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Does it help to mark overdue bills?

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  • Does it help to mark overdue bills?

    Has anyone ever used a stamp to mark overdue bills with OVERDUE? Does it help?

    One place that I worked used to stamp invoices so that the OVERDUE would show through the window on the envelope. The customers really complained about it, as if letting the mailman know that they had an overdue bill was an embarrassment, but they sent the payments in.

    Would you do it only to people you won't work for anymore or would you do it on every overdue account?
    Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

  • #2
    that sounds like a fun way to collect. Its better then having your equipment breaking down because you put off a repair.

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    • #3
      Has anyone ever used a stamp to mark overdue bills with OVERDUE? Does it help?

      One place that I worked used to stamp invoices so that the OVERDUE would show through the window on the envelope. The customers really complained about it, as if letting the mailman know that they had an overdue bill was an embarrassment, but they sent the payments in.

      Would you do it only to people you won't work for anymore or would you do it on every overdue account?
      For some bills, yes, I fire up my Word and click on Watermark and put Past Due in red



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      • #4
        For some bills, yes, I fire up my Word and click on Watermark and put Past Due in red
        That's a pretty good idea. Ever since I noticed that pages printed using an inkjet printer smear when they get wet I use a laser printer now, so it'll just come out gray. I'm thinking of getting a stamper at Staples for just such an occasion.
        Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

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        • #5
          That's a pretty good idea. Ever since I noticed that pages printed using an inkjet printer smear when they get wet I use a laser printer now, so it'll just come out gray. I'm thinking of getting a stamper at Staples for just such an occasion.
          I print my invoice, then open up word, and then put my invoice back in the printer so it puts my watermark. Works great. Don't even have to print in color it looks dark in grayscale

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          • #6
            We actually do a few things on the over due invoice. First, we stamp it with an overdue stamp. Then we take a pink highlighter, and highlight the due date, and the amount due. This draws their attention too that area to left them know, the due date and the amount due. Sometimes we will put a little hand written post it note in there too telling them to submit the payment to avoid any late fees.

            Don't forget about doing a phone call too. You would be surprised sometimes at how fast you will get a payment with just a simple phone call. No one hates it worse than when someone calls them or leaves a message on their answering machine that their invoice is past due.
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            • #7
              Wow. That seems like an easier way of doing things.
              I've been putting a horse's head in their bed, but an "overdue" stamper might work too.


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              • #8
                For those of you who use over due stamps or print it out, do you find it effects the customer's behavior at all?
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                • #9
                  For those of you who use over due stamps or print it out, do you find it effects the customer's behavior at all?
                  We me I feel it grabs their attention. Whenever I do it I normally get a payment faster or a phone call apologizing for being late.
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                  • #10
                    What's your thought on when you should do this? How late does a bill payment have to be to necessitate this step?
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                    • #11
                      What's your thought on when you should do this? How late does a bill payment have to be to necessitate this step?
                      I've not done it yet but losing one invoice is forgivable it just goes on the second. If payment from the second invoice doesn't show up and I have to send a third—it's only happened once—then that is when I think I'd use something like this.
                      Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

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                      • #12
                        What's your thought on when you should do this? How late does a bill payment have to be to necessitate this step?
                        Well I must be honest too, about 1/4 of my clients I have their email for ebilling. So I will send them out an email that same day if I haven't received payment.

                        In regards to regular paper billing I will give them a two to three day grace period. After that I send them out a past due notice and/or phone them.

                        The sad thing too is that there are some clients that are regular late payers, no matter what. So you kind of get used to some of them that are constantly late and how to deal with them. I don't feel there is one definite method for dealing with all of them the same way.
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                        • #13
                          Well I guess, what ever you do, it's still better to be on top of the issue than not. Because if the customers feel that no one is minding the store, they may drag their feet for as long as possible. Even to the point of not paying at all.
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                          • #14
                            I started printing "PAST DUE" on the envelopes and the invoices about the middle of last year.

                            I stopped that and just picked up a "PAST DUE" stamp at the store. I think it cost me around $3.50.

                            I'm not sure if it really helped. It may have, as my customer are mostly caught up now.

                            What I started doing is having all my new customer sign contracts that state a late fee after the 15th of each month. I have waived the first late fee a couple of times, and just reminded the customer that there is a late fee after that.

                            The only other time I waived it was when I wasn't even sure if I sent out the invoice, and because the customer was new. When I brought it up, she said she would have the money for me when I came over. She handed me checks for last month and the current month. I noticed that the last months check had the date filled out for the 10th. So I think it may have slipped her mind, or I didn't send the invoice. So far she is a nice customer though.

                            I'm not sure if the PAST DUE stamps work or not. I guess since I don't have much missing from receivables, it's gotta help. If you think about it, it's just a couple of dollars, and it might help.

                            I do recommend stamping or printing on the outside as well. Let there neighbors know they wont pay the lawnmower guy.

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