Getting Back At Non Paying Customers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LakeSide Lawn and Landscape, Nov 19, 2002.

  1. LakeSide Lawn and Landscape

    LakeSide Lawn and Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 337

    I was wondering if you guys have ever done anything to your customers whom you have droped because of non payment?I have this lady from the begining of the year that has refused to pay me.Its $200 which isnt that bad but i would like to have it.I was thinking about it, and now that she has probably forgotten all about me would it be wrong to go and round up some patches in here lawn:D
  2. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,847

    Spray "debter" or "late payer" on her lawn. She ought to enjoy that.

    I have always toyed with the idea of "branding" my lawns. I dont think the clients would like it too much though.
  3. steve122

    steve122 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 208

    Check at the county court house or with a lawyer you may know about filing a lien on the property. Here in Illinois you can file a line on a piece of property for non-payment for $18. The court house will provide the blank forms, fill in the blanks, have it notorized and pay the fee. You may not get paid for a long time (until property is sold or owner tries to re-finance) and then they look bad for not paying the bill and you get paid. I charge $150 for filing the lien (my time to go to court house, go to notary, file release when paid, etc). Have collected on two bad debt of $200 each, cost them a total of $350 each to settle. I figure its worth the wait and just wish I could see their faces when a title company employee or bank employee asks them about a lien for unpaid bills. If you want to try to hasten the process, send the a copy of the filed lien, maybe then they'll pay just to get it off their record. I like the idea of getting paid and getting some evens in the process, even if I have to wait years.
  4. Floridalandcare

    Floridalandcare LawnSite Senior Member
    from Tampa
    Messages: 314

    I know this is not a profesional thing to do , but I have done the round up thing .Had a customer who was just a PITA and was a Ballbreaker every time we were there. Cancelled our service after she was already 2 months late . After many calls and stop overs for payment ,I noticed she had another service. Well to make a long story short I mixed a 44oz Super Big Gulp with Round Up Pro ,did a drive by at about 55mph and let it fly out the window.Boy let me tell you about coverage . Youd be suprised at how much you can kill like that.A week later I didnt get my money but I did get a "for your information "letter. And a great laugh
  5. nlminc

    nlminc LawnSite Bronze Member
    from GA
    Messages: 1,671

    Steve, Did you have to have a signed contract that they defaulted on? Just curious as to what proof you need to prove you worked for them.

  6. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    You think?
  7. Darb

    Darb LawnSite Member
    Messages: 182

    There is a website in which you can post the name of customers that don't pay so other contractors will know the type of person they are dealing with. I don't remember the name of the website but I will try and find it.

    Don't do the Round Up.
  8. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    Revenge is never the answer. And even if it were - doing something to the lawn makes you the obvious culprit. Better to have done something to her car or something. Still, like I said, revenge isn't good.

    As for collecting, I highly recommend the LEIN option as stated above. Even if your county's laws don't make it possible for you to put a lein on her property, usually just the THREAT of placing a lein gets most people to pay up in a heartbeat.

    See the attached letter. We send that out in situations like this. I've had to do it maybe 10 times over the years. 9 of those times I had $ on my door within a day or two.

    Attached Files:

  9. Brickman

    Brickman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,249

    Collection Agency worked well for me.
  10. therainman

    therainman LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Messages: 196

    I certanly hope you are all just joking????
    This is the kinda stuff ahomeowner visting this site does not need to read! It is already hard enough to get good money for good work without stories of this nature about our PROFESSION..

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