Non Payment For Service - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
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post #1 of Old 03-13-2015, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Fripp Island, South Carolina
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Non Payment For Service

Long story short, a one time client I worked for in January has a past due balance. I've sent numerous (4) invoices with zero communication on her end, and was wondering how you have dealt with this frustrating situation to get the money that was owed you. Because I don't use contracts, I didn't do any paperwork with her signature on it, so taking her to small claims court is out of the question. Extremely frustrated!!!!!!
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post #2 of Old 03-14-2015, 01:02 PM
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Ah yes, people who don't collect before the work is started. I've done the same thing... still waiting on many people to send those long awaited payments... 17 years later they've never arrived yet.

Consider this a thing called STUPID TAX. Don't worry, most of us have done the same thing at one time or another. It is a cost of doing business, some may call it the price of an education.

The odds are slim to none that you will ever see that money. In the time you spend trying to get it, you could have 6 good paying steady customers.

Now you have learned that customers MUST pay before you ever start working. If they don't want to pay before you start, find another customer because most of the time those are the ones that don't really want to pay at all.

Moral of the story.... screw you once, shame on them.... screw you twice because you don't want to follow the golden rule... you get what you deserve, $0.
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post #3 of Old 03-14-2015, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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I should have been more specific in my message here, so I apologize. I always have everyone pay 100% upfront before I render my services. Because this was a friend of an excellent client, I only requested 75% upfront. I am wondering if anyone has had any luck possibly visiting the residence and knocking on the front door and speaking to the client or her husband in person? It is not so much the money I am frustrated in not receiving, but the principle of the matter that this lady planned in advance never to settle her balance. I'm sure she doesn't do this to the electric company, or the water company, so why was it acceptable to do this to me- especially when I was helping her out in a last minute/emergency situation. I'm more trying to let her know that her behavior was unacceptable, so hopefully she won't do it again to another small business owner in the future. Hope that explains things more in depth.
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post #4 of Old 03-15-2015, 05:46 PM
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Too bad you did not save all the dirt, grease and filth in a garbage bag. Then you could have given the bag back to her. Maybe you could even spread the nasty stuff around the house for her.
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post #5 of Old 03-16-2015, 01:13 AM
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Now I'm sure you don't want to take my advice but the first thing I'd do is call the friend that referred her and tell her what she did.

Another moral of the story.... friends of friends = bad news most of the time.

One time when I was paying stupid tax I called the lady at 3am because she would never answer the phone during regular hours. I got the idea from my buddy who is a police officer. I'll make up names but my buddy, police officer Mike, was looking for a guy named John. So about 2am one morning Mike went to John's front door but didn't knock. Instead he called John. John answered the phone and all Mike said was, "Hey John, are you home?" Being half asleep John said, "Yeah". So Mike said, "Great, this is the Omaha police department now come down and open your front door".
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post #6 of Old 03-17-2015, 11:19 AM
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Olympia, WA
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chalk it up to lost money. you are spending more time trying to recover it than what it was worth. small claims court is a pain and very taxing. best thing is to just move on and try to be careful about who you do work for. IMO.

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post #7 of Old 04-24-2015, 03:51 PM
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Face to Face Collections

I knew a lady whose husband was a crack addict. 1 day she comes home to find most of the furniture gone. She knew where it went, so she drives over to the crack dealers house, goes in and takes back her furniture. Not sure I even had the guts for that.
Try it, it just might work. Nothing ventured, Nothing Gained. Brad
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post #8 of Old 04-26-2015, 10:35 PM
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can they be sent to collections? is it even worth it?

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post #9 of Old 04-27-2015, 12:41 AM
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In the time you spend doing that, you could get 10 more customers and make who knows how much more money. If you get paid 100% upfront, you never have a problem.

Now I have a lawn service and we only bill with their credit cards. I had a lady try to pay my worker cash to do an 'extra' job. When she saw the $128 on her credit card she called and said she paid him for it. I said yes, you did give him a great TIP but you know all payments come from your credit card. I prolly shouldn't tell the rest of the story but I will ... she had the credit card company take the payment back. I didn't say anything so on her mowing day I went and mowed it myself..... on the lowest setting the mower will go down to. Ruined her entire lawn. ooppsss She never called and we never went back.

I wonder if the original poster ever got paid or not....??
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post #10 of Old 04-27-2015, 06:13 AM
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yeah I think every other cleaner have had the same issue. You'd be wasting too much time and energy if you keep on chasing for small claims. You'd be better off spending that time to do jobs and improve your client list.
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post #11 of Old 05-01-2015, 06:22 PM
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Most people are okay with paying the full amount in advance via credit card, but once in a while we still get some people who are surprised that they have to pay in advance. I usually say that we've been burned in the past with people not paying and they're usually understanding.

I'm always weary of those people that still insist we do the work first, then get paid. I always feel like they're the types that will pay what they feel like paying, not what you quoted them.
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post #12 of Old 05-04-2015, 08:27 AM
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We have all had such an experience. If it does not happen often - do not dwell on it too long.
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post #13 of Old 10-30-2015, 11:01 AM
Join Date: Oct 2015
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What about pre-pay?
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