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Sick of dealing with BS customers this time of year

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Jpocket, Nov 2, 2006.

  1. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,281

    :dizzy: I have this one customer who signed up at the end of september, not really our NICHE customer, she begs me to do an Aeration/Overseeding, and weed the beds. Two weeks later i have my guys cleaning her beds, and the next day i come out personally and do the aeration.

    She calls the next monday and asks when we will get to it :rolleyes: .
    My reply was everything we discussed was done last week. She says it looks like nothing is done:hammerhead: . WE did the work and I expect to be paid. I sent a letter dropping her, and the final bill. Like i said she is not the type of customer we are looking for any ways. Now she calls and wants to talk to me to see if we can work it out. I just want my money PERIOD. No hard feelings just move on.

    I have another guy we laid mulch for in AUGUST...he says he doesn't understand my invoices thats why he hasn't paid yet. Here again this guy BEGGED me to do this job...i had no interest we were already working 6 days a week with a backlog. Now he wants to see the contract he signed back in AUGUST, I can't find it:cry: . So now im in a rock and a hard place with him.

    THE bottom line is the work was DONE and there is a balance due!
    Why do ppl. always have a song and a dance when it's time to pay up. I don't get it we go out of our way to accomodate them. The second guy i may only end up getting half of the money owed, simply b/c i don't have the contract on file, and it will cost me more to pursue it, if he won't pay in full TAX WRITE OFF is what im thinking.

    One thing i am learning is to steer clear of "needy" people the ones that beg you to do work.:confused:
  2. Fordsuvparts

    Fordsuvparts LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 517

    I know a great way to get back at those no pay customers, you simply write off the balance of what they owe you as a gift and then send the paperwork to the IRS. Instant audit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    We did this 2 years ago and boy were they pissed off.
  3. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,281

    Sounds like a good idea. i dunno, i mean we did the work i just think that we should be paid for it. My other 110+ customers get the concept. I mean really i wish i would just not pay my phone bill or make my truck payment, I would hear about it in a hurry.
  4. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Loosers like those is why I have such strict policies.
    I try to keep everything honest and the good customers good.

    It seems every time I deviate from them even a little I end up being sorry I did... even on occasions where I felt totally comfortable about it in the beginning.

    I have one right now that owes me $4,060, another that owes me $1,450, and another that still lacks $550 of being paid up work performed through 10/1 much less 11/1.

    All the above fall under the same situtation. Extra services performed and billed. The last one is a major account for me, but the farthest behind. I don't care if the base contract I have with them makes up a significant part of my income. I will suspend service for non-payment of the additional charges. Very likely one day next week if I do not recieve a check for a significant sum of money pretty shortly.

    As much as anything, I am sick to death of their "corporate commercial accounting methodology" and the arrogance of the manner in which they do pay out when they finally send something. It's like they try to take as long to 'process' things as possible so they can hold on to the money as long as possible... and when they do cut a check, it's like they pay what they want when they want with no regard at all for what I've billed, how I've invoiced or anything else.

    Sorry... I'm a lawn service, not a loan service.
    If you want a loan or you are having financial issues of this sort, call a bank, don't call me.
  5. Sandgropher

    Sandgropher LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    I am afraid theres no easy solution to this problem, its not practical to get all your money up front on some big jobs, we have to accept it as part of our job that they will be debtors, i mow Ressys at an average $30-35.00, its no money, no mow. the money must be in a secret spot or i do not mow, i relaxed this rule twice with two regulars, i am still trying to get paided months later :hammerhead: (both owe $30)
  6. jeffex

    jeffex LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,933

    ahhh!!! that reminds me of my business philosophy. I cut lawns for free and deal with people for money!!! This is a tricky time of year as the lawns slow and the leaves fall here. I like to have something to hold over some customers head. If they still need more work from you they will pay what they owe to keep you coming back. I only have a few like this but I am cautious to knock on there door prior to starting work and remind them of price and amount of service to be performed. That few minutes prevents surprises when you finish the job and go to the door to get paid or wait for that invoice in the mail that never comes. I have to call some in the eve. and do this but it helps prevent me fighting to get paid. They all want to be done paying your bill for the year. They all pray a good wind blows their leaves down the street and they can skip a service. Its just human nature. I have a situation where most of my customers pay as you go by taping a check to the door and new customers pay before service because I don't need the headache. Once they establish a payment history I may let them have credit for a week they are not home and leave them a bill but rarely.

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 834

    Hey Bro, I've got a whole bunch of work for you at my house. It's a $20k job if you want it. I want you to do the work because I know I won't have to pay you when your done. I'm friends with the people you mentioned above and they told me all about their scam. It's especially easy for me to rip you off because I know you'll just write it off as bad debt.:hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: ......... the moral of this story is always pursue payment or you develope a reputation. The cost is nothing compared to what it will cost you in the long run. How do I know what I'm talking about? Been there, done that.
  8. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    This is commonplace in our industry because we are considered "non-secure creditors" meaning we are not holding paper, title, etc., and won't have any difference or say to their credit report for the most part. It sucks, but that is life. Bad Debt expense is something on my year end P & L every year that I estimate for.
  9. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,281

    Yep...it's more principle than anything, i have been owed much more for periods of time. IN August we had over $6,000 in past due accounts (more than 30 days past due). Now it's around $2,000. I have a few commercail accounts that pay exactly as you described above but they have always been that way.

    It's the people that Beg for work, and try to push there way into he schedule, the ppl that are so "needy" they always want some worthless little jobs done.
  10. dcgreenspro

    dcgreenspro LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 688

    do you take credit or online pay, Jpocket? Might help people spend the money easier.jmo

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