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Non Paying Contractor Getting A Surprise

 
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Old 03-04-2019, 05:42 PM   #1
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Non Paying Contractor Getting A Surprise


So, we have some non paying GC type contractors that we've done work for, given discounts and some free stuff. Our "nice guy" reward is: we don't get paid.

Feeling a bit frustrated with a new non paying contractor, we went back, removed all the power supplier and relays for the 3 apartment intercoms we put in. And, locked the enclosure they were in.

I am patiently waiting for phone call.
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Old 03-04-2019, 05:53 PM   #2
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Re: Non Paying Contractor Getting A Surprise


Hope that works for you. You did, what we all want to do.

I poured some concrete and the country club said, "We aren't going to pay." I was on my way there, with the excavator. I was going to tear it out. My lawyer talked me off the ledge. If I had torn it out, they would have grounds for criminal damage to property.

I filed a lien. Got my money much later down the road.

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Old 03-04-2019, 05:57 PM   #3
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Re: Non Paying Contractor Getting A Surprise


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Hope that works for you. You did, what we all want to do.

I poured some concrete and the country club said, "We aren't going to pay." I was on my way there, with the excavator. I was going to tear it out. My lawyer talked me off the ledge. If I had torn it out, they would have grounds for criminal damage to property.

I filed a lien. Got my money much later down the road.
I can see how it can get ugly in your line of work. Luckily for us, you can't tell we were there. Technically, it still belongs to us because money never changed hands. My techs asked if we should tear out the call stations and main stations, but that would cross the line into what your lawyer said.
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Old 03-04-2019, 06:02 PM   #4
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Re: Non Paying Contractor Getting A Surprise


What you did probably crossed the line. But it serves them right. No pay no play.
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Old 03-04-2019, 06:08 PM   #5
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Re: Non Paying Contractor Getting A Surprise


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What you did probably crossed the line. But it serves them right. No pay no play.

I understand what people are saying. Apparently it doesn't apply for cars and houses, cus those can be repossessed ( assuming that the legal language in the contract states that the car or house belongs to the lender until it is paid off.....I may consider that in a modified for for future contracts).

When someone doesn't pay for their alarm or alarm monitoring, our contract states that the communicator always belongs to us. If you don't pay, then we can take it back.
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Old 03-04-2019, 06:10 PM   #6
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Re: Non Paying Contractor Getting A Surprise


For us once it's installed into the clients house it's theirs whether they pay or not. Removing it is theft.

Not sure how that works for commercial properties, which would include rentals and condo's.

For me if I install a kitchen I can legally remove all the doors and drawers because they aren't attached to the home. The cabinets, because they are screwed in are now part of the house and cannot be removed.
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Old 03-04-2019, 06:14 PM   #7
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Re: Non Paying Contractor Getting A Surprise


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For us once it's installed into the clients house it's theirs whether they pay or not. Removing it is theft.

Not sure how that works for commercial properties, which would include rentals and condo's.
I can see, depending on what you do, if you install something in someone's residence, it then becomes part of the house. Electrical panels, lighting and so forth, we could not really take back. In this case, it's commercial, and we took away the power (transformers) that power the equipment. The equipment is still there, just doesn't work.

We'll see.
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Old 03-04-2019, 07:09 PM   #8
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Re: Non Paying Contractor Getting A Surprise


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I can see, depending on what you do, if you install something in someone's residence, it then becomes part of the house. Electrical panels, lighting and so forth, we could not really take back. In this case, it's commercial, and we took away the power (transformers) that power the equipment. The equipment is still there, just doesn't work.

We'll see.
You are wrong, hat least in NJ. I did the exact same thing as you on 6 apt. buildings. The police caught up to me and I had to reinstall all of the amplifiers. Does not matter at all commercial or residential. The police were nice about it, they gave me several hours to put them back, my boss at the time got pissed at me for getting caught.
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Old 03-04-2019, 07:13 PM   #9
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Re: Non Paying Contractor Getting A Surprise


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You are wrong, hat least in NJ. I did the exact same thing as you on 6 apt. buildings. The police caught up to me and I had to reinstall all of the amplifiers. Does not matter at all commercial or residential. The police were nice about it, they gave me several hours to put them back, my boss at the time got pissed at me for getting caught.

Yes, it is probably illegal. Hopefully I won't get caught. Since I am the boss, I can only get mad at myself. I finally got a hold of the GC and he said my payment went out today.....we'll see about that.

If it gets brought up, I will just say we'll come by and service it for free and get it back up and running.
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Old 03-04-2019, 07:40 PM   #10
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Re: Non Paying Contractor Getting A Surprise


Hope it goes well for you.


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Old 03-04-2019, 07:50 PM   #11
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Re: Non Paying Contractor Getting A Surprise


Sometimes, customers really intend to pay, but they have personal or business circumstances that make you think they will never pay you. Reasons for making you think a customer will not pay could be confusion, a personal medical problem, family medical problem or some other family emergency, embarrassment because they don't have the money, but are waiting for money to transfer, or other serious business problems that make paying you seem unimportant at the time and a thousand other reasons.

I had a customer who owed me $3,000 for installing a water main and it seemed like the customer was dodging me. So, I went to his house to rip out the water main. As I pulled up to his house he pulled out of the driveway and it appeared that he was purposely ignoring me. I ripped out his water main from the water meter to his house and the second I finished I got a call from my office and was told that the customer went to the office and paid.

I was very embarrassed and had to put the water main back together.

