Page 1 of 6 123456 LastLast
Results 1 to 13 of 69
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Spartanburg SC
    Posts
    156
    Post Likes

    Collecting bill from deadbeat customer

    Anyone have any tips for collecting an invoice? I have a guy who contacted me for an installation, he was acting as a GC of sorts for a realtor rehabbing a house. I quoted it, installed it, and was paid by the realtor. The GC guy, (hereafter referred to as DB for deadbeat) called me and said hey the unit on my house is acting up can you come check it out? Go out, charge about 1/3 the system charge back in in R22. His total bill was $XXX. Since we're not allowed pricing it was about a weeks take home pay for a minimum wage employee. He does contracting, his wife is an RN, they're not broke. He said he'd get me the money Monday, this was Friday. No problem, I'd done business with him already so felt fine about it. That was several months ago. He finally gave me the screw you im not paying schpiel on the phone and stopping answering. Do I have a case to take it to small claims being that I don't have a signature on the invoice? I would let it go and just accept the loss if he hadn't been so nasty on the phone. Now I want to get my money. My brother and I are hand delivering a demand letter tomorrow (Christmas) morning, hopefully that will shame a response. If not does anyone have any ideas?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold, NY
    Posts
    15,805
    Post Likes
    I've found it easier to just don't deal with that type of client again. Not worth the time & trouble.

    If you wish to pursue the collection contact an attorney.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    19,973
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by Supa-Heat View Post
    Anyone have any tips for collecting an invoice? I have a guy who contacted me for an installation, he was acting as a GC of sorts for a realtor rehabbing a house. I quoted it, installed it, and was paid by the realtor. The GC guy, (hereafter referred to as DB for deadbeat) called me and said hey the unit on my house is acting up can you come check it out? Go out, charge about 1/3 the system charge back in in R22. His total bill was $XXX. Since we're not allowed pricing it was about a weeks take home pay for a minimum wage employee. He does contracting, his wife is an RN, they're not broke. He said he'd get me the money Monday, this was Friday. No problem, I'd done business with him already so felt fine about it. That was several months ago. He finally gave me the screw you im not paying schpiel on the phone and stopping answering. Do I have a case to take it to small claims being that I don't have a signature on the invoice? I would let it go and just accept the loss if he hadn't been so nasty on the phone. Now I want to get my money. My brother and I are hand delivering a demand letter tomorrow (Christmas) morning, hopefully that will shame a response. If not does anyone have any ideas?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    You can go to the courthouse and file a small claims suit and you’ll likely win. You probably won’t get paid until he try’s to sell his house or something like that. It costs me $75 to file and the time it takes to do it but sometimes we do it just based on principal, not really about the money. You don’t need a signature. Usually the nasty letter threatening taking it to small claims gets a response in the check form but some people are just deadbeats.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Bay Area California
    Posts
    18,898
    Post Likes
    Yeah, that's what I did. For something unrelated to this trade. The guy didn't even show up to court, so I won by default. Put a lien on his house. Then got my money a few years later when he went to refinance. I even got to add interest; the court stated the max interest I could charge, so I did.


    Quote Originally Posted by jtrammel View Post
    You can go to the courthouse and file a small claims suit and you’ll likely win. You probably won’t get paid until he try’s to sell his house or something like that. It costs me $75 to file and the time it takes to do it but sometimes we do it just based on principal, not really about the money. You don’t need a signature. Usually the nasty letter threatening taking it to small claims gets a response in the check form but some people are just deadbeats.
    A skilled Tech would solder a relay on that board and call it good to go.

  5. Likes kdean1 liked this post
  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Spartanburg SC
    Posts
    156
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by jtrammel View Post
    You can go to the courthouse and file a small claims suit and you’ll likely win. You probably won’t get paid until he try’s to sell his house or something like that. It costs me $75 to file and the time it takes to do it but sometimes we do it just based on principal, not really about the money. You don’t need a signature. Usually the nasty letter threatening taking it to small claims gets a response in the check form but some people are just deadbeats.
    It's on principle here. I'm fine with losing a couple hours Labor and that bit of 22. But when he said he just wasn't going to pay, that really ticked me off.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. Likes James Colver, kdean1, Mike19, IceWhiteice liked this post
  8. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Medford, N.Y.
    Posts
    4,520
    Post Likes
    It is my understanding that a signature is a MUST HAVE ITEM! Without it you are done! Going to his house could be construed as being physically intimidating and he could call the cops and say anything to them. Then he gets an "order of protection".

    How have you worked w/ this guy in the past? Most GC that I have worked for was the one who got my Invoice, the GC gave me a check.The GC then added HIS TAKE to my invoice, 10-20% and the customer paid the GC. So, is this the GC way of getting his fair share,since the customer paid you?

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Spartanburg SC
    Posts
    156
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by TechmanTerry View Post
    It is my understanding that a signature is a MUST HAVE ITEM! Without it you are done! Going to his house could be construed as being physically intimidating and he could call the cops and say anything to them. Then he gets an "order of protection".

    How have you worked w/ this guy in the past? Most GC that I have worked for was the one who got my Invoice, the GC gave me a check.The GC then added HIS TAKE to my invoice, 10-20% and the customer paid the GC. So, is this the GC way of getting his fair share?
    He's not a GC. He was acting as a "GC of sorts" and just managing the remodel for the realtor. I've since talked to realtor. Apparently DB screwed him for tens of thousands in the shoddy work that he did personally or had done and then jumped ship leaving the realtor to get most of it done over again. (Nothing about my work btw )
    This guy is definitely a lying cheating dishonest dirtbag and by no means a legit business person. I just want to put the screws to him whatever way and see this out. He's a bully and deserves for someone to not back down.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #8
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Bay Area California
    Posts
    18,898
    Post Likes
    Take him to court. In my case, there were a couple of different ways to have him served. I chose to have a Sheriff serve the papers, think it cost $35 at the time, I wanted the intimidation factor to kick in. You might very likely have the same results I did, as in him not showing up. After all, pretty much anything he could say would confirm his guilt, so why would he want to go through that process.


    Quote Originally Posted by Supa-Heat View Post
    He's not a GC. He was acting as a "GC of sorts" and just managing the remodel for the realtor. I've since talked to realtor. Apparently DB screwed him for tens of thousands in the shoddy work that he did personally or had done and then jumped ship leaving the realtor to get most of it done over again. (Nothing about my work btw )
    This guy is definitely a lying cheating dishonest dirtbag and by no means a legit business person. I just want to put the screws to him whatever way and see this out. He's a bully and deserves for someone to not back down.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    A skilled Tech would solder a relay on that board and call it good to go.

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Medford, N.Y.
    Posts
    4,520
    Post Likes
    When you go file for the Small Claims Court ask about the signature thing.

    Then ,after you pay your filing fee, then after you get a Court Date,then after 1st calling of ALL the Small Claim cases( he does not have to be there) ,then after 2nd "calling",which could be into the afternoon, then you might get a positive settlement from the Court,then he gets Legal Papers, then he ignores the Legal Papers,then you have to file papers to get the Sheriff involved, then he can claim Bankruptcy,then he smiles at you. At least that what can happen in this part of the world, been there,done that.

    So losing a days worth of pay and still having a days worth of bills should be figured into how much the DB is really screwing you for!!

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Bellevue, Washington, United States
    Posts
    1,615
    Post Likes
    I do respect that you want to make this right on principal. Trump screwed a lot of his contractors and they walked away when they really should have held him responsible. But, this is not a political thread so I'll stop there.

    Your success with collecting from a deadbeat client out of court will largely depend on how strong of a contract you had with him going into this job. My contracts have a "12% interests rate" agreement, and an "attorney's fees" provision. My contract also has an agreement that if they don't pay then the warranty is nullified. With these protections in place if someone doesn't pay then they run the risk of owing a lot more if we have to go through litigation. If you decide to sent him a demand letter you should explain nicely that if you win in court he's going to have to pay you a lot more. Don't threaten or be mean because he could play the victim card in court. That's very important.

    I just had to deal with a client who claimed I did a bad job and tried to get out paying my almost 5K. I thought about walking away but I chose to fight him on principal and I won. However, when clients claim "bad work" judges will often give this a discount which happened with my dispute. I pulled permits on this job and the inspectors confirmed everything was fine. I still won, just not as much as I thought I deserved. Funny side story though I used the judgement money to buy some bit coins and I actually made a killing

  13. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    22,616
    Post Likes
    I would forget about the money, and shoot a hole in his condenser with my pellet gun one night. You would be the purveyor of karma while doing the deed.
    “Now the freaks are on television, the freaks are in the movies. And it’s no longer the sideshow, it’s the whole show. The colorful circus and the clowns and the elephants, for all intents and purposes, are gone, and we’re dealing only with the freaks.” - Jonathan Winters

  14. Likes Metalman0880, Mike19, Zmaniac, DavidDeBord liked this post
  15. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Marionville, Missouri
    Posts
    55
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by coolwhip View Post
    I would forget about the money, and shoot a hole in his condenser with my pellet gun one night. You would be the purveyor of karma while doing the deed.
    Flexseal the condensor coil this spring


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  16. Likes Mike19, Zmaniac liked this post
  17. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Broomall, PA
    Posts
    1,718
    Post Likes
    I knew a guy who would write the price owed on a brick, and toss it thru a window.
    The real problem is in PA you need a signature, with the customer signing off on their 3 day right if rescission...blah blah blah..
    Couple hundred bucks I won't even bother filing a count claim. Gonna cost you that much to file, a wasted day for court.
    "Sometimes what's right is what's left after you do everything wrong"--Robin Williams

Page 1 of 6 123456 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor MagazineThe place where Electrical professionals meet.