Late Payments

How long do you let customers go on late payments? I currently have 2 customers over 2 weeks since I did the job. I usually find that a phone call will get things taken care of but I am curious what everybody does and how long you wait until taking action.

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Did you include payment terms with proposal? We just follow what we tell client will happen when late. First late fee then notice of lien… It never goes that far though but friends of mine in a pool srv biz goed to court all the time for unpaid invoices.
Here’s a good resource:

I let it go for a month before I notify them very politely, a lot people pay their bills once a month and use the bank to send checks wich just takes longer.

They can pay by credit card over the phone when we call to schedule the job or they can leave a check under the doormat if they are not going to be home the day of service.

What other luxury service provider will perform $500.00 or $800.00 worth of work and then sit on their butt waiting for you to get in the mood to send them money?

I have never had an issue with a working man wanting to delay payment. They understand the value of a dollar and can relate to busting their hump for wages. Those who would delay payment are arrogant and those kind of people irritate me. I would rather lose the job than beg for my money.


On commercial, we plan on waiting 45 days before we begin to make sure that there are no issues that would further delay payment as the thirty day terms stated in the contract have obviously already been missed.

30 days net on everything… I find people appreciate the ‘trust’ and respect inherent in that and the vast majority pay in 24hours. This also gives residential customers time to return from work and make sure they’re satisfied. In the rare case they are not satisfied I also like it because it doesn’t add insult to injury from their point of view as in if that they paid upfront for something they’re not happy with - they like that the ball is in your court to fix the problem (usually not an issue) before they have to pay.

This method works for me - received my last outstanding cheque for 2013 yesterday, and never had a non-payer. Have to apply a late fee approx 1 in 250 invoices.

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As of now 95% of my business is residential. I don’t expect my customers to pay before the job is done, I also want them to make sure they are satisfied. Since the majority of my customers work while I’m at their house I usually just leave an invoice and wait on the payment. Typically I don’t wait more than a few business days ( unless they pay online banking that always takes longer) but every now and then I wait 2 weeks or more. It is very annoying at times to be owed more money than I have in my account.

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That may change as your self confidence grows.

I have very few pay before service and its part of my sell, I tell them that when they are satisfied with the job send me a check. I have waited 2 months for a homeowner to pay me, its aggravating but I’m not living paycheck to paycheck. A quick email from quickbooks letting them know they are late is usually sufficient. Because 97% is within two weeks I don’t push the payment too hard. I don’t want to sound money hungry or pushy, it feels like a scam when people act that way to me… 100% of commercial I have done is net30 Or net60, part of being in business.

Yup, net 30 on everything before I start having Birynne call on a weekly basis.