Bad check

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Lawnstar, Sep 4, 2001.

  1. John Allin

    John Allin LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,488

    We've had a few over the years. All have ended up being honest mistakes on the part of the customer. Usually they are very sorry, and want to make it right.

    I agree. Keep cool for now, and approach as if it is an honest mistake - until proven wrong.
  2. dan deutekom

    dan deutekom LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 424

    I agree with being cool, talk to guy and they usually set it right. Charge for all your bank charges and also tack on a extra $25.00 for your trouble. I have never had anyone argue about that. Seems pretty standard in our area.
  3. 1stclasslawns

    1stclasslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 565

    I agree with 65 be nice it might just be a goof up.

    If you must you can call his bank and ask them if a check for xxx.00 amount will clear and give them the account number that is on the check if it will go to his bank and cash the thing. The bank will tell you if it will clear or not they will not give you the account balance though. I done this a couple of times with no problem its cheaper(time wise) and easier then going to the prosicutting attorney. If you want to hang him them press charges and dont forget "theft of services".

    But the nice way is the best.


    ERIC ROBERGE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    If being cool about it doesn`t work then just keep trying to cash the check. Every time you do that the bank will charge the customer 25 dollars or so. You can get 4 or 5 nsf stamps on the back of the check before its full. If the customer stops payment on the check thats another crime.
    After the customer gets a few nsf statements in the mail the customer will probably contact you.
  5. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    Eric - the problem with using that method is, if you are trying to cash it through your bank and your account, you will also rack up your own fees. Both banks charge their customers when a check bounces.

    The advice here has been sound. Be nice, call the customer, just tell them what happened. The thing about crossing that line and getting mean about it is, you can never go back. You'd hate to be a jerk about it and ruin a good relationship, and possible future referals of work because you jumped the gun.

    I've had only one bounced check, and the customer called me to tell me before I even knew it had bounced. Assume it was an honest mistake until you can find out otherwise.
  6. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    You think he should go straight to the D.A. cause some ditsy client didn't balance their checkbook right last month?


    I would just make them pay the charges, send a nice letter or drop it by and leave them a message. I'm sure they will be embarassed at first thats why I wouldn't do it face to face if you don't have to.

    Good Luck, let us know the turn out!
  7. Lawnstar

    Lawnstar LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    Thanks for all the advice. An update, the customer asked
    me to run the check through again. He said the funds were there.
    I told him my bank charged me a $29.00 return check fee. He paid me that in cash.

    It's kind of funny. I took the check to his bank, and the teller looks at me like I'm a crook. The check had all kinds of stamps and marks on it. She takes the check and talks with the bank manager for a while. I told her I wanted to get the check cashed and the man said the funds were there. She typed in the account number and she said yes they are. She said she would have to give me an offical check that I would have to endorse and then I could cash it right there. Thats what I did.

    ERIC ROBERGE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    I forgot to mention to go to the bank that the check was written from to run up nsf charges. You only want to do this if you know that you have been stiffed on purpose and the customer is being less than cooperative.
    It is also a good idea to cash a check at the checkwriters home bank if you dont trust them. If you deposit it into your own account then you must sign it and put your account number on it. when the checkwriter gets the check back he or she will have your account number and a copy of your signature to practice forging.
  9. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    A lot of good advice here. Everyone runs into this problem at one time or another. Some even make the mistake themselves. Just try and be as cool as the other side of the pillow and the embarassment alone will cure the problem.

    Sean Adams
  10. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    Glad to hear it turned out ok. Cooler heads always prevail.

    Go to the DA? Are you smoking something? Remember, what goes around comes around. One day you may accidently bounce a check. Do you want someone pressing criminal charges on you?

Share This Page