Posting a message to the forum will remove the above advertisement

Discuss Customers paying up front in the Solar PV Forum area at ElectrciansForums.co.uk.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Please make sure you checkout our forum sponsors, many do discounts for members and, they keep the forum free to use.
  1. Cider
    Offline

    Cider Guest

    Hi

    Just had a nice job accepted but the customer will not pay ballance of materials as per REAL terms until the goods are delivered on site.
    They will however pay 20 % deposit.
    Should I tell them to shove it where the PV doesnt work or change my contract accordingly so they pay ballance of materials immeadiately on delivery of kit to site stipulating it becomes their responsability etc.
    I am still on proforma invoices so will have to use my finances to purchase panels.

    Opinions appreciated and interested to know how others handle things

    Cider
     
  2. grandfortune
    Offline

    grandfortune Solar Guru

    Location:
    Midlands
    im in the same boat m8, to be honest i wouldn't pay for the materials on any job that i would have done in my house, and theres so many cowboy builder programmes out there that people are scared to part with what is quite alot of money, if you can fund it yourself do try, plus i wouldn't really want people to see how much im paying for the PV system, i know there is alot more involved but it could be quite suprising to the customer as to the sytem cost alone.

    cheer
    Grnad
     
  3. Graeme Harrold
    Offline

    Graeme Harrold Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    North Wales
    I find getting customers to sign this attached form some peace of mind. It gives them direct access to the information required should something go wrong.

    Not had anyone not pay for the kit up front, everything delivered to site unless they agree otherwise.

    Other thing to do is negotiate a decent credit limit with your supplier.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Cider
    Offline

    Cider Guest

    Thats so good I want to send you some money to keep it safe !

    Good point about upto 60% of the install as Im asking 20% deposit then ballance of materials which is aprox 80% total cost.

    Many many thanks:yesnod:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2011
  5. MorganPVI
    Offline

    MorganPVI Guest

    It's diffcult to start with as most suppliers want an order history before giving credit, Segen are great and give £5k credit on MCS accreditation. Some customers will not pay the deposit for many varied reasons, sometime we accept the contract other times we'll walk. If it's a referall which most of our jobs are, then we sometimes trust the customer if we feel they are good for it.
     
  6. jupestar
    Offline

    jupestar Regular EF Member

    It's a rubbish situation especially when you have a lot of installations going on so cash flow is a problem.

    But there is also protection from our side on the installation, we had a final payment due on a small installation (referral, nice lady) Anyway she owed us about £800 so no cause for concern. we didn't wait to receive it before we commissioned it, but she got phoned by the DNO asking if she had made the final payment and owned 100% of the system, if not she wasn't eligible for the FIT's. She phoned us straight away apologising thinking we had reported her or something - which was clearly not true, we just trusted her to pay. Anyone had that before? - the DNO chasing your client for payment? It was a new one on us, and i guess we'll be more careful before commissioning in the future.

    We've lost a few jobs to large installers who ask for 5% deposit up front only or even 0%. I generally play it by ear, occasionally i do the job with a small deposit, other times i just walk away. Depends how busy we are. Just don't give the commissioning cert till full payment made. Without that no FIT's.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Graeme Harrold
    Offline

    Graeme Harrold Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    North Wales
    Dont think you can withold certification for non-payment, but the customer WILL need an invoice to register for FIT's :yesnod:
     
  8. Cider
    Offline

    Cider Guest

    Yes i'm forgetting that! Thats the trump card:yesnod:
     
  9. jupestar
    Offline

    jupestar Regular EF Member

    certainly you are right, it was something to do with the final invoice (I think we jumped the gun to get her up and running - and clear paperwork.). Only time this has happened to us. Luckily so far we've not had any issues at all with payments.
     
  10. JD6400
    Offline

    JD6400 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    ?
    We are lucky in the fact of that 99.9 % of our work is for existing clients or referrals from them , so the trust is generally already there !
    So with that in mind i can honestly say that i can not remember EVER tacking a payment before the work for the money received is complete on any type of install that we do be it solar or general contracting work .
    We make a point of trying to pay on the same day of receiving a invoice , sometimes even before receiving one .
    This makes getting good trading discounts and very high credit limits if ever needed a hell of a lot more easy !
    Don't get me wrong this has been achieved by mainly paying our selfs at times far less than the men that work for us but it does work in the end !
    And all done with no loans from anyone , which i know is not always possible but start small grow slowly and be as honest as the day is long and you will get there in the end .
    I am always being told by people that they could make a better job of it than me/us and go hell for leather for two - three years then fold owing a lot of money .
    Slow steady growth is stable and safe no matter what the normally failed in the real world , business advisers tell you !!!!
    Not to be smart or gloat but to prove that it is possible , we are at the moment among other things this month in the middle of a 50kw , 30kw several 4-10 kw solar installs and two new build Olympic sized covered combined stable yard and menages and next month we will move on to the usual solar jobs and two large new build pig rearing units .
    So it is possible to do . Just slowly , honestly and with a LOT of effort .:wheelchair:

    Sorry i know it is bit of topic , but all i seem to see in the solar world is big and fast is beautiful and if you can not do x amount of installs or if you dare to turn down ( normally 3-4 a day cold calling calls )the next best advertising / lead generating company then you are obviously a fool not worth dealing with !!!
    Well if that is case then i am now off to try and make rain go up hill !

    Sorry again , rant over .:26:
     
    • Like Like x 3
  11. Markc
    Offline

    Markc Solar Guru

    Location:
    Norfolk
    No deposit, No job as far as I'm concerned. We normally ask for the same % on all our works. If the potential client doesn't like the deposit it show me that they may well not like the final invoice either! Referrals normally know about the deposit as they would of asked the referrer.

    As for none payment of balance it has never happened yet but if it did I wouldn't notify to MCS until it had been settled. No MCS cert no FITs. As we have, I believe, 28 days (or something along those lines) to notify it, it can't be wrong.

    As for NICEIC etc saying you cannot hold back a certificate I will say here what I say to them, You pay me then! As it's not your money you have no right to comment. Next time my annual fees are due I will not pay you until I feel like it. lets see if you hold back my NICEIC certificate for it!

    Harsh but fair I feel.

    As I say we have not had a single problem on the PV side about payment and in fact it has helped our cash flow far more than the contracting side. It is clear from the very beginning.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  12. dansk
    Offline

    dansk Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Bingley
    I dont ask for deposits, but it is made clear from the outset that payment is expected on hand over and I do ask if they have the funds, otherwise like Markc no payment no MCS cert. I find not asking for any money upfront is a strong selling point, but you need to be financially stable to able to operate like this.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  13. SRE
    Offline

    SRE Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    North West
    We almost always take a 25% deposit the only time we don't is if it's for 2/3 months in advance in which case we take a booking deposit to show commitment from the customer. We only take £250 and it's registered with REAL as normal. We then take the remainder of the 25% a month before installation.

    We don't touch the deposit until the installation is completed (it sits in a client account) and we tell the customer that their cash won't be touched until completion. We insist on payment on the day of commissioning, it's in our contract and we remind our customers before installation. Like DP we've usually bought the materials and paid for them beforehand with out own cash.

    It took us 6 months of no wages and slow build up of cash to start doing this, then we increased our capacity slightly and we're now solvent, happily booked into January, no staff just excellent roofing and scaffolding subbies and building a nice stash just in cash Fit slashed next year to help us survive. Most of our work comes from recommendations - you get a feel for customers and know who you can trust.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  14. Cider
    Offline

    Cider Guest

    Thanks some really useful input from all prospectives.
    Think my T & C's need to be a bit more welcoming and make it very clear full payment on completion otherwise no fit
     
  15. riverlodge
    Offline

    riverlodge Guest

    hope you don't mind a newbie (and customer, not pro) making first post on this thread, but i'm just about to place an order, and i work in finance, and thought you should know my thoughts.

    first, i think you should absolutely expect a deposit, but only if secure (via insurance, client fund account arrangement or by using a credit card). this isn't a lack of trust in you personally, but in today's climate businesses go bust all the time and like many i truly could not afford to lose £2k or more on an unsecured deposit.

    secondly, you should also expect (and politely but clearly insist early on) full payment on commissioning. perhaps with a sum held back if scheme registration etc is being handled too? i'd recommend checking the customer has got finance sorted at the same time as you finalise/ check practical arrangements and access ahead of coming on site.

    for those of you just starting up, even though the fees are expensive, it might be worth investigating being able to be paid deposits by credit card if it means you get some funding that you couldn't otherwise access. for many new businesses it is more about cashflow rather than profit, but i guess most of you know that!
     
    • Like Like x 1
Loading...
Similar Threads - Customers paying front Forum Date
Pet Hates ( Excluding Customers) Electrical Forum Sep 6, 2017
Lady customers,love them or hate them Electrical Forum Aug 13, 2017
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

  • Electricians Directory Post a Domestic Job Post a Commercial Job