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SECTLANDSCAPING
11-25-2011, 03:51 PM
I have a commercial client who negotiated every bid I ever done with them. Then wouldnt pay tax. I talked to them and they started paying tax.

Then I get the invoice back that was sent on the 1st and due on the 10th on the 25th. They decided not to pay the first installment for snow removal. Saying they want to see how it goes after first snow. Its possible it will not snow till christmas. By that time they will owe two installments and have a third due in week or two.

Not sure what to do with these people. I have a landscaping contract with them next spring too. So I dont want to be to pushy. To put this in perspective I was going to cover them out of contract for a storm that was suppose to happen on oct 26th. To find out I wouldnt be getting paid till the end of December. The contract calls for 5 payments due by the 10th nov-mar.

I could drop them just to be a dick or freeze services till payment is received. On the same note a property group just paid a extra $2000 to have me service condos since it was to late in the year to find a contractor.

Steve
11-26-2011, 05:17 PM
This is a very interesting situation.

I think this could be filed under the crap a small business owner tends to take to keep a full schedule although nothing says you have to take it.

This customer seems to be a problem. Small problems here and there tend to build up and become larger problems as time goes on. So I am figuring they will keep pushing it.

As you fill up your schedule and get busier and busier, would you let them go?

Or what is your view on why you still keep them around?

SECTLANDSCAPING
11-26-2011, 05:49 PM
I been full for snow removal since october. I turned down three other lots. So if I drop this customer I'm losing money and wont have a chance to replace them this winter. Thats the main drawback of dropping them. From a legal standpoint if they dont want to pay after first snow they still owe me for two months. Not sure if I could sue for lost income?

I wanted to use the payments to get another truck on the road. I plan on double billing them this month and sending a letter explaining that they signed a contact with this billing structure.

Now for landscaping since its for next spring its good to have it lined up but I could find other work. I still have plenty of time to fill that spot. Because of scheduling I can obviously take on more landscaping clients then snow removal.

FaccLndscpng
11-26-2011, 10:20 PM
Donít you just love people like this? They make you feel like a youíre a slave, its like youíre a bother for sending an invoice or expecting to get paid for services for something everyone agreed upon earlier in the year. Its like you canít do anything but fight fire with fire, like you have nothing else to do or worry about accept for playing games with babies (or should I say cheap bastards?) I think, unless I read the post wrong and if so then Iím sorry, but I guess I would send a letter or make a phone call to freeze services. What does your contract state? Any late fees or is there a fee for terminating the contract prematurely? Maybe you can recoup some funds that way. And definitely get as far away from them as possible as soon as you can get a away. If they have to fight you tooth and nail over everything; and donít want to pay taxes (like as if it lines your pocket) theyíre going to be more of a headache then theyíre worth.

Liberty Landscaping LLC
11-27-2011, 12:46 AM
It sounds to me (by the way you explained it) that they don't plan on paying you for Oct/Nov/Dec until the first snowfall. They don't understand that they pay monthly no matter if there is snow or not. They might think that because there isn't snow they don't owe you anything for the month. I would send them a letter now on your company letter head outlining the payment schedule and that they are currently behind by x number of days and that payment is due even if there is no snow events in that month because this it the way payment was arranged prior to the winter season or something along those lines or service may be suspended till payment is caught up as detailed in your contract. I still have people that owe me money from last year not a lot around 500 but still. I am taking them to small claims court. I would say start looking to cover their landscaping work because they seem like they are going to cause headaches....

SECTLANDSCAPING
11-27-2011, 02:40 AM
There definitely cheap. After he awarded the landscaping contract to me he mentioned the other guy was charging 3xs what I was but still haggled with me on price.

Thing is I spoke to the owner a week ago when I was finishing the clean up. He didnt mention this at all just said I got a check, ill send it out and ohh you wanted me to pay tax? Ummm yes. If someone comes into your hotel and is like I'm not paying tax and ill pay when I'm ready to check out I want to see how it goes. I bet he gets no service. So what do you really expect from me?

I plan on sending a letter out with invoices for both months. Just not sure how blunt I should be. I didnt have a late fee because I havent had any issues with commercial clients till now. The other part of this is there the first ones to sign and the last to pay. This is what a bid sheet is for. If you want net30 terms put it in the contract. They didnt have a contract so I went with mine. I have my contract set up so If theres no payment theres no service. I did seasonal contracts before with installments and people tried to not pay the last month. Either because there was no more snow or the service was already performed.

CHEESE2009
11-27-2011, 09:57 PM
He has to pay.

Even if it doesn't snow, he is paying for you to be prepared by having him on your route. I'm sure we all know that.

This guy sounds like he belongs in my town, lol. I can also understand your frustration, deciding whether to keep him or not.

Here is a quote, "Promises are for the foolish". Don't let him pay later, he's not special, he needs you more than you need him. Never forget it!

If you can, you should do whatever it takes to get the money, or leave. Even if you have no one else to replace him, he doesn't have to know that. When a client senses that you 'need' them, they will use you.

Also, if it does snow, he will be pretty screwed. Every other company will expect the same transaction, I don't understand why he has to be such a stingy arse!




Good luck my friend! I hope you find the best way to resolve this matter. I'm sure it's trickier than it seems.

Steve
11-28-2011, 10:48 AM
It seems like this guy is sending off big warning signals.

Could you look around and find another customer to replace him?

