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Has anyone else noticed lately how many customers are not paying their bills or invoices? Maybe it's the economy but I have so many not paying their invoices for our work at all.
 

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We haven't seen a problem. We expect the customer to pay on completion and make them aware of that before we send a tech.
It has worked for 45 years.
 

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We have had a couple, and even a few bounced checks… I am still talking with different lawyers, looking for the best way to deal with non paying customers… the problem is in most cases the unpaid bill is cheaper than paying the lawyer and I think the customer knows this…
 

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coolbreeze
Are these commericial jobs or residential.
We do the same as linebacker, if it is a new customer we let them know that we expect payment at the time of service unless other arrangements have been made prior to the service call.
Scooter
 

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Most of the residential jobs have been a couple bounced checks… but there was one commercial job where the customer did not pay the first draw as we agreed on in the contract, we worked past the payment date 30 days and still no money. So we had to pull out.
 

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I'm on the wholesaler side of the industry, and yes, we are dealing with non-paying customers. This is why it is getting so much harder to set up a credit account any more.
 

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Rule number one: If You Are An Independent One Man Shop The Wholesaler Get's Paid first.

I have accounts at all the local places and my credit is A1. You can't feed yourself if you don't "feed" goose first.
 

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I wish more contractors understood this. Even some business programs suggest that contractors string out distributors and use the money elsewhere.
 

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Get Paid - Be Happy!

Always get paid at completion of any residential work. Been doing this for 18 years. For installs, always get at least the cost of the equipment, materials and your time for figuring out the job up front and wait till the check clears before beginning work if possible. Make the total amount due at the completion of installation and startup of the equipment. For example, if the job is $7500, $6300 is the equipment portion and the required deposit, $1200 is the labor to install and the amount due upon completion. If the customer balks at this, explain that most distributors are invoicing on the day the equipment is picked up or delivered, and the invoices are now net 10 days as most are. You get the money for the equipment up front so you can pay the invoice as quickly as possible to avoid any finance charges and keep the customer's cost as low as possible. Most will understand. Those that don't will probably be the ones that stiff you on the bill. Do the same for larger repairs as well. You will have better luck that billing and hoping to get paid.:yes:
 

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Hmmm I just realized I have a paradox in my billing.

On service ...absoloutley 100% CO fraggin D.

Sell a $5000 system, say off an annual clean and check that I charge 130 bucks for, I'll waive the c/c charge and accept the $130 has an equipment deposit. I collect the balance $4700.

But this is only for long time customers and people they refer me to.

Don't have YP ad but get some action off the the free listing. IF I take the call at all, you old timers know why, I get half down no negotiation.
 

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the worst offenders of non-pay here are the apartment complexes, they always have to be billed cause they have to forward the bill to a corporate office somewhere else maybe out of state and then you get paid when they feel like paying and if they dont wanna pay they dont, they just call another contractor the next time! As you other guys we get at least half down on big repairs or new installs and COD on all service calls without prior arrangements.
 

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the worst offenders of non-pay here are the apartment complexes, they always have to be billed cause they have to forward the bill to a corporate office somewhere else maybe out of state and then you get paid when they feel like paying and if they dont wanna pay they dont, they just call another contractor the next time! As you other guys we get at least half down on big repairs or new installs and COD on all service calls without prior arrangements.

You're dealing with the wrong apartments then. 80% of my work is apartment owners. They've been paying like clockwork for close to twenty years now.
The hurricane we had last September, was great for business. I'm still getting work from it. Sorry you're having problems getting paid.
 

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The worst payers around here are bars and resturants, especially the seasonal places, they all try the boss isn't here shuffle. I never really have those issues myself, I'm 6'2'' @285# and was born with a Marine attitude. They say the boss isn't here, I say call him I'll wait. Rarely does it take more than a few extra minutes for me to walk out with cash.
 

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Bars and restaurants like to try to pay, with drinks or food.
I can buy a lot of drinks and food with money . I really try to steer clear of those places. But, I have worked for both in the past.
 

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Cut me a sweet deal on volume and I'll pull up in front:yes: of your store front with an 18 wheeler.
That is not a problem whatsoever. You send me a list of what you want to fill that 18 wheeler with and I will make sure you get sweet deal on whatever you want to put on that trailer. I'll even spring for dinner:yes:
 

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If all else fails--if you follow all the good rules about getting paid up front, not leaving until you get paid--but you still get stiffed, there is always the mechanic's lien. We have only had to threaten this twice in about 6 years. It's just such a hassle for the homeowner, that they pay up immediately. We are in Texas, but there's some variation of this law in every state.
 

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If all else fails--if you follow all the good rules about getting paid up front, not leaving until you get paid--but you still get stiffed, there is always the mechanic's lien. We have only had to threaten this twice in about 6 years. It's just such a hassle for the homeowner, that they pay up immediately. We are in Texas, but there's some variation of this law in every state.

That's very true. In somplaces around my area people worry more about non legal collection venues than leins and small claims court.
 
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