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Thread: Recovering Bad Debts.

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    New Member Arogon's Avatar
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    Recovering Bad Debts.

    Hi.

    I've got a family member that did business with a home owner renovating his house, my family member installed aircons for him but the home owner didn't follow instructions, as agreed(the house was under-construction), so my family member had to acquire extra costs. the home owner the turned around and charged my family member with construction cost to the value of R8000,00 (just for chasing the walls) and refuses to pay.

    It is now month 7, small claims court won't work, so what options does my family member have?

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    What happened to the air-con units that caused them not to work? Why was extra chasing of the walls by the house owner necessary? What instructions were given to the house owner but not followed? How much money has not been paid of the air-con installation contract.
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    you need to give more details...but it sounds like a couple of people who have tried the same with me...they know you will not take them to court because the cost is too high...my advice pay someone R500 and have them hurt the person as bad as possible...at least he will get the satisfaction of knowing the person got what he deserved...because he will never see his money...and if he does get it right let us know because i would like to hear how he gets it right...i wish i could name and shame these kind of people so that other people dont get caught out by them.

    small claims court is for domestics claiming from the madam...you are wasting your time.

    unless you have a really good lawyer mate you will waste lots of money...and for R8000 it is not worth it write it off as a bad experience.

    and something else which doesnt work is trying to remove equipment already installed...you will get arrested if you try take out something you have installed and the person doesnt pay ask me i know...the cops are not very helpful either.

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Details are very sketchy and it's one of those scenarios where I could see there might be two sides to the story, hence the barrage of questions. You can go the small claims court route for an amount up to R7000.00. If the debt is larger than R7000.00 you can still go to small claims court but only for R7000.00 of the debt, you would have to forfeit any extra amount. If the house owner lodges a legitimate case for the R8000.00 he claims you owe him it's probably going to end up tit for tat where everyone walks away with nothing.

    Quote Originally Posted by murdock View Post
    you need to give more details...but it sounds like a couple of people who have tried the same with me...they know you will not take them to court because the cost is too high...my advice pay someone R500 and have them hurt the person as bad as possible...at least he will get the satisfaction of knowing the person got what he deserved...because he will never see his money...and if he does get it right let us know because i would like to hear how he gets it right...i wish i could name and shame these kind of people so that other people don't get caught out by them.
    Live by the sword.....die by the sword. Violence begets violence. I'm guessing the reason Arogon posted for advice is because thuggery was not an option he/she was considering.

    Quote Originally Posted by murdock View Post
    and something else which doesnt work is trying to remove equipment already installed...you will get arrested if you try take out something you have installed and the person doesnt pay ask me i know...the cops are not very helpful either.
    I've worked around this in the past with a clause in the original installation quotation that the job price and quote includes a 'first service' which may or may not at our discretion require components to be removed to our workshop. There was one occasion where the components were removed for service but the servicing then couldn't proceed because of an outstanding unpaid amount and couldn't be reinstalled without a separate extortionately expensive quotation and payment in advance. It does get messy though and I wouldn't recommend it if you see a possibility of return business with that customer.
    Last edited by AndyD; 11-Feb-11 at 09:27 PM. Reason: Spelling, grammer, poor sentance construction, missing words, deleted ramblings etc Took in excess of six edits to get fixed
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    The counter-claim stunt is a common trick of professional bad payers in the construction game. The trouble is without an absolutely water-tight trail of evidence and documentation, going the legal route is a crap shoot with the odds heavily stacked against the honest guy.

    You'll know if you're up against a pro. They're damn near impossible to get to a meeting. They're damn difficult to pin down to anything conclusive. And even if you do get a settlement agreement, it'll have been re-interpreted and you'll be argunig about what the agreement actually was in no time.

    They avoid finality like the plague.

    Of course if you ever get them to court, you're the argumentative one who kept shifting your position, wouldn't see reason or compromise, and butter wouldn't melt in their mouth.

    If your case isn't absolutely watertight I'm inclined to agree with Murdock. For that kind of money, walk away, learn the lessons and work on improving your documentation. If you get it right the sharks stop using you and feed elsewhere.
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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    This is where you install a remote receiver, which disconnects the motor when activated. In no time they will contact you for the warranty repair. You then remove the unit because the motor is faulty and never return until full payment. The disconnection yo be done at the most heightened time of use. Receiver and remote costs about R350.00 - as Andy then says, the first service is free where you give it a once over, and remove said device once the account is settled, to be used on the next job. Ensure that the installation of the said device is well hidden where only a pro would find it. Ensure there is a contact number so in the case he calls someone else to repair it, will find the device and contact number and immediately know that the customer concerned is a baddy.
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    debt collecting is a nasty bussiness...i have a mate who was shot at point blank range in the chest debt collecting...at least he has recovered...the fool who shot him must be still collecting shots on a daily basis...just not in the chest.

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