registered letter to customer

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by shorty7616, May 17, 2004.

  1. shorty7616

    shorty7616 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 230

    I have a customer who hasn't paid last months bill plus half of this months. She's a new one, so I don't really know her well. Anyway, I tried to get a hold of her, knocked on her door twice but no answer(cars WERE there). The bill was for 125.00, and now it is up to 175.00, not that much, but enough to scare me.

    I am trying to come up with a registered letter to send out tomorrow. Any suggestions, or attachtment of ones that you use would help out tremendously.
  2. HighGrass

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

    Depending on how overdue it is (30 days) I would do something loke this...

    Dear Mr & Mrs,
    Please examine the following billing information to insure that it is correct.

    5/04/04 Mowed lawn including trimmong and clean-up....45.00
    5/12?04 Trimmed Shrubs and disposed of material..........120.00

    Total 165.00

    My records in dicate that I have not recieved payment on the above mentioned total and that in fact your account is 30 days late as of 6/12/04. Please make payment to me a t once or contact me for any questions you might have.
    Thank you for your attention in this matter.

    Joe Bag Of Donuts

    Then, send it return reciept request (certified) That way you know that they recieved it. The mere fact that they have to sign it usually willl light a fire under their **s.

    Extra Punch-- Only try this part if all else fails,
    at the end of the letter C/C Morris, Morris and Cleam
    Attorneys at law

    I did this once and the customer drove to my house and made the payment. BTW, use a fake law firm...but make it sound good.
  3. Stephen M.

    Stephen M. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 192

    You need to preprint "Terms" on you bill. My billing form has printed on it "TERMS: Payable in full to our office within 30 days from invoice date. Purchaser agrees to pay a late fee of $10 per month on all amounts past due 30 days. Failure to pay will cause suspension of all services within 60 days, at which time purchaser agrees to pay for any collection, attorney, or court costs. Mastercard, Visa, and American Express accepted."

    If you have no terms printed on your bill, your customer can legally take their sweet time paying you. You can set your terms at 30 days which is standard, or you can make it as short as 10 days.

    Check with your state on acceptable interest charges for late payers. In WA State, you can charge as much as you want in "late fees", but if you state that it is an "interest charge: for a late payment, the max you can charge is 2% per month, or 24% per annum.

    If the person is a good client who may have a temporary problem, I may waive the fee or I will waive the fee if the client made prior arrangements. The one time customer doesn't get a break.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    I use Quickbooks and it has a "statement" option which tells the aging of an account. You could use that as a first notice as it has the terms on it.
    If the account goes past 2 pay periods I would start the letters.
  5. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    You do have a written and signed contract with this customer don't you?

    Whatever you do........stop service NOW.

    That usually get's their attention.

    Document EVERYTHING.
  6. shorty7616

    shorty7616 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 230

    I do have terms written on every invoice.

    This is not a contract customer, but I do have payment from her for a previous month.
  7. ElephantNest

    ElephantNest LawnSite Bronze Member
    from La.
    Messages: 1,878

    lol@ fake law firm names.

    Dewey Cheatum & Howe
  8. shorty7616

    shorty7616 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 230

    Everyone agree that its right for me to suspend her now, and at what point would I actually start legal action.

    I like the fake law firms, anything wrong with that (legal)
  9. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 4,205

    took a couple of seconds for me to get that one nest but I finally got it!
    Pretty good.............
  10. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,381

    Law offices of:

    Cheatum, Robbum and Conn

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