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On the subject of not getting paid...

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by MOWBIZZ, Jan 22, 2008.


    MOWBIZZ Senior Member
    Messages: 500

    How long do you wait before contacting or re-billing the client that is slow paying?
    I have 2 out of 13 that have not paid but it hasn't been 30 days yet.
    I didn't put any wording on my bills that said "payable on receipt" but I will next billing cycle... :rolleyes:
  2. tom_mccauley

    tom_mccauley Senior Member
    Messages: 465

    I bill on the 1st and 15th of every month, If I have not received payment by next billing cycle (15 days), I will send a friendly reminder. If no payment by 2nd cycle (30 days) I will call customer to see if there is a problem. $ is tight these days for everyone, HOWEVER, I am not Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or any other fictitious nice guy. 60 days out and I send Guido and his goons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  3. Ipushsnow

    Ipushsnow Senior Member
    Messages: 314


    Customers not paying this year has been terrible for us! All my invoices are net 15, then they have a 10 day grace period and then get charged a $30.00 late fee. I give them a call before applying the fee and usually waive it if they have been pretty good. If it goes another 2 weeks I send them my "Pay or I wont plow you" letter. If I still dont get paid... I dont plow. Then when it snows and they call I dont plow unless they pay me the balance in full. Have had to go all that way with 3 customers this year! And yes, my contracts allow me to "suspend service at anytime for failure to pay".
  4. Mick

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

    I bill monthly and put a line on the bills - "Please pay amount due by the 10th of the month". If not paid by the 10th (some have asked to make payments for Dec and that's fine), I wait till the 20th and send a copy of the bill modified to show it's a reminder. If it's still unpaid and they haven't contacted me by the end of the month; I quit plowing. In seven years, I've only had to quit plowing a place twice. I've also got a policy that's made known up front that if I stop plowing for any reason; I'll never plow for you again. That includes being replaced by someone cheaper.
  5. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    For me it depends on the customer.

    75% of my customers pay within 30 days.

    I'm straight commercial work, so I pretty much figure it's going to be 30 days.

    I DO have one account that I've built in a late fee each time I plow, because it's always 45-60 days. If they want to pay me $100 for 30 minutes of plowing, then I'll wait the 45-60 days.

    As for the others, I've got a couple that pay out on the 5th of the following month, so they're about 40 days out.

    It's just a way of life, I've never made a big stink about it.

    I'm contracted with all of them and bill out on the first of the month for that month's work.

    Meaning next week I'll send out bills for February, and be paid for most accounts before February is even over.
  6. IMAGE

    IMAGE Sponsor
    Messages: 1,747

    This is my first yr and haven't had to send a late notice yet :), but I do have a policy in writing(i try to follow policys I have established to ensure I do everything uniform) that states I will send a late notice if not recieved by 10 days past due.

    For me, all my contracts are net 20 and I give the 10 day grace period, bringing it to 30 days. I think this is fair, because every bill I have is always 30 days out.
  7. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    I give everyone 30 days to pay. I think it looks unprofessional if you're sending out payment reminders sooner than that - kinda like you're desperate for money or something.

    However, once 30 days have passed and payment hasn't been received I re-send the bill and in big bold letters it says "PAST DUE". That's worked for me most of the time.
  8. Woodland

    Woodland Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    Not to get off topic but...Why do you have to wait 40 days to get paid??? I have several commercial customers (mostly summer landscaping) that pay 40 - 45 days after I bill. If they can send me a check after 40 days EVERY time then why can't they send it after 15 or 20 or WHEN THEY GET THE BILL??? We all just accept this as "the way business works" but I think it sucks. I can't think of a company that would give me that grace period.
  9. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    From the dates on the checks, it looks like they probably sit down and do payables on the first 5 days of the month.

    By the time I send out the invoices on the first or second of the month, they probably don't get it in time to send out with that month's payables.

    Again, these customers get charged a bit of a premium because this happens, so it doesn't really concern me.
  10. KINNCO

    KINNCO Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    It's in my contracts and billing 2% 10 days / Net 30 days.:)
    Looks intimadating...but it's really not xysport

    and always a discount for johnny cash payup
  11. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,548

    alot of my stuff has the home office out of town, Procter & Gamble actually has to go to Costa Rica then Cincinnati then to St. Louis where i get paid...it's all by e-mail and still should go faster than it does but you have to get used to it
  12. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    90% of my customers are seasonal so I get paid up front and then just do the work. On new accounts, if I haven't gotten their payment within 10 days, I stop plowing. That normally gets them to call me and set up a time to get me the money.

    The one that is billed, I bill every week and get paid everyother week. It is a government job and they are great about paying on time.

    Mowing is a little different. My contracts state:

    Invoices are made bi-weekly. Payments must be received within 15 Days of the invoice date. Payments received after 30 Days will be charged interest at the rate of 1.5% Per Month, (18% per Annum), or $10.00, whichever is more. Payments not received after 45 days will constitute a work stoppage.

    Mowing is done once a week. In 30 days that is 4 times mowing.
    Plowing can have 0 to 15 times in 30 days. There is no way I'm waiting more than 15 to get paid. To much money on the table by then. And like was said above, what other service do you get 30 days to pay? Besides your local suppliers.
  13. wirenut

    wirenut Senior Member
    from nh
    Messages: 529

    i have a buddy that hasnt billed some cust in 5 yrs......:sleeping:
  14. MrBigStuff

    MrBigStuff Senior Member
    from Boston
    Messages: 140

    That's easy- because their customers are net 30.

    Ever hear the term compressing the cash cycle? Businesses try to hold their cash as long as possible. Even better if they can pay you with proceeds from a sale. They bill early and pay late. They do it because they can. If you were a big customer of theirs, you might be able to negotiate better terms. As a supplier, you have little leverage because while it sucks to have to wait, it's still better than not having the work.
  15. DFLS

    DFLS Senior Member
    Messages: 339

    I do that too.
    Amazing how fast that checkbook comes out when they can't get out of the garage!
  16. rjfetz1

    rjfetz1 Senior Member
    from CT.
    Messages: 640

    I have been doing this for 18 years and there is no way to insure you always get paid right away. In a perfect world we all get paid right away, however having to wait 20-30 days to get paid is not unusual. Not everyone has the time or the money to write checks each week. Some people only write checks once a month. Patience, the check will come.What got me to be more patient is doing commercial work - you hardly ever get a check before 30 days. On the other hand I would never go 45 days - thats to much. If those customers bother you that much than replace them.