Deadbeats/write off's

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by JeffW0011, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. JeffW0011

    JeffW0011 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 182

    Are deadbeats much of a problem when billing monthly? How do you try to protect yourself from getting screwed out of a months work and what do you do when it inevitably happens? Is offering a pre-pay discount a good idea?
  2. echeandia

    echeandia LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,131

    A well written contract.
  3. StBalor

    StBalor LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 798

    Make them pay in advance. This year all new clients will be on a contract for monthly payments. 1st payment due at signing, and all other payments are due on the 1st.
  4. razor1

    razor1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,985

    I agree with the first 2 comments. Plus keep on top of your records. Sometimes you have to prove your point. Another thing I like to do is scan all checks for future reference. Also try not to let more than 30 days go by without informing your customer of the problem. It seems the more time that goes by only makes things worse. Most people pay, but some pay slow, pay the wrong amount, or try not to pay at all (worst offender). There's always a couple every year. :cry:

    WALKER LANDSCAPE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,413

    You even get a six sense after awhile of bidding Red flags Bells going off you will see it every year. Example "My last guy was doing it for this much" or "He just quit coming every week"

    GSPHUNTER LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 311

    I had a really bad one last season. She owed for a 4 jobs that I had done for her. I sent two invoices with no response, and then decided to make a surprsie visit to her. She was definitely surprised to see me and claimed she had forgot, and wrote me a check for the money she owed. It bounced! I then wrote her a letter telling her if I did not receive cash or a money order w/in 10 days I would be taking her to small claims court. That worked.

    It definitely sucks dealing with these kinds of clients.
  7. gmcplowtruck

    gmcplowtruck LawnSite Member
    Messages: 174

    i had a worse one did landscaping for this lady her husband is a state trooper she was to pay 3 payments refused to pay 2nd and 3rd payments she owed for half the job i called and left several messages stop in a few times car was there she wouldnt answer door sent sevaral letters saying ill take her to the majastrate or sense she technically didnt pay for the plants i was going to come dig them up she called back after that one and told me if i steped foot on her property she would have me arrested and if i didnt stop calling her she was going to file harrassment charges on me she also told me she paid with a money order i asked her to come up with the reciept she hung up because she cant produce a receipt because she didnt pay
    she also told me she knows all the majastrates and her father in law is a captain for the state police also she was using her husbands power to scare me so we went to the husbands boss he said take them to court its illegal to use there power to get out of paying bills if they lose it goes on his record still waitng to see majastrate
  8. Mow It All llc

    Mow It All llc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 115

    I had my contracts written by my lawyer and have still gotten beat. I went to small claims court with 3 customers and only won once. The one guy said I never cut his lawn, and the other guy said I damaged his lights and wouldnt fix them. I had a few customers that i just bluffed with court and they paid right up. Were all going to get beat at some point, it happens. As far as paying in advance, i couldnt ask my customers to do that....What if it rains, we go into a drought, or just unforseen things....Did you find they were ok with paying up front???
  9. echeandia

    echeandia LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,131

    If you left service call slips you could have proven you were there and won.
  10. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I was very surprised...nobody has ever questioned paying in advance...the question is really "Are YOU okay with being paid 60 days after the fact??"

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