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Delinquent Accouts

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Big Salmon, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. Big Salmon

    Big Salmon LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    Just sent out contract to all my customers today. Im in minnesota so the season doesnt start untill april 15 or so. My question is>>>should I send out a contract to people that have been late payers (extremely late), but end up paying in the end, or should I screw them and not continue service? Some of these are friends of family taking advantage of the lawn guy(me). You would think they would be the ones who would pay the quikest but they are always late! I cant afford to loose 5 or 6 accouts due to this problem. What would you all do? Thanks in advanced:dizzy:
  2. gardenkeeper88

    gardenkeeper88 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 350

    Try putting them on a pre pay program. Print out a statement from last year (Total year). Show them where the problem lies. Tell them that you run tight and your not in the finance business. so this is what some othe LCO are doing and you are adopting this as well. They either pay a straight monthly fee 1 month in advance or the number of mowings to be done the following month again recieving your money ahead. Also tell them 2weeks in arears and service has to stop until paid. What ever you do you need to point out to them the way they paid in the past and what your policy is. Hope it is on your contract about terems and late payments. Always tricky but hope you soon will be able to say bye bye to these as new and hopefully better ones come along. Good luck.
  3. ZaK18

    ZaK18 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 188

    I think the best solutions would either make them pre-pay or use credit cards. I no longer offer payment by invoice. I require all my customers to pay by CC. It has worked great,and has made my life sooooo much easier. Oh yeah I always get paid on time :cool2:
  4. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,910

    I would skip on mailing them the contract. When their grass is a foot tall and they call you say" sorry I am like you, always a little late. I'll mail the contract to you today and when I receive your checks for the three cuts I missed and the next three cuts I will be right over" Then work you azz off ghetting 6 more clients so you don't have to do them at all. It's only 6 customers. Most guys will tell you that they only have a couple of accounts that cause them the biggest share of their problems. We've deleted most of ours this year.
  5. LawnBrother

    LawnBrother LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW Ohio
    Messages: 867

    These people are friends and family, right? I do not mow for either (but I would if a friend or family member asked me to), but I would probably handle a friend/family matter differently than a normal customer. My method in the past for slow payers was to first call them and ask what's up. Usually they would just be honest and say they forgot, and a check would be out soon, and that did the trick. The few that still wouldn't pay would then get an invoice stating the past due amount plus a late charge, along with a hand written note that all service is suspended until the bill is paid in full. That usually gets a check out right away. If after these two things happen, they still tend to have a problem paying, I reluctantly let them go. I hate losing accounts, but I learned last season that bad customers are easily replaced, and you are a happier person because they are gone(I cut out 3 from last season and couldn't be happier).
    If it were a friend or family member that was the customer, I would have a frank and honest discussion about why I need and expect bills to be paid on time, and tell them that I wouldn't be able to mow for them if they could not pay regularly, and probably throw a guilt trip in there somewhere for good measure. If they are good friends they will totally understand your situation. If they don't, then find a good customer to replace them with.

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