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Squealing Money Out Of Dead Beat Clients

 
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Old 01-04-2020, 02:30 PM   #1
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Squealing Money Out Of Dead Beat Clients


This is a constant, stress producing exercise that tries my patience every time. My focus on this thread are Property Managers.....you know....loser real estate people that couldn't cut it as agents or brokers, so they "manage" properties.

I have several that are constantly past due on invoices for work, and, in particular, fire alarm/life safety monitoring. For some reason they think that not paying the bill gets them off the hook, when in fact, it violates law and violates AHJ (Fire Dept) rules and regs.

What these people get are registered letters that they sign for. Inside are the current and past due invoices, along with a letter explaining why they are getting the letter, what may happen if they continue to ignore the bills, and, another polite ( I use the word Please) request for payment.

I have one guy, the ex-mayor of our tony little hamlet, who is probably the worst. Ignores emails and phone calls. Does not respond to calls from the Central Station about power failures, timer tests and communication problems. Doesn't respond to my notes attached to his invoice explaining the problems and how we need to fix them.....along with the "you are over 30 days past due" and risk getting cut off.

He only responds to signed registered mail to him, at which point he calls me up and lets loose a long rambling rant about what I should do with myself, accusing me of threats (i.e. cutting off his service due to non payment), and, then blaming me for the problem by simply calling him up and resolving things (as if he actually answers his phone).

I'm going to listen to his latest rant (uggh!) and respond to his email accusing me of threats and how if I keep this up (i.e. sending him letters with listed consequences for his actions), he will drop my services.

I am going to send him a nice email with an attachment where he can formally cancel all of his accounts with us, with a 30 day notice. He can copy paste the text to his letterhead and mail in to us. I sure hope he does this.....I guess I am really going to miss that $150 a month he pays us.

Any similar circumstances or suggestions ?
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Old 01-04-2020, 02:56 PM   #2
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Re: Squealing Money Out Of Dead Beat Clients


Sounds like you are doing the right thing but people can suck, especially when it comes to money. I simply will not do business with people who do not pay me in a timely fashion. And I have found the smaller the invoice and the lack of leverage (ie an unfinished project) brings out the worst in these non-payer types.

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Old 01-04-2020, 03:31 PM   #3
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Re: Squealing Money Out Of Dead Beat Clients


Try late fee’s. It would get thrown out in a court but I have told people the late fee is 50 bucks. The only thing that matters is they believe it. If these are small bills most people will happily pay you on the first phone call to remove the late fee.

If that doesn’t work, hire a collection company. We had one back in North Carolina that would charge us nothing if the customer paid on the first phone call or something along those lines.

Our average bill sent to collection was $174. It was a gutter cleaning company. I never had to pay the collection company. Most late payers are just control freaks that have excellent credit.
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Old 01-04-2020, 03:37 PM   #4
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Re: Squealing Money Out Of Dead Beat Clients


Also, once you get them on the phone, they pay. Be ruthless, they are stealing from you. No excuses, get a card number and promise to run it for half and then run the whole thing.

Raising your price significantly will make the deadbeats drop you. Don’t be afraid to do this, it will leave more time for quality customers that pay better.
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Old 01-04-2020, 04:20 PM   #5
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Re: Squealing Money Out Of Dead Beat Clients


Anyone who, in the past, has been slow to pay gets my SOP response to their next project:

"It will cost you $***. Pay me today, and I'll get it done six or eight months from now."
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Old 01-04-2020, 04:55 PM   #6
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Re: Squealing Money Out Of Dead Beat Clients


Donít miss the days of chasing money. When I was strictly just a sub there was no greater stress for me. Wasnít that I ever needed the money, was the point of someone not giving me the same respect I gave them. Drove me absolutely nuts. Having 30-40k out at all times wasnít uncommon. Only a one crew operation.

Have a great group of guys I sub for now after cleaning house over the years. They all pay in a reasonable amount of time.

Do much more homeowner work now too and they canít wait to pay me when Iím done. Never had to go to collections for anyone thankfully.


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Old 01-04-2020, 05:26 PM   #7
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Re: Squealing Money Out Of Dead Beat Clients


This may sound simple, I would just terminate service for non payment.
Try not paying your cable bill and see what happens.
Chasing these people is not worth it they never get it they always revert to the same old ways.
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Old 01-04-2020, 06:49 PM   #8
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Re: Squealing Money Out Of Dead Beat Clients


Quote:
Originally Posted by cwatbay View Post
This is a constant, stress producing exercise that tries my patience every time. My focus on this thread are Property Managers.....you know....loser real estate people that couldn't cut it as agents or brokers, so they "manage" properties.

I have several that are constantly past due on invoices for work, and, in particular, fire alarm/life safety monitoring. For some reason they think that not paying the bill gets them off the hook, when in fact, it violates law and violates AHJ (Fire Dept) rules and regs.

What these people get are registered letters that they sign for. Inside are the current and past due invoices, along with a letter explaining why they are getting the letter, what may happen if they continue to ignore the bills, and, another polite ( I use the word Please) request for payment.