If you don't this, could become a bigger problem as winter gets closer.

Also, I wouldn't rely on him paying, to make a second truck payment either.

http://prop-arazzi.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/warning-sign.gif

I am taking them to small claims court. I would say start looking to cover their landscaping work because they seem like they are going to cause headaches..

Did you find they were giving out any warning signs as well? Anything that now helps you reconsider new customers when you meet them?

FaccLndscpng
11-28-2011, 10:49 PM
And you also have to watch since it's snow removal that we're talking about, there is a lot more liability; and having someone that wants to play games and cut corners could get you into a lot more trouble then you wanted to get into. Say that you did something not up to your normal par like didnít salt as much as you normally do and someone gets into an accident or if you didnít shovel as much as you normally do and thereís a refreeze then someone falls you know your getting sued. If it was landscaping, do what you have to do for you and your business but you really have to watch when it comes to snow removal. I know of one large snow removal company in my area that says if a customer wants to cut costs they drop them immediately because its not worth their reputation of zero tolerance.

Steve
11-30-2011, 07:32 AM
and cut corners could get you into a lot more trouble then you wanted to get into.

How do you find customers come out and ask for corners to be cut? Then when you see this happening, what's the best way to bring them back to an area where you are comfortable with?

The Cleaning Doctor
11-30-2011, 12:15 PM
The way that I look at it is that if you keep them on the schedule then you will not try to fill in that space. Basically if they do not pay they are costing you money. Maybe you can not replace them at this time but at least you have to try. Sit down and explain it to them and you may lose the account anyhow but who cares, they are not paying. It will be a lot less stress on you in the long run. When they call later after it snows then you charge them premium rates just like everyone else will do to them.

I think that you have to be very blunt with them because he thinks that he has the upper hand at the moment. You have to turn that around because when it snows you will have him by the short hairs. It goes both ways but you have to show that you can not be pushed around, you keep your word so he needs to keep his.

CHEESE2009
11-30-2011, 03:19 PM
I think that you have to be very blunt with them because he thinks that he has the upper hand at the moment. You have to turn that around because when it snows you will have him by the short hairs. It goes both ways but you have to show that you can not be pushed around, you keep your word so he needs to keep his.


I've got this situation now, lol. Happened twice already... sad isn't it?

What happened
Client: You didn't remove the snow!
Me: You didn't pay.
Client: Well next time can you do it?

What should have happened
Client: You didn't remove the snow!
Me: You didn't pay.
Client: Oh, well stop by so I can give you your check.


In short, a lot of customers are stupid pricks.

stevef1201
11-30-2011, 06:18 PM
Here is what my lawyer told me in a similar situation
1 KEEP SENDING BILLS each month
2 DO THE WORK
3 SEND EACH BILL to collection with a photocopy of the contract
you will not get everything ( the collection takes 30 percent) but as it starts to screw up thier credit, and cost them thier lawyers fees they will pay.

It works, dont try to take them to small claims court let the collection agancy take care of it.

Remember if they call you about the collection refer them to the collection agancy.

jymie
12-01-2011, 12:51 AM
Would you be able to require full payment for snow removal before the season begins?

CHEESE2009
12-01-2011, 06:51 AM
Would you be able to require full payment for snow removal before the season begins?

I know I would expect to be paid prior to the winter. Unfortunately some customers actually think that have special privileges and get to pay when they want. Reminding them usually upsets their ego.

The worst part is, these customers aren't that awful, they do pay, but I'm sick of them taking forever. It's tough debating them. All I want is regular cashflow, they will never understand.

http://www.jewishiphonecommunity.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/hitler-angry-icon.png
All customers should pay the same time!

Steve
12-01-2011, 11:35 AM
Here is what my lawyer told me in a similar situation
1 KEEP SENDING BILLS each month
2 DO THE WORK
3 SEND EACH BILL to collection with a photocopy of the contract
you will not get everything ( the collection takes 30 percent) but as it starts to screw up thier credit, and cost them thier lawyers fees they will pay.

Steve,

If you do this, and say you end up getting them to pay. Don't you lose out of that 30% the collection agency takes? If that is the case, would it make the work unprofitable to do? If so, would it just be easier to stop working for them as soon as they miss their first payment?

SECTLANDSCAPING
12-02-2011, 12:11 AM
Would you be able to require full payment for snow removal before the season begins?

In the bid/contract I give the option to pay in full with a discount or pay monthly for more plus a installment fee. So far the only people to pay in full were homeowners. Every commercial client takes the monthly payment.

I mean if they had payment terms in the bid specs, net30,net15, or whatever I would have no problem. The problem is the payment schedule was agreed upon in the contract. I have a customer who pays net30 but always freaking pays. When its time to bid on one of their properties they give you the scope of work of whats expected, payments, etc.

I sent out a invoice for last month and this month with a short letter stating the agreed payment terms.

The only good news is the condos I just bid on at a inflated price because of timing. Signed up for two years. Then told me they wanted me to bid on landscaping in the spring. Its a 4-5 acre complex so it will be good money if I get it. Because of the work I been getting from mid summer and winter from 2 property groups. I'm looking at bidding over 20 commercial accounts next year. As of now both companies are loving me. So it means more to me to keep these paying clients happy then a cheapskate who nickle and diming everything.

JeffK26
12-02-2011, 07:48 AM
Since you signed these condos are you able to drop the dipwad that won't pay?