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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/12/2005 3:58:00 AM EDT
After two months in business, somebody finally bounced a check to me. I gave the guy a call, because I'm a nice guy at heart, and didn't want to create a big fuss if he would just come by the clinic and pay in cash (it costs me less money/time to collect this way... and it's a small town).

Long story short- he said he'd come by 2 days ago to pay up, and his phone has been off the hook ever since. It's time to release the hounds on this deadbeat.

I've got options- DA (a lady from the worthless check unit is a client), Alabama Vet Med Assn. collections agency, certified letter, etc.

What have you done, and what was your outcome?
-Hobbit
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 5:21:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/12/2005 5:22:24 AM EDT by BeetleBailey]

Already!? Dang... . Why don't you just go down the list of those options? Sounds like you really got your bases covered, good job.
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 6:23:02 AM EDT
The DA will get their attention real quick. Alabama has some no-nonsense bad check laws....

lots of folks sitting in jail over even small checks...
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 6:42:17 AM EDT
Take it to the DA. They will arrest the person.

Link Posted: 8/12/2005 7:12:46 AM EDT
I would send a certified letter first and then go to the DA if no response, that way you can have proof that you tried to solve the problem first and he can't belly ache about you being "unfair"
Link Posted: 8/13/2005 5:59:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/13/2005 6:01:52 AM EDT by Jfor]

Originally Posted By Hobbit:
After two months in business, somebody finally bounced a check to me. I gave the guy a call, because I'm a nice guy at heart, and didn't want to create a big fuss if he would just come by the clinic and pay in cash (it costs me less money/time to collect this way... and it's a small town).

Long story short- he said he'd come by 2 days ago to pay up, and his phone has been off the hook ever since. It's time to release the hounds on this deadbeat.

I've got options- DA (a lady from the worthless check unit is a client), Alabama Vet Med Assn. collections agency, certified letter, etc.

What have you done, and what was your outcome?
-Hobbit



Here in Cullman you call the police and we would come out and take a report. Then you would have to come down to city hall and swear out a warrant for his arrest, Then we would go and serve the warrant nd the guy would stay in jail until 1) He paid the fine 2)He paid you the money he owes you.

Let me know if you have some more questions.

**ETA** For the future, if you get worthless check, go ahead and file a complaint. That way if he doesn't pay all you have to do is swear out the warrant and the person can be arrested for negotiating a worthless instrument.
Link Posted: 8/13/2005 3:01:33 PM EDT
Checks can, and SHOULD BE, absolutely eliminated forever. Frankly, I have always found it quite astonishing that I can write somebody a little note promising them I have money somewhere and they can have some, too. It's amazing we allow this, if ya think about it. I can't wait to see them go. Mark of the "beast" my ass, electronic payment universality can't come fast enough for this fat boy!


Checks. Heh.
Link Posted: 8/13/2005 5:41:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/13/2005 5:43:58 PM EDT by Hobbit]
Update:
By going back to his client info sheet with his cell and emergency contact numbers on it, I got in touch with him. He's supposed to be coming in with cash this week- we'll see. Call me cynical.

The problem on my end is that if someone comes in and pays off their bad debt while the DA is already in motion, the business has to pay St. Clair County $30.00 to call off the dogs... leaving me out more money in the end. It would stink to pay for a certified letter, file paperwork with the DA, and then wind up paying the County in the end. That's the only reason I'm waiting.
I suppose that that it the County's way of making sure that you pursue all of your options before getting them involved.

I told deadbeat Number One that while I'm a nice guy, I happen to be a nice guy with a brand new business and a massive mortgage payment. I can't afford to not get paid for the things I do.

NOTE: I'm taking suggestions for the wording if my "we pursue bad checks" sign that will be hung in the lobby. I'm thinking about something with the phrase "Draw Down" in it.

