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Should I take her back?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tiedeman, Dec 13, 2004.

  1. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    ok, some of you know about one of my customers that has approx $168 in an outstanding balance from both the June & July billing. Even though she paid me the August bill still puzzles me. I didn't do any lawn care on her property for much of August through the end of the year because she had her house remodeled, which torn up the the entire lawn, and I mean the entire lawn.

    I never received a payment for June and July so I keep on sending her reminders over and over again in September and then October to pay her balance in full but no money arrived.

    Well, back in August she asked me to do her snow removal, very small drive, and I agreed. I did her drive once in November on Thanksgiving when we got a storm and decided that was it. I was not going to do anymore work for until the balance was paid in full. Even though she has been a customer for about 3 years, I decided to put my foot down.

    I sent her out a letter in the end of November with her one charge for snow removal ($25, which brings her balance to $173) telling her that all services are stopped until paid in full. Well just today I received a check in the mail for $100, not $173, with a note telling me that she is sorry that she hasn't paid me, funds have been tight since the remodeling of the house (she wasn't even able to finish the remodeling because of lack of money) and asked me to continue doing the snow removal and she would get the rest of the money out to me shortly. payup

    So what would you guys do? :help:
  2. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    You've put your foot down, stick to it. Free work does not feed your family. Politely let her know that times are tight and that you must concentrate on the paying customers to keep your family fed. Then go to COD in the future so you don't get bogged down in this situation again.
  3. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,660

    You have christmas presents to buy too. After you receive $73 more dollars, call her and tell her that if services are to continue, she needs to pay in advance, or at least a portion in advance. If you really want to stick your neck out, you could make an exception just for her and tell her that she doesn't have to pay for snow removal until spring time so she can get her other finances in order. Not sure if that's a good idea, but maybe something to consider. We have the luxury of working with our customers to help them out at times. Yes, we deserve to get paid like everyone else, but after all, we are our own bosses and can make our own decisions. If you're confident that she will pay, I say give her another chance.
  4. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    no, no, no, no, no. she basically blew you off right? screw her. now, if it were me, and she called BEFORE the payment due date, and said she was having financial problems, i'd continue. but it seems she offered you no explanation, and hung you out to dry. screw her.
  5. BobR

    BobR LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 714

    HEY - A good customer for three years - Take a chance, 73 bucks and 25 a pop for the drive - are you having problems feeding the family - maybe she is at this time... I would let her run up the tab BUT only after having a face to face conversation where you explain YOUR concerns and SHE will probably explain hers, maybe set up a payment plan (a few bucks a month or week are better than nothing) and before long she will be back in the black and once her financial position improves she will remember who helped her out.

  6. Up North

    Up North LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MN
    Messages: 1,063

    If money was tight during the remodeling chances are it'll be tight again now because of Christmas. I don't know. Personally if it were one of my good customers I'd probably give them the benefit of the doubt and try to work out something such as payment immediately after completion of the job. That may not be possible in some situations due to customer not being home, but it would protect you until she gets caught up on her other bill.

  7. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    If money is tight because of the remodeling then she shouldnt have done the remodeling. People seem to forget that having improvments done on there home is a luxury and not a nessesity. That is a lame excuse for not paying the people she owes..... ;)

    Also, Anyone who dosnt have a spare $75.00 to there name should not be a home owner. I would sell my house tomorrow and rent an apartment where maintnance is free If I only had enough money to pay my expenses and no extra money for unforseen expenses.
  8. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    lawn service is a luxery item. you are not going to die if you don't have it. your customer chose first off not to do it herself. second, she chose to work on her home, rather than pay you. when you kept sending reminders, she ignored them. i have a nice couple, who chose to buy 2 brand new cars, at about 30 grand a piece. they started blowing off my bills, where before they were right on time. when i started banging on the door, they didn't open it. they pretended they werent home. when the grass was up thier ass, they finally called. they said they were having a hard time, u know, the two brand new cars were sucking them dry. i got my money and adios. i'll tell you another story. no bullcrap, i had a relative living with me. i charged her just enough to cover the extra expense of her living here, a few bucks a week. anytime something happened, like she needed a car repair, or a vacation on a cruise, whatever, she wouldn't pay her rent. guess where aunt susan is now? yup, right out on her ear, that's where i put her! these people make thier own decisions on what's more important, and guess what? they decided you were not important. adios
  9. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    I would wait till it snowed again and tell her the bill is $98.00, do you have it or am I gonna ride on down the road. I have always been to good for my own good and now it has come back to bite me kinda hard. I am going to the Bobby methods from now on I think
  10. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    I was just looking at my math in my story, I meant $193 balance, not $73.

    keep on coming with the answers, enjoying them

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