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View Full Version : Need Help collecting from non paying customer


psparaco
06-07-2010, 01:22 AM
Ok here is my situation.

We serviced one of my customers on 05/16/10. An invoice was placed in their mailbox that night and the due date was net 7 or 05/23/10. I have made several attempts by calling and visiting the their address. Their voicemail box was full for awile. now it says it not in service. Now every week we were scheduled to mow aka service their property we didnt due to lack of non payment. We also noticed the lawn was already cut. We noticed a mower was in the back yard. so obviously they bought one. that doesn't excuse them for not paying us. We do have a signed general service agreement with them. They always paid on time in the past prior to this problem of not paying. I dont know what to do. Keep trying to contact them via visits or phone. do i need a certified letter demanding payment. should i issue them another invoice with the late fee doc'ed on it and request that call us asap to resolve this matter. I never had to deal with this problem before being this is only my second season in this business. To sum up any help from anyone here. I am not licensed to date yet. its in the works but keep a roof over my head and food on the table has a higher priority than that. but i am saving up for the neccessary fees i need to pay for it all. I know alot of you will say cut my losses and move on but i would like to find a way to get my money. any advice is appreciated.

Paul

Steve
06-07-2010, 04:32 AM
Hi Paul,

Here is my favorite of all time way of dealing with late paying customers.

A landscaping and lawn care debt collection letter that works. (http://lawnchat.com/?p=323)

and read the original forum discussion here http://gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=7627

Then read this one

http://lawnchat.com/?p=396

There is plenty more reading on the forum and blog if you search for late payment, but none of them so far have beaten the top post I included there as far as effectiveness.

Keep me posted on what you are doing to resolve this. It will help other members who run into this same problem in the future.

I hope you get paid quickly :)

psparaco
06-07-2010, 09:56 AM
ok that letter may work the one that Amy used. as for calling the small claims court. being i am not licensed yet. thats probably not a feasible idea. i could use the letter and say it but secondlly i don't think i can put a lien on the property since they rent the townhome from a corporate entity and in their lease it says they are responible to maintain aka cut and/or trim their own yard. so they dont own the property.

JP Landscaping
06-07-2010, 11:57 AM
I had a non paying customer last year like you. this is what I did.

I sent him emails with the invoice showing the past due mowings. Then I sent him a certified letter asking for payment. That got a response from him. Said he would send payment and still didn't. In the letter I mentioned if payment was not received by a certain date we would take legal action. I finally got tired of it and sent him to collections.

They didn't ask me for my license. All they asked for was my company name , the guy's full name, address, and phone number.

I sent him another email saying his account was delinquent and was sent to collections. We would remove him from collections once payment was received. It worked because i got full payment within about 2 weeks.

Steve
06-07-2010, 12:00 PM
How did the whole collections service work?

What do they charge?

mburse1977
06-07-2010, 02:08 PM
All you can try is the letter with that steve said other than that it is not worth the effort to try to collect and less you really have nothing better to do that spend a hour in court.If it were a amount worth doing that i would say go for it. But with such a small amount something we just have to cut are losses and call it a day. If you pay taxes on your business at the end of the year no payments can be a nice right off to help get some of it back.

Steve
06-08-2010, 06:26 AM
If it were a amount worth doing that i would say go for it.

What dollar figure would you feel would be the tipping point where you would follow through and do this?

psparaco
06-08-2010, 11:27 PM
low and behold i was driving in the area where this woman lives to check on other properties to see if any needed cutting for tomorow and caught the woman's son outside and i stopped and she was home. Went in and picked up the payment. so no need for the letter. perfect timing. well retain the letter for future non paying customers.

Steve
06-09-2010, 05:01 AM
Congratulations on getting paid! Your persistence paid off.

being i am not licensed yet. thats probably not a feasible idea.

How has this situation effected your view on getting licensed?

mburse1977
06-09-2010, 08:26 AM
What dollar figure would you feel would be the tipping point where you would follow through and do this?

If i were not busy and it were over 100 then i would any thing less than that are if im really its not worth it will lose more than you would gain.But so far knock on wood no payment problems so far hope it stays that way.