Hi there

I am sure this has been covered many times so if  one is able to point me in the right direction I would be grateful.

I have a client who many years ago we designed and maintained a garden for, we worked for them for @5 years purchasing many £1000s of plants etc and never had any trouble with payment.  They then sold up and moved away.  They have now moved back to a new property and have asked for us to design and develop the garden with on going maintenance.  I was delighted to work for them again.  They are fairly well connected in the City and have friends who have gardens which are nationally renowned.  We have now completed 4 months of minimal maintenance whilst an extension is being built but I had agreed with them that several projects needed to be completed due to the season.  I have invoiced monthly and to date received no payment.  I have sent a statement every week for a month with a covering letter and text. 

Does anyone have any suggestions.  The client does not live at this address so I cannot pop round.  Being a private client I understand this can be harder to resolve.

Look forward to any advice.

Thank you - Alex.

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  • PRO
    If it's mainly labour charges I would be tempted to play the the waiting game as when they move in all may be well again. Shame to lose a decent client over this if they always paid on time before.
    How do /did they pay you?
    If cash / cheque it may simply be that they have not seen you. If bacs then maybe just overlooked during moving and they may think you are ok with it.
    Nowt as storage as folk as they say.
    I would not be spending money on plants etc though
  • Lift the phone and ask!

    4 months is a long time for any business
  • PRO

    I would call them Alex.

    I'm sure this can be sorted out quite easily but you need to find out from your clients if there's an issue.

    I wouldn't put any more labour into this project until you're sure of a way forward.

  • as Phil says but do try to phone them also do not start buying plants till you get it sorted

  • PRO

    As said before, I wouldn't spend any money on plants.

    One of the best solutions I have heard of was to send a piece of string with the next invoice, with a brief explanation about it's use, as in "the string is available to tie around your finger just to remind you to pay the invoice enclosed, if you could send the string back when you have done with it, as I have other people to send it on to" or something like this.

    The sending it back bit is just to make them smile and also make them think they are not the only person who has got behind.

    It would be sad to lose a previously great customer over payments but also you can't afford to be out of pocket for a long time, which I'm sure they will realise. You are just not at the front of their mind at the moment.

    Good Luck.


  • 4 months is a damn long time to be going unpaid, after a month I would walk away until I see the money. 4 months is just taking you for a fool.
  • PRO

    I to would phone, letters and emails are so easy to put to one side, i am sure we have all done that at some point with a bill or item we are not keen on dealing with. What if the sale of the house has fallen through or they have had some sort of disaster. Like many crappy things its best dealt with rather than festering about it

  • I would make it clear that you are unable to carry out any more work for them until you receive full payment of the outstanding balance.

    • PRO
      Ask for it. No money = no work.
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