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Collection Tactics

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnman_scott, Jan 6, 2004.

  1. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    I have a few ideas on how to get money that is owed to you. First off, yes I know having a contract is best, but I am in Florida, and most people trust no one and for good reason. I am considering it though.
    If a customer ever calls to talk to you from work, or their cell phone, or any other #, write it down and save it. If you do an estimate for a friend of theirs, family member, ect, save that information. If they send your check in a envelope from work, save it.
    This way if they ever decide not to pay, you have options other than calling them, or going to their house. I have used this information in the past. Call them for the 100th time, and ask if they still work at abc, tell them you will be by on Friday to pick up the check from them there. They will pay. I have used others as well. It may not be nice, professional or other, but I got paid what I was owed. It was their choice and intent to not pay willingly, so we played the hard way. Fair is fair.
  2. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    Yeah, I agree that collecting is very frustrating. I've often thought about telling them that my cousin Vinny and his pals will be around to 'collect' for me. My old partner used to joke about stealing patio furniture in retribution (a joke). And I've called customers at work. But you have to be careful about calling at work. There are credit laws that limit who you can call and how often when collecting for a debt. If you violate them, a person can sue for harrassment.

    The best ever was when I went to a customer's house to collect during her tea party. It was a woman who lived across from a customer that I was mowing. The lady had roofers working on the house, yet she owed me $250 for 2 months mowing. I went over and knocked. She didn't realize who I was, and I explained to her, in front of her entire party of friends and neighbors, that I was there to get my money she owed me, and that if she couldn't pay me, how could she afford to pay roofers and painters working on her house. And that I wasn't leaving without a check. Embarrassed the hell outta her, all the ladies were gossiping and laughing while she wrote me out the check. After I got paid, I went around to the roofers and told them my story. As I was loading up across the street, so were the roofers.

  3. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    Thats true, but then she would have to prove you called her at work. Get phone records, have someone verify it........... It didnt evan get that for with me, and unless we are talking very big money here, they will just pay it to stop the embarrasment, kind of like your example.
  4. tx_angler

    tx_angler LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 278

    Here's a link to a commercial collections company that has a lot of documentation on how to avoid needing their services. Basically it says the longer you wait the tougher it is to collect the money.


    Of course you could always resort to other tactics...


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