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#15873 - 10/31/02 10:32 PM Compounded by the nano second!
sparky66wv Offline

Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2334
Loc: West Virginia
It's late, I'm tired, and I'm brainstorming... Beware!

What options do we have as far as penalizing late paying customers?

Other than mechanics liens and such...

For example:

Let's say a customer has been enjoying a service installation that hasn't been paid for yet. If the PoCo doesn't get money, they cut off the Power. Can I put a LOTO on the disco after opening the main without getting majorly in trouble? I'm thinking, they'd face fines from OSHA for removing it, and the PoCo does the same thing... Let's assume there's no one on life support in the building in question. It's hypothetical, anyway... I know, I'm stretching things here...

What about charging interest? We're all familiar with the 18% APR that we are allowed to use, but how often are we allowed to compound the interest? I would expect compounding monthly, daily, or by the nanosecond will make for some interestingly diverse figures... See what I'm getting at?

"Net due in 30 days or interst of 18%APR will be charged compounded my the nano second."

Time for bed...

[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 11-01-2002).]

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#15874 - 10/31/02 11:15 PM Re: Compounded by the nano second!
sparky66wv Offline

Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2334
Loc: West Virginia
Crap... Shoulda did the math first.

$100 Principal at 18% APR for one year.

Annually: $139.24
Semiannually: $141.16
Quarterly: $142.21
Monthly: $142.95
Daily: $143.32
Hourly: $143.33
Minutely: $143.33
Secondly: $143.33

Not that much of a difference!

Oh well... Answered that one myself...

What about the LOTO thing? Why can the PoCo do it, but I can't?

[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 11-01-2002).]

#15875 - 11/01/02 03:09 AM Re: Compounded by the nano second!
sparky Offline

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
man, i could go on with pages of rant and sour grapes...i can relate to loosing sleep over the bottom line.....

but cut to the chase here, down to 'biz'

my state laws are specific as to 'theft of ultilities' , and/or any manipulation thereof....

{i cannot vouch for WV, or any other locality here}

basically, we are 'invited' into a home/ biz, etc. to do work sanctioned by the owner/henchmen/purseholder. Activities outside of this realm are subject to litigation, thus your LOTO....
( which any boltcutter will undo anyways..)

your best recourse is, a good headhunter, and the fine print on your billing.

some headhunters have a letter writting campaign, with strategically drawn out levels of approach tailored to customer retention, and some simply go for the throat.

the latter, IMHO, is applicable in most situations where you would question working for them again anyway, as we all have our own 'soft approach' down after a yr or 2 of contracting.

sleep on it

#15876 - 11/01/02 11:18 AM Re: Compounded by the nano second!
HotLine1 Offline


Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6792
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Hey 66:
Do the LOTO thing and you more than likely will get in deep sh**.
The lein (lien) thing is a pain in the butt, and we do the interest thing at 1.5% monthly.
(Fortunately, it don't happen much)
The best scenario I use is the collection agency thru our contractors association. They try, and if they fail, they give it to the assoc. lawyer. Out of pocket is zero, they take a % of what they collect. When this fails, we get a judgement, which is a piece of paper, and someday we may get lucky.
At the end, I give the deadbeats to the accountant at the end of the year, and take the "bad debt" thing for tax purposes.
Like I said, fortunatley, it don't happen often. I'm lucky to have real good clients.

BTW, did the invoice format I sent you help any???


#15877 - 11/02/02 12:51 AM Re: Compounded by the nano second!
Format_C: Offline

Registered: 08/14/02
Posts: 31
Loc: Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA
im new to this thing what is a LOTO?

#15878 - 11/02/02 03:56 AM Re: Compounded by the nano second!
Electricmanscott Offline

Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 1478
Loc: Holden, MA USA
I know a guy who went back to a house and stole the meter. Late friday night. Tough time to get a new meter. I have never charged interest on any late payments. I have good customers though. I usually spell out the terms on estimates and proposals. If I don't see a check after two weeks the phone calls start. First I make sure they got the bill and were happy with it and the work. Five more days the tone changes slightly. I remind them of the terms in the contract which usualy states "Balance due upon completion of work" and I remind them That the work was completed almost three weeks ago. This is generally as far as it gets. Quickbooks Pro can be setup to charge intrest on late payments wich helps those of us with less then stellar math skills.

