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Author Topic: Customers refuse to pay  (Read 314 times)

Offline dentdaddy

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  • Member Since: Feb 2010
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Customers refuse to pay
« on: September 14, 2012, 07:31:45 AM »
On occasion I'll have a customer refuse to pay the diagnostic, for one reason or another. Rather than removing a few of their teeth with a well placed wrap across their suck hole, I generally send them 2 invoices via mail, then turn them over to a collections company. Are you independents doing anything different? What about you Sears guys?


I rarely have anyone fail to pay for an actual repair that we "bill out". But there have been a few. ie customer claiming manufacture warranty for a pump filter cleanout then the manuf not covering the repair, and the cust not paying either saying "that's between you and them". I can put a Mechanics Lien on her vehicle, which I will do if she doesn't pay while in collections. Anyone done this? What were the results?


I like to keep customers, but I don't do this for practice, and none of us need customers that don't pay.
Good work isn't cheap. Cheap work isn't good.
SW Oklahoma

Offline Wedgeman55

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  • Man vs Appliance - Never give up, Never surrender
Re: Customers refuse to pay
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2012, 03:05:00 AM »
     Sucks to not get paid.   I have had several incidents over the years.   But,  all in all,  I have very good customers who would never do that to me.   They are grateful I'm reasonable and usually send my money pretty quickly.   Certain landlord or commercial customers who want fast service but were slow payers I have eliminated or just told them they have to meet me and pay me that day.    I got rid of several laundromats that did that to me.   
     As for collection agency's,  I have not had to resort to that yet.    I usually try reasoning.   Good example................ worked at a laundromat.   Guy said he wasn't making much money,  and couldn't pay me for a while.   I said that wasn't acceptable,  and he said he'd pay me when he had money.   So.........What I did,  went back and took all my parts off machines and "unrepaired" other machines that I had fixed.   I called him,  and told him he didn't owe me anything,  I took my parts back.    (and I also called all of the other companys around our area, whom I know all of them,  and told them about this guy)_.    He tried to call the other companys,  and they all told him he had to pay 500 upfront before any work done,  and when 500 in work was reached,  He would have to give them 500 more to continue.   He eventually called me,  whining that everyone else wanted money upfront,   and now I still work for him and he meets me and pays me that day.    Just had to train him properly.
     My policy now is if I don't know someone,   they have to pay me that day.   No exceptions.       
Commercial Laundry repair Tech and Installer  1973 to 1980
Service Manager / Technician Commercial Laundry repair company 1980 to 2002
Refrigeration - HVAC - Boiler School 1974-1976
Electronic School 1978-1979
Self Employed Appliance Repair Company 2002 to present

Offline Wedgeman55

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  • Man vs Appliance - Never give up, Never surrender
Re: Customers refuse to pay
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2012, 03:06:59 AM »
     One other thing.   I don't do warranty repairs.   And the few times I did Home Warranty for customers,  I told them they had to pay me and it was their problem to get money from warranty company.   I hate dealing with those guys.    Takes forever to get paid ,  and you have to jump through hoops to get your money.   
Commercial Laundry repair Tech and Installer  1973 to 1980
Service Manager / Technician Commercial Laundry repair company 1980 to 2002
Refrigeration - HVAC - Boiler School 1974-1976
Electronic School 1978-1979
Self Employed Appliance Repair Company 2002 to present

Offline theoldstoveguy

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Re: Customers refuse to pay
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2012, 09:26:36 AM »
In California it is against the law to remove parts for no payment after they are installed. I just write it off as a loss and contact other local servicers. They get a credit card upfront. Even had one give a bogus card number, was arrested for fraud.

Offline Wedgeman55

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  • Man vs Appliance - Never give up, Never surrender
Re: Customers refuse to pay
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2012, 02:13:00 PM »
     I think that might have been against law here too,  but this guy was in the wrong and didn't mention that to me.   I agree,  at this point in my business,  I would just write off a part and labor.    Hell,  I've done stuff for people that are really destitute for and charged them nothing nothing cause I felt sorry for them.    But that guy just ticked me off.   But this was alot of work.   