Other developments:
I now have a DVD player in the office that I'm holding as collateral on a hit-by-car Dachsund that I treated last week. I'm now a pawn shop, apparently. Anyway, these people were very up-front with me when they walked in, which I can deal with. Honesty will get you a long way with me.

Got another bounced check back from a different client yesterday. This one is employed by the .gov. Looks like I might need to make the certified letter mailout a weekly thing...
-Hobbit
Link Posted: 8/13/2005 6:06:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/13/2005 6:13:26 PM EDT by bigjuice]
Welcome to the service world.

You can either put up with the headaches of taking checks or not accept them. Most people in Alabama love to use checks and MANY of them become very good at how to float them while they wait for their next paycheck, social security check, welfare check, etc.

The simplest thing to do is to charge them $30 (at the bank end) for a bounced check right off the bat, meaning that you get something at least. Then if they don't settle up have a collection agency handle it. I guess see how it works using the DA approach and then try the collection agency approach and see which one you like best; trust me, you will have your share of people ot try different methods on to find your favorite approach. Either way, this is going to be a huge pain in your ass and a regular part of business as a county vet in AL.

The physicians and vets that I know charge the $30 for returned check and then send a letter giving them a specifiied amount of time before a collection agency is unleashed. When they cross the date, turn it over and let them handle it. The way I view it is that you are a professional and it is not worth you wasting a lot of your time going after money you may never see again. That is what collection agencies do best and they will get the money for you if possible.
Link Posted: 8/13/2005 6:50:55 PM EDT
Just a suggestion, but see if a local bank or collection agency can give you pointers on how to spot bad checks. There are indicators to look for. Second is to have an area removed from customers where you can call the bank while the customer is waiting. These people are taking your money. They can wait five or so minutes while you verify the check. Tell them that's what you are going to do. Its your business. Do it the way you want. If they don't like it then they can go to the bank and bring you the cash. You'll be happy to keep Fido until they get back.
Link Posted: 8/13/2005 11:42:02 PM EDT
Oh, have I mentioned that taking checks is stupid?
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 5:43:18 AM EDT
Taking checks isn't the way I prefer to do business, but it's unavoidable. Cash only would be great, but not feasible.
Credit card companies take about 2% of everything that comes through me as a cresit transaction in processing fees. Checks that don't bounce don't cost me that 2%, which adds up quickly when 75% of your income is via check (the 20th century is still a ways away when it comes to plastic here).

Until yesterday, my bounced check fee was $25.00, which is on par with the other local businesses here. $30.00 is the max I can charge. Guess what the new returned check fee is.

I'd rather go to the DA than a collections agency, at least for the time being, because collections agencies keep a large portion of what they collect.

About my time- if I were actually busy all day, it would be a waste of my time. As a new startup with no real local reputatioin, I spend a couple of hors each day waiting for people to walk in the door and want me to do something for them. I've got plenty of time to chase down money I've already earned. It's a much better return on my time than looking out the window.

Still no suggestions on the returned check sign?

-Hobbit
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 6:27:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By axl:
You'll be happy to keep Fido until they get back.



If he kept Fido while they went and got money, he would be keeping a lot of dogs permanently! You would be amazed at how many people just don't care for their pets at all and will dump them without a thought. My wife is a vet and they almost always have at least one dog or cat that was brought for a "week" of boarding and is simply abandoned with them. They kept one dog for 4 MONTHS that belonged to a divorcing couple. That is a bill of ~$5000 that they will NEVER see! One of the kennel girls adopted the dog after multiple letters were sent to the owners with no reply. Pitiful.

-Hobbit, you will be busy all day long in the next year or two and won't have time for playing collection officer. With that said, I am curious to see what the DA can get back for you. I need to talk to other professionals I know again, but from what I understand you will actually get more money back from a collection agency even though they take a cut. They have the ability to garnish wages and hit people where it hurts on credit score, etc. If the DA arrests somebody in an attempt to help you collect from a bad check, they can pay the fine or stay in jail. Everyone simply stays in jail. They don't care. They have been there before and will go back again.

