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Customers who respond past deadline

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by DanG, Dec 7, 2002.

  1. DanG

    DanG Senior Member
    Messages: 240

    I have Questions,:)

    I sent out contracts/proposals for this year with a Dec. 1st. deadline clearly stating that if I don't hear back on or before then that you would be taken off of my schedule.

    Today(Dec. 7th) I get in the mail 3 more responses and checks from Customers all requesting & paying seasonal prices.( totaling $1600.00)

    Since they didn't pay by the deadline should/can I make them pay a premium because I now have to try to fit them into my route?
    One check was even postdated for the Dec. 10.

    These are all good customers that I've had for multiple years.
    Should I let them slide?

    I can make them fit into my schedule easily since they're near others I do.


  2. Acorn

    Acorn Senior Member
    Messages: 103

    I wouldn't worry too much about a day or two late. Especially if you have check in hand and they are good customers. Next year consider adding to your letter the deadline date and informing of a 5-10% late sign-up charge if payment is after the deadline.
  3. Sno

    Sno Senior Member
    Messages: 320

    If you have room.....

    Smile and cash the check.

    I could see the problem if you where all booked up though, at that point I'd set a premium since you would be into overtime and extra stress at times.

    I'd mention it to them.
  4. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I agree with Acorn and Sno. You have the room and want the accounts, why upset the applecart and possibly make them mad enough to cancel? Next year I'd send a note with the contract telling them I really need to know as soon as possible because I need to set up my route by Dec 1st.
  5. paul soccodato

    paul soccodato Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    like everyone else said, you have the money in hand, and you have the room in your route to fit them, then add them on.
  6. Got Grass?

    Got Grass? Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    Put them on your list. Next year send out the contracts but incluse something that if you dont recieve a ressponce by such a day you will add a 15% (or whatever) surcharge.
  7. KLMlawn

    KLMlawn Member
    Messages: 67

    A similar idea was posted on LawnSite by Jim Lewis and using AutoPay.
    Give them two prices, one for early contract return which is what you want to charge them - with perhaps a retainer fee, and another for late signing and per storm pricing that is say 10%+ higher.
  8. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    I would not worrie about a day or two late if they are repeat customers.But Next year I would do like Acorn said and make sure it says exatacly what day it must be recieved into your office by or post marked by.
  9. sno-mover

    sno-mover Senior Member
    Messages: 274

    Take the money and run, but I would add somthing in next years contract.:waving:
  10. DanG

    DanG Senior Member
    Messages: 240

    I did put in the date they had to respond by.
    (On or before Dec.1st).

    Most likely I'll take them back for this year,

    It's just they all waited till after we had a storm to finally wake up and cut me a check.

  11. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    Or just tell them you need to know about a week sooner than you actually do....

    If they've been good and loyal customers and you give them up because they were a stinkin' week late paying you *in advance* for work you may not do for the next three months, if at all, you're nuts.
  12. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    You were posting at the same time I was.

    Ok....maybe they've been good customers, but their loyalty might be questionable. Or maybe they just got a rude reminder when they looked out the window and saw white instead of blacktop. They sent money in advance, I'd keep em.
  13. fastjohnny

    fastjohnny Senior Member
    Messages: 654


    I would market the contract to existing customers with a percentage discount if they respond by Dec. 1st.

    In figuring the contract price, I would build in the cost of the smart customer taking this discount. This way, the customer thinks they are getting a better deal, and not getting screwed if they don't get things turned in ontime.

    I would emphasize that I would only use this type on existing customers, as I would not want to price myself out of competition if I was trying to increase the customer base.

    From the sounds of your post, these have been good customers.
    I think rather than market a price increase if they are late, the better strategy would be a discount if they are early or timely

    Just my 2 cents