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Advice on first time being burned

RC Mech

Stainless
Joined
Jul 21, 2014
Location
Ontario, Canada
I absolutely agree with the above. Those who are saying go straight to a lawster clearly do not nor have ever owned a business.

You need to give them a chance to pay and own up to the mistake otherwise it can be defended with a simple explanation of oversight. A judge or arbitrator will not look kindly on getting attorneys involved as an immediate course of action.

You want to see the lines of communication go dead? Get a lawyer involved.

And yes I’ve been through this with deadbeats, twice. Both times I had to sue the incompetent Ontario business owner to get restitution. They like to talk tough and hide behind their own legal representation but they shrivel up like the slugs they are once the truth comes out.

No offence meant to slugs. Those guys were lower than that.
 

Fal Grunt

Titanium
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Location
Medina OH
Ton's of great responses, thanks guys! I started to quote a bunch of you to respond and realized I seriously couldn't begin to respond to nearly everyone.

I know this is something that most all shops go through, and I have been very careful over the last 12 years. Maybe too careful, which is why my business has grown as slow as it has. That is OK with me, most days.

I am extremely, extremely fortunate, that my wife does know this stuff in and out. Her job is managing people who manage hundreds of millions of dollars in deductions. We also have health insurance and a steady income because of her :willy_nilly:

So to those of you who said, be patient, don't lose sleep, it's probably an accounting error, thanks. I have already lost sleep over this, and I shouldn't have. Inept people rub me the wrong way, because I try to know everything I can about what I am doing to be the best that I can at what I am doing. I forget that, that, is not most people.

The good news is, at the same time I was making the post, my wife was making another terse, business lingo'd email. Total we've made 4 phone calls, and this was the 3rd or 4th email.

We got a response this afternoon that stated there was some confusion on their part and they were working to find a way to fix it.

Sounds like an innocent accounting error. Am I going to hold my breath? No. But here is to hoping.
 

Bondo

Hot Rolled
Joined
May 14, 2011
Location
Bridgeton NJ
This happens to me about twice a year.

What I have found to do is to treat them just like they treat you. Meaning dont use the pointy finger saying YOU DID THIS. That doesn't help, usually.

This can take up to 6 months to complete, but it is way, way cheaper then a lawyer or loosing all the work time.

And dont just flip out getting mad at them. That usually doesnt end well and usually hurts your chance of getting any money. You also loose some of yourself getting so mad at things out of your control. For example, dont be mad, punch a brick wall, then get mad that the brick wall fucked your hand up and punch the wall again. Nothing is going to change the fact it's a brick wall. I have learned that if you do end up punching the wall, thank the wall for the reality check that it was stupid to do that in the first place.

I sued a company for 88k. It cost me 10k up front and the company offered me 65k and the lawyer told me to take it as I would loose another 10k just to move to trial.

But I stood strong and said, send a letter to them that says, I've already lost 88k, that means my lawyer bills can get to 88k and I didnt loose anything but you "the company I sued", will spend 176k for a 88k issue.

They resent it for 83k which was "fair". But all said and done, I only got 73k from 88k worth of invoives.

Then 3 months later as I got my last check, the company asked me to go back. I said sure, I was COD and the first invoice will include the remainder of the balance of the lawsuit. They never called me back.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

Fal Grunt

Titanium
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Location
Medina OH
This happens to me about twice a year.

What I have found to do is to treat them just like they treat you. Meaning dont use the pointy finger saying YOU DID THIS. That doesn't help, usually.

This can take up to 6 months to complete, but it is way, way cheaper then a lawyer or loosing all the work time.

And dont just flip out getting mad at them. That usually doesnt end well and usually hurts your chance of getting any money. You also loose some of yourself getting so mad at things out of your control. For example, dont be mad, punch a brick wall, then get mad that the brick wall fucked your hand up and punch the wall again. Nothing is going to change the fact it's a brick wall. I have learned that if you do end up punching the wall, thank the wall for the reality check that it was stupid to do that in the first place.

I sued a company for 88k. It cost me 10k up front and the company offered me 65k and the lawyer told me to take it as I would loose another 10k just to move to trial.

But I stood strong and said, send a letter to them that says, I've already lost 88k, that means my lawyer feels can get to 88k and I didnt loose anything but you "the company I sued", will spend 176k for a 88k issue.

They resent it for 83k which was "fair". But all said and done, I only got 73k from 88k worth of invoives.