-I would DEFINETELY put up a returned check sign. Just go with the standard "returned check policy" sign. Maybe add at the bottom that you are providing a service and don't work for free, just as they wouldn't work for free. And that you will draw down.

-And being in a rural area of Alabama, you might get paid in peaches, pecans, etc sometimes. My dad is a professional and I can't tell you how many times we have been partially paid in goods when people couldn't cover all of their bill. We ate for free for a month around Xmas every year. I have a friend who is an attorney in Bham who had a client pay his bill entirely in weapons, 2 very expensive over/under shotguns, a Desert Eagle and a Kimber for services rendered. You may want to say "Well if you don't have the money, what Do you have?" Yes, you may turn into a pawn shop/car lot/jewelry store but these things can all be converted into money.

I don't know if this would be worth it or not, but something I ran across doing a Google search for returned check signs: CheckAGAIN

This is going to become a part of the business whether you like it or not, so you might as well figure out your long-term plan for trying to recover money. I talked to my wife about it and she is spoiled. They have an office manager who takes care of these problems. She spends most of her day calling these people personally trying to recover money and then they turn it over to collections. All the physicians I know are set-up the same way. They bring the money in and have people working for them to chase what is lost.

You are going to be busy before you know it and won't have time to deal with this so I would recommend setting up your long-term plan. Juice's .02.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 10:29:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/14/2005 10:30:54 AM EDT by Hobbit]
I actually did hold a very expensive Boxer puppy hostage the other day because someone wanted to have their "boyfriend come in and pay the rest of the bill on Friday" (the puppy had just survived a case of parvo and was about to go home after spending nearly a week with me). No dice.

It was amazing how fast they came up with an alternative source of cash.

Calling in to check on bank balances for large checks is not a bad idea at all. Both checks that have come back were between one and two hundred dollars.

About dropping dogs off forever- we had this happen in a divorce when I was in Georgia. We were boarding three pets for a family while they were "on vacation". Whet actually happened was that the couple were getting divorced and Daddy moved back to England. Mommy had left the breadwinner for another man, who promptly left her when her husband's money dried up. It was a tangled web.

Anyway, every few days, the kids would come over from their no-pets apartment (lost the house) to visit the pets. After racking up about 3,500 in bills, we finally settled from a check from England for part of the amount. Daddy was a good guy and wanted to try to make things right with us for taking care of his kids' cats.

-Hobbit

ETA: I would LOVE to get paid in firearms and accessories. If you need work done (and you wife isn't a vet), you know where to find me.

Link Posted: 8/14/2005 12:10:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/14/2005 12:13:54 PM EDT by The_Beer_Slayer]
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 12:15:15 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 12:45:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
if it were up to me checks would be gone altogether for business transactions. EVERYONE has or should have a debit card by now or cash if they don't want to use the debit system. There is NO reason for taking checks anymore. The hastle and fees associted with recovery of bad ones is just no longer worth the benifits.


That said..... Alabama will CRUCIFY bad check writers when they catch them nowdays.

Mona got hit with one last month. it was a check to foodworld in mobile from 1989. they JUST tried to cash it and it bounced because the account was closed... <duh after 16 years what do you expect>. the check was for 12.00 or so and it cost over 120 to clear it up with the mobile county da's office.

i tried to talk to food world and get it worked out since the waited 16 damn years to try and ccash it but they refused anything other than dealing with the DA's office. The DA was more than willing to agree to a compromise if FW had agreed due to the circumstances.



That is weird that they waited 16 YEARS. Good lord. I think a letter from an attorney to Food World is in order. Dumb bastids.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 5:19:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
if it were up to me checks would be gone altogether for business transactions. EVERYONE has or should have a debit card by now or cash if they don't want to use the debit system. There is NO reason for taking checks anymore. The hastle and fees associted with recovery of bad ones is just no longer worth the benifits.


That said..... Alabama will CRUCIFY bad check writers when they catch them nowdays.