The best thing to do is to give your customer a chance to pay and ask whether they intend to pay. I would rather take payments than rip apart and destroy good materials.
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Old 03-04-2019, 09:09 PM   #12
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Re: Non Paying Contractor Getting A Surprise


Oof
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Old 03-04-2019, 09:19 PM   #13
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Re: Non Paying Contractor Getting A Surprise


For the record, you didn't remove anything. You had only installed temporarily for testing and configuring purposes.
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Old 03-04-2019, 09:50 PM   #14
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Re: Non Paying Contractor Getting A Surprise


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Sometimes, customers really intend to pay, but they have personal or business circumstances that make you think they will never pay you. Reasons for making you think a customer will not pay could be confusion, a personal medical problem, family medical problem or some other family emergency, embarrassment because they don't have the money, but are waiting for money to transfer, or other serious business problems that make paying you seem unimportant at the time and a thousand other reasons.

I had a customer who owed me $3,000 for installing a water main and it seemed like the customer was dodging me. So, I went to his house to rip out the water main. As I pulled up to his house he pulled out of the driveway and it appeared that he was purposely ignoring me. I ripped out his water main from the water meter to his house and the second I finished I got a call from my office and was told that the customer went to the office and paid.

I was very embarrassed and had to put the water main back together.

The best thing to do is to give your customer a chance to pay and ask whether they intend to pay. I would rather take payments than rip apart and destroy good materials.
Everything works well if the client, in my case it's a GC we haven't worked with before - who needed things done in a hurry, communicates. In my case, he didn't answer any emails or answer his phone. He also didn't return any of my calls, even when I told him he needs to do so ASAP.

Took him over a week to return the contract, when he said he would do it that day. So: Unknown contractor, doesn't communicate, past due.....plus the electrician said that the guy was past due with him too and owes him around $70K.
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:36 AM   #15
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Re: Non Paying Contractor Getting A Surprise


Serves them right. When he brings you a check, go back and put the equipment in.
We contractors probably need to do a little more of this sort of thing.

Most of them will hide behind their voice messaging, email, receptionist, etc. It sometimes takes a face to face encounter or something like this to get their attention and get your money.

I know it's not the most efficient use of my time, but I've been known to camp out in their parking lot and catch them coming to or leaving work and confront a deadbeat. Usually get some BS story about how they've been meaning to get back with you, were tied up, etc. Generally get paid right away.
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:52 AM   #16
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Re: Non Paying Contractor Getting A Surprise


Here in CA a lot of "less than honest" contractors know how the game is played. You can screw a lot of smaller subs for up to $2k and they will simply write it off due to the expense and time it takes to try and collect.

Additionally, a lot contractors know that the small claims and other court systems around here are so backed up, it may take over a year to try and collect from a dead beat or professional non-payer. Even then by the time you pay court fees - up to $500 for small claims ---take time off, get all the paperwork together----just to finally get to court and have the dead beat plead poverty----in the end dead beat can still avoid paying you.

Winning in court doesn't mean you get to collect the money. Filing a claim against their contractor's bond, again, doesn't guarantee collection.
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:55 AM   #17
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Re: Non Paying Contractor Getting A Surprise


Have a guy I have been subbing for a long thatís owed me 6k since December. Itís never happened with him before. Itís just one job.

Heís been in full communication with me at least every other week explaining the situation and keeping me up to date. He calls me.

He does very high end roofing and ran into a few slow payers on his end. I have no issue with him at all. It would just sit in my bank account any way and I know heís good for it. Actually meeting him Thursday to finally grab check.

Itís the guys that donít return calls or emails and blow you off every time they can that get me worked up and cause me to say things that make me sound very emotionally disturbed lol.


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Old 03-05-2019, 10:13 AM   #18
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Re: Non Paying Contractor Getting A Surprise


Whenever a late-paying contractor calls me up and asks about the next job, I respond something like this:

"Sure, I'm interested! I figure it will cost $17,500. Tell you what, write me out a check today for that amount, and I'll get the job done..... sometime in the next 8-10 months."

That's usually the end of our relationship.
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Old 03-05-2019, 04:09 PM   #19
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Re: Non Paying Contractor Getting A Surprise


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Have a guy I have been subbing for a long thatís owed me 6k since December. Itís never happened with him before. Itís just one job.

Heís been in full communication with me at least every other week explaining the situation and keeping me up to date. He calls me.

He does very high end roofing and ran into a few slow payers on his end. I have no issue with him at all. It would just sit in my bank account any way and I know heís good for it. Actually meeting him Thursday to finally grab check.

Itís the guys that donít return calls or emails and blow you off every time they can that get me worked up and cause me to say things that make me sound very emotionally disturbed lol.


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Thank you for that. As in my case, it's the guys that don't communicate that get me pissed off. At least go through the effort of giving me a reason....Rather than me having to track you down.
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Old 03-06-2019, 12:21 AM   #20
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Re: Non Paying Contractor Getting A Surprise


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Itís the guys that donít return calls or emails and blow you off every time they can that get me worked up and cause me to say things that make me sound very emotionally disturbed lol.
Soooo, last year we started on a house and had some additional excavation needed that we hadn't planned on. Excavator is booked for weeks. My concrete sub steps up and says he can do it the next day with a rented machine. He's done that for me before so no problem. Do it.
I get his bill and pay him.
Months later he warns me to not cross paths with our local excavator and equipment renter. Wtf? He tells me the guy is out for me since I stiffed him on a rental and won't return his calls. He's never called me. I call him. Turns out my concrete guy rented the machine under my name but gave them the wrong phone number. Rental company was calling and leaving messages on some random voicemail for months and getting more and more pissed at me since they thought I was dodging them.
I thought the rental was already paid for in one of my concrete guy's invoices so didn't even think about it again after the work was done. ...yeah, I know, but things were hectic then.
Long way of saying that sometimes mistakes are made and things go sideways even with full honest intentions. I'd have paid the rental on the spot if I had even known about it.

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