Late Paying Customer Letters...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LoneStarLawn, Jun 25, 2001.

  1. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    Never faced this before but we have four late paying customers this past month. One is two-months behind (service is on hold) One complained that we could not cut a limb down when we arrived at the account for lawn maintenance (did not have equipment with us for tree work)

    Besides all that I really need to send a letter to these four and really can't find the professional words to come out of my mouth (all curse words right now...:D LOL that is why im writing a letter):angry:
    Does anyone have a sample letter for this kind of thing?...( I really don't know how often you all face this...kind of embarrassing that we are not able to deal with our customers better)
    I would appreciate any help at this point...
  2. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    I dont know if you have a clause in your contracts about delinquent accounts but heres ours:

    Fees for services will be billed upon completion. Terms are: 2% 10 days/Net 30 days. If monthly re-billing is necessary, A FINANCE CHARGE of 1 ½% per month (18% per Annum) will be charged to all past due accounts. A Minimum Finance Charge of $5.00.

    Any bill not receiving full payment within 45 days shall be considered delinquent. All services will be temporarily stopped on any delinquent account until FULL payment has been received.

    If an account must be turned over to a Collection Agency, the client will be responsible for ALL costs involved in collection of said account.
  3. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    These are non-contract accounts
  4. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    Our records show that we have not received payment for last month’s services. Payments should be received in our office by the 20th of the month. We send billing out around the 1st –5th of the month and feel this is ample time to get the payment out.

    We do provide a consistent and reliable service and believe that prompt payment is the customer’s appreciation of that service. Timely payment is an important factor to our business, as it pertains to Cash Flow, which allows us to pay our state and federal requirements, provide payroll to our employees and conduct other operating expenses.

    Our monthly billing program is much like a weekly paycheck, but only once a month!

    If you have recently sent payment, please disregard this notice, otherwise please send last months payment as soon as possible, we hope to receive such payment before your next schedule service date.

    If you have any questions please feel free to contact us personally at the office, so we might correct this issue, if we are not in leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible.
  5. GreenQuest Lawn

    GreenQuest Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 822

    I use the pre-formatted ones in quickbooks. Heres the three

    This is the friendly one,

    Dear ,

    Just a friendly reminder that you have 1 overdue invoice(s), with an overdue balance of $200.00. If you have any questions about the amount you owe, please give us a call and we’ll be happy to discuss it. If you’ve already sent your payment, please disregard this reminder.

    We appreciate your continuing business, and we look forward to hearing from you shortly.


    GreenQuest Lawn Care LLC


    The formal one

    Dear ,

    Although we have contacted you about the outstanding balance on your account, we still have not heard from you. You have an outstanding balance of $200.00. The following invoices are overdue:

    Inv. No. Inv. Date Due Date Inv. Amount Balance
    345 05/01/2001 05/31/2001 $200.00 $200.00

    If you have already sent payment in full, we ask that you call and let us know. Otherwise, please call me to discuss what you plan to do to settle your account.

    Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.


    GreenQuest Lawn Care LLC

    And finally the harsh one

    Dear ,

    The following invoices are long overdue:

    Inv. No. Inv. Date Due Date Inv. Amount Balance
    345 05/01/2001 05/31/2001 $200.00 $200.00

    Please contact us immediately regarding this situation.

    Unless we hear from you in seven days, we will turn your account over to our collection agency. Obviously, this would have a detrimental effect on your credit rating.

    We must hear from you soon or be forced to take action. Please send your payment in full or call us to discuss the matter.


    GreenQuest Lawn Care LLC
  6. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    Thanks guys...those letters went out today. Luckily it ended up only three. Recieved one payment today.
  7. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    The format and order of the letters that Todd showed are great, but make sure you record when you sent which one so you can promptly send out #2 and #3 if neccesary.

    Your best bet would be certified mail if you have to use #2 and # 3.

    Just my opinion though!
  8. SLS

    SLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mars
    Messages: 1,540

    Here's a simple one that I made up. I print it up with my co. letterhead at the top and so far it has worked fine. :


    Hello XXXXX,

    Our records show that we have not received payment for lawn services rendered on ________. Please remit at your earliest convenience. If payment has been made please contact us at the telephone number given below so that we can determine why this payment has not been recorded.

    Please send cash, personal check, or money order for the amount of $_____.

    **Please make payable to: XXX Lawn Service**

    Thanks again for your business and have a great day!

    (My signature here)

    I tell them to contact us even if payment has been made so they can't just blow it off..."Oh, I thought I had paid it and the bill said to disregard if I had done so...". This forces the customer to let you know something or just flat out lie to you. Most folks don't want to be caught in a lie and pay up promptly. :D

  9. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    We do not take cash in the mail....wouldn't like the change rolling around in the envelope. I think the post office states not to send cash through the mail for safety.
  10. SLS

    SLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mars
    Messages: 1,540

    Change (coin) is not a problem for us as all billing is in rounded dollar amounts.

    If some "late-payer" FINALLY sent you 3 crisp $20's in the mail you wouldn't send 'em back now would you? ;)

    I don't care how they long as the moolah is good! :D

    Cash in the mail is dangerous for the sender but we get cash from international bidders (especially Japan) on eBAY all the problems yet...(fingers crossed).

    Personally, I never SEND cash through the mail...but if it hits my mailbox I'll gladly accept it. :)

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