Mona got hit with one last month. it was a check to foodworld in mobile from 1989. they JUST tried to cash it and it bounced because the account was closed... <duh after 16 years what do you expect>. the check was for 12.00 or so and it cost over 120 to clear it up with the mobile county da's office.

i tried to talk to food world and get it worked out since the waited 16 damn years to try and ccash it but they refused anything other than dealing with the DA's office. The DA was more than willing to agree to a compromise if FW had agreed due to the circumstances.



You would think that after a certian amount of time that check would then be void. That sounds like a Foodworld problem and not a Beer_Slayer problem.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 5:29:39 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 8:23:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
that was pretty much my feeleing as well. the account was open in good standing for almost 2 years after the check was written. as for the lawyer it's cost me more to fight it than to just pay off the damned thing.



I know it would cost more, but even my VA check I get every month says it will be void after 1 year. No wonder Foodworld is in financial trouble. Waiting 16 years to deposit a check LOL
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 3:07:30 PM EDT
I buy and pay with checks. You want my business, you accept a check. Stop taking checks, lose business
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 3:30:51 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 4:42:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:

Originally Posted By alaman:
I buy and pay with checks. You want my business, you accept a check. Stop taking checks, lose business




you won't be doing business at all in another 5-10 years. Checks are a dead animal and banks are begining to push the out the door.



+1000, and it can't happen soon enough for me, no offense at all to our friend Alaman. It's just that little paper lovenotes promising that somewhere there's money are very simply bad business, obsolete and on their way out the door.
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 5:32:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:

Originally Posted By alaman:
I buy and pay with checks. You want my business, you accept a check. Stop taking checks, lose business




you won't be doing business at all in another 5-10 years. Checks are a dead animal and banks are begining to push the out the door.



Don't bet on it. Same was said 20 years ago and guess what, checks are still in use. The only way to stop check use is a federal law. If I remit to you by check, under the UCC, you have to accept it if you deal in interstate commerce
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 6:24:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/17/2005 6:28:36 PM EDT by The_Camp_Ninja]

Originally Posted By alaman:

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:

Originally Posted By alaman:
I buy and pay with checks. You want my business, you accept a check. Stop taking checks, lose business




you won't be doing business at all in another 5-10 years. Checks are a dead animal and banks are begining to push the out the door.



Don't bet on it. Same was said 20 years ago and guess what, checks are still in use. The only way to stop check use is a federal law. If I remit to you by check, under the UCC, you have to accept it if you deal in interstate commerce



OK then, I ain't gonna argue witcha. But, feel free to argue your interstate commerce theory with the myriad operations, that are interstate, that do not accept checks. And as check fraud grows, so will the number of places not accepting them. Just curious, why do you hold on so dear to this antiquated method of commerce?

Edited to add: If this was said twenty years ago, it was said far before technology could make this a reality. As for today, the technology is indeed here, and as such so is the phasing out of checks. Heck, "check 21" alone made checks little more than a debit instrument.

Like I said before, I'm really not arguing with you, it is clear that you plan to hang on as long as you can, and that's fine. But you'll be shopping fewer places as the years progress.
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 7:09:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Camp_Ninja:

Originally Posted By alaman:

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:

Originally Posted By alaman:
I buy and pay with checks. You want my business, you accept a check. Stop taking checks, lose business




you won't be doing business at all in another 5-10 years. Checks are a dead animal and banks are begining to push the out the door.



Don't bet on it. Same was said 20 years ago and guess what, checks are still in use. The only way to stop check use is a federal law. If I remit to you by check, under the UCC, you have to accept it if you deal in interstate commerce



OK then, I ain't gonna argue witcha. But, feel free to argue your interstate commerce theory with the myriad operations, that are interstate, that do not accept checks. And as check fraud grows, so will the number of places not accepting them. Just curious, why do you hold on so dear to this antiquated method of commerce?

Edited to add: If this was said twenty years ago, it was said far before technology could make this a reality. As for today, the technology is indeed here, and as such so is the phasing out of checks. Heck, "check 21" alone made checks little more than a debit instrument.

Like I said before, I'm really not arguing with you, it is clear that you plan to hang on as long as you can, and that's fine. But you'll be shopping fewer places as the years progress.



I'm hanging on because I'm an old fashioned type of guy and will not have some bank or somebody I'm buying from tell me how to pay. After all, this is America, the Home of the Free and the Brave. My dad fought in WW2 to give me the priviledge of writing a check, not having to use some damn debit card in it's place. . I'm also honest and don't write hot checks. I have no problem not doing business with those that won't accept my checks. It's their loss, not mine. There are others offering the same or better products.

When I moved to B'ham, I went grocery shopping and filled up two carts. Winn Dixie would not accept my check because I did not have one of their cards. They said I could use a credit card. Walked out and left the items in the carts and have never been back. Guess who lost and also had to go put those groceries back? It wasn't me. Winn Dixie is also barely holding on and part is due to dumb policies.

Link Posted: 8/17/2005 7:31:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By alaman:

Originally Posted By The_Camp_Ninja:

Originally Posted By alaman:

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:

Originally Posted By alaman:
I buy and pay with checks. You want my business, you accept a check. Stop taking checks, lose business




you won't be doing business at all in another 5-10 years. Checks are a dead animal and banks are begining to push the out the door.



Don't bet on it. Same was said 20 years ago and guess what, checks are still in use. The only way to stop check use is a federal law. If I remit to you by check, under the UCC, you have to accept it if you deal in interstate commerce



OK then, I ain't gonna argue witcha. But, feel free to argue your interstate commerce theory with the myriad operations, that are interstate, that do not accept checks. And as check fraud grows, so will the number of places not accepting them. Just curious, why do you hold on so dear to this antiquated method of commerce?

Edited to add: If this was said twenty years ago, it was said far before technology could make this a reality. As for today, the technology is indeed here, and as such so is the phasing out of checks. Heck, "check 21" alone made checks little more than a debit instrument.

Like I said before, I'm really not arguing with you, it is clear that you plan to hang on as long as you can, and that's fine. But you'll be shopping fewer places as the years progress.



I'm hanging on because I'm an old fashioned type of guy and will not have some bank or somebody I'm buying from tell me how to pay. After all, this is America, the Home of the Free and the Brave. My dad fought in WW2 to give me the priviledge of writing a check, not having to use some damn debit card in it's place. . I'm also honest and don't write hot checks. I have no problem not doing business with those that won't accept my checks. It's their loss, not mine. There are others offering the same or better products.

When I moved to B'ham, I went grocery shopping and filled up two carts. Winn Dixie would not accept my check because I did not have one of their cards. They said I could use a credit card. Walked out and left the items in the carts and have never been back. Guess who lost and also had to go put those groceries back? It wasn't me. Winn Dixie is also barely holding on and part is due to dumb policies.





Well, OK then.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 12:17:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/18/2005 12:22:45 PM EDT by Rick03a3]
Hobbit, you might want to consider dealing with farm animals only. My daughter & son-in-law own and operate a farm tractor dealership and haven't received a hot check in the 4+ years they've been in business.

Rick

Edited to add: My daughter says that we have had 2 checks that bounced and that both were quickly made good.

Link Posted: 8/18/2005 3:57:10 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 5:07:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By alaman:

I'm hanging on because I'm an old fashioned type of guy and will not have some bank or somebody I'm buying from tell me how to pay. After all, this is America, the Home of the Free and the Brave. My dad fought in WW2 to give me the priviledge of writing a check, not having to use some damn debit card in it's place. . I'm also honest and don't write hot checks. I have no problem not doing business with those that won't accept my checks. It's their loss, not mine. There are others offering the same or better products.

