customer wont pay

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnwizards, Dec 5, 2003.

  1. lawnwizards

    lawnwizards LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,439

    I have this problem. I have a lady that owes me $70 dollars for 2 cuts. Those cuts were in October. I've contacted her several times and every time she says she forgot and that the check will be in the mail the next day. So far, no money. I've even gone as far as writing a letter to her to no avail. I'm really strapped for ideas as to get my money. Any suggestions from you all would really help out. I'm thinking of threatening small claims court to try and get her to pay. Anybody ever do it and if so, did it work?
  2. Gordons Landscape

    Gordons Landscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    Small claims isn't worth it. $70 is a hit you might have to take. But if you keep bothering her say once a day you call her intill you get your money I bet she will pay you. The people that I find collect the most overdue money are very annoying. Be as bothersome as possible you will probibly get the $70. If its the princeable of the matter you care about then expect to waste time and money at small claims.
  3. STAN1366

    STAN1366 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    Maybe she's not happy with the job you did? Has it been mowed since you did it last by someone else? Some people have a mental block and maybe she means to send you a check, but since she's a dip-sh-t, she really does forget. :dizzy: Good luck
  4. Wells

    Wells LawnSite Member
    from SLC UT
    Messages: 0

    You may want to run it past your accountant, but I think at tax time you can write off a portion of uncollectable debt.
  5. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    Threaten her with the small claims court. It has always worked for me. If she still won't budge, then have your lawyer type up a letter stating that you will take her to small claims court if she doesn't pay
  6. kickin sum grass

    kickin sum grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 628

    Just had to do that to 4 people monday. Wrote them a letter telling them we will be contacting a lawyer in x amount of days etc etc. sent it certified mail with confirmation receipt to prove they got the letter. So far I have not seen any money but they have a couple more days.
  7. VLM

    VLM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 189

    It's called a bad debt deduction on your federal return. Use it and forget about it. You've already spent the $70.00 in time writing letters, calls and plain old being mad. Get used to it pal, you're gonna have these every year until you get established and know your clients.
  8. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    Tactics in order from cheapest to most expensive to get your money.
    #1- Simple local phone call. (Vary times. ie. early morning say 6 and late evening say 1130 pm. don't do this to much since an over abundant of calls in wee hours will be considered harrassment. )
    #2- Certified letter with statement and letter stating what was done and when it is due. state what other things will be done if gone unpaid.
    #3- Stop bye. Stating purpose with bill and wait for check.
    #4- Small claims court. (wouldn't even consider unless you have a contract and it is over 150.00
    #5- attorney with letter threatening small claims court. ( i put this #5 since if you are using an attorney you should follow up with small claims court.

    This is a general list of what you can do . There are other ways of which local state laws and regulations need to be taken into consideration.

    My #1 choice is the certified letter stating intentions, also helps in court if all else fails.
    Good luck......
  9. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,468

    The first step I would take is to show up at her door and tell her that you have not recieved payment. If she doesnt pay you then I send this letter
    certified mail if desired. If I still have not recieved payment after 30 days stop by one more time and politely tell her you are going to file a lien on the property and report her to a collection agency.I have collected 100% in 11 years.
  10. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    sildoc, I wouldn't try #1. By law debt collectors can't call before 8am or after 9pm.

    Promo has the answer, go to her house. When you call her and she says she will write a check and mail it, interupt her and tell here to start writing and you'll be right over to get it.

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