#15879 - 11/02/02 06:57 AM Re: Compounded by the nano second!
sparky66wv Offline

Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2334
Loc: West Virginia
This particular situation is for a big company that routinely sues people for slander if they threaten anything for non-payment. They've got more money than
Bill Gates (seriously) but it takes an act of Congress to get paid. Why is that?

BTW, I've noticed that poor people almost always pay immediately, where the wealthy take their sweet time.

LOTO = Lock-out Tag-out. I think it's a pretty heavy fine from OSHA to remove one with a bolt-cutter, unless its your LOTO. This particular situation is a contruction trailer, so OSHA is around.

Remember the last thread about Ground Rods?
That's the job I'm talking about...

My supplier wants paid in full every thirty days, I've GOT to get paid more often than that to fulfill that obligation!

Show me the money!

Another Idea:

What about "penalties and fees"... If we don't call something "interest", can we call it a penalty, or a fee (with warning ahead of time) and name our price?

Net due in thirty 15 days or a penalty of $100 will be added to your bill?

I mean, does it come down to wording?

How can a bank get away with it?

#15880 - 11/02/02 11:40 AM Re: Compounded by the nano second!
nesparky Offline

Registered: 06/21/01
Posts: 650
Loc: omaha,ne
Have your lawyer draw up a standard contract for your customer to sign. It must include the intrest, penalties, and collection charges etc. All have to be according to your state law.
Or you can put all of this on a proposal form. But some how the customer has to sign it.
As for LOTO forget OSHA doing any thing to help you. Unless they can get in your pocket book they are not intrested until some one is hurt or dead. You also will leave yourself open to a lawsuit for interupting thier use of power.
As for a slander suit, cross sue them for abuse of process. That is if they sue you for slander then you sue them for a false lawsuit. After all they owe you the money and they did not pay on time. That is not slander.

#15881 - 11/02/02 12:09 PM Re: Compounded by the nano second!
master66 Offline

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 260
Loc: Masontown, PA, USA
I was talking to a stone mason a few years ago about getting paid from customers. He told me a story about what he did on one job when he suspected he might have trouble getting paid.

The job, he says, involved building a new stone fireplace for a customer on a room addition.

The job was completed in the spring and for some reason or another the customer refused to pay the last payment. The stone mason made no attemt to callect at this point.

In the fall of that same year, on a cold fall day, the customer built a fire in the fireplace for the first time since it was completed.

After a while smoke filled the house. The customer, in anger, called the stone mason to let him know of the problem and demanded that the problem be corrected.

After being reminded that the last payment was never made, and some other words, the customer agreed to pay the stone mason, with intrest, if the problem was corrected.

A few days later the stone mason went to the customers home.

After receiving payment... in cash, the stone mason got an extension ladder off of his truck and climbed up to the top of the chimney with a brick in his hand.

When he got to the top of the chimney, he dropped the brick down the chimney breaking a pane of glass that he had installed in the middle of the chimney during construction.

The fireplace worked fine ever since.

I always thought that it would be nice if there were some device that we could install in our electrical systems that we could disable by remote control if payment wasn't recieved.

I can dream. Can't I??

#15882 - 11/02/02 04:34 PM Re: Compounded by the nano second!
sparky66wv Offline

Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2334
Loc: West Virginia
That is absolutely brilliant, Master66!

BTW, the check showed up today, just in the nick of time... Ten-day cut-off notices were starting to arrive!

But, I guess I just have to get used to waiting up to 6 weeks to get paid...

The Construction Management Co I work for pays no later than three weeks, and usually within two.

My situation either became better or worse with my recent graduation to a credit limit to $3000, up from $1000 from my supplier. Plus, my apprentice has two more weeks with his current boss, and goes for his apprentice test on the 12th. I hope I'm not biting off more than I can chew!

*Chomping away*


Yes, thanks! I'm giving people waaay too much info on my invoices and estimates.

I wish I knew more of what was standard for my locale...

[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 11-02-2002).]


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