Then 3 months later as I got my last check, the company asked me to go back. I said sure, I was COD and the first invoice will include the remainder of the balance of the lawsuit. They never called me back.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

I have to reply quick to this one. My grandfather rebuilt a machine for a major corporation down the street. Say $30k many many decades ago. Company went "bankrupt". They continued to run 3 shifts a day and never shut the lights off or changed the name on the sign. He got offered something like 6 cents on the dollar. He declined.

Problem for them was, his shop did all their rush maintenance work. Anytime there was an emergency they brought it to his shop. I worked at his shop nearly 20 years after this happened. Guy brought in a bent shaft. The whole production line was down. Took maybe 5 minutes while the guy watched to straighten the shaft. Charged them $300 for those 5 minutes.

On every invoice he would put a note with the remaining balance from that job including interest.
 

adammil1

Titanium
Joined
Mar 12, 2001
Location
New Haven, CT
The way I see it is that most well organized companies have very formal processes in place to recieve material into their facility and then properly move the items to where they are needed efficiently. Once all is said and done these systems also ensure vendors get paid for goods sent.

It seems like to me you went outside of this normal process and just randomly dropped a package into their facility without the proper people ever giving or creating a record that it was recieved, and accidentally made a mess out of things all the while trying to be a great guy. It doesn't take much imagination to see this same thing happening where I work or any well organized company with more than say 40 employees that buy and recieve a lot of materials every day.

As others have mentioned you really need to calmly reach out to the guy who solicited you and explain what happened and ask him how to help fix things make sure things go smoother next time. I suspect once you learn how to properly deliver items to this facility hopefully things will go a lot smoother in the future.

Sent from my SM-J737V using Tapatalk
 

Doug

Diamond
Joined
Dec 16, 2002
Location
Pacific NW
Did you ever tell us the amount of money involved here?

As to small claims court, years ago I went over a $200 unpaid invoice. The other party didn't show up so of course I won. But, that's only the first step, to collect you have to hire a lawyer to go through the next phase of collection. The lawyer I contacted advised giving up since his bill would be substantially more than the $200 with no assurance I would collect anything. So it was an education that cost me $75, $25 filing fee an $50 to serve the other party.
 

Lanso

Cast Iron
Joined
Mar 16, 2013
Location
Cerritos, CA
QUOTE] by OP

I have found as I have gotten older my patience has rapidly evaporated. People's incompetency and general stupidity has pushed me to the point where I am 100% full boil instantly. I spend probably more time than reasonable double, triple, and sometimes quadruple checking my work. Verifying all aspects to guarantee that my work, or whatever I am doing is correct. When I make a mistake I am proactive, I take care of it before anyone knows it exists. When I fail to identify a mistake before someone else identifies the mistake, when that mistake is identified, everything in my life comes to a stop until that mistake is corrected. QUOTE]

I love this paragraph - well said!
 

CarbideBob

Diamond
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Location
Flushing/Flint, Michigan
Wow, what a mess.
Best not to do the get all mad thing. Sometimes this just a bookkeeping mess up and it is how do we straighten out the paperwork.
Other times there are crooks that deserve death.
If inside small claims limits you do not need a lawyer and it actually rather simple here.
Here is the but...they do not show up and you win the judgment. Getting the actual money into your checking account a very different story and more cost.
I know your pain, frustration and the crazy rage one feels inside. How does one let that go?

Calmer heads. Here is the paperwork on my side. This is what I believe you owe me.
Bob
 

cyanidekid

Titanium
Joined
Jun 4, 2016
Location
Brooklyn NYC
I have to reply quick to this one. My grandfather rebuilt a machine for a major corporation down the street. Say $30k many many decades ago. Company went "bankrupt". They continued to run 3 shifts a day and never shut the lights off or changed the name on the sign. He got offered something like 6 cents on the dollar. He declined.

Problem for them was, his shop did all their rush maintenance work. Anytime there was an emergency they brought it to his shop. I worked at his shop nearly 20 years after this happened. Guy brought in a bent shaft. The whole production line was down. Took maybe 5 minutes while the guy watched to straighten the shaft. Charged them $300 for those 5 minutes.

On every invoice he would put a note with the remaining balance from that job including interest.

good story, and.. well a perfect object lesson.

never forget your anger costs YOU some of your health and sanity. there is an infinite volume of things to get angry at.

having a quick trigger and assuming malice when it is actually mere run of the mill incompetence doesn't do you any good and actually hurts your chances of getting what you want in the end. trust the boss (wife) on this one!
 

Steven-Canada

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jun 16, 2015
Location
Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
This is why nothing leaves my shop before it is paid for! Sorry Fal, I know that doesn't help.
But us little guys can't be dicking around with these stupid money games. And, I am just like you. Screw me? I go instant full-boil! :mad5:
I am probably one of the least passive people you could ever meet.

