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Enjoying the confusion
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did some work for someone I now consider a scumbag a few weeks ago and he has yet to pay me. It wasn't a huge job ($550) and my customer is a sales rep for a brand of disposer almost everyone that visits this forum has installed so I figured it was a safe bet on getting paid. It was a situation where I did the job while the homeowner was at work and I was supposed to collect the next business day; to my amazement he didn't answer the phone when I went to collect and he has since made a point to avoid me despite him stating that my work was done well and to code.

I'm just wondering how everyone else would handle this situation. I have made a point to always respect the people at every supply house I deal with I and pay all of my bills on time; by doing this I've managed to make friends with the people that either run or own pretty much every plumbing supplier in the area (even if they don't like me personally, they love the fact that I always have paid all of my bills in full, on time).

Would you go the normal route and send him to collections or would you try using the social influence you have to order to collect from a maggot like this? I really don't want to involve anyone else in my business transactions but at the same time i don't mind informing people about someone in the industry that is willing to screw a plumber out of his hard earned money especially when we are the people that provide him his income.


Thank you for any and all opinions on this matter.
 

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Would it be out of line to pay a friendly visit after his work hours at his house , knock on his door and ask him face to face? Clears up any confusion and you can get a definite course of action. If he makes arrangements to pay, job done. If he side steps and makes excuses, debt collection agency.
 

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I Married Up
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If you are certain he is avoiding the invoice on purpose and intentionally set you up, then I would make him famous.

On the other hand, bad things happen to all of us. BE CERTAIN. You never know what might be the real cause of the unexpected lack of payment. His avoidance of you may be rooted in humiliation over an unexpected problem. All of this is made worse (for him and you) by the fact that you are industry peers.

I am all about collecting on a bad debt. But sometimes compassion is appropriate. Don't write a Karma check that will be hard to cash later on.
 

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philosopher and statesmen
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If you are certain he is avoiding the invoice on purpose and intentionally set you up, then I would make him famous.

On the other hand, bad things happen to all of us. BE CERTAIN. You never know what might be the real cause of the unexpected lack of payment.
I am all about collecting on a bad debt. But sometimes compassion is appropriate. Don't write a Karma check that will be hard to cash later on.

I totally agree....BE CERTAIN
if this has only gone a month, its not long enough to bring out the big guns and get all crappy and nasty with the fellow...


he could have some family disaster that has come out of left field , illness, car accident, whatever that has caused this

but of course all he has to do is tell you about what is going on and why he cant pay you right now... all he has to do is use words ...:yes:

I would take a copy of the bill to his home, and stick it in the door...with a note that we need to talk about payment... please call me asap .....or else...

if a month goes by and he does not respond and stiffs you , then take a copy of the bill and post in on every cork board in every supply house you and he both visit.....:thumbup::thumbup:

then take him to small claims court
 

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Water Whisperer
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3,627 Posts
These are hard times for many people, so I take it on a case-by-case basis. I will not tolerate the rich trying to cheat me and the poor never seem to do it. It's our shrinking middle-class that's desperate.

I owed a guy some money and he left one nessage that I didn't hear/see/forgot about and he went all ballistic. I really stuck it to him for his disrespect, considering I did almost $30k that year with him.
 

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Enjoying the confusion
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you are certain he is avoiding the invoice on purpose and intentionally set you up, then I would make him famous.

On the other hand, bad things happen to all of us. BE CERTAIN. You never know what might be the real cause of the unexpected lack of payment. His avoidance of you may be rooted in humiliation over an unexpected problem. All of this is made worse (for him and you) by the fact that you are industry peers.

I am all about collecting on a bad debt. But sometimes compassion is appropriate. Don't write a Karma check that will be hard to cash later on.

He's a single guy in his 40's with no kids; he's also looking to sell his home in the near future.

I've spoken to him on the phone when I called from my home line, he has always given me the I'll meet up with you tonight/tomorrow/next day when I know where I'll be. I also know his next door neighbor well and I'm sure she'd tell me of any catastrophic events in his life.

He was originally supposed to pay me cash once the work was done but I showed up early and finished before he was home. I left an invoice on his kitchen table and a note saying I'd call him about payment, since then I've left other copies stuck to his back door (the one he normally uses) once a week.



If this guy were to just call me in good faith even once I wouldn't be posting about him.
 

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The Old (antique) Master
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He's a single guy in his 40's with no kids;<snip>

Had same profile finally had to take into small claims court. As I was a sol-propritor I could act as my own attorney I did and lost. Do you know why? I filled the claim as Mr & Mrs Sam Anybody ... His claim was that when the work was done Mrs. Anybody was a different woman. The Magistrate thew the case out I got $hit.


