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  #1  
Old 08-23-2011, 03:34 PM
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Default Business is Good

Business isn't great, I'm at the point I'm just preparing for winter - not interested in gaining more clients because of how late in the season in it. I'm tired and wish the season would re-start.


Anyway, I dropped my most irritating client of 2 years, life has been wonderful without her. With less stress, I can finally get some of my passion back.


Now I am just dealing with the clients who had not paid as of July. I really don't like to chase clients, no matter how simple a phone call can be. Paying is their responsibility, end of story. If the client doesn't make the effort to call in order to pay me, they are off the schedule.

I don't enjoy stories of, "I was in the hospital getting back surgery" - as sad as that may be, the client should have at least informed me, and should have paid me in advance. I now have a client calling and saying;

"You hadn't shown up since the end of July, my wife was home"


I do not care if anyone is home, I care about being organized and ringing on a doorbell ONLY if I know my payment is available. 9 times out of 10, after ringing doorbells, I have to hear stories about the client being unable to pay - frig that!



How do you go about it?
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  #2  
Old 08-23-2011, 11:00 PM
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You know, I was somewhat concerned about "payment" when I started into this gig, but after reading some of these "late pay" posts, it makes me want to send each of my clients a dozen roses and a bottle of wine.

To date I've only had two "no pays". One was a one-time cut totaling $50 and the other was for a $45 cut for what had been a somewhat new "regular client". She had "forgotten" to leave my pay on the day I cut, and that was the last I heard from her. I stopped by, rang the bell, left a note, sent a text, tried a voice mail - nothing. I also didn't cut again. Screw that. I don't work on the off chance that I'll be paid. I don't mind doing the lawn once and being paid later, but I sure as heck am not coming back until I see payment for the cut that is due.

For my trustworthy regular clients, I don't mind if they forget - they either have it out for me the next day, or they double up the following week - sometimes they even give me MORE than they owe because they feel bad for not having it ready for me.
Seriously - I have some really great clients overall.

Like I said, most of my clients are wonderful, but a few are "repeat forgetters". I find that a lighthearted approach works well. "You suck as a client. LOL!" was my text reply to one of my more laid back clients when she apologized profusely for not remembering to leave my money for me.
Obviously, that comment would not be acceptable for most clients, but she's always joking around and sees the humor in it.

I've really not had to deal with a lot of "tracking down my money". I hope it stays that way.
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Old 08-24-2011, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Anyway, I dropped my most irritating client of 2 years, life has been wonderful without her. With less stress, I can finally get some of my passion back.
What did she do that was irritating and how have things been different without her?

Also, could you have some of our customers that are problem customers possibly pre pay you next year? Or maybe have them pay via credit card?
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  #4  
Old 08-24-2011, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
What did she do that was irritating and how have things been different without her?

Also, could you have some of our customers that are problem customers possibly pre pay you next year? Or maybe have them pay via credit card?


Well basically, she has been the ringing in my ears for two years. She'd drive me miserable the old fart.

She'd call days in advance to make sure I was coming, she'd call me at 7AM on the dot every morning, and continuously throughout the day. She just wouldn't let me you know, WORK!

Speak of the devil, this morning was the first time she made an effort to call me in one full month of me abandoning her. I even celebrated with a bunch of friends who have heard me complain about her for years. I GOT TRASHED I WAS SO HAPPY!!!!

7AM: "Hi Scott, just wondering if you are still doing the lawns. My grass is growing, if you would be so kind as if to let me know I'd really appreciate it"

^- This is trickery. It sounds completely reasonable for me to call back, but trust me guys, you do NOT call this lady back whatsoever. It's a trap.

7:30AM: "Hi Scott, my grass has grown and could use a cut. Please give me a call as soon as you get this. Thank you so much".

8AM: "Hi Scott... my grass is longer now, just want to know if you are still doing the lawns. Please get back to me whenever you have the time."

-
Now, if I could put a voice on the above messages; They go from confident to borderline depressing. She sounds as though she's going to die in the last one.


I am FREE now, without her. If she was never home, fine. I could get the lawn done in 5 minutes flat. When she's home, it takes me a good hour. I stop my mower 3-4 times, trimmer 3 times, blower twice. I can't get crap all done. She wants to be the first person I do on her day, yet I have to do her last because of all the time she sucks out of the friggen day. Not only that, why would I ever want to start my day off moving like a sloth, or to become discouraged??? FRIG THAT!

She talks and talks, and freaks out over grass clippings. I'm not talking about clumps either. You know when you get a hair cut and you run your hand through your hair and you have itty bitty pieces of hair stuck on your hand? YEAH, that's a great example.

She demands that I cut her lawn at 1 inch, and bag it every time. She came out with a roll of tape and taped up every little scratch on my lawn mower bag to make sure no grass gets out... HOLY CRAPOLI!!!!

