the dog ate my homework

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 1MajorTom, Nov 9, 2006.

  1. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    now we've all heard excuses before, and we've all probably used an excuse or two in our lifetime too. but what do you think about this one.

    This comes from an 8th year mowing customer. strictly mowing, nothing else. she includes a note with her payment that reads:
    i'm sending one half of the payment now and if it's ok, i'll send remainder after my next paycheck. i'm sorry this is late but my labrador had to have surgery on his paw to remove a growth and it is cancerous. with x-ray, surgery, and bioposises, i was left really short. thanks for being patient.

    the month before she was late, and included a note saying that since her moher had just recently died, she was behind trying to pay her mother's bills.

    what do you do in cases like these? people have problems, it's a fact of life... so in running your business, how lenient are you with payments coming in late?
  2. Total.Lawn.Care

    Total.Lawn.Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 840

    I am about to stop all leniency. Almost none of my customers have paid for Sept services and they are all due with Sept and Oct services in 6 days. If I get no money, they will get phone calls everyday until I see checks.
  3. 4curbappeal

    4curbappeal LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 761

    At least she included a note explaining her (her dog's) situation. By paying half of her payment it appears she is making an effort. Who knows, maybe these aren't excuses! I would give her the benefit of the doubt. Especially since she is a long time customer. Good luck!
  4. LawnBrother

    LawnBrother LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW Ohio
    Messages: 867

    I will always give a long term customer the benefit of the doubt, because if they are good customers they deserve it. My leiencey ends when it becomes habitual, or if they get more than a month behind, whichever comes first.
  5. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    Your season is just about over, right??

    Next year, I'd stress to her about a late fee, or maybe cut it a little shorter by a week or two, the due date.

    This last year my wife had thyroid surgery, my mom had kidney cancer surgery, my 4 year old had scarlet fever, and now my 1 year old has hives that no one can determine what's causing them, or how to get rid of them.

    Needless to say, my scheduling was horrible this year, and I got to the point where I got real nervous calling the customers and saying "um, I have yet another family emergency this week, so I'm not going to get to your lawn".

    I have everyone on a flat fee, and only 1 accout all summer asked for a refund on a weeks' mowing.

    I'm the same way with my customers, unless they are like that right out of the gate, then we don't last a year.
  6. Damian

    Damian LawnSite Member
    Messages: 242

    We would let it slide with no penalty... after we got over the shock of getting a note explaining why the payment was late in the first place. Usually we only get an explanation when we tell them we're fixing to turn their account over to collections. I don't know how many times we've said - referring to late payers - that if they would just call and let us know there was a problem instead of stressing us out as to whether or not they were going to pay.
  7. walker/redmax

    walker/redmax LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 366

    Exactly what I would do!:drinkup:
  8. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    if they have been on time for 8 years.... and something came up, hey its been 8 years......good customers are hard to long as its only once, and they are paid in full the next month:)

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Honestly for an 8-year client I wouldn't even think about it.

    What's that saying..."Can't get blood from a stone" or something like that...I've learned basically you can't beat the money out of people (although that would be nice :hammerhead: ) so pretty much it's in your best interest to work with someone...if it gets out of hand you can suspend service but doesn't mean you will get paid anytime soon either way.
  10. MSS Mow

    MSS Mow LawnSite Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 450

    Turnip, not stone.

    I knew a guy who was in court (for a minor offense) and when told by the judge the amount of his fine, the guy said "Good luck collecting, 'cause I don't have a job, and therefore, you can't get blood from a turnip". SO, the judge says, "no, but we can keep the turnip", and changed his punishment from a small fine to 3 days in jail.

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