Having been in business since Feb 1991, I have seen an ever increasing trend for people to not want to pay me. Their reasons for same are usually not related to the work we do, such as "my husband pays the bills" and "Our carpet cost more than we thought, so we ran out of money"
I also find that builders are getting the same from their clients, but as sub-contractors, we (electricians, plumbers, roofers etc) get passed the full whack of that.
So - what's it like for you guys, both UK & international ? Do you find it harder and harder to keep turnover turning over ?
What do you do or say to clients to convince them that paying is the only honest thing to do ?
Personally, I always pay my guys wages on time every friday, always pay the suppliers on the 1st of the month, always pay the Inland Revenue by the 19th, and always pay the VAT on time each quarter. And where does this honesty get me ? Nowhere.
And the flip side ? I live & trade in the south east of England, and have to compete against some right cowboys, and I do mean cowboys - unqualified, often arriving in an old banger car, with handwritten quotes, perhaps on blank sheets, with mobile numbers. These guys probably dont declare anything to the revenue, "charge" VAT but are not VAT registered, and you know what ? They're doing damn well out of it. They dont care about after service, that's where the honest sparks comes in - we can go round and repair the bodges, and then we fight to get paid, because they have already paid for it once.
EDIT: Last Wednesday I was on a job, where an electrician had wired a kitchen with 2.5 T&E on a 32amp radial. We were there on unrelated business, and the lady of the house asked us to add a socket to the kitchen. When we refused, she got angry, and asked why. When I told her, she pretty much accused me of being jealous for not doing the work (we hadn't even been asked to quote, so how she came to this conclusion is a mystery) - When I suggested she look at the certificate for a reasonable explanation (yeah, right) she said she didnt have a certificate; When she rang for one, the "electrician" said (a) he never gives certificates (b) had never been asked for one before, and (c) promptly hung up on her............
Who'd think I just arrived back from a 5 day short break ?
Rant over, and whilst some of it is off topic, I would be interested to hear from other sparks, UK or otherwise, to see the other side of the coin, even if it is to say you get paid on time, every time.
And who the heck put the thermostat on 32°C ????
Regards to all fellow sparkies
[This message has been edited by Steve|Uk (edited 07-14-2003).]