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Discuss Advice needed for non-paying customer in the Business Related area at ElectrciansForums.co.uk.

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  1. pete1
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    pete1 EF Member

    Hi,

    This is my first post on the forum, and I was wondering if anyone could advise me of the best course of action to take against a customer who is unable to pay me.
    I am a self employed electrician working mainly on domestic and commercial. Back in June 2011 I was contacted by a local guy who was building a new home by himself on a garden plot. I was asked to provide an estimate for the usual stuff, lighting and power, etc, and as the guy was a retired builder I agreed to give him my trade day rate, my estimate was accepted and I started work shortly after. Once work had begun the customer started making changes such as adding underfloor heating with stats in all rooms, and an air source heat pump as the main heat source, not to mention lots of extra sockets, lighting and tv points, I discussed these new requirements with the customer and offered to re-quote to which he said that he knew it would be a bit more and he was not too woried about the costs. Work carried on and after a week I had finished the 1st fix, I then asked about payment for the work so far which was stated in my terms to which I was told that, he needed to talk to me about that and would only be able to pay a little towards materials at this stage as he was waiting for a bridging loan. In the end I was paid £600 for materials but nothing for labour. Since July I have been back 2 or 3 times to do a few extras so that he could get plastering and painting underway, and to speed up the build, I recommended a mate of mine to do the plastering who was paid in advance. The customer has now asked me to come back again to move some sockets, cooker switch and a light switch in the kitchen as he has changed the plans again and also to add 4 sockets in the wet room which has now been changed to a utility room, I have again asked for payment for work so far and have been told that he would pay on completion. He still has no supply going to the house as yet and wants me back to do 2nd fix work, he is also now saying that the final costs will be way over the agreed original estimate and that we will have to sort this out with me too, and also that I didn't give him a cooling off period. I think he is building up to a refusal to pay and at this stage I don't want to be difficult and leave him with an unfinished house but I do need the money and am concerned that if I go back I am going to loose even more. All along I have tried to be reasonable and sympathetic to his situation at a cost to myself and my family but enough is enough. Sorry to rant on but perhaps if anyone has been in a similar situation or can give me any ideas as to what I should do next I would really appreciate it.

    Thanks, Pete
     
  2. telectrix
    Online

    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Respected Member

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    walk away and put it down to experience. tell the guy that you are not prepared to carry on unless he pays you up to date and then cash in advance. the guy's a chancer and will run you ragged. cut your losses. iv'e been there and got the t shirt. believe me it hurts when you trust them after having had trouble, then they knock you again.
     
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  3. pete1
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    pete1 EF Member

    Thanks for the your reply, it does leave a bitter taste but I think your right. Onwards and upwards!
     
  4. ExArmy
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    ExArmy Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    cumbria
    i'd try getting something in writing first, saying that he agrees to pay upon completion. and if he says no then walk away.
     
  5. telectrix
    Online

    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Respected Member

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    i would not even do that. once bitten etc. soon as i get a hint of non payment or late payment, wants alterations/additions, work stops till cash in hand or cheque cleared. if not forthcoming, then it's in the van and bye, bye mr. arsehole.
     
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  6. sparky3366
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    sparky3366 Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Monkeyhanger Land
    I would also go in with a set of side cutters...if he ain't paying, he ain't getting.
     
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  7. vernam616
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    vernam616 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    North
    You should have agreed payment terms before the job started, at very least you should of walked away when you first asked for cash and never got it, would have been less of a kick for you

    Good luck in getting it sorted, you should sell your debt or scare him by telling him you are going to sell it to a 3rd party company, sometimes makes people pay up as they dont want the hassle of bayliffs/courts etc....
     
  8. alarm man
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    alarm man Guest

    either rip it all out,or bend over...your future reputation maybe be built on this job...
     
  9. trev
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    trev Regular EF Member

    Remember to put the word out in the wholesalers. He'll be screwed if everyone knows he's a bad payer
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. i=p/u
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    i=p/u Electrician's Arms

    aint easy... good luck in whatever you decide, make that plead you need payed, and i think if you have agreement you chance your arm in saying you going to sell the debt to 3rd party compant might work, if not no work... aint easy
     
  11. DaveyD
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    DaveyD Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Warminster
    That's a good idea Trev and good to think of others too. No fair on anyone that.

    Sorry to hear that Pete. Not that it will help you now but I always get the materials up front then labour 40% 1st, 40% 2nd and 20% on EIC.

    You could do as suggested and get a contract for future if you decide to continue. Napit do a simple one with a new signed section for additions so you both know where you stand.
     
  12. trev
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    trev Regular EF Member

    There's always the courts
     
  13. i=p/u
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    i=p/u Electrician's Arms

    deal with it like they do in the wild west; stick em up punk, or still be normal and proceed through courts.... nobody does credit anymore without gurantees
     
  14. Cyberprog
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    Cyberprog Regular EF Member

    How long between the quote being given, and work starting? Anything in writing agreeing to the quotation?
    You should issue him with an Invoice right away for the work done to date, and then move to small claims after that. You'll only stand to lose what you're losing already plus the court fees, somewhere around £100-£200 by the time it gets that far.
     
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  15. Des 56
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    Des 56 Forum Mentor

    Location:
    Gliese 581C
    He sounds very dodgy
    I wouldn't just put it down to experience and walk away

    Some of the advise given is very good,I would perhaps combine a few to pressure him without further commitment on your part


    One other thing that you could do,its a new house, so building control will be involved
    Have a word in their ear expressing your concerns that the job may not be completed by yourself, that you will not be registering the work, that you want confirmation that they accept only an eic.

    Remind them (in case they are ignorant) that being the installer, the EIC ,obviously, this can only come from you, objections will be made by you if they were to disregard this duty

    Stir the crap a wee bit before you walk
     
    • Like Like x 3
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