When I moved to B'ham, I went grocery shopping and filled up two carts. Winn Dixie would not accept my check because I did not have one of their cards. They said I could use a credit card. Walked out and left the items in the carts and have never been back. Guess who lost and also had to go put those groceries back? It wasn't me. Winn Dixie is also barely holding on and part is due to dumb policies.




The problem with this is those of us in the service industry have no way of knowing who is honest and we run across a lot of people every day who are not so honest. Accepting checks makes a great deal of work for the business owner compared to the convenience they make for the customer. If you cannot automatically debit the account right then and there to see if you have a bad check, you are basically taking an IOU from somebody you do not know. That means the business either ahs to pay to get one of the new systems that can automatically debit an account from a check, or pay a collection agency to only recover a PORTION of the total money you are owed.

You shouldn't be insulted by someone who wants some proof of your ability to pay; we don't all know who is bouncing checks and who is not. Winn Dixie had no way of knowing if that check was good or not. I want to get paid for the work I do, as I am sure you do. When I get a check, I am not so sure I have gotten paid yet for the services rendered. With a debit card or cash, I know.

I personally don't see how checks are convenient for the consumer anyway. I always get stuck behind some lady at the grocery store who has to write out her check and we all have to then wait for the store to run it through the processor which takes the same length of time as clearing a debit card. So we all wait for her to write the check and then have to wait for it to clear the bank, and the funds are still immediately pulled from your account. It takes time out of your day.

I fortunately only wrote checks for several years and have been a debit card kid ever since. It is the way things are going and it is an easy system to use once you get used to it.

Benefits:

-You don't have to carry checks, only a card

-If card is stolen, it is a better system than if checks are stolen. The card actually has more protection than checks because Visa has to honor their same policies for credit cards, meaning you have protection from Visa, with checks you only have protection from the bank.

-You have a legible receipt, not carbon checks that are hard to read

-You don't have to write out a check every time you buy something

-You don't wait in line at gas stations

-The majority of fraud in this country is still paper fraud, not electronic. Meaning you have a greater chance of a thief seeing the little red flag up on your mail box (aka the dinner bell) stealing your outgoing bills and washing your checks than you do somebody electronically stealing your information. This trend is especially true in Alabama. It is currently safer to pay your bills online than by mail and it saves you 37 cents every time. It is also more convenient once you take the time to figure out how to do it.

I am not trying to flame you, alaman. I just think a lot of people don't think about what it is like to be on the receiving end of checks. There are better ways to do business for the customer AND the business now.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 8:35:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:

Originally Posted By alaman:

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:

Originally Posted By alaman:
I buy and pay with checks. You want my business, you accept a check. Stop taking checks, lose business




you won't be doing business at all in another 5-10 years. Checks are a dead animal and banks are begining to push the out the door.



Don't bet on it. Same was said 20 years ago and guess what, checks are still in use. The only way to stop check use is a federal law. If I remit to you by check, under the UCC, you have to accept it if you deal in interstate commerce




actually i will bet on it. i service the check sorters at Amsouth, wachovia, regions, and compass here in town.

Birmingham is the largest check sorting center in the eastern 1/2 of the USA for check processing. i have seen volumes drop in 1/2 over the last 2 years. 80% of the offsite backup facilities for the check processing departments have been closed and every day more work is being moved/consolidated to our locations. The market for processing equipment is dead. IBM has not manufactured a new 3890 processor in 7 years and has not stopped production and development, we have 4 people left in the supprt center to provide technician support for the entire USA.

Ibm has told the banks that service for the check processors will no longer be avaialbe...ie we wont service them, by 2012 at the absolute latest. There are othe brands on the market but none of them have the speed of the IBM system.

you will begin to see electronic processing <ie...walmarts scan and return system> more and more. it works excatly as a debit card as it immediately withdraws funds. CC companies are currently doing this. if you mail the a check your statement will likely show some kind of echeck transaction now.

check processing costs an ENOURMOUS amount of money. Not only digital/microfiche storage of the image and physical copies of the checks, but they are also charged a "click charge" by the the vendors for the sorting equipment. a typical run for month end on my machines will be about 4 million checks per sorter. regions bank has 14 sorter in birmingham. the cost adds up QUICKLY! this is not counting routine day to day processing.



First of all what it costs a bank or other business to process my check is their problem, not mine. Banks lie anyway. I was in banking for 20 years. I remember when ATMs came out and banks said to use them because of convenience and they would hold down costs . People did and banks were happy because there were less tellers. Now some banks charge for using their ATM. Therefore, if I want cash, I make them process my check.

If merchants want to handle my check like S.E. Guns does, I have no problem with it because I still wrote a check. If they don't want my check, The Gun Cellar will take it. Also, keep in mind there are many small sellers who do not take cards. As an example, there is a local guy who I have bought suppressors and suppressed guns from that are as good as anyones. The only way to pay him is by check or haul a bunch of cash around.

There will always be banks that accept customers using checks, though they may be smaller than AmSouth. I will use them.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 8:47:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By bigjuice:

Originally Posted By alaman:

I'm hanging on because I'm an old fashioned type of guy and will not have some bank or somebody I'm buying from tell me how to pay. After all, this is America, the Home of the Free and the Brave. My dad fought in WW2 to give me the priviledge of writing a check, not having to use some damn debit card in it's place. . I'm also honest and don't write hot checks. I have no problem not doing business with those that won't accept my checks. It's their loss, not mine. There are others offering the same or better products.

When I moved to B'ham, I went grocery shopping and filled up two carts. Winn Dixie would not accept my check because I did not have one of their cards. They said I could use a credit card. Walked out and left the items in the carts and have never been back. Guess who lost and also had to go put those groceries back? It wasn't me. Winn Dixie is also barely holding on and part is due to dumb policies.




The problem with this is those of us in the service industry have no way of knowing who is honest and we run across a lot of people every day who are not so honest. Accepting checks makes a great deal of work for the business owner compared to the convenience they make for the customer. If you cannot automatically debit the account right then and there to see if you have a bad check, you are basically taking an IOU from somebody you do not know. That means the business either ahs to pay to get one of the new systems that can automatically debit an account from a check, or pay a collection agency to only recover a PORTION of the total money you are owed.

You shouldn't be insulted by someone who wants some proof of your ability to pay; we don't all know who is bouncing checks and who is not. Winn Dixie had no way of knowing if that check was good or not. I want to get paid for the work I do, as I am sure you do. When I get a check, I am not so sure I have gotten paid yet for the services rendered. With a debit card or cash, I know.

I personally don't see how checks are convenient for the consumer anyway. I always get stuck behind some lady at the grocery store who has to write out her check and we all have to then wait for the store to run it through the processor which takes the same length of time as clearing a debit card. So we all wait for her to write the check and then have to wait for it to clear the bank, and the funds are still immediately pulled from your account. It takes time out of your day.

I fortunately only wrote checks for several years and have been a debit card kid ever since. It is the way things are going and it is an easy system to use once you get used to it.

Benefits:

-You don't have to carry checks, only a card

-If card is stolen, it is a better system than if checks are stolen. The card actually has more protection than checks because Visa has to honor their same policies for credit cards, meaning you have protection from Visa, with checks you only have protection from the bank.

-You have a legible receipt, not carbon checks that are hard to read

-You don't have to write out a check every time you buy something

-You don't wait in line at gas stations

-The majority of fraud in this country is still paper fraud, not electronic. Meaning you have a greater chance of a thief seeing the little red flag up on your mail box (aka the dinner bell) stealing your outgoing bills and washing your checks than you do somebody electronically stealing your information. This trend is especially true in Alabama. It is currently safer to pay your bills online than by mail and it saves you 37 cents every time. It is also more convenient once you take the time to figure out how to do it.

I am not trying to flame you, alaman. I just think a lot of people don't think about what it is like to be on the receiving end of checks. There are better ways to do business for the customer AND the business now.



