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Showdown at the customers!

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Bossman 92, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,771

    Here is the deal, I received a phone call in late december from a truck stop in town wanting services. I promptly went to their location and quoted them and was awarded the work. We plowed them several times and salted them as well. I bill out 2x a month in the winter so the bill doesn't become to large and we always have cash coming in. They were billed at the end of Dec. and again in the mid of Jan. no payment either time. They were invoiced 2x a month for 3 months and 1x a month 3 months, without any payment.

    Fast forward 5 months and here we are. I went to the truck stop Thursday morning and spoke with the owner and he said "I thought that was already paid" I told him that it wasn't, and I needed a check soon, or would turn it over to my attornery. He said he would call and find out what was going on and let me know, and I would have a check very soon.

    I stopped in again today and he comes out with a broom stick waving it around at me pointing his finger in my face. I asked if he had found anything out and he told me that he was going to play the game. I asked what he was talking about and he said that he owned several truck stops throught the country and had lawyers everywhere, and he knew how the game worked. He said that he wanted my attorney to contact him then he would pay.

    THEN he played the race card with me! He said that I was only after him because he was from the middle east, and I told him it was because he owed me money.

    He told me that I needed to show him some respect! I asked why I should respect him when he owed me money.

    He admitted he owed me money and said we were going to play his game.

    We argued for about 10 mins and came up with the fact that I could only charge him 18% annually and he didn't have to pay court or attorney costs. Then he explained that he could pay me $25 a month untill it was payed off and there was nothing I could do about it.

    All this for $1000!!!!! A $1000!!

    Have any of you run into this before, or does anyone have any advice?

    Thanks :drinkup: Bossman
  2. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    You plowed a truck stop all season for only $1000? :dizzy: Wow...how many events did you have? That amount just seems insanely low!

    Anyway, good luck getting the situation resolved.
  3. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Consult an attorney. He's bluffing (and making up laws as he goes along) and you're falling for it. The "fact" that "he owned several truck stops throught the country and had lawyers everywhere" is irrelevant. The laws of one state do not apply to another. He full of ..it, too.
  4. PDQ Pete

    PDQ Pete Senior Member
    Messages: 139

    Throw your shoe at him!:) Good luck getting your money.ussmileyflag
  5. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,771

    We plowed it for only a few events. I know better than even taking these "jockeys" on as customers. I have already contacted my attorney, but I am just amazed that people could act like this over a few bucks!

    Thanks for the reassurance

  6. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    This stinks. I know most of us are saying, why did you plow for three months without getting paid? Well, its easy to do, I've done it myself. Had one customer finish paying for 07-08 in November of 08. But we became very good friends, and I plowed last season without hesitations. Still owes a few bucks, but that's ok. It's kinda cool picking up a hundred or two cash every now and then. Plus, she grooms my two Collies. That's a job you couldn't pay me to do.

    At least you called your attorney. Write a nasty letter, send it Certified, so he knows you're not screwing around. And call him everyday for payment. That is definitely legal.

    NICHOLS LANDSCA PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,362

    No need for an attorney, take him to small claims court. In MN you can go to small claims up to $7,500 don't ask how I know this:gunsfiring: one time I dropped the amount $800 so I could just go to small claims and in the end the Judge awarded me the $8,300 I was owed:D
  8. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,771

    We only serviced the property for a few weeks, not a few months. I could see where was going, and didn't want to get in any deeper.

  9. pmorrissette

    pmorrissette Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    I agree that Small Claims Court is probably the best venue to get a quick award, including interest owed and any other justifiable fee you want to get out of him (like gas money to/from the place to collect, hourly rate for time spend on this nonsense, etc).

    The problem still remains of actually collecting. Even though the judge may rule in your favor, the judge has no power to make him cough up the dough.

    Ask the judge for a clear limit date for the payment (like within the next 5 days). If he doesn't respect such judgement, then you might be able to go see a bailiff or your attorney a get a lien placed against his personal property (like the truck stop itself).

    The whole situation sucks big time, and yes have encountered before at the truck dealership where I used to work. Middle Eastern truckers can be a royal pain to deal with. We would NEVER grant them a charge account, and always get paid before the truck leaves the shop.
  10. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,613

    Small Claims. Set a date, add fees, etc. The neat thing about this is they HAVE to bring a lawyer since they are a business. An extra charge. Your amount is small and they admitted to asking and receiving service so now it's this step before a lien and collections.
  11. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,771

    Thanks guys. I know better than falling for these guys. ussmileyflag I takled to my attorney today and told him what had happened and he just said "Oh he wants to play the game?" Then laughed. Said they would take care of everything.

    Hopefully it works out. Truthfully I already considered this debt gone, so whatever I collect is good. Sad it has to be this way, but there will always be scum in the world. :gunsfiring:

    Hopefully someone on here learns from my :realmad:

  12. fireball

    fireball PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 545

    how big was that broom stick?
  13. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    Make sure your attorney doesn't charge you more than the bill is worth.

    Go to small claims court by yourself. When the judge awards it to you and he then doesn't pay, go to you attorney to collect the money.
  14. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,771

    Well........... I received a check from the above mentioned a**hole for the full amount before late charges. I caught the attorney in time so it doesn't cost me a thing! ;)

    While I had my attorney on the phone I asked if they may be interested in wrighting up a new contract. I will know somthing on Monday. I want to make sure next time I have my bases covered.

    Thanks for the help, Bossman
  15. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Glad to hear it. What a jerk. Some people think if they use the right words they can scare us off.