2 Year customer

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Oasis1, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. Oasis1

    Oasis1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    I had this customer for 2 years. Good paying, easy work, but the guy never payed on time. I always just let it go because it was a good job and he eventually did pay. But this last time, after two months I got tired of it. I told him very nicely that I havent received payment and I couldnt cut until i did. Finally one month later I received payment, and on the invoice he wrote" I think I'll do this from now on, thanks for a great job. Now, even though payment was always late what do you think I should do. Call him, send a letter, wait till the end of the year, or just let him go.
  2. Frontier-Lawn

    Frontier-Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,955

  3. Dashunde

    Dashunde LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 638

    First, I dont think I would have told him "I cant cut until its paid".
    That is probably what steamed him.
    Simply reminding him might have been much better... you know, let him know you have not forgotten that he owes you.

    Maybe just a quick call or letter to let him know that you were already aggrivated by 2 other customers who hardly ever pay <wink>, and your ultimatum to him was an accidental result of frustration.
    He may have you back... he just got his slow-pay feelings hurt because you didnt have faith in him to pay after 2 years.

    Or... he's just out of cash (hence the slowness) and really is doing it himself.
  4. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    I would also just let it go. If he was 2 months late on his car payment or mortage do you think the bank gives a squat why he is late?
  5. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,002

    start using bobbys 26 page contracts to avoid people like that in the future
  6. SproulsLawnCare

    SproulsLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    from IN
    Messages: 365

    Exactly! The bank isn't going to care if your customers don't pay on time. You still have to make the payments on your equipment, etc.. The gas station won't give you gas to cut his lawn with and except payment when he decides to pay you.

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 834

    I've got a customer or two like that. One has been with me for 15+ years and has put up with some sh!t from me so I don't mind if she pays every other month. The other has been with me only a couple of years and from the start sends in a check every third month. He always pays the finance charge and always catches up by January, so ok. A third customer obviously has money for other things so they're getting sued in December. Customers are not going to die if the grass doesn't get cut, so if money is a little short or if their income is a little erratic, they're going to pay the mortgage and not the lco. Sometimes for the sake of business you have to swallow your pride.
  8. The Captain

    The Captain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 607

    Oasis1.....Do you add a late fee? I didn't see that in your post. If not, do so! and compound it each month. That will at least pay for some of your money. Also you may want to introduce him to a contract, something new you are starting, that requires a month (or at least 1 cut ) in advance.

    Just some thoughts.....Jim
  9. lawncuttinfoo

    lawncuttinfoo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,014

    his message sounds to vague, I say keep mowing and if he indeed did mean that he will mow the lawn not you, just tell him you understood the message that someone else was in charge of paying the bill, thats why it was late, you thought he was saying "I think I'll do this", as in pay the bill ontime himself, "from now on"

    That way you have a few extra mows to charge for. payup

    But if you would like to take the high road and be a respectable business I say at minimum give him a call and ask him what he meant exactly by "this".
    He might still want you to mow.
  10. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Yeah, this is vague... I don't think I understand exactly...

    2 year slow payer right?
    You got tired of it once he got two months late right?
    Told him nicely you were suspending service uptil he paid right?
    One month after that (3 months total) he finally paid, note included right?

    So did you actually go through with suspending service where he has been without for a month?

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