View Full Version : Opinions Please

06-12-2006, 03:23 PM
What would you guys honestly do?

I picked up a new customer about 6 weeks ago. She has me mow her property every 2 weeks because she can't afford to have it done once a week. Well, I sent out her first invoice almost a month ago and it's due on June 14th. Since I mailed out that invoice I have mowed it once more, and it was due for another mowing today, but I am holding off until I receive payment. I know that she still has two more days to pay it, but in my opinion it's better to wait and not do the work, instead of doing the work and never getting paid.

Would you guys still go ahead and do the work though if it was schedule for today, even though she hasn't paid the first bill yet, but it is not due for another 2 days?

06-12-2006, 03:37 PM
I think this falls into the category of "gut feeling."

Your gut feeling is telling you something may be wrong with this customer's ability to pay for services rendered so until they develop a relationship with you, you are being cautious.

I don't blame you one bit and would do the same.

06-12-2006, 06:36 PM
What I am thinking about doing is calling her up and telling her, "I will be there tomorrow to mow, but before I mow, I need payment from the first invoice."

06-12-2006, 07:02 PM
I would think that is fine. She hasn't proven to you yet that her credit is good. Why over extend yourself and provide more services when you have yet to be paid?

06-12-2006, 07:16 PM
That sounds like a good plan, this way your up front about it and no one gets hurt.

I'm having the same situation right now. One of my new customers has yet to paid, this is the first invoice for him, and it's due in 3 days. He's up for mowing tomorrow, but per contract service will be cancelled after due date, so I'll mow it up tomorrow and if he doesn't pay next week it's done and he'll get a letter.

Howard Roark
06-15-2006, 10:57 PM
You may want to suggest having her tape a check to the door the day of her mow, as you're "Doing this now to help offset gas prices and keep post-billing costs down". I started last year with the check-on-door method, with about 6 people only that I actually sent invoices to. This year I have spent a total of zero on a stamp to send out an invoice, and 98% of my customers are on auto bill on their credit card.

Why is it that so many people in the lawn industry (mowing) extend credit to people they don't know?

06-15-2006, 10:59 PM
Quote[/b] ]Why is it that so many people in the lawn industry (mowing) extend credit to people they don't know?

This is an excellent point and we all need to reflect on this.

Many times LCOs do this, I think, because they either don't know better, don't feel they have a choice, or simply feel it is the way things are done.

06-15-2006, 11:10 PM
I know around here, the credit card billing wouldn't fly. Too many people would be afraid to do it (thats where that tech savy area comes in again). The only reason I do monthly billing is because it's easy, I don't have to worry about checking for a check each week, people only have to write one check a month, I only make one deposit a month. But on the other hand it's rough for new people, I'm still waiting on 2000 in AR for last month.

06-15-2006, 11:12 PM
Very good points Kurt.

06-17-2006, 01:38 AM
A little update on this story, I dropped her as a customer. I wrote her a letter explaining to her that I have a zero tolerance for new customer late payers. New customers bascially have to build a trust with me first, before I allow them to even think about sliding a couple of days.

Anymore though I call up people tell them that they need to pay or all services are stopped. But this lady, repeatedly lied to me about payment

06-17-2006, 07:06 PM
Did you receive payment from her yet?

Would you recommend to others to wait before sending out such a letter until you receive payment or is it better to do it as soon as you decide that is the proper course of action?

06-17-2006, 08:22 PM
For other customers perhaps to wait would be better, but I caught her in lies twice. About three weeks ago she said she mailed the check, but I never received it, and then just on Monday when I talked to her she said she mailed it three days ago, in which she was lying.

Customers should realize that my father worked for the postal system here for over 30 years, so I know how the mail system works, and how long it should take for a local check to be received. For example, if I was to mail out a bill before 4:30pm on Wednesday, then the customer will receive it 99% of the time on Thursday, or without a doubt on Friday. The longest it will take is two days. Now if it is mailed after 4:30pm on Wednesday, then I will receive it 99% of the time on Friday.

It's funny the number of people that try to pull fast ones by me

06-17-2006, 10:02 PM
It's also great you have the inside postal scoop http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

06-22-2006, 02:34 PM
Another update on this story: She called me today begging me to come back and take care of her place. She said that she can not find anyone else to do the work. She said that she would leave the check there every time that I would finish mowing. I told her that I would think about it and get back with her after 5pm today to let her know what I think.

I mean, perhaps she could turn into a good customer, but once someone kind of sticks it to me once, I don't really want to extend my hand again. What happens if I do offer to do it again, and she tries to blame me for damage around her property as a way to get back at me. Hey, it could happen.

I am thinking about calling her up and telling her, the only way that I will take you back is if you become a weekly customer.

I already know what I plan on doing, but I wonder; What would you guys do?

06-22-2006, 11:35 PM
Here is my initial thought. She sounds like a bad apple. I think if you have problems with her now, you will see her become more creative in the future in the problems she can cause.
Sure you could negotiate with her to get her to become a weekly customer, but will that solve her being a problem?

It's up to you but it just seems she is going to continue to be a problem and I would just cut her loose.

Quote[/b] ]What happens if I do offer to do it again, and she tries to blame me for damage around her property as a way to get back at me. Hey, it could happen.
If you can imagine it, she can too and more.

06-23-2006, 11:18 AM
Ok, thanks for the input. I kind of figured that I didn't want her, because she didn't really fit into my master plan anyway that I am putting together.

Give me an email, and I will run some things by you and see what you think

06-23-2006, 12:59 PM
I sent it. Looking forwards to the updates http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif