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Posted: 6/4/2003 10:03:27 PM EDT
Customer has a dishwasher. Its not working right. He calls "ABC APPLICANCE COMPANY" out to fix the problem. company comes out and misdiagnosis the problem, tries a second time...still no fix. TRIES A THIRD TIME AND FLOODS THE CUSTOMERS HOUSE. "ABC APPLIANCE COMPANY" calls in for reinforcement from "XYZ APPLIANCE COMPANY" who also happens to be a friend of mine. He tries once, twice and then a third time to fix it and STILL NOT WORKING RIGHT. "XYZ APPLIANCE COMPANY" calls me in to fix the problem. I just so happen to do warranty work for the company that manufactures the dishwasher. Customer at this time is VERY upset (understandable) and demands his money back from BOTH "ABC" and "XYZ" they both give him a refund AND he complains to the manufacturer. manufacturer AGREES to pay for the control board ($250.00) if he pays for the labor ($97.00) I go out to the customers home for the first time WITH "XYZ APPLIANCE COMPANY" to show them where they messed up. Customer happy that the dishwasher is fixed HOWEVER, its been 5 months and he STILL has not paid me. Ive made calls, sent letters... NOTHING. I found his E Mail address and E Mailed him... (Wating for a reply...as if I will get one) Usually, I would call the guy an asshole and write it off but he got a lot for nothing. Should I let it go? Should I sue him in small claims court? Forget collection services...they suck. They NEVER collect for me. The $97.00 doesnt bug me as much as he is an arrogant prick and I have a witness that even heard him say if (insert manufacturer's name here) doesnt pay you, I will.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 10:08:20 PM EDT
Well, this is what I would do. Report it to collections. True you probably never get your money but at least it will follow him for a long while. Sgtar15 PS Then piss in a Montain Dew Bottle and leave it on his door step
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 10:08:54 PM EDT
NO!! You're not being petty!!! I wouldn't waist time in small claims court. I would call him on the phone when you know he is home and ask him why he is not good for his word?
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 10:14:00 PM EDT
I would just write it off, both on a customer basis & on a taxable income basis. Yeah the guy owes you and you have every right to the $97, but also considering the trouble that the guy had he probably is not going to pay it anytime soon. I ain't saying it's right, but that is just probably how it's going to be.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 10:15:36 PM EDT
I know several service men in a variety of trades. They've ALL told me, at one time or another, that to stay in business you HAVE to go after somebody once in a while, or the word gets out that you're an easy mark. This isn't you're problem, it's ABC and XYZ's fault. You got used to fix their screw-ups, and the customer had good cause to be pissed off. BUT NOT AT YOU. Failing to pay YOU, is inexcusable. Go after him.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 10:24:04 PM EDT
easy question, easy reply....no, you did your job and he should pay up.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 10:30:01 PM EDT
Revenge
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 10:32:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/4/2003 10:33:10 PM EDT by DrFrige]
Here is the copy of the E Mail I just sent him:
Mr xxxxxxx, On January 10, 2003 We repaired a ----- dishwasher in your home for a control board malfunction. (Invoice 19110767) Model xxxxxxxx Serial xxxx xx xxxx we have repeatedly sent letters and made phone calls in order to collect on the labor portion of the repair which was not covered by the factory Special Authorization. That authorization was for parts only. On 1-17-03 at 10:10 AM I called you and you told me that you would talk to Jennifer at --- regarding coverage on the labor portion as well and said you would call me back. Mr xxxxxxx, its been almost 5 months since the repair was done and we still have not received payment of $97.00. We have spoken to the factory and they have repeatedly denied the labor claim. Please resolve this matter by sending payment to: (My address goes here) Thank You DrFrige
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Link Posted: 6/4/2003 10:41:12 PM EDT
Since when is requesting AGREED UPON payment for services rendered being petty?
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 10:41:34 PM EDT
Knock on his door every day @ 3am & politely ask for payment. He'll probably pay up quick. [}:D]
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 10:47:47 PM EDT
I certainly wouldn't start harassing him as some have (jokingly?) suggested. If you do a charge off on this, isn't there a way to put it on his credit report? Wouldn't that be sweet. Get a copy of his report afterwards and mail it to him.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 10:51:47 PM EDT
File in small claims... then put a lein on the house... you will have their attention.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 11:01:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Zardoz: Since when is requesting AGREED UPON payment for services rendered being petty?
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Well I am weighing the options. Is $97.00 worth the aggravation. I have had a few customers that are not paying and another customer that bounced a check to me... By the way I sent her ass to the DA's office. they have a bad check program... I too sent her letters and phone calls. fuck it, she is now the DA's problem and they frown on bad checks here... they make you go to a check writing class that lasts 9 hours. Three hours of 3 Friday Nights!! WASTED on "How to write a check" PLUS a fine. I LIKE THAT! PLUS they have to pay me back too... and if they still dont... then the DA gets ugly.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 11:58:52 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 12:26:01 AM EDT
Originally Posted By David_Hineline: 97 is not worth a lot of your effort to collect. Payback is sweeter cold. Spend another $50 or how ever much it's worth to you and take out an add in his local paper saying to beware of doing business with this person because he is a deadbeat and does not pay his bills.
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I like this idea, but still make sure it goes on his credit report!
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 4:06:22 AM EDT
credit report his arse
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 4:24:54 AM EDT
Petty, NO. He is stealing from you.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 4:41:28 AM EDT
Theft of service. File in small claims and attach a mechanics lien including all fees with compounding interest accrual set by the court. I know a guy who stiffed a contractor and he did just that. When he went to sell his house 12 years later, the compounded interest on the original claim, plus court costs and interest was in the neighborhood of $4K. He had to pay to close the deal - expensive service call.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 4:43:46 AM EDT
YOu're not being petty at all. YOu did the job; they have to pay. You're not in business to give charity, are you? There are people who think that if they ignore you, you'll do just what you are doing now (weighing if it's worth it to collect), and that you'll eventually just go away. That sets a bad precedent, and also cuts into your bottom line. I sometimes do collections as part of my job, and I've found that a steady stream of reminders (non-harassing) will usually do the trick. It seems that it's a pain to get a friendly phone call every day for a week: "Hi, it's me again. Just checking on the payment status of our invoice." I personally hate doing collections, because I hear the same BS excuses all the time, and I have other things to do besides babysitting customers...but collections have to be done sometimes if you want to ensure a steady cash flow. In our business 99.999999% of our customers are repeats, so if one doesn't pay on time, I can revoke their credit terms and they will have to pay up front for everything. That's a pretty powerful persuasion tool. We had a customer in the Dom Rep who tried to stiff us on $80 in freight, did the whole ignore bit, wouldn't return calls. So I just drafted them a friendly but firm fax which said that although there seems to have been some miscommunication surrounding the job, and over who was responsible for the freight (lets them save a little face if you don't outright call them a shitbag), the freight was still due, and if it wasn't paid, then all future jobs must be paid in advance, and the cost of the next job would include the old freight charge, plus interest, plus administrative fees for the time we spent trying to collect, and that I would also notify all of our business associates of this company's refusal to pay, which would make everyone shy away from them...we got a check via Fedex in three days. Be persistent and firm, yet don't fly off the handle. What's keeping you from showing up at the guy's house with an invoice, a friendly smile, and politely asking him to write you a check on the spot?
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 5:19:47 AM EDT
Originally Posted By David_Hineline: 97 is not worth a lot of your effort to collect. Payback is sweeter cold. Spend another $50 or how ever much it's worth to you and take out an add in his local paper saying to beware of doing business with this person because he is a deadbeat and does not pay his bills.
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Sweet!
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 5:35:28 AM EDT
Go after him. It's not your fault he had problems, and you did your job and fixed it. You deserve your payment. If that fails, use that 'secret' button you guys all have. You know, the one that breaks the part again the 91st day of a 90 day warranty.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 5:41:59 AM EDT
dogshit, brown paper bag, flame and a doorbell.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 5:49:45 AM EDT
Give his email address to the Nigerians. Maybe they can get $97 from him. I would expect that the independent appliance repair industry is a brotherhood of sorts. Spread the word that this guy pissed backwards on you. That should make it real easy for him to get someone to come work on his refrigerator when it lays down. Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth. Just like we here often discuss various vendors, I'm certain that vendors regularly share information on deadbeat customers. It is never slander to spread the truth about someone, no matter how unflattering. That said, in our company's 19-year history, we have had exactly 2 clients who refused to pay. One was a lawyer, who decided that he wouldn't pay when our structural investigation report did not suit his case. The other was for $680 for a foundation design in a small manufacturing plant. The company was sold, resold, resold and then resold over a period of 4 months - the 4 months immediately following the completion of our work. I recently contacted the current owners of the company, but got no love from them. Still, it doesn't prevent me from spreading the word that Company "A" doesn't pay its bills. Good luck, Dr. Fridge. Stay cool. Ha ha. Get it? Stay cool. I kill me.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 5:52:37 AM EDT
Local appliance store here puts thier deadbeat customers NAMES on a portable sign out by the street. "Joe Blow owes us $97. Where are you?"
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 5:55:20 AM EDT
I'm not exactly sure what it's called, but you can get a mechanic's lien (sp?) on him for the money. Not sure really what it's called, but it'll keep him from doing any major financial transactions such as selling his house until he squares up. Someone I know did that to a guy because he shorted him on payment for a custom piece of furniture. Just a thought.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 6:22:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/5/2003 6:23:58 AM EDT by DnPRK]
Wow! That customer has more patience than me. If I read the original post correctly, the customer suffered through 7 repairs, a flood, weeks of washing dishes by hand and probably lots of lost time from work. I probably would not be too eager to pay for gross incompetance either. You are probably lucky he has not taken you to small claims court for lost wages. Was your deal with the customer or as an agent of the XYZ company to fix the mess they made? Maybe you should press the XYZ company for payment if you were acting as their agent.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 7:49:10 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DnPRK: Wow! That customer has more patience than me. If I read the original post correctly, the customer suffered through 7 repairs, a flood, weeks of washing dishes by hand and probably lots of lost time from work. I probably would not be too eager to pay for gross incompetance either. You are probably lucky he has not taken you to small claims court for lost wages. Was your deal with the customer or as an agent of the XYZ company to fix the mess they made? Maybe you should press the XYZ company for payment if you were acting as their agent.
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Take ME to court?? What did I do? I just, not only fixed the dishwasher in ONE try but cleaned up the mess for the other companies. My deal was with the customer.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 5:27:41 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 6:08:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Phil_in_Seattle: I want my two dollars! (name the movie)
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Better off Dead
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 6:13:40 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 8:52:19 PM EDT
Send the guy a letter, certified. State if you don't have cash or money order within 7 days, you will file with credit reporting agency. Soooo, when he goes to get the 0% financing for Ms Deadbeat's new car and they run a credit report, well, sorry, no can do!!!!! I turn everything over $40 to my attorney for collections. What would happen if you tried to walk out of Wal-Mart with $97 worth of goods? Would you accuse them of being "petty"?
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