Troublesome customers

Johnic

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2017
Messages
74
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Hello everyone, I want to ask a question of the appliance repair business community. This issue seems to be happening to me more and more lately and is causing me to occasionally lose money. I would like to know what everybody else is doing to stay on top of issues such as customers lying or people who apparently have dementia?

my latest episode is with an elderly woman who refuses to pay for service. She is trying to change the rules of my game for her own good. After I had been called to the house and diagnose the problem, I was waiting on parts when she had called another technician to fix the machine. Now she is refusing to pay for my service call. I can insist to her that if you call me and I’ll come out there is a service charge. She doesn’t seem to want to believe that. She has apparently changed the story to focus on something I did not say.

Does anyone else have a similar episode and how did you deal with it? Is there anyway I can sniff these people out ahead of time?

Thanks in advance,
Johnny C
 

Dan O.

Appliance Tech
Staff member
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
4,257
Location
Ontario, Canada
There's bad customers everywhere. There are only a few ways I know of to protect against that.

1. Get them to pay the service charge upfront before leaving the first time. That can be difficult though as they might think you just won't come back. (There are bad service companies too!)

2. Another is have them sign a work-order before leaving, stating the charges which are and will be, due. At least that way you have some evidence should you take them to small claims court or for a reply if they try reporting you to the BBB or write a negative online review.

3. Send them a bill and threaten to submit it to a collection agency if not paid. Remind them that that could ruin their credit rating.


Dan O.
 

Johnic

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2017
Messages
74
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Thanks for the response Dan, I have actually just received my square card reader today so that should help. The person in question today has written me a letter explaining her point of view. The service is no more than a month old. I replied to her explaining how my service charge works. I also explained my late fee schedule and possible legal action after that.

She seems to have early onset of dementia so this should be a neat ride. She actually showed me her bank accounts totaling over 50 grand and she’s in a very week to do neighborhood with a nice home. She has it but doesn’t want to pay. i explained to her politely that if you call me and I shop up there’s a charge weather my services are utilized or not.

The other issue I have is my generosity with landlords. I show up, diagnose and present an estimate. Work is approved, I purchase the parts and do the repair. Last, I mail the invoice. Then I don’t get payment. I have over $1000 out in unpaid invoices but hopefully the card reader will solve that with policy changes.

I have four people on my radar that will be going to court if payment is not made. So far I have only lost $24 and that’s enough, the rest will pay regardless of their stories of hardship or arguments.

That’s the plan for now, I’m just curious how everyone else is dealing with it. A royal asshole once told me, “sympathy falls between shit and syphilis in the dictionary son.”

Thanks Don
 

Johnic

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2017
Messages
74
Location
Central Pennsylvania
I’m going to be 52 in October and I’ve been doing this nine years this month. I’ve been swinging wrenches, using meters and reading schematics all my life.
 

Dan O.

Appliance Tech
Staff member
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
4,257
Location
Ontario, Canada
i explained to her politely that if you call me and I shop up there’s a charge weather my services are utilized or not.

I don't know if it will help but you could direct her to this page at my web site:



The other issue I have is my generosity with landlords. I show up, diagnose and present an estimate. Work is approved, I purchase the parts and do the repair. Last, I mail the invoice.

That's the way we handle landlords as well. We have less trouble with them because if they don't get good service they hear it from their tenants and most appreciate not hearing from them.

Good luck!
 
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