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1st time being stiffed in the lawn/snow biz! details within

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by RonWin, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. RonWin

    RonWin Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    I get a referral from a good family friend who is also a customer and a neighbor. The referred also lives in the neighborhod and knows of my parents. I end up picking up this account 2 seasons ago cutting their grass and plowing for them. I am doing full service for this guy as he and his family up and move to france for a year and rent out the place. As the return ( this fall they came back) I continue on servicing them and learn that they are going to be movie out of the country to Calgary. At this point the season is over, I have already done their fall cleanup and snow is right around the corner. I ask the guy if he wants me to charge him a per time plow rate @$50 per and he says yes (he left jan.6th). Now the last 2 seasons were pretty mild and I maybe went out 7-9 times MAX and gave him a nominal season rate of $600. This year we end up getting a 14" snow storm mid December and a 12.5" storm along with a couple dumbs of snow (5" + 2.5" heavy wet) all within half a month. The guy ends up owing me $300 for the 6x's I serviced him. The funny part is he came out the 5th time I was there (during the two day 12.5" snow storm) and retorted " hey Ron I think this will be your 3rd time coming out this season correct?" - I knew that is was my 5th and explained "eh, im pretty sure it is my 5th but I will text you (we text as a main form, don't hate on my too much Plowsite!) the dates and times that I was here along with the amount of snow that was accumulated. So I end up coming back the next morning as the storm concludes and as I am pulling up to the driveway I receive a text asking if I could come clear the snow within 30 minutes or so so that he and his family could leave to go do w/e they were planning for the day ALONG WITH "ron just trying to confirm the amount of times you came, I am at 3 times I believe". I do chose not to get back to him right away as I was not armed with the dates that I was there and did not feel that I would maintain my cool if I had to once more explain that he was at *6* visits. I end up texting him later that night about how much he owes and the times I was there, offered to come all the way back to his place to receive payment or if he wanted to bank xfer me the money (as he did when he was out of the country). I get no response. End up going over there Tuesday, the day that I believed they would be moving out. I get there and the movers say he and his kids are gone and that the wife would be back at 4. At that time it was 1 and I didn't have the time to wait around nor did I want to seem sketchy waiting at the house for her to return to ask for payment ( I always dealt with the husband for payment). Left my number for her to call me ( she already has it) - no call was received.. I know these people and they lived in my parents neighborhood. They are friends with other neighbors who are friends with my parents. I am not totally shocked as he was always kind of late with payment but I am pretty annoyed that he pulled one over on me. I don't let people get away without paying me but I never realized a situation as this one where the client leaves the country. I definitely have some choice words for the guy if I ever saw him again but what are yuh gonna do I guess. I still don't think I will ever demand payment up front or anything like that. It's not a bad idea to get down payments but when youre first meeting a potential client I think its kind of a hard sell on getting the payment ahead of time. Ah hell, he was a per time customer as it was anyway, so i'm not quite sure how those types of per payments would work, I guess I could figure it out if I really wanted to.

    Coward- 1 Little guy - 0
    Long read, hope you guys got something from it! ussmileyflag
  2. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,403

    I'm sure hell take care of it. It sounds like he was trying to before he left
  3. Rick547

    Rick547 Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 537

    If he does not pay put a lien against his property for the amount of service.