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Thread: over charging customers

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    over charging customers

    here the deal i drive from pinetown all the way to prospecton only because one of my regular customers asked me to help this company "blue water boating"...i get there trace the problem to the meter room and advise the customer that there is nothing i can do because it is on durban metro side...i contact the faults department for them and report the fault...so i walk through the factory and notice the electrical wiring is in a really bad state...i dont know how insurance companies cover premises like this for fire...but anyway i leave and go to my next customer...that night i get back to the office and send blue water boating an invoice for R100 to cover for petrol and fax it...a couple weeks later i notice the invoice is still not paid so i contact the owner and his wife asnwers the call...i query about the outstanding amount...heres the joke she want to know why my invoice is so expensive...tells me i was only on site for 10 minutes...and they are refusing to pay.

    my normal call out rate is R500 plus R3.50 per km so a call out plus travelling would work out to R710.00...i still cant understand what is expensive about R100...what i have heard is this companies workmanship is as bad as the electrical installation...just hope you dont end up with a boat from this company other wise you in for a long haul trying to get it fixed.

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    Gold Member daveob's Avatar
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    Tell them that you have passed a credit for the invoice as you could not be bothered to chase such a small amount - you'll write it off to IRRECOVERABLE BAD DEBTS.

    However, since you have not been paid and was therefore not contracted to them for any work, you were, effectively, just a visitor to their premises, and you feel duty bound, in the interests of worker and public safety, to inform the relevant insurance company of the hazardous problems you noticed, as well as the local authorities, etc.

    If they come back and want to pay, you've already credited the incorrectly invoiced R100 but would gladly invoice the correct amount ( R 710 ).
    Watching the ships passing by.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I don't know which is more ridiculous - charging R100 for a call out (too cheap by far) or the claim that it is too expensive. The irony is that if you had whacked them the R500.00, they probably wouldn't have objected as much.

    I've worked out that if you add up fuel, vehicle, labour and admin time in travelling, the cost of getting a team to the front door of a client is now approaching R200.00 - before they have even started to do any work.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    Murdock
    Tell them you will write this off as a marketing expense. But include a report about a few of the wiring problems you saw and say as a professional you can't just leave the situation like this and you will have to report this to the building inspectorate or whatever government department is in charge of safety. Then report it, you probably won't get any work from this but you will feel better.
    If they do then call you fax them a sheet with your call out charges and rates etc. which they must accept before you come out.
    I feel this is school fees, and I still learn every day.
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

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    Gold Member daveob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanF View Post
    which they must accept before you come out.
    Stuff that for a joke - tell them to deposit x amount to cover the first day's work before you even leave your premises, and make sure that you're paid for every hour that is required BEFORE you start the work - and slap a R100 "admin fee" on top of the first amount.

    If you do less work than they have paid for, you can refund them.
    Remember : the Golden Rule applies - he who has the gold, makes the rules.

    Actually, on second thoughts, I wouldn't do any work for this company ever again anyway. Trust me when I tell you, that whatever you do, there will be some complaint, or problem, or her mother-in-law said this is wrong, or you didn't do it exactly right, or ....

    not worth it.

    write it off to school fees.
    Watching the ships passing by.

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    Gold Member daveob's Avatar
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    Hey ... new idea for a web site : CompaniesThatDontPay.co.za
    Watching the ships passing by.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I see problems with the NCA there. You would need to register as a credit bureau
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Gold Member daveob's Avatar
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    Why would that be Dave ?

    With the suppliers that I use, if you don't have an account, you have to pay up front, especially where something is going to be produced or supplied that can't simply be put back into stock - like printing manuals, services supplied, etc.

    I think that some small operators are too desperate for work that they will allow others to take advantage of them by getting work done and then delaying payment for long periods.

    You should never extend credit to someone without first processing a proper credit application form, checking account references, etc. Yes, I know that every small operator wants to look like a 'big company' but remember that large organisations have full time account clerks to process credit applications, financial managers with experience in credit rules / laws / red tape, etc. And they can absorb a certain number of non-paying clients. In the small business area, if you get 1 or 2 client not paying, you could end up going hungry for the month, especially if you've spent many hours in the month on that job.

    If the client does not have an account - they pay up front. If they won't pay up front, then they probably won't pay you after the works done ( at least not until you've been stuffed around and spent more energy chasing the money than it took to do the work in the first place ). At least if you insist on up front payment, and you don't get the payment / work, you haven't wasted your time doing the work for nothing.
    Watching the ships passing by.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveob View Post
    Why would that be Dave ?
    Yeah. Thinking about it, maybe not. Hellopeter.com is not a credit bureau.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    i have had this company for 17 years now and have heard all the excuse for non payment...my best one so far is the fella i did work for and all...i replaced a geyser element and when i enquired about payment he told me that the stove element had gone faulty since i repaired the geyser.

    tony haynes who worked for shell as an oil rep. was one of my worste customers i have had to deal with...i went through 2 years in court trying to get my money...the builder the plumber and i all took him to court...because he took a second bond on his flat to pay us and instead spent the money on a brand new yz 125 motor cycle...i also found out that this tony haynes was a monster apparently he use to beat his girl friend all the time on parts of he body that you could not see like her breasts until she fianally commited suicide...i met another women who went out with him for a while and said the same...he is a monster...its a pity i cant get a half a hour behind closed doors with him...one on one let him use me as a punch bag problem with people like this is they dont feel anything...he makes me think of the silence of the lambs.

    then there are the likes of granite and marble industries who i worked for 6 years never had a problem with payments...i built the factory from the 250 amp ct panel right thru to the new offfice block...i was dealing with thomas keller...we agreed on a price because they didnt know what they wanted in the building so i gave them an hourly rate which they agreed on and when it came to paying me well lets just say i am down the tube for R75000.00

    powerflow exhaust was another really bad debt...i was promised payment on the monday...my staff and i worked non stop from the friday afternoon right thru till the monday mornin without stopping to make sure the factory would be up and running so that they didnt loose any production time...my cousin mike banks was the auditor for benhaum and ass. who where doing powerflows books at the time... told me i would get my money...well i sit years later still waiting...and by the way mike banks became a director at power flow which then changed the name to primaforce exhausts ...apparently him and the people who paid R5000 for the name powerflow took juan pierre for everything he had...absolutely ruthless bussiness men well you know what happens the wheel always turns...lots of money brings lots of unhappiness unfortunatley...i dont even think primaforce are around anymore.

    i could write a book on all the bad paying customers...unfortunatley i take my bussiness very personally and i am very passionate about my work i enjoy what i do and get a sense of satisfaction every time i take a step back and look at the end product... i have got a small hand full of good paying customers...i make just enough money to come out every month and cannot afford bad debts.

    there is one thing i have learnt over the years about running a bussiness...rule number one cash is king...no money in the bank...no company its that simple.

    you can have million rand contracts...thousands of customers...but if you dont have the capital to keep the projects you are going down the tube with all the other companies i have seen come and go over the years...apparently the stats are for every 100 companies which start within 5 years 50 of them would have closed down and after 10 years only 5 will still be operating...what i have seen happen tooo often are people who start companies register them as cc or pty and run up so much debt them close them and change names.

    the joke of this thread is that apparently the person who owes me the R100 is now being sued by another company for a couple hundred thousand for bad and faulty workmaship.

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