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Deadbeats and slow payers

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Nutz4Plowing, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Nutz4Plowing

    Nutz4Plowing Member
    Messages: 30

    Recently I had a customer that was billed monthly not pay for Jan invoice and just got his Feb one. I called and emailed to no avail. A few weeks ago he called me to ask if I recieved his payment and I said no and he agreed to send another one out. in addition he said just deposit the first one I get and he will issue out the Feb payment when it is due. Well we never recieved payment and suspended services.

    Well here we are in the first week of Feb and I as per contract suspended service for past due balances. Note we also may suspend services if the snow needs to be removed from site and loose storage capacity and customer refuses to pay for it.

    Well it's nice when you have a 5-8" storm predicted to get these deadbeats current on payments. I love it when govt agencies that are tennants called to complain about no service resulting from the few dustings we got and he got pressure from that side as well.

    What I did was stipulate in the contract that if there was a past due balance the contractor may at their discretion suspend services without penalty. It also states that if he choses to use others for services during this time they will be charge by us for those services due to us having to reserve time and equipment for the winter season.
    I also charge interest of 2% on balances past due and charge 2% for credit card transactions over $200.00.

    Looking for any other ways you guys might deal with these scenarios and feedback on how you think my current structure is set up.

    Just wanted to throw this out there and share some experience. This is a 3 acre shopping center (per push) and an additional 1 acre strip mall (seasonal) at another location. Salting and plowing, he also declined sidewalk services and now want us to do them due to lousy services from temp agency that does them now.

    Thanks in advance from PA
  2. Raymond S.

    Raymond S. Senior Member
    Messages: 513

    You can put whatever you want in a contract, but enforcing it is another thing.
  3. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    I would switch to "in person" payment....walk in and have a check cut on the spot.
  4. siteworkplus

    siteworkplus Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 514

    Sounds like you got it locked down

    I like your verbage and may borrow it in the future....if you dont object?

    Hope you get paid

    This business is stressful enough without having to deal with "chooch's" (guys who cry while masturbating according to my 22 yr old son)
  5. Gioscapes

    Gioscapes Junior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 17

    I agree, The week of a storm you always have the slowbess pay up. I'm 20 min out of philly missing out on this storm. good luck.
  6. Nutz4Plowing

    Nutz4Plowing Member
    Messages: 30

    Hey anyone can use any verbiage they want if it it helps.
    As far as luck with enforcement, it's all in how legal what you do is and how properly you persue it. I see alot of misinformation on here and you need to research your state when it comes to how you write contracts. Most are the same from what I have seen just a few exceptions.
    It's all about leverage and that suspension this late in the season and a larger storm predicted, along with tenants that are extremely valuable and hard to lock in, gives you that leverage.
    These are larger properties so it would be hard to get a new vendor to committ to the hours for service this late in the season so he has to stick it out one way or the other.

    It's the last payments that they really try to screw you. When you run out of leverage.
  7. JimMarshall

    JimMarshall Senior Member
    from NW PA
    Messages: 786

    I have customers that take up to 90 days to pay but they said that was their terms when they signed... It sucks but I deal with it.
  8. Flawless440

    Flawless440 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,543

    I turn contracts away all the time if its not net 30.. I just dropped 2 contracts because they agreed to 30 then didnt pay in 30.. Don't let people walk all over you, It's not hard to land contracts. I tell people I'm a high end company, and expensive.. I got the ratings, and experience, great reviews everywhere to back it it.
  9. JimMarshall

    JimMarshall Senior Member
    from NW PA
    Messages: 786

    I'm not turning down a 6 figure a year client because they want to take 90 days to pay.
  10. Spool it up

    Spool it up Senior Member
    Messages: 912

    if we get what is forecasted , your phone battery will be dead in 2 hours . HeLp:laughing:
  11. Spool it up

    Spool it up Senior Member
    Messages: 912

    dont show after the next storm . You'll be paid in full at the end of the day .
  12. Laszlo Almasi

    Laszlo Almasi Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    Same here. I also stop service if an event is coming and have not been paid up to date. I don't mess around and you shouldn't either. I actually charge interest in the amount of 5% per month in my summer work. They don't think much about it when they see it at the bottom of the invoice...until the time comes and they don't pay. I then explain that they can take as long as they want...it's 5% additional "each month". All fair and legal here in NC. I also charge $25/day storage on any PWC not picked up with 4 days of completion unless other arrangements have been made.

    Bottom line is customers are like kids...they will walk all over you if you let them.
  13. Maclawnco

    Maclawnco Senior Member
    from OH
    Messages: 695

    We will plow snow into our deadbeet lawn clients' drive apron so their drive is inaccesible. Usually get a prompt call and a check before we move said pile
  14. hatefulmechanic

    hatefulmechanic Senior Member
    Messages: 228

    Only thing I see as potentially problematic is charging a 2% CC fee. Word it differently, say any transaction over $200 paid by cash or check will yield a 2% discount.

    Can't legally charge more for a credit card transaction, but you can offer a cash discount.
  15. Nutz4Plowing

    Nutz4Plowing Member
    Messages: 30

    There is no surcharge law preventing it in PA. I know some states do not allow for this. Have to check again but am pretty sure it's ok in PA last year when I researched it. If you find something on that please post....thanks.
  16. hatefulmechanic

    hatefulmechanic Senior Member
    Messages: 228

    Check your merchant services agreement with your CC processor.

    Almost positive they have a clause in there regarding this policy.
  17. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 622

    In NY most gas stations charge more for CC then cash. Hess is one that does not.
  18. Nutz4Plowing

    Nutz4Plowing Member
    Messages: 30

    There was recent lawsuit against Visa and some not all major credit card carriers and part of the settlement allows merchants to charge fees for transactions. This just passed in jan of this year. I even got settlement statement in the mail. There were like 10 states that haven't changed laws but PA did. That your state legislature if they cow tailed to the financial institutions lobby. Just look it up on your states attorney generals site it may be there.
  19. hatefulmechanic

    hatefulmechanic Senior Member
    Messages: 228

    Some info regarding the legalities of it: