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Slip up in Billing... What to do?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by BSDeality, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    I'm doing all my invoices for fall cleanups and in the process discovered I didn't bill at least 3 customers (that I know of) for their fall cleanups last year (2005).

    1) $250 cleanup. They moved so I'll never see them again. I do have their email address though.
    2) $350 cleanup. One time job. I did 99% of the job There was one area under water that I was going to wait a few days for it to dry out. That never came until spring and I totally forgot about it.
    3) $195 cleanup. From a regular customer. I'm not sure how I missed that one, but I did.

    What would you do for each of these? Half of me says "chock it up as lesson learned" the other half says "you sweat for that money, collect it".

    I was thinking of emailing #1 and just being very upfront with her (she was a nice lady, husband was a tightwad though). For #2 I was thinking of calling him up and explaining the situation or perhaps ringing his doorbell under the ruse of "just seeing if you needed your leaves done again this year". And #3 I think I will call or email them.

    Are there time limits on how long I can try to collect since I never created/sent an invoice to them? Would you offer a partial discount just to get some of it?
  2. nysuz

    nysuz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Dude send them all out in the mail. The worst that can happen is they won't send you the check. Hell you did the work. They got that money to work for them for a whole year free of charge. They all just might surprise you.

    MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,568

    Jeez you are upside down,send em a bill if they don't pay send em another keep sending the bills.
  4. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,624

    Just change the date on the bill back to 2005 and say that you got it returned to you in the mail the other day. Blame it on th post offfice. A little note in with the bill will help you collect the money. And Id email the one that moved and tell them the post office screwed up and that your sending the bill via email. might not see that check but maybe they will surprise you.
  5. CNYScapes

    CNYScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 916

    I would send them a bill with a note that says exactly what happened with an apology. Any respectable customer will pay it. Any azz will not.
  6. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    after a year I would not send a bill. Heck you should have noticed the missing money back in early '06 when you did the taxes...

    If the cable copmany sent you a bill from a year saying that you did not pay, I think most of us would tell em to pound sand...

    Iwould chalk up the oversight as a learning experience.....yeah a few hundred bucks is an expensive lesson, but not one you'll make again I imagine.

    to recup your money, you could always "pad" the next few estimates you do for them to slowly recoup your losses....

    Billing was the most PITA part of doing the business. The cyclical stuff was easy since quickbook spit it out each month. but keeping track of the extra's was the worst.
  7. nysuz

    nysuz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    why lie about it,an honest person won't even need an explanation. He did the work why should he pass it off. He should not make someone else pay extra to recoup an over sight. We are human man. and you can darn well bet big biz goes back, man look at the irs, they can go way back, to heck with padding, he did the work.
  8. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    I'm torn between. My gut feeling is with Marc, I should have caught it. Its not like I just didn't see it in the A/R report. I never physically generated the invoice so I didn't notice it was missing. Truth be told I wouldn't and didn't notice $800 was missing. Hell, I've probably got about $800 of missing bills this year. Its really small in the grand picture, but $800 more coming in would be nice to put into the house fund.

    It sounds like most people would send them, I am going to be upfront with all of them and see what happens. Its not like its going to hurt if I don't get the money from last year.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I had that problem earlier this year.

    Much like yourself, it wasn't a huge amount, but it was enough ... :cry:

    Some I recovered, most I didn't.
    But, some was better than none.

    I would just bill it, see what happens.
    It's still far less frustrating than deadbeats, especially in the long run.
  10. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,967

    Send them a "final notice" bill. Pretend like you sent them a bill. When they call with the "omg" stuff, let them down easy and say you're willing to forgive the late charges.

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