What to do about a customer

So on Monday I did a inside and out job they just had impack window put in 3 months ago. Now I give them the estimate when the window was put in and they call me three months later, now when I was cleaning outside the lady told me she was going to the store but never came back and now when I call her she don’t answer or text me back.

I don’t know how you could get your money, but I sure wouldn’t work for her again.

Send her a bill, than a second, than a third that says “Seriously delinquent - will be turned over to credit reporting agency”

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I like that

Go back and knock on her door. Easter weekend she should be home. If not send return receipt letter stating payment is due now, you can even threaten a lean against the property if you have to chase her down again.


moments like these make it really tempting to start taking deposits…

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Doesn’t hurt to knock as stated above. After all, you know where they live. Sometimes people have life events and it really plays with them. We service a second-home and/or retired community and have weird events that make me question Alzheimer’s or something.

Edit: service=/=survive

You could threaten but unless you sent a preliminary notice before beginning work, I don’t believe you can file a lien, at least in most states.

That’s crazy. You stipulate before each job to pay or you will file a lien for refusal to pay? I don’t think litigation works that way.
Anyhow, a certified letter of intent would have to go out, then file a lien if it were to ever come to that - but service providers do have options.

Deposits are great. In addition to reducing the amount of flaky and dodgy people you might deal with, it will also (nearly) eliminate last minute cancellations.


I’m guessing you’ve never filed a mechanic’s lien? That is how they work and here are the states that require prelim notices in order to file a lien: Is Preliminary Notice Required In My State?

Of course, you can always sue or go through small claims court or collection but mechanic’s liens are a different story.

If you notice I did state “Anyhow, a certified letter of intent would have to go out…”, so that would be part of the procedure, not just run down to the court house and file a lien. There are procedures to follow for everything.

Yup, $100 deposit on every job stops the cancellations. Its also in our TOS that we charge the card on file upon completion.

I think our AR topped out at $800 last year, and thats only because 2 customers changed their card numbers between the time of booking and service.

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Update* So I text message her letting her know that if bill isn’t paid in 30th day’s there will be a 20% late fee, then after that 5% every week up to 90th day’s. What the state of Florida allow, she text me back say she never receive any messages or phone call until now, then is like I had to go out of town and she not satisfied with the job. And was waiting for me to call and reschedule a new day to clean the window. What made no sense if call and text that day plus waited for a hour for her to come back. So I screen shot my text message to her where is show that she read the text and she gone ghost on me again think I might just take this is a lost and move on.

If the amount justifies the effort, document everything and pursue it if you want. If not then don’t and block her.

I’m sorry this happened to you. Most customers aren’t like that.

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Go throw dirt on her windows.


You can either forget about it and move on or look into a collection agency. People shouldnt get away with things like this. If she did it to you, she’ll do it to another contractor unless she sees consequences of her action.


I am relentless with people like this. Spend all of your free time chasing, calling, visiting, emailing, texting until she finally pays. If she calls the cops on you explain how she owes you with documentation and pour the pressure on more until she pays. I am an asshole with assholes.

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@Garry I can respect that. I’ve honestly never had too. I had one storefront in the beginning that didn’t pay for $20, but other than that I’ve always been paid. Sometimes I do have to remind them or check on it if it’s corporate, but usually no issue.

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I’ve only had to do that once. The guy had money, he is the owner or President of Advance Auto Parts! I cleaned the inside, when I moved to the outside he left - I mean really left - he flew to England!! I was pissed. I filled his text, his email, his voicemail, mailed him reminders to pay. It took like 6 weeks but he finally paid when he got back. Needless to say I fired him from any future work.