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Enforcing a late fee

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by yardsmith, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. yardsmith

    yardsmith Senior Member
    Messages: 248

    Hey guys & gals,
    I'm tired of getting sh** on over the years.
    billed a customer at the end of last season for feb & march 2010 (got caught up in other things & billed them in may).
    After a few months of no pay I started charging a late fee / interest (1.5%) as I include in the fine print of my contracts. They paid half back in sept, & nothing since then until TODAY.
    I got the check for the remainder today, but ONLY for the original amount. Its like they're saying "screw you, we'll take as long as we like to pay you, & only give you the original amount". I've put up with their excuses & apologies all year, & now my money is worth less than when I earned it a year ago. :realmad:
    This company is Ohio based with a few plants (3 I think) in Ohio, & their corporate is out of town.
    How can I enforce the late fees? Credit card companies & other utilities do it everyday; I'm not sure whether to talk to my lawyer or the BBB, or what....
    Any thoughts?? mucho gracias
    (BTW the late fees add up to almost $500)
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2011
  2. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    To tell you the truth, the late fees, probably aren't worth going after. If you do want to pursue them, then your best bet is to go to small claims court. That is unless they total over 5 grand, then you will have to sue them in regular court. The costs, missed work, and everything else, adds up quickly. Then once you leave court, all you have is a judgement. They can take forever to pay, and chances are they never will. As long as your not out anything on the invoice, if it were me I would call that a victory, and forget about it. I do agree, that they should have to pay, but I know the chances are slim to none.
  3. NBI Lawn

    NBI Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,797

    Send another bill for the late fees and inform them that late fees will be added to ANY outstanding balance. If late fees were in your contract this should not be a surprise for them.
  4. yardsmith

    yardsmith Senior Member
    Messages: 248

    I added a note- the orig bill was for about $2300 & the late fees add up to almost $500
  5. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    If you've had them for awhile and this is your only complaint.... send them a 3 year additional contract and tell them If they'd like for you to continue service (assuming they are satisfied with your work) you'd like them to sign this 3 year extention and you'll wave the late fee.... good for you and good for the customer...win/win
  6. yardsmith

    yardsmith Senior Member
    Messages: 248

    prob not going to get them back; all the sh** I politely put up with over the summer, & they hired someone else to do the plowing this current season.... prob cutting my ties for good here.....:gunsfiring:
  7. speralandscape

    speralandscape Member
    Messages: 84

    I agree. I would send them a bill for the late fees. I don't know what state your in but in some interest compounds on late fees too.
  8. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    until you can give them a 30 on the credit report they don't care and that's for most people.
  9. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Worth chasing, small claims court. My contracts say there is a late fee - I change $5 plus 1.5%/month.
    Never had an issue like that where they just didn't pay it.
  10. yardsmith

    yardsmith Senior Member
    Messages: 248

    how about something like a mechanic's or contractor's lien?
  11. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Sure,but its only good for so long and are you going to wait till they sell the property?
  12. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,782

    If it's a larger company, keep sending your bill (every 30 days), and keep adding to it. In order to collect you have to have consistency. They will get tired of reading it and contact you either to cease and desist or to pay it. Either way you get your way.... to talk to them to give them a piece of your mind or paid When accounting does call I suggest you advise them that you will only talk to the GM. Be polite and too the point. Ask him how frequently he gets paid. Calmness rules, leave your anger out and win them over. You are right no one should have to wait for payment for services rendered.
    In the meantime move on tho better pastures and focus on your existing customers.
  13. NW Snow Removal

    NW Snow Removal Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    cancel the late fee in exchange for a renewed contract.
  14. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    10-4 good buddyThumbs Up
  15. mwalsh9152

    mwalsh9152 Senior Member
    Messages: 434

    but if they pay like that, not making good on the second half of the original bill until 9 months later....why would you WANT them to resign with you?
  16. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    How much are you really losing by "loaning" them this money? Bank account is from 0-.25% not to mention your loss of time and everything else.
  17. yardatwork

    yardatwork Member
    Messages: 64

    I have a company that owes me for mowing in August, September, and October. They always pay, but they are also ALWAYS late. I do $5.00 per month late fee...so they get charged $15 (total of the three bills) per month. I keep sending them notices and late fees and notices...and...THEY ARE A THIRD PARTY COLLECTION and BILLING AGENCY. Hahaha...I'm going to contract them to collect my money from them!
  18. bighornjd

    bighornjd Senior Member
    Messages: 249

    Now that's pretty funny, i don't care who ya are! I would do it, just for the irony aspect.

    Maybe they aren't a very good collection agency, they obviously aren't making enough to cover their own bills!
  19. cosgo

    cosgo Member
    Messages: 63

    i have a good collection agency i use. if im not gonna get my money, at least they are gonna hear about it 8 times a day, 5 days a week, for the next 6 months...
  20. hlntoiz

    hlntoiz Senior Member
    from NW, CT
    Messages: 588

    This would be my first option. Well put

    Renew the contract when they are paid in full then show up late for their services....really why would you want to continue to deal with a company like this. Let them get what they pay for.
    Sounds like a good plan to me!:nod: