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To expect that when my husband has completed work for someone he should get paid

(23 Posts)
Hurdygurdywoman Fri 07-Oct-11 13:13:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mummylin2495 Fri 07-Oct-11 13:29:55

I understand how you are feeling ,my dh is self employed too and we have had many problems along the way trying to get money from some people.I cant count how many people know the work will be completed on a certain day and then say we will send you a cheque in the next few days ,which then turns into weeks etc.There was also a time when dh nearly gave up when someone who was opening aromatherapy rooms got all the trades in to do the work Dh was among the last to be paid and the cheque bounced ,the woman then had the cheek to say " oh i didnt think there would be enough to pay everyone ".The woman then did a midnight flit without even opening the place and we never heard from her again or got the payment.i think people forget that unlike big companys we have to pay our bills on time and unlike companys we do not have a couple of months grace.

Awful, isn't it.

You know what's needed.

Some sort of 'holding' body.

You know like rent deposits are held in a scheme nowadays? Well, something whereby the money is paid by the customer up front, but held by an organisation. The work is completed then signed for release to the contractor.

In the case of a dispute, it is assessed by the company holding the money, who rule on it.

Callisto Fri 07-Oct-11 13:34:43

Can your husband get some sort of deposit paid before the work starts? It is a nightmare and small claims court doesn't scare everyone into paying up. I'm self employed and waiting for a big cheque to come in right now. It pisses me off when I have to chase money.

Hurdygurdywoman Fri 07-Oct-11 13:44:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PigletJohn Fri 07-Oct-11 14:16:47

Ah, "Rogue Customers"

Some tradesmen would be very pleased to see some TV programmes on them.

It can be difficult to size up customers and assess their trustworthiness. If you work locally and mix with other local trademen you may pick up some tips.

Toughasoldboots Fri 07-Oct-11 14:31:13

We are in same boat, going to be in big trouble soon but have thousands outstanding. For us, it is big companies that are the worst, multi million pound coorperations, they always pay months late and always by cheque when agreement is bacs.

It is just the way they stretch it out, it makes or breaks us.
If we took court action, we would lose them as clients in the future.

I suppose our position is a bit better in that we do get paid eventually.

aldiwhore Fri 07-Oct-11 14:35:30

Unfortunately that part of the job of being self employed. One person can't pay, or is late, it has a knock on affect for everyone in the chain... you can't ask for money up front either because people are suspicious.

Have a hug, YANBU.

KittyFane Fri 07-Oct-11 15:46:56

Hecate- that's a great idea - is that how paypal works? Do they hold it or does the money get paid straight away?

No, I don't know of anyone who does it.

It would be a great business, don't you think? Imagine - customers would feel protected from 'bad' workmen because the money was held by a third party who would investigate shoddy workmanship and good contractors would feel secure that they weren't going to get pissed about because they had already been paid and it was held pending completion. There could be a provision for releasing part-payment for materials etc, or wholesalers/builders merchants would extend credit for the duration of the project, getting paid directly from the scheme, so they knew they were protected too.

I think I feel a business coming on grin

I may actually do a business plan and see if I can't get any interest!

paypal - I don't know. I don't think so. I thought they gave the money right away, but you could open a dispute and they'd try to claw it back.

rimmerfleadick Fri 07-Oct-11 16:16:30

You mean Escrow Heacate smile. Generally used in US Real estate transactions.

nickelbabe Fri 07-Oct-11 16:20:38

Hec - you could actually be a genius, you know.

Oh, is that what escrow means?

Well. I think we should have it here as I describe

In fact, I have just got into trouble with my husband who says you DON'T give out good business ideas on the net! blush grin

Now he says that I should offer it as part of my business.

As if I haven't got enough to bloody do! grin

LittleMissFlustered Fri 07-Oct-11 16:40:42

Escrow would be a great idea, as it protects both the tradesperson and the customer.

hope those of you waiting get paid soon.