     What I could have done,  and didn't know at that time,  was called the police.   If you do service work for someone and they don't pay you,  that is theft of services and they can actually be arrested.    Same for the Bogus card number.    You could threaten them with that to help get them goosed to pay you.    But then that gets ugly.   I would only want to do that in a worse case scenario.     I had a heart to heart with the guy,   now he is a very good customer.     I would say about 95% of my customers are great customers,  I guess it's always gonna happen you get one bad one every once in a while.
Commercial Laundry repair Tech and Installer  1973 to 1980
Service Manager / Technician Commercial Laundry repair company 1980 to 2002
Refrigeration - HVAC - Boiler School 1974-1976
Electronic School 1978-1979
Self Employed Appliance Repair Company 2002 to present

Offline dentdaddy

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  • Member Since: Feb 2010
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Re: Customers refuse to pay
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2012, 04:44:26 PM »
I called the police once. I explained what happened, and specifically mentioned "theft of services". He proceeds to explain (at least here in OK) that it is a Civil case, and not criminal. If it were criminal, he could go arrest them. However since it is civil, I would have to take them to court. I don't have time for that at this point, so I send them a couple invoices, then turn it over to collections, which will ruin their credit if they choose not to pay.
Good work isn't cheap. Cheap work isn't good.
SW Oklahoma

Offline Wedgeman55

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  • Member Since: Aug 2008
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  • Country: us
  • Man vs Appliance - Never give up, Never surrender
Re: Customers refuse to pay
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2012, 09:25:13 PM »
Lets hope we ALL get paid all of the time for what we do.   You are right,  its not worth the headache most of the time.    I've never actually gotten to the point where I had to call police,  but I talked with my lawyer,  and he's the one that told me that I could do that.     I guess it depends on where you live.   
Commercial Laundry repair Tech and Installer  1973 to 1980
Service Manager / Technician Commercial Laundry repair company 1980 to 2002
Refrigeration - HVAC - Boiler School 1974-1976
Electronic School 1978-1979
Self Employed Appliance Repair Company 2002 to present

Offline Nwtech

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  • Member Since: Feb 2012
  • Posts: 60
Re: Customers refuse to pay
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2012, 10:22:02 PM »
The worst I've had to do is send an email letting them know my next step was collections/mechanic's lien. I've always gotten paid at that point but you never get additional work from them.

Offline Patricio

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Re: Customers refuse to pay
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2012, 12:31:13 AM »
I live in a 'poor community'   I have done several diagnoses where I condemed tI justhe unit.   I never asked to be paid when I had to condemn,  but I was paid something for my time.   I have only one person who owes me for repairing his stand alone icemaker.  He paid me 25% of the bill & has stiffed me for the rest.   After repeated attempts to collect,  I have moved on accepted that I will not collect.    Where is he going to get it repaired next time,   not many techs in this community.
Great Old Fashion Hometown Service

Offline Wedgeman55

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  • Posts: 1022
  • Country: us
  • Man vs Appliance - Never give up, Never surrender
Re: Customers refuse to pay
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2012, 02:38:13 AM »
    I agree, Patricio.  When I have to condemn a unit,  I usually wave the charge.   I always tell them to use the money toward the new appliance,  and they always appreciate that.   I tell them to keep me in mind when they have another problem,  and to mention me to their friends.   Usually a compressor on a cheap refrigerator,  or a rotted out washer or dryer,  or a cheap dishwasher that needs a motor.   
 
    When I do this,  I always get called back later from them or from a referal from them and it usually nets you more business.  Goodwill is good.     
Commercial Laundry repair Tech and Installer  1973 to 1980
Service Manager / Technician Commercial Laundry repair company 1980 to 2002
Refrigeration - HVAC - Boiler School 1974-1976
Electronic School 1978-1979
Self Employed Appliance Repair Company 2002 to present

 

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