customers draggin me out...

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by bigcountry01, May 4, 2007.

  1. bigcountry01

    bigcountry01 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 136

    Just wanted to get some imput on what some of you guys do about customers being very late on their payments. I have several customers that still havent payed for march and ive already sent them the bill for april. Do you put due dates on your invoices? If so how many days do u give them till its due? It sucks bad enough only gettin payed once a month(for mowing customers) but when they drag you out even longer it really sucks!
  2. FearThisDeere

    FearThisDeere LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,154

    I send them just about at the end of the month (3 days before), so it's in their mailbox on the last of the month. They have 1 full week to mail it the payment to me or they can arrange for me to pick it up the next time I mow. I have a few different systems I use for different customer based on the work I do. If it is more than 2 weeks late I charge them a late fee of 25% for the first week it's late and 33% for the second. After that mowing is terminated. I luckily have never had a late payment or even a headache from a customer.
  3. Classified

    Classified LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    This is one reason I like to charge each and every week. I have all my customers credit cards on file in quickbooks and when I get done in the end of the day I collect on my work. Its kinda nice to come home after a long day then get paid instantly.

    I know this doesnt really answer your question but I would call them and let them know that if you do not recieve payment to current that you will be forced to stop service. I would try to get them on a weekly pay basis also, its a little more work at the end of the day but I dont have to sit down and do billing every month either.

    Good luck, I hope you can collect soon!
  4. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    I have a late fee statement as part of my monthly billing.
    Residential customers have ten days from invoice date to remit payment, and municipalities/isd have fifteen. The reason municipalities are different is that here in Texas, municipality expenditures are limited to twice per month.
    I have assessed late fees on admittedly several late payers yet usually immediately prior to terminating their contract.
    My policy is simple now, miss payment than late fees accrue and service stops instantly. I will resume service once all of the outstanding invoices are paid then they are on a zero tolerance clause for at least one year if they haven't been dumped.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I keep new customers on a per-cut basis for some time, and use a rough 10% rule for existing ones, that is to say I'll let balances accrue until they are UP to 10% of the total money they've spent on me thus far... So if someone has already spent say $700 with me, then I don't mind it too much if they fall UP to $70 behind, thou it's still at my discretion.

    Beyond that, if I don't get paid for the last, I don't show for the next, that's the ultimate fall-back on safety line for me, if push comes to shove, I even think there's a chance I'm not getting paid, sorry but I interrupt services immediately.

    New customers, and really most customers, per cut. Don't care too much for letting anyone fall but so far back... If anyone holds the check just long enough to draw out the next cut in an attempt to delay me to that point where it's just tall enough (we know the trick), then it becomes a matter of luck as I might just keep on driving when I see that grass 1/2 foot tall or worse when I arrive.

    Sometimes, when I get nervous and I think I want to keep the customer, by the 2nd bill I add a little note that says 'prompt payment ensures continuous service,' that helps with the right fellows (those who are rich enough to hold hundreds of dollars but always pay without flinching).
  6. PR Fect

    PR Fect LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,076

    We invoice on the 15th of every month. Its in the agreement when they sign on. Its also in the agreement from the start that payment is DO UPON RECEIPT. When they get the invoice there is a spot for date due, but instead of a date is says Do Upon Receipt. It also says service fees of 3% is charged on anything over 30 days ( if payment is not received by the 14th of the following month). Anyone over 60 days gets a " red ink " letter with additional 3% on the balance from the previous month. Anyone over 90 days gets sent a court legal action notice and again another 3%. After payment is made any "non -payers" are dropped, we send them a cancellation of services letter. If you have a habit of not paying, we have a habit of not working with you. No mater how nice you are, or how good of an account it was. PR

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