Customer payment issue


Wanting to get some advice.

I completed a very large commercial job about 2 and a half weeks ago. Prior to starting the job I had the man in charge sign an agreement which clearly stated “payment is due within 21 days.”

It is not quite 21 days, but I sent an email to my contact to confirm everyone was happy with the window cleaning, and to be sure he had received the invoice. (He had left by the time we finished.) He said “yes, I received the invoice. Happy with the cleaning. We are Net30, so you should see payment in 2-3 weeks.”

I replied by politely saying, the agreement we both signed stated 21 days. I understand this isn’t much of a difference in our terms. But the fact is he signed an agreement which was very straightforward. And quite honestly, yes, I could use this money. I rely on my income to pay my bills.

What would you do? I don’t want to push it too far because I’d like to do the job again in the future. But I feel like it was me who broke the agreement, and say skipped a few windows, I’d be called out on it.

Thanks in advance

Payment due by?

I wouldn’t do anything because it is 1 week later and you will likely loose any referral or repeat business by pushing the issue. Also if you push the issue it really wont speed up the process and still be paid at 30 days.

I completely agree it is not appropriate with the terms stated.

That’s just commercial sometimes, could be worse.


I see your point, but you have to realize commercial rarely pays before 30 days for most work. If you can’t afford to float it that long, maybe it’s not for you.

You need to build the billing structure around what you are willing to do. So paid within 21 days is “x” after 21 days it’s “y”. After 30 days its “z”. You are likely to never get the bids doing this, but you’ll have terms spelled out, with “fines” you can sue to collect. Sure, you’ll ruin your relationships, but you’ll get paid on time, right?

I know that sounds sarcastic, but it’s sounds ridiculous that you are sweating it over an extra week. If you can’t afford to float commercial, don’t do commercial. Yes, waiting sucks. I hate it too. But if you want to do commercial it’s part of the deal.


Wow you’re a real help. It’s people like you that make me wonder why I’m on this forum


I’ve found that commercial customers, larger ones especially, don’t care about my terms. Their entire accounting department operates on their terms, not mine. So I have to bend to their terms or pass on the business. I have done both on different occasions.

That said, you look like a small fish trying to swim in the deeper waters if you hem and haw for payment. Even in instances when I was desperate for the check, I never let on, especially in the 30 to 45 day range. Anything past that I get on them.

If you want the repeat business, give them 30 to 40 days. Next time bump the price a bit to cover the extra wait.


What help do you honestly think you are going to get?!

You want 21 days, he said they pay in 30. It’s WEEK difference. You can’t do a thing about it. But it does make you look desperate and unprofessional to them when you are bugging them for payment. You show a weakness, and they may just exploit it.

If you are that desperate and can’t float it, you shouldn’t be doing commercial.


Don’t take it too personal. Better to get an abrupt piece of advice than lose a customer that won’t say they are irritated with you.


I expected something a little more constructive, not “maybe this isn’t for you.”


Thanks for your advice. I really appreciate it!


If you want someone to pat you on the back and hold your hand, find a support group.

This is a group of business owners. We are all trying to be helpful. But when a post comes across like a kid stomping their feet because they didn’t get what they wanted, we sometimes respond in a terse manner. If you want to work with these larger, commercial accounts, you need to man up and play the game. They aren’t going to change the rules because you “demand” it. By and large, commercial is 30 days to pay.

Did you not know that going into this?


:joy::joy: if you want to read a post that looks like a kid stomping his feet, have a look at this, by a guy called HoosierSqueegee

Thanks for your input. Have a nice night.


Commercial is different and need to be able to have financial security or credit to get started.


Thanks, I’m realizing that. Even with smaller commercial jobs that I’ve done I’ve noticed they take a little longer.


Well, there goes anyone taking you seriously.


Why? I’m referring to the contract that he and I signed. Not the fact that i know it typically takes longer. I knew that going into it. He wanted the windows cleaned asap, and I decided I want paid asap. That’s the reason for the contract. My issue is not, " why hasn’t this customer paid me yet" it’s more just frustration over them breaking the contract


I know right? Hilarious that guys would work for 50 cents a pane. It’s so funny, I bet those guys that do that, ask how they can get paid faster too, because they are too broke to buy their Ramen noodles.

Just remember while you are laughing, my bills are paid and I can float commercial accounts. :wink:


I’m glad to hear you’re so successful. You must be doing something right!


Even though they break your contract and pay you one week later what recourse do you really think you have? Seriously.

My issue with you is when you get a response you dont like you throw a fit.


Sorry I asked. Thank you.


You shouldn’t be sorry you asked but sorry for your response.