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How to confront this non-pay.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Tim's Lawn Care LLC., Apr 1, 2008.

  1. Tim's Lawn Care LLC.

    Tim's Lawn Care LLC. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 115

    I may have an issue w/ a gal in the rich part of town. over a week ago we went to her property for a clean-up. It was not done last fall and her house is covered in oak trees. A few days b/4 I went for the estimate and quoted $70 an hr. and speculated a couple hours to do. When we got there that day to begin I realized right away this was going to take much longer. 1st. mistake, quoting a time. 2nd. mistake, not having her phone number to tell her what was going on.
    It took a total of 5 hrs. Our machines couldn't suck up the wet and frozen stuff. had to do it literally by hand. We were just loading our equip. when the husband came home and was seemingly very pleased w/ our work. I explained about the increased time and he seemed good w/ that and said his wife writes the checks and she's at work...w/ the check book. No problem, you have my invoice w/ mailing address , send it .
    It's been a couple weeks now and I'm beginning to expect she's not going to pay w/out a fight. This isn't a regular, rather a call off my add for spring c/u.
    Because it was my f-up quoting time, I think I need to prepare to her telling me she wont pay.I told her husband that day I would take $50 off for g.p. and blah blah blah.
    Anyone w/ advise other than beating me up for the time thing would be appreciated.
  2. All_Toro_4ME

    All_Toro_4ME LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,578

    follow up with ph calls and some letters reminding them of the outstanding balance. If it becomes clear they are avoiding you to skip out on payment, give them a fair amt of time, say 45 days or so, then throw it on their credit at olddebts.com Give them ample warning and time prior though. Its a permanent record on their score and history.
  3. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,737

    call or drive over there
  4. JimmyStew

    JimmyStew LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    I wouldn't wait around long. I'd give them a call about the bill. You under-quoted your time by more than 50% so I'm sure that was a shock to her and she is likely at home stewing about it. Call so you can talk it over with her.
  5. Ed Ryder

    Ed Ryder LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 541

    It has only been 2 weeks!

    Some people just do their bills once per month.

    Maybe you should just try not worrying for now.

    After a month, then it's time to stop by.

    If you become too pushy too quickly, you may not get future business from them.
  6. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,386

    What he said.^

    I give 30 days. I don't collect on site unless they offer to pay sooner.
  7. IN2MOWN

    IN2MOWN LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,993

    What they said.

    Also dont quote by the hour, quote by the job. Dont ever let a customer know how much you charge by the hour.
  8. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    I would give her another week or two and then call over there. If you do have to call over there and tell her that you hadn't recieved any payment yet and just wanted to make sure that she realized this. Also make sure you explain to her that it took longer for you to do the job so the price of the job was more than you had originally estimated. Remember when you gave her the estimate originally it was just an ESTIMATE so the price can be changed. Just be professional with the lady, don't try to tell her anything that isn't true, just tell her the truth about why the price changed. And make sure you thank her for her business.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Just so nobody says I never warned nobody here goes:
    I'm going to be harsh with you fellows from here on out, for the foreseeable future and until such time the customer(s) trust us again.

    And you're not going to like what I have to say but I can't take it out on the customers no more, we done raked them over the coals over the bs and they have had ENOUGH so now it's OUR turn. Because we need to straighten up our act and NOW!
    Case you haven't been reading there's guys here spent more than a few thousand dollars on advertising and I'm talking newspaper pagesss FULL of advertising and almost no calls!

    That means only one thing: The customer is tired of our CRAP!

    So get ready because if not then you might as well shut your doors, sit on down cuz you're right in time for school, and soon you too might see the source of my frustration.

    Now then...
    You can't just estimate 140'ish and then ooops oh well here we go 350...
    That don't work, not only is it unethical but what you're doing is against the law! That is gouging, I don't give a flying rat what you said or did wrong, now be a man and fess up for your wrongs and stop trying to take-take-take.

    You know you messed up, it's your own dang fault, so you take it, not them!
    They did not miss quote or miss lead you, they showed you the work and you saw what you were up against straight up.

    The absolute most you can go over an estimate by LAW is a FEW % and even then it's still unethical.
    To be blunt it is best don't even THINK about it because customers can not and will not stand for it, they will fight you and they are full in their right to do it. They are in control, like it or not our days of hallelujah'ing and jerking the customer around is up!

    So go on and revise that bill and send it to them for the $70 times 2 hours that you quoted, along with a note or something to the effect that you're sorry about the 350 you made a mistake. Your rates are outrageous anyhow, I would've done this 5 hour job as likely for 100-140 myself so go on and take a hit and chalk it up to experience, been there, done that, time and again.

    Sorry I know that hurts and your face is probably red.
    Well don't feel bad you ain't the first and you ain't the last.
    Ain't nobody here no better than nobody else, myself included.
    Thank you for your time.
  10. Daily Lawn/Landscape

    Daily Lawn/Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 695

    Thats where you loose your tail. On a clean up charge by the hour and get paid for your work knowing you made money on the job

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