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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    11

    Collect before or after repair

    I was just wondering what you guys prefer and do collect before or after repair. I have starting getting alot of I can pay you in two weeks or I get my check at the first of the month. I am a one man show which means my overhead is not outstanding but I have to make a living. The only problem I see about collecting up front is say you have a bad blower , home owner pays you b/f the repair and once you check the systems operation you find the superheat off then they have to wright another check which in some cases would not make them to happy or put a bad taste in their mouth. I am totally for a good experience for the customer but I am starting to hurt from the non pays.
    Thanks for the reply's

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    32
    I get some of those too but i collect after for the same reason (customer satisfaction)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Fremont, Indiana
    Posts
    1,499
    I am C.O.D. (collect on delivery), and usually inform upon initial call, or introduction. I even collect on commercial refrigeration now. My rates are good so most people don't mind.
    Usually during the intro, you can get a feel for if they'll pay or not.
    Member of the "Work Exchange Program"
    "Will work for knowledge"

    "Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid"
    A Einstein

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Woodbridge Twp, NJ
    Posts
    1,307
    I am COD for residential customers and some commercial customers. Most of my commercial customers are Net 30 and are very good about sticking to that. The select few who are slow payers know that if they are slow to pay when i need my money, I may be slow to respond when it's really busy.

    It sounds like the OP is pretty new to owning his own business so let me say this: Welcome to being a business owner!! lol
    Every customer you take for granted today will be someone else's tomorrow.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    2,881
    Get your posts up and get into the pro forums.

    1. Before you go on a call tell them your fees and ask ahow they will be paying as payment is required when job is complete.
    2. Get authorization in writing before you leave the job if you have to get parts.
    3. Collect when you are done-ALWAYS.
    Give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime.

    Give a man a capacitor, doesn't know what to do. Teach a man to install it, now he knows everything.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    3,504
    Beshvac is correct. You need to organize your business. You tell them the minimum and establish the payment method BEFORE you run the call. Look things over and give them the repair price BEFORE you repair unit and collect upon completion or simply remove the parts and leave. Business is business and charity is charity, each seperate from the other.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    East coast USA
    Posts
    962
    Quote Originally Posted by wahoo View Post
    Beshvac is correct. You need to organize your business. You tell them the minimum and establish the payment method BEFORE you run the call. Look things over and give them the repair price BEFORE you repair unit and collect upon completion or simply remove the parts and leave. Business is business and charity is charity, each seperate from the other.
    Amen, and your not a bank. I always, ALWAYS cover my parts so my suppliers don't cut me off and i stay on good terms. But i bet they wore out their welcome at other HVAC companies and you were next on the list.

