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Customer Cash Flow dilemma .

Not sure what to do for the best here .

Doing a one off maintenance project for a customer i have worked for in the past but not a regular customer , however they always paid promptly and never any issues , lovely people .

Have submitted Two invoices , First one they could not pay due to cah flow problems they will pay they promise once the situation is sorted out , I had no reason to doubt otherwise so carried on working and submitted a second invoice but same response '' we will pay once our financial situation changes'' . 

Now due to visit the property again only this time with collegues specialsts in their fields who will invoice the customer seperately to complete the work so this will add to the cost of what they already owe .

I dont wish to add to the bill or postpone which feels a bit like kicking them when they are down . I equally dont want to put doubt into colleagues minds so they withdraw their services or equally complete the project and get stung . 

Initially before the work was started stage payments were discussed and agreed a month before the work started but obviously alot can change in a month . 

If our services are withdrawn at this stage the garden will revert back to looking shabby and undo all the good work which no one will benefit from and what will the incentive be for the customer to pay ? 

What would you do for the best ? 





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  • it's a tough call John but if the project is completed then I would imagine that there is even less incentive for the client to pay in a timely manner

    • PRO

      Thanks Billy bop yes it seems like a bit of a gamble either way .

      If I postpone I can do work elsewhere on that day I actually get paid for .

      I told one colleague who is not happy about the situation but will trust my judgement .

      My judgement is not the best as I always see the best in people .

      • certainly if I were one of the colleagues coming in to participate in the job, in the knowledge that there are issues, I would expect payment by the job organiser himself, were the client to be unforthcoming with the funds within a reasonable time scale

        • PRO

          Yes i would feel responsible and pay them myself but knowing them they wouldn't hear of it but i would rather avoid them getting stung in the first place . 

  • I wouldn't do anymore send a letter demanding payment in 7 days or you will take them to court if they don't pay .

    Never go back.

    I have done this myself i don't care who they are or what problems they have its not my problem i done the work i want paid i had a regular customer for 20 years they started getting sloppy with paying they were warn after the second time there reason was i haven't been paid yet i told them well im sure your mortgage and car got paid you know when i come and i always get paid same day i do grass told them pay up in 7 days or i will see you in court he paid me there and then i told him i wouldn't be back do the grass yourself ( he had the money just wanted to hold of paying me ) i have bills to i have to pay.

    • PRO

      Thanks Jim I feel you are right . 

      I sense some clients feel entitled to a gardener regardless of disposable income and put us at the bottom of the food chain prioritising other commitments . 

      Personally i would cancel such an arrangement until i had the funds in place . 

      Thanks for your insight Jim and Billybop its made me see the light already , I cant afford to proceed any further .

      • Partly it depends on how much money is at stake John as well as a matter of principle.  I would try to keep communications open with the client and explain that you are acting in their best interest not allowing the debt to increase further. And that you are really looking forward to completing the project once their account is brought up to date. 1 unpaid invoice is an annoyance but 2 is a bit of a red flag. Maybe draw a line in the sand, as it were, and give them a firm date by which they need to have paid

        • PRO

          Agree thanks for the clarity Billybop I will use this approach sounds perfect way of communicating the problem .👍

  • John dont fret what the garden will look like its not your problem you have 2 outstanding invoices dont add a third they could be going bankrupt if thats the case you hopfully get 1 pence in the pound as you will be at the bottom of the list for payment and do abit of paperwork and leg work to get it 

    check the london gazette regualy to see if they are listed 

    • PRO

      Thanks David you are right , it's a shame to leave a job unfinished we have already invested time and energy in but there has to be a cut off point ,have kept our side of the arrangement with diligence . 

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