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But I didn't get a bill!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MOW ED, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    My wife does all of our paperwork and billing from home and it is a lot of work but she is good at it. She also comes out and works with me when time permits for her. She mails all bills and letters from our mailbox, ya know the type where you put the flag up and the carrier takes the mail. Our route is usually not done by a uniformed postal worker in the little white truck, ours is a private vehicle and what I believe to be contractors that work for the postal service.
    My point is this, within the last couple of months we have had more than our share of customers who have been late in paying their bills. Sometimes it is more than a month late. These are long time, good customers and they never had trouble paying. Since they are good customers we usually wait until that second billing period and my wife will insert a polite note saying that we have not received their payment. We do not institute a late charge. We are slowly learning from more than one customer, 4 to be exact, that they never got their bills from us. We have also found out that certain payments that we make have been either lost or delivered late and no we are not deadbeats with our payments.
    I know the bills were printed, stamped and put in the mailbox. We don't have trouble with mail theft so I am positive that the mail system has a flaw and I think I know where and how. I watch these contractors who I believe are at fault. They will take the mail and throw it to the back seat of the car. There is a bin there but I have seen the mail just tossed to land anywhere in the back. I do not know what happens when they get to the post office but it is obvious something is not working right. Talking to the post office is like talking to your television so we have changed our billing practices.
    Now all bills and critical mail is taken directly to the post office. This still doesn't guarantee a flawless delivery but it cuts out the contractor who does seem to be a great part of the problem to me.
    It is a lesson learned and I am also glad that we didn't jump the gun and assume that our good customers have become bad. There is always a little more to the story. Take care.
  2. Thistle

    Thistle LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Messages: 21

    The mail carriers consider taking your outgoing mail to be a courtesy not a requirement. If you didnt have mail they would just drive by your house, even if the flag was up on your mailbox.
    If you put your outgoing mail into the bins inside the post office you can speed up delivery buy 1 or 2 days anyways.
  3. ed2150

    ed2150 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 174

    Carriers that deliver with their own vehicles run what are considered "rural" routes. They are postal employees, not contractors, and they are compensated for the use of their own vehicles.

    They are required to stop and pick up mail if your flag is up even if you don't have incoming mail, and all collected mail must be turned in at the end of every day.

    As with all jobs, some mail carriers are better than others, and it sounds like yours is pretty sloppy with a good chance of mail being "lost" for a period of time up under car seats, etc. Talking to the postmaster probably won't help much...you're on the right track to take your stuff directly to the post office.

    Maybe someday you'll get a carrier that takes a little more pride in their job....I've been through it over the years with a couple of different carriers but luckily the fellow I've got now is great.
  4. ATVracer

    ATVracer LawnSite Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 346

    Your "contractor" is probably a rural carrier. They should keep all outgoing mail in a container in the front seat of the vehicle. It should not matter if you take the mail to the post office or have it picked up at home as it should all go out the same day. Carriers are required to stop and pick up mail if the flag is up. I would call the PO and talk to their supervisor as likely other customers are having the same problem.
  5. cush

    cush LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 352

    Call the postmaster and have them audit the local post offic. We did this and in about 10 days recived a pile of mail, some was six months old. Never had a problem after that.
  6. Liquidfast

    Liquidfast LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 739

    You have a computer, why dont you use e-billing to make your payments?

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