"im gonna be late on my payment"

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Mar 3, 2004.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    can you believe this: signed a client on our 10 month payment plan. first payment was due march 1st. the phone call i recieved....."hi, i recieved your contract, i'd just like to comment that it is a bit harsh. i've never heard of late fees and interest from a grass cutting company, in fact, i've never heard of a signed contract from a grass cutting company. however, i will sign it and send it in, but, i'm afraid i'm going to be late on the payment." so what is this, a test of how serious we are about our payment policy? this is a new account from our newspaper add, never met or worked for him before. another lawn for little timmy i think. should i tack on late fees for this first late payment?
  2. crawdad

    crawdad LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,938

    So, what was your reply, or was this a message on your answering machine?
  3. swim

    swim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 357

    I see no reason for you to change any of you contract agreement and for a new customer at that. If your contract says interest and late fees, then interest and late fees it is.

    This maybe a sign of things to come but even if not, if you sign up for a service or buy something new or are late on your 1st credit card payment, they don't say well it is the 1st month so its ok. No, they tack on the fees just like always. I see no reason why you should let it go.

    What is the purpose for your contract if you don't go by it.

    Pay the late fees or hit the road!!!!! I got bills to pay to!!!!!!!!
  4. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    this was the messege i recieved at 7 am, the answering machine picked it up. i didn't call back yet, not sure i will.
  5. CNYScapes

    CNYScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 916

    Sounds like they don't take you seriously - " I've never heard of late fees and interest from a grass cutting company". What are we, the bottom of the barrel? Call her/him up and tell them you are a LAWN TECHNICIAN, are the late fees and interest OK now? PAY UP $#?!
  6. brian mon

    brian mon LawnSite Member
    Messages: 143

    try his.......

    Call back, thank them for accepting "contract".....and find out how late is late?

    Tell them you would be willing to spread late fee out over the next few months....if next payment will be on time.

    If not.....send over cousine Vinnie
  7. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116


    This guy has never paid you before and he says he's gonna be late with the very first bill????

    He's either testing you or he's a complete deadbeat.

    Charge the late fees. You waive the late fees for customers who accidentally miss a statement, but have paid you on time for several months.

    Remember, the purpose of the late fee is to get them to call you after they've missed a payment and are now promising payment. In return, you waive the late fee. (Never waive a finance charge...you're not a bank.)

    I wouldn't let this guy get very far behind. If he intends to pay you, the signed contract shouldn't have been a problem and the late fees shouldn't be a problem. If the customer is complaining about your late fees, that's a huge red flag.

    FWIW, I had another customer turn deadbeat on me last month. No more. I signed up to accept credit cards and now require that a valid credit card be left on file. So far, I've not had any objections. I just got signed up with the merchant services folks last week and I've already got three customers signed up with credit cards. I can't tell you how good it feels to know that there is nothing to worry about as far as uncollectibles are concerned.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  8. TRex

    TRex LawnSite Senior Member
    from DFW ,TX
    Messages: 487

    Since they have never heard of a contract for lawn service and late fees it probably did come to some what of a shock and they are just calling to feel you out to see if you are going to screw them over or if those things are there to protect both of you. It is somewhat of a game, but not to have fun, but rather to see how much they can trust you Bobby. They have already shown that they are ready to play because they are going to send you the signed contract and all you need to do is reasure them that they made a good move by doing that. Make sure that they know they are going to be well taken care of by you and I bet the money will be with the contract. If they havent even signed the contract and sent it to you were they just supposed to send the money before march 1st. The fact that didn't send the contract in yet and the payment was already due might have been another factor.
  9. J&R

    J&R LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 835

    With all the posts that you have about bad people in your area. WHY DON"T YOU MOVE. and get away frow your mother-in-law too.
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    trex, i already been through the nurturing phase with this guy. assured, reassured, gave references, you name it. payment was due with signed contract in my mailbox by 3/1. j&r, move? me? how could i accomplish my goal to rule the east coast if i move? there are bad people here, not all, but enough to keep me on my toes. besides, my life would be boring if i didn't have at least 3 arguments a week.

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