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Old 01-08-2017, 12:21 PM   #1
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Default An unusual problem with a customer

To get straight to the point. 1 of my customers paid for a small interior paint job (under $500) and we were supposed to start in the near future. I called her to confirm a start date and I got no answer. I followed up the next day with an email saying pretty much the same thing I was gonna say over the phone. Couple days went by with no reply. I emailed again. Called again and no answers or replies. I cannot get ahold of this customer to do the work she paid for. I haven't had this problem before lol I don't mind if she wanted to wait since she already paid but I don't want to see a bad review because she isn't getting my calls or emails and thinks i'm avoiding her. So far it seems she disappeared, I hope she didn't die or something.

Has anyone else had this problem before? What did you do about it?
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Old 01-08-2017, 12:55 PM   #2
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How did you get the money from her? Picked it up in person?

Ring her doorbell, leave a card/letter on the door.

If you don't hear back in about a week, mail her check back to her. Then it's on her.
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Old 01-08-2017, 01:01 PM   #3
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Could be several things, family emergency, illness, unexpected trip, or just forgetfulness (you don't say if she is elderly or not). You have certainly gone beyond what might be expected in trying to communicate but if you want to go one step further, write a brief note and take it to her house and leave it at the main entry door if nobody is home. In the meantime, move on to other jobs - don't let one of this size hold you up.
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Old 01-08-2017, 01:22 PM   #4
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Document all your attempts to contact them, and move on. They will pop up sooner or later. If not, bonus!
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Old 01-08-2017, 01:24 PM   #5
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One of the main reasons I never like to take payment in full prior to starting a job of any size. I get offered all the time, but always decline. Too many headaches.

I knew a guy (no, was not me) who got paid in full to do a smallish job, spent the money paying off debt then the customer changed their mind and wanted to put the job off for several months. Wanted their money back in the meantime. No contracts involved obviously. Put the guy in quite a bind.
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Old 01-08-2017, 01:41 PM   #6
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I can't ever recall getting paid in full up front. Deposits, sure, but never the entire amount. Probably not a good way to go unless it's a small job and owners are going to be gone for an extended time while work is being done.
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Old 01-08-2017, 06:28 PM   #7
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Could be several things, family emergency, illness, unexpected trip, or just forgetfulness (you don't say if she is elderly or not). You have certainly gone beyond what might be expected in trying to communicate but if you want to go one step further, write a brief note and take it to her house and leave it at the main entry door if nobody is home. In the meantime, move on to other jobs - don't let one of this size hold you up.
You implying something there boss?
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Old 01-08-2017, 07:23 PM   #8
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You implying something there boss?
Well, considering you and I are the same age (or at least very close), yes, yes I am.
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Old 01-08-2017, 07:58 PM   #9
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1 day jobs are the only ones i will take full payment on, larger jobs 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 (or balance).

What bugs me the most is when we bill a customer and the first deposit check is for more or less than the deposit required. Less we can ask for more before we start. If they pay more than we ask it throws off my internal books. We do keep track on a computer but I always know the numbers without looking.
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Old 01-09-2017, 04:19 AM   #10
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I never accept $ before the job is complete, no matter how big. Stupid? Maybe ; but it's just the way I do it. Personally(if I had accepted the check) I would be sending it back. They can always write another.

Just my thoughts from the "elderly crowd"
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Old 01-09-2017, 08:02 AM   #11
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OP if you can't get ahold of them go to their house and knock on the door. It's easy. Way to many depend on the online methods of checking. Go in person and check. Especially if you have already been paid in full, get to her home and knock and ask when you can start
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:51 AM   #12
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I never accept $ before the job is complete, no matter how big. Stupid? Maybe ; but it's just the way I do it. Personally(if I had accepted the check) I would be sending it back. They can always write another.

Just my thoughts from the "elderly crowd"
Chrisn, I sincerely hope my comments concerning seniors didn't put you into a funk. Of course, depression is a common issue amongst the elderly.
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Old 01-09-2017, 01:21 PM   #13
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Be prepared to pay her back in full, in case something has come up for her that precludes getting the work done.
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:22 PM   #14
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Chrisn, I sincerely hope my comments concerning seniors didn't put you into a funk. Of course, depression is a common issue amongst the elderly.
Huh? what you talkin about?
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodcoyote View Post
How did you get the money from her? Picked it up in person?

Ring her doorbell, leave a card/letter on the door.

If you don't hear back in about a week, mail her check back to her. Then it's on her.

Definitely a good call woodcoyote.


Surely take these other steps and if no success, return the check. With the check a good explanation for it's return will surely be appreciated. This will show integrity, good business practices and good character.
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Old 01-10-2017, 01:33 AM   #16
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I'll take payment in full all day long! Just did a small remodel. 24k up front. New texture, carpet, paint, replace a couple receptacles and a couple lights...there's about 1500 on change orders I still need to bill
I'll for but hey, they wanted to pay upfront and I was happy to get it to the boss!
I do like the suggestion of one more attempt then mail the check back for the op...
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Old 01-10-2017, 09:16 PM   #17
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You have to give that money back. $500.00 is no where near the value of integrity.
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Old 01-10-2017, 10:02 PM   #18
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You have to give that money back. $500.00 is no where near the value of integrity.
Integrity smegrity... take the $500, buy a bunch of lottery tickets, win big and THEN pay her back while keeping all the moola you took in over that. No brainer.
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