Billing Question

This question has a few parts…1. If you leave a bill, how long do you wait until you send out another notice, if they havent sent in payment…2. After you send out the notice and they havent made payment…do you follow up with a phone call at this point?
I have about 15 oustanding invoices from gutter customers(cleaning) that cover 30-45 days. I sent out a “second” notice…almost like a nice reminder letter in case they didnt get the one I left at thier home. On the reminder notice, I included a self addresed stamped envelope for them. I think in the futire I will mail the bill if they are not home.
it is F’n cold today!!!

If it is commercial 30 -45 days is typical. After 45 days we start calling or sending soft toned letters.

Residential I would not wait that long after 30 days I would be calling them. All residential we expect payment at time of service. We try and not run any receivables on Residential.

If I don’t have the bill by the next service (for my monthly customers) I put a reminder on that bill and usually I get paid w/in 3 days. For jobs that are once or twice a year I give them a call to make sure they got the bill and were happy w/ the service. Only had one complaint and was able to fix it and make the customer happy.

Net 30 for commercial.
With residential I like to collect that same day. If I know that no one will be home I request a credit card # when scheduling the job.

Good info guys…thanks. It was all residential…I will have to resort now for the “polite” telephone call…then I get Vito to pay them a visit!

I’m in the same boat right now with one resi. customer for $250, but I’m glad that this doesn’t happens often.

I’ve called and mailed a copy of the invoice with a nice forgiving letter, will wait until the end of the week, and if nothing happens I’ll go personally and try to collect, nicely, and even after that if the excuse is not good at all I’ll fire them … Yes Sir, fire them, I don’t need the extra work of chasing people to get paid.

If customer is not home, we leave invoice on the door. We send statement after 15 days, then 30 days. We then make phone call at 45 days, and at 60 days they get sent to our collection agency. you must be consistent with this and do it with all customers. Do not let emotions get in the way of business. We used to have receivables at around 35,000 until doing it this way. Now our receivables hovers around 15,000. Big difference in the terms of having cash flow.

I have a customer who owes me $260 for window cleaning from September. I ahve sent numerous invoices, left several messages, emailed her and she has not responded to anything. I sent a certified letter a week and a half ago and still nothing. I am heading to the courthouse tommorrow to file a small claims case against her. Maybe she will respond to that!!! Luckily its winter and I have nothing but time to chase her down and make her life hell!!!

As far as gutter customers not paying, I have a few with outstanding bills from DEC. Next year, when people schedule gutter cleaning I will get a credit card from everyone to make life easier for everyone.

Net 30 Commercial

Residential on the spot…

We try to get paid on the spot like most on here(100% residential here). If we do leave a bill, its 15 days with a due date in bold letters on the invoice. After 15 days, customer gets a nice low keyed “if payment has already been made, please disregard this notice” letter.

The second letter is at 45 days and is stern. A copy of our documentation of the account (Its a form we use to keep track of when and whom we have left message(s) with, dates we have sent out additional reminders etc). This shows them that you are keeping a timeline and documentation on their delinquency.

Last letter is at 60 days and it really gets ugly. "If we do not receive payment for services performed on Blah,blah, blah, For the amount of $$$$ + late fees, we will have no choice to file our claim against you via Small Claims Court, 1011 S. Main Street Anytown, State, 10111.

The key is to be very specific with the address and dates etc. Signed and dated with a postal delivery tracking number attached to it. I usually dont go for the have them sign to get the envelope thing. Very little success with that. They just simply dont sign for it. Just get something that proves that the postman delivered it. I have had awesome success with this method. I’m hoping to upload these letters to the business download section here in the next few weeks or so.

Steve