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Jerked around & lied to RE: payment...


LawnSite Senior Member
South, FL
Question: You give great service, are reliable and give a fair price for work performed to a customer. The ONLY thing you require is to be paid for work performed in a prompt manner. Problem: Customers who jerk you around and outright lie about payment. I have two customers who I have had to play phone tag with numerous times for work that was done in October and November. "The checks in the mail" bull several times and then nothing shows up. I just went by one of these residences tonight and demanded payment. They came up with a part of it in cash, said come back tomorrow for the balance as they don't do checks and thats all the cash they had. The other one said check was forthcoming several times over the last month. NADA, nothing has shown up yet. I get steamed and my blood pressure goes up when I'm lied to over and over again. Both these customers think I will continue to maintain their property. WRONG. I discontinued service after they were over 30 days late. Once I receive the outstanding balance due me, I will consider them history. I'll send a professional notice informing them that I can no longer maintain their property. Life's to short to put up with dead beats. If they were up front and honost and said they were having financial problems and could I work with them that would be one thing, but intentionally not paying and then one lie after another about payment will come on such and such a day, (many times), and never anything! SEE YA. What a pain. Would any one continue to do business with liars who stiff you on your payment to the point you have to physically go over to their residence on the weekend to demand payment, (because they are never home when you do their work, and give you a crock when you call at night)?
Thanks for letting me vent and input appreciated.

[Edited by Bassman on 01-05-2001 at 07:46 PM]

Eric ELM

Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
Chicago, IL USA
There are too many good ones out there to put up with the bad ones. You are doing the right thing in my opinion.


LawnSite Senior Member
Bassman, I'm new in this business but if I was you I would use some of your frustration to go out and replace them with customers that will respect your service.
I think you have a few options
1. you can continue to hunt them down and continue to get angry when you get to the house and they don't open the door
2. you can drop it and replace them
3. if worth the time and effort small claims court
I feel that time is a precious thing we all have and your time is important.You need to be bigger than the problem and do the right thing....



LawnSite Member
Sounds like you are doing the right thing.

If the $ are enough consider sending it to a collection agency because that can affect their credit rating even if you do not get any money out of it.

Keep up the standards!



LawnSite Silver Member
Ontario, Canada
I think what I would do is everytime I happen to be driving by the property and there are strange cars in the driveway I would stop in, knock on the door and ask for payment infront of their friends. You might never get paid but it will sure piss them off. Make sure that you sound sincere infront of their friends or it could backfire.


LawnSite Gold Member
stanfield nc
I saw a fellow who owed me 25 in his yd so
turned around to go back an try an collect.
He was not in sight so i proceded up his drive
walking,when out he comes with a 38 and shaking
like a leaf.I turned around and just walked back
to the truck.Man i could feel a bullet every
step.So be careful if hes dumb enough to be
a deadbeat,he might be crazy enough to shoot you
about a few bucks.TM


Former Moderator
We definitely feel that it is not worth our time to deal with non-payers.

Since I am in charge of all billing, it is my responsibilty to make sure all payments are received.

There have been times in the past where I have had to practically hunt people down to get paid. Once I collect the money, that's it. No more service from us. I just don't need the hassle.

You will find that there are enough good customers to go around. Let your competition deal with the late payers :)




LawnSite Member
When I used to mow lawns and someone tried to stiff me. I first went to their home and asked for the money and if they jerked me around, I told them you can either pay me or get all the grass back that I took. If they didn't pay, the next day they had a huge pile of grass on their driveway. When they called the next day it was a $75 pick up charge, plus what they owed me. It worked fairly well. That is the american way. If that doesn't work maybe try finding someone in the Italian mofia.
I haven't found a good one if someone stiffs me on a piece of equipment (I'm a dealer) any good ones?
I know a good Polynesian (retired wrestler) collection agency that hates late payers. Most of his work involves servicing the client in the sugar cane fields and he is the only one that walks out! Just joking, although that happens around here from time to time. Move on and the law of cause and effect will remedy the situation. I know that won't satisfy your banker when equipment loans are due, but there is always the new client that will pay double and will be stoked that someone out still has pride in there profession.