non paying customers HELP

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jbigken, Aug 31, 2004.

  1. jbigken

    jbigken LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    i have one customer have went three months no payment..have a one year service agreement with him . have sent two bills asking for payment no reponse . my son talk with him face to face said he would send payment still nothing...sent another letter all with return envelopes still nothing.....whats my best course of action thanks in advance....
  2. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Messages: 1,237

    I think it's collection time. I'm hoping that the three months they didn't pay wasn't three months of service as well.

    I dpn't know all the details granted, but I'd confront him, get my money and dump him like old garbage.
  3. MudslinginFX4

    MudslinginFX4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,170

    ECM Lawn Care
    123 xyz lane
    Raleigh, NC 0000
    (123) 456-7891


    Bill Smith

    5201 Bumble Bee Court

    Raleigh, NC 00000

    Dear Bill:

    We have contacted you several times to obtain payment of your past due account Your balance of $400.00 is now more than 90 days overdue.

    We consider this a serious matter. Unless payment in full is received or mutually satisfactory payment arrangements are made within the next five days, we will have no alternative but to refer this matter to a collection agency or to institute legal proceedings.

    A copy of your statement is enclosed. Please call us immediately to discuss your plans for settling this matter and to avoid the inconvenience a delay will bring.


    After this, go through the legal process and send him a letter with the court date.
  4. fcl01

    fcl01 LawnSite Member
    from OHIO
    Messages: 249

    what does your contract say?
    if youve attempted to collect that many times, they have no intent to pay.
    turn it over to collections, ruin their credit, get half your money or so.
    at least youll have the satisfaction of knowing that their now "bad" credit will make them pay 3% more on their next car loan!
    olderthandirt likes this.
  5. No Lawncares

    No Lawncares LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    Funny you ask that question. Today I go to the bank to get paid for the month, and low and behold a $250.00 check had came back from one of my monthly customers. I left the bank went to her job and asked if I could get paid. She was caught off guard and pretty much had to pay me, or look like a deadbeat to her friends at work.
  6. locutus

    locutus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,266

    I would institute my midnight collection technique. Knock on the door at midnight a couple of nights for a week to collect and you will get paid, trust me it works, especially if they are married.
  7. Cutters Lawn Care

    Cutters Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    Hello neighbor. They are trying to blow you off. Thinking over time you will just let it go. Do you have a signed one year service agreement with them? Was there a way they could have broke the contract?
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    I wouldn't turn it over to collections. I would take it to civil court. If you get a judgement, THAT will ruin their credit, also. You can hassle them just like a collection agency can, except you have more rights to. It is YOU that is owed the money. Collection agencies only have so much room to hassle, and then it becomes harrassment.
  9. jbigken

    jbigken LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    ecm used your letter sent it to deadbeat certified call the next day had my money....thanks all :)
  10. naturescaretaker

    naturescaretaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 854

    1. Always send the collection letter certified mail with return receipt.

    2. Always give no more then 10 days. Both in GA and SC require 10 days from the receipt of the notice.

    3. File a civil action on day 11.

    As a footnote, make sure that in your contract that you state that all collection costs and legal fees will be the responsibility of the customer. Otherwise you cannot recoup your time and money for the collection. Interest also has to be stated in the contract.

    Here is what we have in our contract:<P>

    BILLING: The amount of time required to maintain the grounds changes with each season and, according to the particular services requested by each client. We keep weekly records of our time at your residence to review monthly. After 3 months, we will call you if any adjustments to the fee are indicated. We require a 30-day notice of cancellation. Coastal Greenscapes bills monthly and does not prorate cancellations by the week. All statements will be processed and mailed on the 1st of the month. Payment is due by the 10th of each month. Any account not paid within twenty (20) days from date of invoice will be deemed delinquent and shall be assessed a late penalty fee of 5 percent on the balance due or $5.00, whichever is greater. An additional 5 percent late penalty fee will be assessed on any balances that are 30 days past due and will continue to incur penalties and interest until paid. This will automatically be generated through our accounting program and reflected as a separate invoice. Any collection costs including attorney fees and court cost will be the responsibility of the client.

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