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am i wrong?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Mar 30, 2002.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    picked up a customer last season in mid summer. since it was late, we billed on a ala cart system. this year, we sent contracts out on jan 10th. its a 10 month payment plan, the first payment do by march 1st, then the remaining payments due by the first of each month. didnt get this contract back, so i followed up with a phonecall on feb 25th, they said they want us, but "didnt get a chance to look over the contract" well, that was the last i heard of them. now, yesterday i get a call asking when i will be getting started over there. i said i need the contract, and the march and april payment. the guy freaked, said i had no right to ask for money until i did some work, he said no one else does it this way. i said all my customers are on this plan, u r the only one who dont like it. he says he would rather pay "ala cart", i said ok, when each and every service is complete, i expect him to be standing there with a check. now, the full service contract carries a 5% discount, so i told him there will be no discount on the ala cart system. also told him that if i had to knock on the door to get paid, and stand there waiting for him to find his checkbook and write a check, there will be a fee for that also. he said he needs to think this over.
  2. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    Your business, run it like you want to. Everyone does things differently. That is the good thing about being your own boss. You make the decisions. If you want everyone on this system then stick to your guns.

    Some people do all one way or the other, some do a combination. You choice, whatever works best for you.
  3. Russo

    Russo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 287

    I believe that your response to the situation is what seperates you from the scrubs who are working just to get their next 12 pack. The standing on the porch thing sounds a little over the top, but it's posts like yours that help me stick to my guns when customers try to treate me like second class citizen because their attitude is "anyone can cut grass."

    Good Luck and Thank You, Landscraper.
  4. bruces

    bruces LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 648

    No offense, but why didn't you just tell him no instead of telling him you would charge him for time to write his check. At that point, if I was the potential customer, I would have told you to get lost.

    My attitude is either take the customer or not, but why say or do something that will tick them off.

    I know people are tough to take sometimes, but I try to smile as I tell them no thanks, that won't work and walk away. I figure that there is no benefit to creating any ill will with customers or potential customers.
  5. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    believe it or not, i actually want this customer. i have four more in the nieghborhood. i just dont want to be screwed around with the payment. just tryin to make my point, we dont extand credit, and my time is valuable. walkin away is not a way to keep a customer, giving them options works better. they have plan a, or plan b.
  6. bruces

    bruces LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 648

    Would you be offended if I told you "I will charge you for my time if I have to wait for you to write a check"? I guess my point is that if you said that to me the way it sounds like you said it to the customer, I would probably be ticked off. As a result, I would probably not want to do business with you.

    In my mind you weren't really giving him an option, but more of an ultimatum, my way or the highway. Granted, it is you business to run the way you see fit, but it just seems that this is a needless antagonizing of the potential customer. Why give them a reason not to like you?

    LAWNS AND MOWER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,129

    Why not just send this guy a bill at the end of each month? If you don't get a check by the 15th of the next month tack on a late fee. I know what you mean about people d@cking around looking for their checkbook or talking to you as it takes them 15 minutes to write the check. I've started mailing bills instead. One postage stamp yard I have took 10 mins to mow. Would take lady 15 mins to write check.:angry: :angry:

  8. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    I know where the emotion comes from but probably a little harsh none the less.

    Why not establish the contract way as your are doing or if ala carte, check is on the door for you when you get there each time or a credit card to bill each time.

    I don't know why we should extend credit. That's what credit cards are for.

    Folks go get grocerys every week and pay each time. Go to the hardware store, doctor or whatever. Everywhere you go you pay at time of service.
  9. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    well, i went thru alot of crap last year with this guy. knock to get paid, im waiting 10 min cus hes on the phone, or cant find his checkbook. or, id rather pay u cash, and i dont have it right now, can u come back tommorow. as far as mailing a bill at the end of the month.... i dont give credit, anytime i do a service, and leave without getting paid, im extending credit, aint doin it no more, yes i was a bit "stern" with this client. i was a little pissed off that he recieved the contract in january, and had so little respect for me, that he didnt even call to discuss it.
  10. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,931

    I don't have a problem with you demanding a signed contract before starting your season work. I do have a problem with you asking for payment up front, unless in the contract it says why you want pre-payment due to previous poor credit history.

    You go to 7-11, grocery store, restaurant, you know you have to pay on the spot. Gas, suppliers, mechanic, ect... will let your purchase go on credit. The point that I'm trying to make is that our industry is one of those credit providing. In other words, people expect that we will perform the work and wait to be paid. Been like that for years, and have been working like that. BUT, any of my problem late payers have either been dropped or have them on a pre-payment plan.


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