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Slow payers????

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by GMSNOW, Feb 4, 2009.


    GMSNOW Member
    Messages: 68

    I have 4 commercial accounts all on the same street within 2 blocks of each other. 2 of them are right next to each other. The one is a resurant that got a new manager this past summer and she is a very slow payer. I would like to keep this account but last months payment got her paid thru the lawn care service. Currently they have an outstanding balance of $2000. with $1470 being past due.

    I would like to keep the account but I also have bills to pay.

    What has worked for you to get accounts to pay up?

  2. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Telling them you WILL plow the snow up to the door and leave it there. J/K
    A reminder call sometimes works, but money is tight these days. Keep the account if they are paying even tho it is late.
  3. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    A customer that doesn't pay, is not a good customer

    A very hard lesson to learn.

    Imediately send them a certifieid letter stating that service is suspended until their account is brought up to date INCLUDING late fees and they must contact you immediately to make arrangements

    Do NOT back down.

    If they still owe you by April, you're screwed.
  4. big pusher

    big pusher Senior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 129

    Replace them. That is probably not what you want to here but what you need to hear. One thing I have learned the hard way is there is no substitute for common sense. If you continue to hold on to these type of costumers they will bring you down too.
  5. Mark Witcher

    Mark Witcher Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    What do you consider late payment. I have a few big corporation accts that take 45 days to pay. No big deal. But 45 days should be plenty of time. Make them pay sooner. Tell them you will be stopping service until they are caught up. If you let them get to far behind you may find yourself with a letter of bankrupcy and you wont get anything. Its happened to me.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2009
  6. ff1221

    ff1221 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,374

    Send Gino & Vinney over to collect, ya Know what I mean.jk.:D
    I had one customer that we suspended service, and are still chasing, and we will be going to small claims court soon, in our case it's only $400, but it's the principal of it.
  7. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    If this is a chain resturant, then don't be surprised if it takes up to 60 days. I do several, they are always slow pays, and I expect that so I charge them accordingly. If your only having problems since the new manager took over, then their monthly bonus could reflect profits by a certain day of the month, so she doesn't input them untill afterwards. As long as they are paying no later than 60 days out, in this economy I don't think I would do anything other than make a few phone calls, send them a new bill with finance charges, and if all that doesn't work, send them a certified letter stating that they have 5 business days to pay, or service will be suspended, and your lawyer will get involved.
  8. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    I just keep calling one of my customers. It works, so I keep him. He's my biggest and I need the money. As long as I get it, I'm fine. I would give them a call or two and see when you can expect payment. Ask if you can get settled up and tell them when the due date is. They signed a contract, right?
  9. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    you could try finance charges so atleast you're getting some-waht compensated for carrying their a$$. but most likely either deal with it or get rid of them.

    NICHOLS LANDSCA PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,362

    I have a customer that is 45 business days which is fn stupid but I charge them more than I charge anyone else. I've had them for 6yrs mowing/plowing so I have checks coming in almost every month from them. Just got mowing/fall cleanup check 3 weeks ago. There is a difference between people that don't pay and ones that don't pay in a timely fashion. I did tell a customer once that it would be a shame if I couldn't get his lot done (we were expecting 4-6") and I had time to wait for a check. It's harder for them to make up excuses when they have to lie to your face.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2009
  11. BSDeality

    BSDeality Senior Member
    Messages: 736

    Typically You'll get better results if you approach them in a non threatening way. Ask if they recieved the invoice, or if they had a question about it. If they received it and don't have any questions ask when you can expect payment of the bill. If that fails then its time to get a little nasty and threatening. Just yesterday I emailed half a dozen clients that owed money from landscape season and played nice on the first email, out of the 5 that responded all were very apologetic 'how could I miss this', 'thought I was paid in full', blah blah blah. Even if they're lying you've still confronted them about it in a non-threatening way and are much more likely to get paid. In this economy you need every client you have. Yes they need to be dropped or replaced if they're definitely not going to pay.
  12. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    Why don't you stop in the resturaunt while they are near the end of the dinner rush and see if they can pay you out of the register.
  13. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    doubt they'll do that
  14. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    looks bad for business too
  15. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    i love finance charges, but then again, you have to have written up that way in your contract. then hit them with the highest percetnage allowed by law

    NICHOLS LANDSCA PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,362

    18.99% in MN
  17. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    A guy here does several restaurants and gets paid cash when he stops in after the storm....kinda a pain but he gets paid

    I dont see how wether if it is chain or not makes a difference we plow several restaurants for the same corp and they pay quickly and is refining the process to include direct deposit to its online billing system which then should get us paid in under a week
  18. Eronningen

    Eronningen Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    I always do the nice and easy remider through mail first, than a follow up, nice phone call. I will keep that up in a nice way and it has always worked out. (knock on wood)
    I do have one customer that it always late though
  19. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    times are tough, i'm sure most, or at least more than ever, are late paying their bills. what are you going to do? personally, i'm not dropping work just because a customer pays after 45 days instead of 30
  20. Bajak

    Bajak Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    If I did that I would lose 20% of my customers and half of my income. Just because some customers are slow payers, doesn't necessarily make them bad payers. Though I do really wish they would pay in less than 30, especially when it is large coin owed.