ChaoticAngelofSamhain Fri 07-Oct-11 18:00:44

YANBU Hecate your DH is right, don't going giving away good business ideas grin

Groovee Fri 07-Oct-11 18:01:09

I know the feeling. Dh is running his family business and we have a list of names and addresses who we don't accept work from. He once put a part in a boiler and the person then said "Ha I don't intend to pay you for this!" So dh took the boiler apart and removed his part and left again. He then received about 8 phone calls from people who'd had a call from the eejit wanting them to get the part there and then and fit it and naming dh for removing it, so they wanted to know what had happened and he couldn't get anyone but scottish gas to fit it at twice the cost dh would have charged him. It does my head in. Then he sorted my friend's mum's boiler on christmas eve for her and told her he'd send out the bill and she phoned my friend saying that she was worried our bairns would be going without as he'd refused payment on the day.

CroissantNeuf Fri 07-Oct-11 18:11:10

DP is self-employed and thankfully 95% of his customers pay when they should but there are always those who are a PITA.

For example, he did work for one couple where the fixed price had been agreed in advance, the job finished on the day he had said it would, customers more than happy with the job etc but then the woman said "oh I'll have to remember to nip to the bank next week and give notice that I need to withdraw the money".
WTF! They knew when the job was being done, they could see it progressing and nearing completion so why wait?

DP then had to wait about 2 weeks before he got paid but still had to find money to pay the electrician that he'd sub-contracted.

FabbyChic Fri 07-Oct-11 19:12:34

Jesus. PayPal would not work, you cannot open a dispute for intangibles which is what a service is, i.e work being done by someone is a service.

You need an Escrow service really, but that is not the way forward.

The way forward is to get money up front i.e 20% for materials then be paid in stage payments as the work progresses, so that at the end they only owe you 5% of the total job, which is payable once all snags have been completed.

UKSky Fri 07-Oct-11 19:32:32

So sorry to hear that you're having problems getting paid. Some of the advise about getting paid in stage payments is good. We have a chap who does work for us and we always pay as soon as he is finished but for any materials he needs, he goes to his supplier and orders it and we ring them and pay for it direct to help with his cashflow.

We have a small business and deal with some larger ones, and in order to make sure we get paid on time, we offer a 5% discount on invoice total if we have received cleared funds before the due date. With many larger companies if they have accreditations such as ISO, they must ensure that they get the discount so will pay you on time. Our terms and conditions also state that we will charge interest on overdue payments and we have done this in the past. Additionally, if they want more work, it doesn't get done until their account is up to date.

It took a few months but now we always get paid on time or even early.

If your husband has used materials and not been paid, he is perfectly within his rights to do and remove the materials he has used after giving notice of his intent to do so. Such as I built you a porch and you haven't paid for it, so I will be removing the materials I have paid for and therefore own. Of course, this won't get his money but the threat of it should be sufficient to get them to pay up.

Or a solicitors letter could work.

I watched a programme ages ago where a chap who did plumbing/heating work for people wasn't getting paid and his wife went round to their houses, spoke to them on their doorstep saying that she couldn't afford to feed heat her home because he hadn't paid her husband who had ensured that the customer had working heating.

Hurdygurdywoman Fri 07-Oct-11 19:49:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mummylin2495 Fri 07-Oct-11 21:23:15

Hurdygurdywoman My dh works on his own,he is an electrician and very often has to buy parts.lights etc out of his own money,the people know this and still delay paying him,it seems to be the normal thing to keep the small traders waiting,personally if i couldnt pay on the day someone finished working here i would not have the work done until i could.You have my sympathies with this.

MCos Fri 07-Oct-11 22:11:09

This is an age old problem for self employeed. My Dad was self employeed, and I used to help with his accounts. And the culprits were often 'respectable' people that you'd never think would give you this problem! In some cases legal letters still didn't produce the money, but my Dad wrote off as bad debt as didn't want to go to court. Small town, etc...

Sickening, isn't it. And just not on.

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