Thursday, 17 May 2012

Non paying clients

Well its been a long time since having to take a client to court for non payment and it still goes against the grain but what else can you do? Hardly go back round and remove the kitchen as the law is against you and whats a new/already been fitted kitchen worth? A baseball bat ? No the only legal avenue is "Count court small claims".
You would not expect your next door neighbour to not pay you considering this fact and her partner is headmaster of a local school. Well its true!
We allowed them to use our "trade account" to purchase a kitchen at a knock down price plus a small drink for ourselves as a thank you. "Thank you" that's a laugh (not funny though) two weeks later, horrendous amounts of emails, calls and invoices with NO payments. Left fantastic feedback for the first jobs we did and loved the price with lines like "fantastic builder wont need to look elsewhere for another, will have them do all our work". I some how dont think so!
Alarm bells did start to ring when the red blotchy skin on the face, the glazed eyes, all ways having headaches and looking rough in the mornings, asking us to start later, making jokes about their "new drinking partners", you get the picture. Alcoholics?Excessive drinkers? How ever you want to label it consuming large quantities of vodka is not good for work or working. On one occasion where i turned down a glass of vodka i felt the room transform into an unfriendly hostile environment and knew we had to get paid up and get the hell out of dodge.
Well that was then and this is now.
What do you do? Their your next door neighbours, they owe you £3600 for the kitchen, money for fitting it and want you to do more work!
When we chased the money we were asked if we had a "cash flow" problem? Erh yes! from you!
Mr headmaster got all high and mighty sending emails from his school account whilst probably knocking back a vodka or two, the lady struggles to get to a local gift shop in a straight line. So much so she ran into another neighbour in his car a few weeks ago, no damage of sorts done but kicked off at him when it was her fault. Looks like these people are set to fall from a high height living at the bottom of a bottle and not in reality.
So as we wait for the paperwork to return they still refuse to pay, well i say refuse! Have sent emails saying a payment just for the kitchen has been made by "BACS" but thats over a day ago and still nothing. Not surprised.
The sad events which they dont seem to grasp are that if the papers get hold of the story, it goes on the net, twitter, facebook you get the picture when found guilty i can then put names and addresses in for other builders etc to see. I would question if this was worth it having a career as a headmaster with a drink problem and maybe pay what i owe before it gets too late.
But i can only make assumptions over the alcohol problems basing these on the events i have witnessed personally and those of a recovering alcoholic who pointed out all the signs to me.
Name and shame! People have the right to know Bad payers.