I have one guy, the ex-mayor of our tony little hamlet, who is probably the worst. Ignores emails and phone calls. Does not respond to calls from the Central Station about power failures, timer tests and communication problems. Doesn't respond to my notes attached to his invoice explaining the problems and how we need to fix them.....along with the "you are over 30 days past due" and risk getting cut off.

He only responds to signed registered mail to him, at which point he calls me up and lets loose a long rambling rant about what I should do with myself, accusing me of threats (i.e. cutting off his service due to non payment), and, then blaming me for the problem by simply calling him up and resolving things (as if he actually answers his phone).

I'm going to listen to his latest rant (uggh!) and respond to his email accusing me of threats and how if I keep this up (i.e. sending him letters with listed consequences for his actions), he will drop my services.

I am going to send him a nice email with an attachment where he can formally cancel all of his accounts with us, with a 30 day notice. He can copy paste the text to his letterhead and mail in to us. I sure hope he does this.....I guess I am really going to miss that $150 a month he pays us.

Any similar circumstances or suggestions ?
He's trying to get you to somehow acknowledge the so-called threats, which will then be used against you as leverage. So be extra careful.

Years ago I once read something about legally collecting from deadbeats via obtaining their bank info from a recent check and attaching a claim. Something like that. Maybe it's after getting a small claims judgment.
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Old 01-04-2020, 08:00 PM   #9
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Re: Squealing Money Out Of Dead Beat Clients


Send one letter certified return receipt and one letter regular mail.

No payment, then right to small claims. He will have to pay court costs too.
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Old 01-04-2020, 08:46 PM   #10
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Re: Squealing Money Out Of Dead Beat Clients


There's a few ways to handle this if you want to get rid of them or be compensated for having to continually deal with them being late on a monthly basis...
1. Late payment fees
2. Disconnect/Reconnect fees that apply once notification has been sent a date certain provided
3. Base the service price on their past credit history with your company or require credit monitoring and/or require deposit for users who abuse the monthly deadline just like the big boys do
4. Tack on a maintenance/admin fee for those who habitually abuse the monthly deadline requiring notification to get payment
5. Instead of monthly, require quarterly, semi-annual or annual payments based on their payment history with your company
They can walk anytime they want (assuming they're not under contract and if they are offer a contract buyout), but once they've been provided notification (which should be sent to all your monitoring clients), any charges incurred going forward are on them...


Again, if your goal is to weed them off your customer list and/or make it worth your while...

Last edited by KAP; 01-04-2020 at 09:05 PM.
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Old Today, 09:10 AM   #11
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Re: Squealing Money Out Of Dead Beat Clients


Thanks for the replies.

The issue with fire alarm monitoring is that it is a life safety issue. You can't just cut them off with out sufficient warning ....i.e. like 30 days notice. Even then, there may be legal ramifications.

If you cut them off, a fire happens, no one calls\ the fire department, guess who they are going to blame....you

What ever happens needs to be written into the contracts, such as: you own the communicator. They don't pay, you take back the communicator or at least the SIM chip if it's via cellular.

that may not always do it though. Depends on the AHJ (Fire Dept). some will say, "well, it sucks to be you" .....you will just have to keep paying for monitoring that Fire Alarm panel and hope the guy pays.

Fire is one thing, burglar is another. Cutting off burglar alarm monitoring is no big deal and happens all the time.

For this one particular guy, I am going to send him the text he can use to paste in a letter, so he can cancel service, and, then I am rid of him.
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Old Today, 01:41 PM   #12
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Re: Squealing Money Out Of Dead Beat Clients


Quote:
Originally Posted by cwatbay View Post
Thanks for the replies.

The issue with fire alarm monitoring is that it is a life safety issue. You can't just cut them off with out sufficient warning ....i.e. like 30 days notice. Even then, there may be legal ramifications.

If you cut them off, a fire happens, no one calls\ the fire department, guess who they are going to blame....you

What ever happens needs to be written into the contracts, such as: you own the communicator. They don't pay, you take back the communicator or at least the SIM chip if it's via cellular.

that may not always do it though. Depends on the AHJ (Fire Dept). some will say, "well, it sucks to be you" .....you will just have to keep paying for monitoring that Fire Alarm panel and hope the guy pays.

Fire is one thing, burglar is another. Cutting off burglar alarm monitoring is no big deal and happens all the time.

For this one particular guy, I am going to send him the text he can use to paste in a letter, so he can cancel service, and, then I am rid of him.
Then it sounds like the "make it worth your while" route listed above is the way to go if you don't want to cut off service, but I can tell you if you don't pay ADT for example, they cut off your service... there's the 30 day notification but they don't let you go on forever... maybe try to get a copy of their contract...
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Old Today, 01:56 PM   #13
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Re: Squealing Money Out Of Dead Beat Clients


I'm doubtful the guy is going to cancel service, with or without the words you texted. It's not in his interest to go away so easily.

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