I am a small businessman with well over 1100 clients. All pay me by check. In 18 years, at most 10 have been no good but I eventually got my money. I also pay my suppliers by check, all of them. None have asked about any other form of payment and none will. I do not find any of that inconvenient nor evidently do the suppliers. Electronic payment is a gimmick by banks to fool people into lowering costs so they make more money. The bank works for me, not the other way around.

If you want to know if a check is good as soon as you accept it, contact your bank as they have a system that gives you immediate credit if the check is good. S.E. Guns uses that system and never has a check bounce.

Additionally, and very importantly, there have been times when I needed a cancelled check to prove I paid for something. Try thay with a debit card because on the check I can write what the purchase is for and have the endorsement and proof of deposit on the back of the check. All a debit card shows is I paid for something at a place on a specific day.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 12:19:52 PM EDT
I process all payments at the tractor store except for equipment sales. i.e. if you buy a tractor, I may take your check to the bank but my daughter will be the one to process it. The payments I work on are mostly the day to day parts sales. For the past 2 days, we took in 7 checks, 3 CC sales, 12 cash and the rest was bought on a charge account. By & large, our charge customers pay monthly with a check.

We've had exactly 2 checks to bounce in 4 years and they were both from established customers that aren't too good at math:) Those checks were quickly made good, and both gentlemen are still good customers.

Honest people still do exist, heck I have a Dr. that doesn't even have a CC machine, he still takes chickens as payment I guess:)

Rick
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 12:38:56 PM EDT
I guess it matters what line of work you are in.

Both of you guys have established clientele who would ruin a business relationship with you if they purposely wrote a bad check. Some of us are around people who are one-time shoppers and have no problems trying to get services for free. It seems like both of you are in situations where that check is as good as your word, and people know you are good for it and you know they are good for it based on your business history together.

Alaman, in terms of keeping detailed records of what I have bought, I keep my receipts. That is how I balance by account and it leaves a paper trail like checks. It works well for me. I shred any mundane receipts like gasoline, groceries, etc. once I have them entered into my register and I keep all important receipts like firearm purchases, etc. I must admit that checks are a good wat to track your spending, especially when the bank sends you copies each month.

If it works for you, stick with it. I think checks are on the way out long-term. I think they will be around for a long time in the South because checks are used so often here and many people are resistant to changing, for better or worse.

This thread has turned into something else from where it started, sorry for the hijack Hobbit!
Link Posted: 8/20/2005 3:08:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/20/2005 3:08:42 AM EDT by Hobbit]
The update:
Both of the bad check guys came in this week and paid up in full, in cash, and with the penalties. And yes, we did use a counterfeit pen on the bills.
As far as the people who owe me still, I am the proud owner of a DVD player until guv'mint checks come in next month.

In reference to the checks vs. plastic transactions of the future... from my standpoint as a business owner, all non-cash transactions raise my cost of doing business somehow.
Because I am a small business and not a small charity, I have to pass the cost of doing business on to the consumer, or I'm no longer a viable business entity.

As an interesting side note, people do a lot of crazy things to avoid paying a bill. One of my employees worked in a vet clinic where a woman faked her own death to avoid paying a $35.00 bill. Now THAT is hardcore deadbeat action.

Yesterday morning, I got a call before we opened from someone who siad that their dog had been shot and didn't have any money. Could we bill them? I replied that we didn't do any billing... sorry. After making a guess about what actually happened based on what they were saying, I gave them an estimated price on what we'd do. They said that if they could borrow the money from their grandfather, they'd come in.
Fast forward one hour to a scene of a sparkling red convertible Firebird pulling up in the parking lot. It was them. I work on the dog in the treatment area while the owners are up front. Later, my receptioninst told me that they said the following:
"We sure are glad that we came here. We owe money at (names of other two vets in town), and they would have probably made us pay our bills before they would see us. "

Cash is king.
-Hobbit
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