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How do you handle dead customers

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by hosejockey4506, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. hosejockey4506

    hosejockey4506 Senior Member
    Messages: 236

    not dead beat ones but deceased ones.

    how do you go about contacting the estate "manager" for lack of a better term.

    not that its a huge deal(150 dollars) but im just looking for info on what to do next time this happens.

    we had a customer that always paid on time and then the last invoice i sent him in the fall has gone unpaid, sent a letter out in January and left a voice mail. then i sent a collection letter this month and i just got it back in the mail with a stamp on the front of it saying the recipient is deceased.

    How do you handle these situations legally.
  2. dfd9

    dfd9 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,475

    Oh, I was going to say usually the coroner\funeral director\cemetery guy takes care of them.

  3. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,779

    I once had customer spend a considerable amount sprucing up their new property. They went on vacation and both husband and wife died in a car accident. The executor of the will contacted me to let me know when my bill showed up in their mail and told me the horrible news. She assured me I would get paid and I did. I would readress To the Executor of the Estate of..... and see what comes of that unless you feel it's too small an amount to bother.
  4. Bandit

    Bandit Senior Member
    Messages: 146

    Send a Belated Sympathy Card to the Family
  5. Army Vet

    Army Vet Member
    Messages: 47

    I agree with Bandit. Send a card of sympathy telling them not to worry about the bill. You may be surprised how people talk about how certain companies have made their lives easier in a time of grief. By doing this you will build your reputation in the community and you may even get a few new customers.
  6. G.Landscape

    G.Landscape Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 851

    I agree for 150$ its not worth upsetting someone and getting a bad rep....if it was a substantial amount then I might rethink it, maybe get them to pay some of it. Its going to be different in every situation.
  7. BossPlow2010

    BossPlow2010 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,069

    That is probably some of the most beneficial information ever posted on this site! You sir/ mam, get a Gold star. [​IMG]
  8. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    And we have a winner :salute:
  9. KBTConst

    KBTConst Senior Member
    Messages: 426

    This is what I will be doing!

    I have one that is on Hospice care right now they are saying its only a matter of days, I told them not to worry about the plowing it will be done at no charge the family has enough to worry about!
  10. Red02F250

    Red02F250 Senior Member
    Messages: 109

    That wasn't my first thought, and it should have been. From a business stand point, its not the most financially wise thing to do, but for the small amount, who cares? From a moral stand point, it is absolutely the best thing to do. The family would surely appreciate the gesture, and that will never be a bad business decision.
  11. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Yeah, it's a pretty risky move. I would suggest you contact your financial adviser whenever you are going to spend five bucks and a stamp....
  12. PR Fect

    PR Fect Member
    Messages: 53

    I bet it would not have came back if you had sent them a check. Someone would have cashed it! They are scamming you. You may have let it go to long. As soon as we have a customer die, we always send a card to the family. And then who ever is taking their mail pays up. Someone is testing you too see if you will forget about it.
  13. Bandit

    Bandit Senior Member
    Messages: 146

    Sending a sympathy card was the first thing that came to My mind, as I had just lost , and attended the memorial service for a friend of over 30+ years due to " Agent Orange " .
    The outpouring of help from other loggers and townspeople in His small Central Maine town was something to see.
    From help selling off his equipment , plowing there yard , bringing in firewood , and building a ramp for the very short time he was at home .
  14. Red02F250

    Red02F250 Senior Member
    Messages: 109

    LOL, ok, looking back, that's pretty darn funny. I should've done a multi-quote. I intended to say the sympathy card wasn't my first thought, and should have been. As for the other part, I was referring to the sympathy card saying that the debt would be forgiven and for the grieving family not to worry about payment. That, in my opinion, wouldn't be the most financially wise thing to do, but for about $100 that's not a big deal, so why not?
  15. Glenn Lawn Care

    Glenn Lawn Care Senior Member
    Messages: 552

    Very good idea!
  16. mpgall26

    mpgall26 Senior Member
    Messages: 228

    WOW is this guy for real. Quite often you hear great stories of people helping people on here and it restores your faith in humanity, then theres this guy.
    How about this idea? Send a card, help people out and learn compassion, and look at yourself in the mirror. Maybe when you can be a good guy more people will want to hire you and you won't have to cry about $150.
    Whatever the response to this....YOUR the guy who actually asked about collecting off a dead guy.
  17. andcon83

    andcon83 Senior Member
    Messages: 388

    Sometimes it is just nice doing something nice for people. Even if they were a customer and not a close friend. We all may need a few friends when we go where ever we go after life on this planet.