Collecting from the Rich & Smug

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by KAG, Jul 21, 2007.

  1. KAG

    KAG LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Ok, bare with me here. Did a job over a month ago for some people who did sign contracts for services and gave a deposit. It was a pipe fence painting job with payment due on completion. The job was actually divided between 2 property owners. Owner #1 who owns 2/3 of the pipe fence paid no problems. Owner #2 still has not paid the $1200 they owe me after 3 letters and several visits where they send their teen out to see what I want. I ask to speak with the parents and I am told they are not home. Even though the cars are there.

    This guy is the General manager for a large area car dealership. Huge house, monster pool, and lots of toys. He has workman at his house doing custom work almost daily. In the small area I live taking this guy with this kind of wealth and pull could create many business problems for me since I do work for many of the people in this social economic group in my area and they all know each other. There have been absolutely no complaints or contact in anyway from the guy or his smug wife. I have also called several times with no one answering.

    I have read everything I could but almost feel stuck.....I can not take hits like this. I feel if I go aggressively after it I will lose lots of business because of them bad mouthing me and if I don't I will loose $1200. For me in my first real year of business I need good word of mouth. I thought about going down to his dealership and asking for the money in a public way but I think the same negative outcome will happen.

    Thoughts or ideas to a resolution?

    Got another business that owes me 3 months of mowing, a local pet store here but she is just that kind of person and will turn her over to that site posted on here.
  2. Albery's Lawn & Tractor

    Albery's Lawn & Tractor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,674

    Go see him in the dealership but be friendly and just say you figured there daughter didn't give the message. Be polite but also let them know you need to get paid.
  3. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,085

    Take him to court & tack on court fees & interest.
  4. P.Services

    P.Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,319

    you and me are in the same boat but this cat owes me 1800 and 4 months of mowing, they are the pres. of the neighborhood association so if i raise hell i loose the plowing and maintenance for the sub and 4 lawns in it. i swear they think they are too good to pay the lawn boy.
  5. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,085

    $1800 is a lot of money to take up the behind. I'd definitely go after them.
  6. Need a Little Trim

    Need a Little Trim LawnSite Member
    Messages: 137

    You should let the rest of your work do the talking and not let this one possible referral get in the way of collecting. I have learned a few things in my three years worth of business. One if they have it it is only because they hold on to it as long as possible. Two most rich people have worse credit than the poor. Three if you have sent them more than one notice stating payment required....You have been being bad mouthed by them since letter one. So get what your owed your not going to get any referral business from them anyway.
  7. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,002

    local judge says if you dont get paid for 1 mowing and keep going back...then thats your problem. i guess you either need to be prepaid, or consolidate with other small timers, so that the home owners dont got so many options to screw over.

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