I'm not aware of any, but I'd love to check a "Deadbeat List" before working for a new customer. I'm grateful that my list of deadbeats is very small, and that my losses have been minimal...much less than 1%.
Re: Black Listing Customers#156270 04/14/0504:10 PM04/14/0504:10 PM
I don't know if any exist, but I would love it if someone started a web site just for that. I decided if I ever catch up with things, I was going to look into it. Unfortunately, it is pretty low on my list at the moment. I was talking to someone about it a couple of months ago and we concluded that in todays society, we would have to look hard into the liability end of it.
Have a Blessed Day, Rick Bruder
Re: Black Listing Customers#156271 04/14/0505:34 PM04/14/0505:34 PM
I could see the liability portion you may fear. Todays courts may see that as slander.
However, if it was kept between the local EC's and such, and not posted on a board for all to have access to, maybe we could call it the "Not-So Better Customer Bureau".
In regards to this matter, I have to say, that the local inspectors I deal with give me great heads-up when taking on new clients.
And it seemed when I started out, most of these "deadbeats" were on the Resi End. Either homeowners with big homes, or the builder wanna-be's. The guys who built decks for awhile and moved into remodels or additions. It seems they were the worst.
I even had a wanna-be builder, who tried to keep my retainer. And not pay me for the extras. After doing 2 homes for him, I wanted out. He was pissed that I wanted out, and I would not pull permits for the other homes to be built, so he could not start construction. I had to threaten him with a mechanics lien, and after that he only sent me a portion back.
They are still building homes around here. Makes me wonder how many guys like us he screwed to get ahead.
Re: Black Listing Customers#156272 04/14/0505:57 PM04/14/0505:57 PM
Well, it would have to be some sort of web site that any elctrical company could subscribe to, otherwise it would be impossible to keep the list up to date without alot of hassle and cost. Keep in mind it would need to be set up so that anyone could go in and post a name and automatically be available to all. If the wording is done properly or if they can be categorized a certain way we may be able to get past the legal junk. I don't really know, I am just brainstorming.
Have a Blessed Day, Rick Bruder
Re: Black Listing Customers#156274 04/14/0507:42 PM04/14/0507:42 PM
Why do you think the parts houses have coffee and donuts? :-)
Seriously, the "truth is an absolute defense." One of the most important parts of running a business is to know your customer.
Any business lives and dies by its' regular customers...the old 80/20 rule: 80 % of your profit comes from 20 % of your customers. Likewise works for problems, too!
When in doubt, don't be afraid to ask for a deposit. Have a trip charge. Save your sharp pencil rates for established, good customers.
Otherwise, the most important thing is to be without blame yourself. Have a license. Have a good relationship with your AHJ. Know your lien laws. Document the job- thoroughly. And- listen to your heart...if you get nervous, tell the guy you're busy, maybe next time.
Re: Black Listing Customers#156276 04/14/0508:55 PM04/14/0508:55 PM
I use a few site's to look at products and other things often so dont think there is a liabilty issue with saying good or bad about a company or product one I use often is www.epinions.com and another Harley stuff is www.stealer-dealer.com both these been around a long time. so does sound like a good idea, just someone got to have to time to maintain a site like that.
[This message has been edited by highvoltageguy (edited 04-21-2005).]
Re: Black Listing Customers#156277 04/15/0507:50 PM04/15/0507:50 PM
I have to wonder if a person or company could use the same approach to get a 'reading' on a customer that is used by a potential employer checking the previous employers of an applicant/candidate. For example, if the hiring employer calls the previous employer(s) they can only ask certain questions or the prior employers can only answer certain questions. One question and it's common response that addresses (or sidesteps) the issue of 'Why did this person leave your company?" is for the potential employer to ask, "Would this person be eligible for rehire?"
Likewise, you could establish a 'list' of individuals or entities who would not be eligible to procure your services for any number of reasons which would not have to be spelled out distinctly and therefore you could avoid any claims of slander or libel.