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How many of you request a deposit before you start?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by SnowMan4U, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. SnowMan4U

    SnowMan4U Member
    Messages: 43

    How many of you request a deposit before you start your plowing season?

    The reason I ask is, I have a customer (new) who went did not pay her bill on time. When I finally got some money out of her, it was partial payment and not the full amount. In the mean time I keep plowing just so that I have a reasonable chance she'll pay off the balance. But as soon as she's caught (or at least close) I'm asking her for to set up a debt account with me with a 300 dollar min.payup payup
  2. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    you should have late and non payment language in your contract. Stop providing her services, you'll never recover fees for them and enforce your contract. I have late payment fees and stipulate after 90 days of non payment the issue may be turned over to a collection agency which will be entitled to collect the owed payments and any incured fees for collection.

    Never had a payment later than 30 days....
  3. SnowMan4U

    SnowMan4U Member
    Messages: 43

    1-Have already recovered 250 dollars (10 days past due)
    2-The rest (175)she says she'll pay a week from Wed. This won't be past 30 days but is past my 14 day limit by 4 days.
    3-Whether or not I get it, she doesn't get serviced without paying up and giving me a deposit.
  4. SnowMatt13

    SnowMatt13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,527

    If it's sesonal I require 50% due at signing. Balance due Jan 1st.
    Per time/per push I give them 2 options:
    1. Bill after every event, payment due in 10 business days (I write date due on bill)
    2. Bill once per month with a $20 bookeeping fee added to total.

    Has worked for me so far.

    Does help to have language in payment part of contract for non-payments. Good area for a lawyer to help with wording.
  5. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Sounds like you're doing per pass billing. Also sounds like an expensive per pass charge, or are you waiting to bill for a set period of time?

    Maybe bill more frequently, as Snowmatt13 said, right after the storm, so the amount is smaller, easier for her to pay. Never done a deposit- never needed to consider it. I don;t think I would be willing to continue serviceing the customer if I needed to hold a deposit, unless it was a prepaid seasonal.... which might be a better option by starting earlier in the year for next season.
  6. Jbowe

    Jbowe Senior Member
    Messages: 167


    I collect from my clients for the entire year in September. I use a three year plow day average to set my rates. It works good for me as well as my clients as everyone is happy. I do have a number who go to warmer climates and have house sitters so that is in my favor as well.