    Sometimes if hard to say no when a mother with 6 kids are crying and its hot.
    But i said MOM call me when you can pay!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    3,504
    Our business supports numerous local charities, without complaint. BUT voluntarily supporting a charity and getting stuck with a "we don't have any money" call is two different things. Sadly most people live the life they want to live. Some live a stressed life due to circumstances beyond their control, however most live that way simply because of choices they have made. Way too many times we get stuck with non-paying customers because of a choice we make. When in doubt, simply remove the part, put it back in your truck and leave.....uh.....95% of the time they'll "suddenly" find the ability to pay you. Try it and you'll find out next time.
    Years ago I had a mother tell me I was "hard hearted" for filing a lawsuit against her and her husband near Christmas...she was livid when I went by to pick up the long awaited payment. I calmly listened to her rant and simply replied "It's Christmas at my house with my children too." And left. She is still a customer (cash only!), and never said a word about that statement. Our first allegiance is to our employer at the job, and then to our own family. If we decide to endanger our employment and ability to provide then we can start making some really bad decisions, much as the "non-paying" folks have made to end up where they are. But we don't want to go there, and hopefully will never be in that shape thru our own poor decisions. If a business wants to get involved in "donated" work it's great, but not at the customer's doorstep!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    11
    Thanks for the reply's guys. And yep DLZ Dan I'm the new guy lol. Your right about trusting your gut and getting a feel for if they can or can't pay. Looks like I need to trust mine and everything will be find. Yeah I got to get my post up so look for some pic's of some of the things I see around here like this morning. Went to a mobile home. H/o said the unit was not working. Evap coil and straight A/C ( both 2 ton ) was sitting on the back porch lol. H/o stated I got this from a friend and would like a price to install. After looking around for about 30sec I told him I would not ber interested in installing that equipment but I do have other options b/c the home was 2000 sq ft lol. He stated he would find someone to install it b/c he knows it will work fine. Trouble is he probably will find someone to put it in lol.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    2,881
    Quote Originally Posted by Gonzo1300 View Post
    Thanks for the reply's guys. And yep DLZ Dan I'm the new guy lol. Your right about trusting your gut and getting a feel for if they can or can't pay. Looks like I need to trust mine and everything will be find. Yeah I got to get my post up so look for some pic's of some of the things I see around here like this morning. Went to a mobile home. H/o said the unit was not working. Evap coil and straight A/C ( both 2 ton ) was sitting on the back porch lol. H/o stated I got this from a friend and would like a price to install. After looking around for about 30sec I told him I would not ber interested in installing that equipment but I do have other options b/c the home was 2000 sq ft lol. He stated he would find someone to install it b/c he knows it will work fine. Trouble is he probably will find someone to put it in lol.
    Actually, you never trust your gut-you always ask how they will be paying and its $$$ to come out and collect the $$$ before you leave. On replacements it's a free estimate (if tools come off the truck it's not a free estimate) and written contract with a hefty deposit. This is where I trust my gut and I have walked away from replacements where getting paid was in question.

    One such customer was selling her house here and lived many states away....didn't want to give a deposit and wanted to withhold final payment until she was in town next month...."Sorry maam, you will have to give the check to your realtor to give to me when I am done....if you don't want to do that-then you will have to get someone else"

    Him finding someone else is NOT TROUBLE for you, the only ones that will be in trouble is the guy who does it and the MHO.


    If you are going to be in business for yourself.....you have to get over feeling bad about asking for the money before you go
    Give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime.

    Give a man a capacitor, doesn't know what to do. Teach a man to install it, now he knows everything.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Woodbridge Twp, NJ
    Posts
    1,307
    Quote Originally Posted by beshvac View Post
    Actually, you never trust your gut-you always ask how they will be paying and its $$$ to come out and collect the $$$ before you leave. On replacements it's a free estimate (if tools come off the truck it's not a free estimate) and written contract with a hefty deposit. This is where I trust my gut and I have walked away from replacements where getting paid was in question.

    One such customer was selling her house here and lived many states away....didn't want to give a deposit and wanted to withhold final payment until she was in town next month...."Sorry maam, you will have to give the check to your realtor to give to me when I am done....if you don't want to do that-then you will have to get someone else"

    Him finding someone else is NOT TROUBLE for you, the only ones that will be in trouble is the guy who does it and the MHO.


    If you are going to be in business for yourself.....you have to get over feeling bad about asking for the money before you go
    That is the most important line. You will soon learn that you have a business to run and guys who trust too much usually get shafted. You've heard the phrase "it's nothing personal, just business?" Well it applies. You may think your customer is a great person but if they dont pay their bills, they're not helping you.

    Where did you open up? I'm sure there's someone on here that can give you some pointers so you dont make the big mistakes some of us have. The little ones we have to let you make so you can learn.
    Every customer you take for granted today will be someone else's tomorrow.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    794
    There are techs that collect BEFORE they complete a repair? I mean, I understand taking a deposit on a big job, or requiring a customer you have previously had a problem with to pay something in advance of any work, but I have never asked for someone to prepay before any work is done!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Woodbridge Twp, NJ
    Posts
    1,307
    I dont think they were saying to collect before, just notify of price and get approval before doing the work. That way the customer isnt put in a spot where they may not be able to pay for a job they had no idea of cost, and the tech isnt stiffed on a payment.

    I think the payment BEFORE referred to a large job that requires a deposit.
    Every customer you take for granted today will be someone else's tomorrow.

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