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Anyone want to PAY? #2519 07/12/01 07:21 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,389
sparky Offline OP
Ok, you've jumped thru hoops of fire to provide 5 star service to a customer who now is treating you like a leper beacuse it's time to pay up.

whadda ya do?
within the bounds of legality

[Linked Image]

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: Anyone want to PAY? #2520 07/12/01 07:40 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,056
Redsy Offline
Has he outright refused to pay, is it a disagreement over cost or quality, or is he claiming to be a little short right now? I have often wondered the same thing. I believe that the materials used are still yours until you are paid. If you have access, start to remove them (unless he has a gun). Did you have a signed agreement. I try to get one on anything over around $500.00.

Re: Anyone want to PAY? #2521 07/12/01 07:58 AM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,283
electure Offline
Our lien law protects us. On even a service call, we have a preliminary notice printed on the sheet that is signed by the customer.

Re: Anyone want to PAY? #2522 07/12/01 08:27 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 176
WARREN1 Offline
Being in the design end of the electrical world, I find it extremely important to understand the Scope of Work. Once I get that understanding, I can proceed with the design and schedule my deliverables. Therefore, I think it is imperative to make sure all parties are in agreement as to the Scope of Work to be performed. This may mean that you have a "tool box" meeting with your client just prior to beginning the work and go over your understanding of the work to be performed. On all projects, a written contract is in the best interest of both parties with the contract having an explicitly written Scope of Work with completion and payment schedules. This may sound like a lot of work for a small project under $500, but you(we) can't afford to lose the investment of time and money in any project.
My nephew tried to get into the lawn care business. I gave him similar advice, sketch out the yard and mark areas that the client wanted a particular care given and show it to the client. Fortunately, after a few misunderstandings, he got out of that business. He didn't follow my advice.
There are probably many books out there on this very subject, and I apologize for writing another book here.

Re: Anyone want to PAY? #2523 07/12/01 09:15 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
sparky66wv Offline
If it attached to a building, then it is part of that building, removing items wold be illegal. The only recourse would really be to get a lien, or badger them until they pay up.

I've learned that po' folks will actually have the money in their pockets before they call you, whereas, the well-to-do can't pay you " 'cause my secretary is on vacation until August" or something equally asinine. Or they only do bills on the second tuesday of the fifth week of the 13th month...

My wealthiest customers are the slowest to pay... this is almost a rule.

[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 07-12-2001).]

Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI
Re: Anyone want to PAY? #2524 07/12/01 03:08 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,389
sparky Offline OP
I try and give everyone a clue, basically if there is a known amount of work, one can either bid it out or give an estimate, both with prints, signatures, handshakes & kisses.

Then there is the unknown as in a fish job, were i usually need to explain my x-ray vision deficientcy.
that always makes 'em go hmmmmmm

I have entertained complaints, quantum electrical theories from mindless fools, brought-my-own-eggs,insinuations of material price gouging, as well as rude putdowns of my personal intergrity as a tradesman, all to elude the eagle's deficational due date.
all in a day's work..... [Linked Image]

WARREN1.... call the publisher!

I've gotten fairly good at liens, but they are really only for your hiers to make good on, they are only paper...

I am interested in how others in the trade go about this dirty work, i really hate chasing people for a $$, but i gotta feed the fam, i have not found a collection agency that will bother with under four zero's....

Of interest, i have a few friends in the cop shop, one of which i gave a particularly stubborn lien holder who had'nt budged given all my mailings & ranting.
He gave it to his 'hachet man' , now i get checks in the mail, he won't tell me who this individual(s) is/are, says i don't want to know.... [Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by sparky (edited 07-12-2001).]

Re: Anyone want to PAY? #2525 07/12/01 04:15 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,389
sparky Offline OP
Virgil, you do any of those whinny cry-in-yer-beer country tunes? maybe Mr. Webmaster could insert into this thread huh?
[Linked Image]

Re: Anyone want to PAY? #2526 07/12/01 05:44 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,044
Tom Offline

You can tell them you're on the way to the courthouse to place the lien. Remind them that this will show up in the newspaper, most folks don't want others to know they are deadbeats so they might pay up. After you place the lien, wait a couple of weeks & file in magistrates court & haul them in. You are now suing for the job & the reasonable costs of placing & removing the lien and of course the costs of filing the suit & serving the papers. All these extras could exceed the cost of the job. Judgement goes to you & they still don't pay up, time for the Sheriff to auction off some of their property.

I remember when I was on the service call truck for a shop in California, boss would dispatch me to a Doctor's home or office, he always had me collect $100 prior to starting work & told me to call in if it looked major so he could come get more money.

Good luck.


Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
Re: Anyone want to PAY? #2527 07/12/01 07:32 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,389
sparky Offline OP
frustrating thread !

guess we all gotta vent somehow!

anyone up for clubbin' baby seals?

Re: Anyone want to PAY? #2528 07/12/01 10:22 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 38
bhester Offline
I have heard of an A/C contractor that has lost money on jobs and what he does is at the end of the year he sends them a 1099 on the amount owed.According to my source an attorney told him to do this if they don't pay us let them pay the IRS.

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