She'll run around her lawn and point to every damn piece of "uncut" grass. To be honest, most the time I have no idea what the hell I'm cutting - I've never had to pretend to cut imaginary grass before. So I'd pretend to cut wherever she points until she gives me "thumbs up". My guy will run the trimmer on idle and walk through the lawn and she'll say "Good, you got it!"... friggen insane.


Out of all 3 people who have worked for me have said she is the devil. I kid you not she looks like this






In truth, I probably saved myself from having a stroke. She is a nice lady, but with faults that stop me from being able to do my job. I could never tell her off, because I didn't want her to .."die".. so basically instead of giving her a piece of my mind, I had to come up with lie after lie, in order to protect HER.

She posed as a very "sweet" old lady, but I truly know how demanding she is. It's like every friggen dollar she spends, we have to stay an hour.. LOL



_________


I can finally rest easy at night, knowing I can go through an entire day without getting 100 phone calls and 100 voice messages to go with them. Every time she'd call, I'd feel guilty - and it wasn't fair to me. I literally would feel like crap.

She can't expect me to hold her hand you know? That's why I had to let her go, I can't put up with the guilt she tried to throw on me, it made my job so much more difficult. I had to come up with things to say to her every single time I arrived. "Sorry I'm late, I had to drive my girlfriend to school, get a spare tire, get my trimmer fixed, go to the bank, etc" - I had to come up with thousands of reasons so that I didn't have to flat out say, "I'm avoiding you, you crazy *swear*".
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  #5  
Old 08-24-2011, 06:38 PM
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As for my other customers, they will be receiving something similar to this. I just have to figure out how I should re-word it.

**uploaded a file**
Attached Files
File Type: rtf Thing.rtf (4.3 KB, 19 views)
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  #6  
Old 08-24-2011, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE2009 View Post
As for my other customers, they will be receiving something similar to this. I just have to figure out how I should re-word it.

**uploaded a file**
Never end a sentence with a preposition.
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark123 View Post
Never end a sentence with a preposition.
Give me an example because I haven't brain in a long time.

Me no understand!!!!


Thanks comrade!
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Payments are due prior to the month(s) in which the client will be hiring our service for.
Remove "for".
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:37 AM
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Here is the rtf file if you couldn't open it.

Quote:
Breeze Lawn Service


Thank you for your interest in our lawn maintenance service, we will be doing our absolute best to keep your duration with us as comfortable as possible.


Being a client of Breeze Lawn Service is simple

Our lawn maintenance service begins the first week of May till October 16th.
Our lawn maintenance service includes mowing, trimming, and blowing of debris.
Clients must hire our lawn maintenance service for a minimum of one (1) month.
Payments are due prior to the month(s) in which the client will be hiring our service for.
Bi-Weekly visits are available at the same cost as weekly service.

We currently accept Cash, Checks, Interac Email Money Transfers, and PayPal.
We recommend for our clients to utilize post-dated checks for the simplicity it provides.


Being a client of Breeze Lawn Service is rewarding

If you are a client who has hired our service for a minimum of two consecutive months and have made all of your payments on time, you are entitled to one (1) free fall cleanup. This is our way of saying thank you, and that we are proud to have you as a client!


If your payment is late

Service may be postponed and your property will be removed from our schedule without notice. To resume service, you must make your payment(s) available to us. Discounts for postponed visits are unavailable. Offering our clients additional time in order to make their payment(s) is forbidden.


Reasons we may have skipped your property

You have missed a payment
Your lawn is or will become too dry/damaged or is wet
Recent lawn applications and/or sod
Scattered debris, furniture, toys or pet droppings of large size or in large quantities
Your lawn is occupied by person(s) other than yourself or your family
An animal or pet is unattended
Construction or renovation work
Any risk of damaging our equipment or injuring our staff

If your property has been skipped for any reason deemed unnecessary we may add the visit(s) for that exact property during the following lawn maintenance season.


Upon contacting Breeze Lawn Service by phone

We may not respond to requests which may include rescheduling or status updates. If we did not provide service for you on the day your property had been scheduled for, please review the above for any possible explanations before contacting us.

We ask for our clients to leave a detailed voice-message and to be patient, calling our phone more than once does not guarantee an immediate response.
If a client has not left a detailed voice-message, or if the clients concern is out of our control we may not respond. E.g. if service is spoiled due to the rain.
Clients are able to notify us of any payment(s) available for pick-up.

IMPORTANT!!!
It is the clients responsibility to contact our staff in order to make their payment(s) available for pick-up, we do not offer reminders.




If you have any questions regarding the above,
please give us a call

Now will all your other customers be getting this or just the late payers?
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  #10  
Old 08-25-2011, 12:22 PM
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CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Now will all your other customers be getting this or just the late payers?

If there is a loophole, a client will do his/her best to expose it and take advantage of it. People are cheap. I have to be as strict as possible in order to avoid this, I figure it's very straightforward and simple to understand.

Everyone will receive that sheet, once it's been edited.
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