How To Collect on Delinquent Accounts | Part Two

window cleaning businessI mentioned some tips on what to do when you are not paid on time by clients in a post earlier in the week. Here are a few more tips that may help, especially if you have to start getting firm.

5. If you still are getting the run around on payment, try adding a late fee. Make it whatever you want; 10-20% usually gets their attention. So, 10 days after sending a second notice, mail a 3rd notice with a late fee already added to the total. This step usually gets even the stubborn clients to pay. They rarely end up paying the late fee, but, honestly, I never cared. I just wanted my original bill paid. It was more of a scare tactic.

6. File in small claims court. People freak out when they see the notice from the court in their mailbox. I have done this probably ten times and was paid all ten times before ever setting foot in a courtroom. It costs around $20-30 to file, but I add that to their bill.

7. You can hire a collection agency; it’s not difficult. They DO take a large cut of your payment, though. Sometimes it spurs people into action.

8. My last tip and my favorite one. Call the wife! We cleaned the house windows for a wonderful woman who then referred us to her husband and his chain of 10 tire stores. We serviced each store twice, over a month, and then he never paid. Of course, step one was not cleaning them the second month, but he didn’t pay for several months, even after I tried all of the above methods. I finally was at my whits end and about to call a collection agency when I thought, “Hey – why not?!” His wife was PISSED! I received an apology call from him within 10 minutes and a check in the mail for the full amount plus late fees 3 days later! LOL

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