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Problem Payers?


James

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This will be a pretty common topic I'm sure but I can't see one anywhere on the forum.

 

I have quite a few customers now with outstanding payments and I'm wondering how you guys go about this?

 

Some of my customers just pay with cash on the day but 80-90% of mine recieve an invoice through the door stating that they can pay by cheque/instant bank transfer or PayPal.

 

The ones who pay with cash on the days are fine, but some customers who are not paying with my invoice system are starting to back log abit.

 

So I'm wondering, how do your customers pay? If you do anything similar to me with the invoice set-up, how do you keep on track of your customers paying?

 

James.

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Guest colinvansmith

i agrre with the guys if its a big amount don't give in until you get it but once you have been paid drop them and use that time slot to get a better quality customer. What i do unless i know the customer well and they work away or something i will give 2 cleans then suspend the job until im paid. I also put a letter out to all my customers diplomatically explaining that we are a small business and cant afford not to be paid when we provide a good service and it seemed to work for the most part

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since i stopped collecting, well virtually stopped, most of the bad payers have thinned out, still some what get left for a while untill they pay up, but i usually take them back on, after all, i don't always pay my bills on time, which reminds me i've got a gas bill to pay. great.

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i agrre with the guys if its a big amount don't give in until you get it but once you have been paid drop them and use that time slot to get a better quality customer. What i do unless i know the customer well and they work away or something i will give 2 cleans then suspend the job until im paid. I also put a letter out to all my customers diplomatically explaining that we are a small business and cant afford not to be paid when we provide a good service and it seemed to work for the most part

 

Some good ideas guys, I like this idea alot & will probably go down the line of using it, thanks alot!

 

Yes some customers do owe me a large amount, I want everbody to pay me on time!

 

What method of payment do you use most guys?

 

James.

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Guest badbusdriver

We all would like to get payed on time, but lets face it, in this job that aint gonna happen!. What bugs me is that 90% of the time it is bigger more expensive properties where the bad payers are. I have £6-£8 houses, and they will go out of there way to make sure i get my money, like leaving a tub or jar with the money in the garden or something. I say to them, "dont worry about it, i will get it next time". But on the other hand, i have a £30 house, where recently i had to leave a note to chase them up as they were due me 3 months!. I dont think they were trying to avoid paying, more a rich persons mentality, like, £90 is loose change out of my back pocket, so why do you need it so badly!. I will do 3 cleans, and if they dont pay up, i will just drop them and forget about it (unless it is a lot of money), life is too short to get stressed about ar**holes like that!. As for payment, mostly i leave an addressed envelope for customer to send a cheque, but i am getting people paying on-line these days, which is fine by me, though cold hard cash is the preferred currency for those who are in! :-]

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At the moment most of my customers pay in cash and a couple by cheque. Some pay there and then. If someone is not in I post a business card through the door and on the reverse side I have sticky labels attached which show the date and time cleaned. I then call back on the following Friday. If they are not in then I call them during the following week. I have had one or two I have let go to the following month. But. If I do not get my money after that then I drop them because i have not got the time to be messed about. I get enough of that in my PAYE job. One thing that has got my back up is on the odd occasion I had people turning me away... i.e. One customer said can you come back tomorrow as I am going out a my dog will go mad... So. I dropped her from the off... Done her house once and that is it. Another expected me to clean windows on the days they wanted etc and another said can you leave it this month because i am short of dosh... I am still learning a far as payment and window cleaning goes. Although, working for many years with Royal mail and the local Council has made me aware of how people think...

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I used to call back on my customers to get the money but I met another Window Cleaner who was wierdly nice to me, he showed me all his business aspects and how he leaves invoices to all his customers and they just send cheques in the post.

I find its a good idea but its hard to catch up with people who aren't sending the cheques. Can't beat PayPal or Instant bank transfers for me, its the way forward!

 

James.

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We collect there and then if we can, or return in the evening between 6pm and 7pm. If we don't get them in the evening, we post an invoice and they can pay through our website via debit/ credit card or paypal. We also accept cheques, and some larger commercials just pay us via bank transfer.

 

If we have any problem customers, we give them two cleans before placing there account on hold until the settle there bill. However we ask on our invoices that the amount be settled were possible within 28 days.

 

Generally we get paid for about 98% of the work we do month to month, but you will always get some away on holiday, or some with other stuff on there plate and forget to pay.

