracles.
    Who do you think pays for all the time and effort involved in said chase?

    Trust me, I have not gotten paid a few times by now...
    Over the years, more than a few.
    It's not getting the job that is a problem, it's not getting paid.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I think that is the best answer.
    That's what I'm going to do.


    Just got another call (yes just now) from someone wanting an estimate on some 'Investment property.'
    My reply: Is this your home?
    Their answer: No, it's an investment property.
    My final reply: I'm not interested, Thank you.
  8. Xterminator

    Xterminator LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 279

    I just cancelled a lady who was paying by the week. She didnt want to sign a contract so I told them thay could pre pay, so she did for the first spray & cut she was supposed to leave it in the backyard every friday went out 2 weeks ago it was not there called them and they forgot. I told them to leave it the next week and I would cut it then. Not there last Friday. I told them they could find someone else, and their grass is about 2 feet deep now
  9. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,004

  10. Tn Lawn Man

    Tn Lawn Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 479

    Options and Hoops

    I always give my potential clients plenty of options for payment. The best one being the credit card. This has saved my butt many many times. When in doubt ask for a prepayment via credit card.

    And, when you are "just not sure" have your potential client jump through a hoop or two. That can be in a number of ways. One, is to let them call you back. The other is prepayment.

    Sir/Maam, just visit my website and pay via credit card. I will receive verification immediately via email and then I will put you on the next available slot on our schedule.

    This has weeded out more non payment dead beats than anything else that I have tried thus far.

    The philosophy behind this is if they are too lazy to jump through a hoop when you have plenty of easy options for them then they sure as heck are not gonna write a check, fill out an envelope, put a stamp on it and send it to you on time.

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