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How to get deadbeat customers to pay?


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  #11  
Old 10-05-2008, 08:36 PM
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I added a sample letter in the free customer letter section. Maybe this will be helpful too.

http://gopherforum.com/showthread.php?p=41704#post41704
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  #12  
Old 11-07-2008, 06:47 AM
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Thumbs up She paid!!

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Steve, Thanks to the sample letter you posted, I was paid. That's one deadbeat down and 1 to go! It was a small victory and a boost to my self esteem. Thanks!! Amy
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Old 11-07-2008, 07:04 AM
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Amy, that is great news!

Tell us what you did to get paid. Did you use the letter? If so, how did you send it?

I am sure a lot of new lawn care business owners are reading this, wondering what steps you took to get success.

Thanks!
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  #14  
Old 11-09-2008, 06:57 PM
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Talking Deadbeat Paid!

First, I called the Small Claims Court in Oakland County and gathered information on starting a small court claim. How much to file, how much for the Sheriff to serve papers, etc. Then, I gathered my information regarding my deadbeat client; like the dates we performed lawn & garden maintenance and filled in the blanks. I stressed she had 5 days after the receipt of the letter to settle her bill. If not, then I will file a claim against her for theft of services.

I went to the post office and sent the letter registered mail. 3 days latter, I received her payment in full. I ran to the bank and deposited the check; hoping she didn't put a stop payment on it! Accompanying her check was a little nasty note stating that she was the one who fired us, but that doesn't excuse her nonpayment.

Steve, thanks for the letter templates and all your help! Amy
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Old 11-10-2008, 08:42 AM
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Hi Amy,

That is great news!

Is there anyway you could share with us the text of the letter you used, take out the personal info, so others in your same boat can see what worked for you?

I think the formatting would really be beneficial.

Thanks!
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  #16  
Old 11-11-2008, 05:38 AM
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Steve:

Here's the letter format that I used. I removed the personal information and others who use it can just fill in the blanks appropriately.

Dear deadbeat:

You had hired ABC Company on (insert date) to perform garden maintenance at 3 week intervals, starting this day. At the same time, you hired us for lawn maintenance at an agreed price of $$, starting this day. Since then, I've performed garden maintenance per our contract on this day and lawn maintenance was performed on the following dates. Payment terms per our contract are due upon completion. Payments for the services listed above are now due immediately. Despite several phone calls to you to collect payment, you have stated on 3 seperate occasions that your payment is in the mail. Since I have not received payment to date, your services were terminated by ABC Company on said date, due to theft of services.

As per our contract, I am requesting to be paid $$$ for our services.

If I do not hear from you within 5 days from the receipt of this letter, then I will file a petition with small claims court in Oakland County.

I look forward to working with you toward a resolution of this matter.

Very truly,
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Old 11-11-2008, 05:59 AM
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Thank you so much Amy!

Throughout this experience, what would you say was the biggest lesson you learned about running a lawn care business? Have you learned something new about sensing when a customer is going to be a problem. Are you using contracts now? What advice can you offer the new lawn care business owner who has yet to run into such a problem?
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little's View Post
Go by there every day and knock on her door. Eventually she will get tired of you coming by and pay you . I learned this when I was a collection manager. You may feel like a jerk at first, but then, who's the one that wont pay? Her. It really does work.
who has time for that?
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
who has time for that?
What method would you prefer using to collect over due money?
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:44 PM
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Small claims court seems to work well. Many offer to pay before the court date because they know they will have to pay in court.

I can even mail in the compalint with a check to file it to save time.

In NJ we only have 90 days to put a lien on someones house, so the small claims court does the trick.
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