 

If I get any customers that I think are at it, and I have had one or two crackers, I just drop them straight away.

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We all would like to get payed on time, but lets face it, in this job that aint gonna happen!. What bugs me is that 90% of the time it is bigger more expensive properties where the bad payers are. I have £6-£8 houses, and they will go out of there way to make sure i get my money, like leaving a tub or jar with the money in the garden or something. I say to them, "dont worry about it, i will get it next time". But on the other hand, i have a £30 house, where recently i had to leave a note to chase them up as they were due me 3 months!. I dont think they were trying to avoid paying, more a rich persons mentality, like, £90 is loose change out of my back pocket, so why do you need it so badly!. I will do 3 cleans, and if they dont pay up, i will just drop them and forget about it (unless it is a lot of money), life is too short to get stressed about ar**holes like that!. As for payment, mostly i leave an addressed envelope for customer to send a cheque, but i am getting people paying on-line these days, which is fine by me, though cold hard cash is the preferred currency for those who are in! :-]

 

Yes it always seems that way i have a £25 job that owes me three months big company. Keep reminding them when i go to clean once in a while they will pay one or two months yet not all of it, they must think they employ me and i work months in hand! ha don't think so, if they keep it up they will be dropped but don't really wont to as ant afford to drop anyone right now.

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Hi James. First of all have seen your answer for a backpack for sale. Please see my answer as very intrested. On this one all my customers within a 10 mile radius I collect. Over that I leave an SAE. If they don't pay I send them a letter a week before there next clean. No reply then you have to bite the bullet and drop them. That's why I keep it to 1 clean as it don't build up and it's only 1 payment I lose rather then 3 or 4. Always get there postcode

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Guest badbusdriver

Gav, if i were you, i wouldnt put up with that from your company customer, if they didnt pay all they were due i would tell them to get someone else to clean their windows!, its just that kind of sh*t that that puts me off of trying to get work from companies!.

 

Posh, dropping them for not paying 1 clean is a bit harsh isnt it?, i have customers who work offshore, or abroad, sometimes for over a month at a time, wouldnt be very fair on them if i were to start doing that!.

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I'd love to say "I'm just going to drop them" but in reality I've only just set up in the past 3 months and I can't really afford to drop anybody, especially as I've worked ridiculously hard trying to build up my client base.

 

I couldn't afford to drop them if they didn't pay for one clean, I'd have no-one left lol.

 

I haven't looked into Direct Debit yet but I've heard its pretty good if you know what you're doing, does anyone have experience with this or is this just an epic waste of time?

 

James.

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I would recommend using paypal to handle credit and debit card payments through a website, some of our commercials pay by dd but it was setup at there end. Paypal charges work out roughly the same as what the banks charge for processing cheques, so its worth a thought.

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I would recommend using paypal to handle credit and debit card payments through a website, some of our commercials pay by dd but it was setup at there end. Paypal charges work out roughly the same as what the banks charge for processing cheques, so its worth a thought.

 

Thanks alot for that info, I just checked my business account now with PayPal and it appears quite alot of transactions have been taking place :)

 

Think I might be sticking with PayPal tbh as its ridiculously easy to use.

 

James.

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Guest badbusdriver

Im not so keen on direct debit, i prefer on-line bank transfer, that way the customer pays me when i let them know i have done the windows AND they are happy with the results. I do have one customer who insisted on dd though, because she is so forgetful!. Never thought about paypal before, so i might look into it.

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Guest badbusdriver

Sorry James, but i havnt the foggiest!, the customer does that from their end, i just gave them my account number and sort code, same as i would if they were doing the bank transfer. But i do tell them to attach their address as a reference so i know who the money is from. I did this because a few of them to start with were just putting down their names, which i didnt know, doh!.

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Sorry James, but i havnt the foggiest!, the customer does that from their end, i just gave them my account number and sort code, same as i would if they were doing the bank transfer. But i do tell them to attach their address as a reference so i know who the money is from. I did this because a few of them to start with were just putting down their names, which i didnt know, doh!.

 

This is exactly the same as me. I give them my bank num & sort code like instant bank transfering. & Some people just put their first names with the payment, for example, Dave... Thats very helpfull lol. I've now put on my invoices please attatch your address in a note form onto your instant bank transfer.paypal or cheque.

 

Makes life that much easier :)

 

James.

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