Yeh I got the shaft, but I learned to bill and estimate with real names no more Mr. & Mrs.
 

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He's a single guy in his 40's with no kids; he's also looking to sell his home in the near future.

I've spoken to him on the phone when I called from my home line, he has always given me the I'll meet up with you tonight/tomorrow/next day when I know where I'll be. I also know his next door neighbor well and I'm sure she'd tell me of any catastrophic events in his life.

He was originally supposed to pay me cash once the work was done but I showed up early and finished before he was home. I left an invoice on his kitchen table and a note saying I'd call him about payment, since then I've left other copies stuck to his back door (the one he normally uses) once a week.


If this guy were to just call me in good faith even once I wouldn't be posting about him.
Hit him where it hurts, kick him in the jewels !:eek:
Slap a lien on the property and you'll get his attention.:yes:
 

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I agree with everyone's approach to handle it tactfully at this time. If you don't get paid in what you consider to be a timely manner, then it's time to get ugly. Lesson learned from this, EVERYONE should be on COD these days. I realize that sounds extreme, but, you have to think of yourself. During these hard economic times, you have to ensure you will be paid from each job or you will not be in business much longer. I mean, everyone is suffering now, but you really can't go to Safeway, or Exxon and say, I didn't get paid from my last job, so can I get groceries or gas without paying this time. They will tell you very quickly, put that stuff back and get out of line if you can't pay for it. I record EVERY telephone call that comes into my office. I tell the customer it is recorded, then I tell them all of our rates, and ask them again, do you still want us to respond to your problem. If they say yes, I ask them to repeat their name and address. This way, if they try some s&*t later, I have it for Court. And EVERYONE is COD. I don't really care if they like it or not. I am tired of chasing my money. I am not a Bank or Charity. There is no place on any of my trucks or vans that say "non profit organization".
 

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philosopher and statesmen
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Hit him where it hurts, kick him in the jewels !:eek:
Slap a lien on the property and you'll get his attention.:yes:

It sounds like he is selling the home....

if you have already left a number of bills for him, I suggest you do the mechanics lien on the property
especially if he is selling the home sometime soon...
 

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To all of you that have fallen on hard times, & need your plumbing repaired or replaced, & have no money to pay me, I say this:
Not My Problem.
I will be as careful as I can, to not bump or scratch your new car sitting in the driveway, or the extra convertible in the garage, or the riding lawn mower, or the mound of pool toys, or step on any of your lap tops, inside your house, or bump into your Apple computer(s), or any of the several video games, or WII game, with all the extra games known to man for each, or any of your 5 flat screen tv's, or your cabinet full of DVD's, or your new furniture, or knock any of your cartons of cigarettes, or fancy vacation itinerary from your travel agent, off the table, or get any of your extra North Face coats dusty, or step on any of the boxes sitting on the porch from QVC, or break any of the hundreds of toys I have to move, to clear a path to walk through the basement, while I am at your house.

But I need to get paid when I get done, even though I know you are struggling, just trying to feed your family, & providing them with only the bare essentials.:yes:
 

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Former Moderator
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I have more respect for the customer that is upfront and asks if they can make payments or work out different terms. To use another's resources with no intention of honoring the agreed upon payment terms is despicable.
 

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Each customer is a different case, but the end of every job done they should ask how you want paying. Credit card, cash or blood.
If its $5 or $5000 it don't matter, its the money you earned doing a good job.
I bet he still has running water from the city, now I'm not saying to do anything bad but you want paying.
Every one is different so asses it for what it is.
I simple phone call from him saying "sorry I have fallen on hard times and I can't afford to pay" would probably make you feel a little better.
But you still have been stiffed by him.
File a lien or steel his t.v.
 

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Burn his house down :eek:

Tell his wife he has aids :eek:

Kidnap his dog :eek:

Pour brake fluid on his car :eek:

Call the cops and tell them he's running a crack house :eek:
Weed killer on the lawn. "deadbeat", or "this guy don't pay his bills" The good stuff, that last for like a year.
 

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Sneak into house, lift a couple heat registers, slide a few pieces of raw meat, &/or fish, in there a couple feet down, reinstall heat registers.:yes:

Or it may be faster to remove cover on humidifier, slide filter out, place pile of raw meat, &/or fish, on A coil, slide filter back in, replace humidifier cover.:whistling2:
 

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Banned
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A couple gallons of expanding foam down the cleanout for the building drain should do the trick.

sent from the jobsite porta-potty
 

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The Old (antique) Master
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