I've told this story on here before: I got over 120 days out once in the beginning, and knew where the "accounts" lady's desk was.
Happened to be right up front with a picture window. I parked my truck 8ft behind her back. I saw her sitting there when I parked.
She had been ignoring me for a while at this time.
I barged in guns blazing. Went right through the do not enter sign. Straight to her desk. And in my "big-voice" said:
"Turn around, see that truck?! If you don't cut me a check right now I'm going to park that Mother-'effer on this got-damn desk!"
By now the boss had showed up, and nicely asked her if they owed me money. She got out "yes, but" and he interrupted with "what date were we invoiced?"
She told him. And he sternly said "cut the check" and walked out. I snatched it out of her hand with a scowl. No words. And left as fast as I showed up.
That place kept sending me RFQ's occasionally for a year or two. I always rejected. They eventually got the hint.

That's a fun story, but that will get you thrown in jail.

The moral of the story is to get to the person with the decision making power with the right info.
 

triumph406

Titanium
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Location
ca
At my last location I had a Jewish neighbour who's business was installing large Christmas trees at SoCal Malls and some Indian casinos, think 60'+ tall trees etc.

One of his installers was an ex Huntington Beach Neo-Nazi skinhead, covered in Nazi tats. Apparently he was a nice guy, but a Scary looking dude. Everytime my late German wife would see him she would dive under the tables.

Every time my Jewish neighbour had trouble getting paid he'd send this guy around. Only ever took one visit to get paid.
 

thermite

Diamond
At my last location I had a Jewish neighbour who's business was installing large Christmas trees at SoCal Malls and some Indian casinos, think 60'+ tall trees etc.

One of his installers was an ex Huntington Beach Neo-Nazi skinhead, covered in Nazi tats. Apparently he was a nice guy, but a Scary looking dude. Everytime my late German wife would see him she would dive under the tables.

Every time my Jewish neighbour had trouble getting paid he'd send this guy around. Only ever took one visit to get paid.

LOL! No tats. But D&B, Hong Kong was giving my WIFE some totally unwarranted grief over a firm she had once been associated with that had gone off the rails, LATER.

I dropped by their office, handed him MY biz card, told the head guy he had the wrong target, and it was to cease. At once.

Didn't raise my voice. Was kinda quiet, actually

He got all nervous and sweaty, agreed they had made an error. Apologized.

I left. Sure enough, it WAS over with.

Go figure Chinese have some sort of weird superstition about men of a certain "command presence" wearing raw Thai silk jackets, Panama hats...and white gloves ...in the heat of summertime?
 

john.k

Diamond
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Location
Brisbane Qld Australia
Unlike thermie,I dont personally know any Triad,but I did have a bunch of bikies who would buy debt at 50c/dollar..........the importance of selling the debt ,legally,with paperwork,is if the bikies get carried away,you can show the cops it wasnt on your instructions.
 

macgyver

Stainless
Joined
Aug 2, 2012
Location
Pittsburg, KS
I would call your contact you made the parts for, see if he is at work then drive over there and visit in person with intent of being nice and trying to figure out what went wrong. If you don't think you can do that and will get the cops called, then maybe don't drive over there. I think an in person conversation could fix it quickly and maybe even take a check home.

I learned a few things the hard way when a buddy and I partnered up to make a few things and we sold one to a guy in another state. Partner knew the guy so we shipped it with expectation of payment when he got it. It went UPS, my buddy dropped it off at the local store who boxed it up for him and sent it. Months go by and no payment, find out that the thing was damaged in shipment so the guy wasn't going to pay for it. We went to file a claim with UPS and I found out the shipper was the local store not us, so we had to get our money from the store. What a nightmare, we did ALL the things wrong. I spent many many hours chasing $500, it took almost 9 months before I got my money back. I stopped in at the UPS store almost everyday there for awhile and the owner acted like she didn't know who I was everytime I went in there. I spent so much time and effort getting paid for that, that I lost all interest in the business. It was a side gig with intent to make it full time, but I put my energy and emotion into getting paid for that one thing that I just didn't have it in me to continue and to this day have not made any more of those. I still have parts to put more together, but just can't get excited about it. This was in 2004 or so.

I have since be on my own doing other things, but the one thing I try to remember is to not let stupid things like this ruin my life. I have done all I can to make sure that I don't get screwed, but I have been slow payed a few times. The one that did it to me twice is a no quote now. They are local and I stopped by a few times and let them know I was still unpaid etc. I think it helped.

My biggest customer when I started is a pretty big one with multiple branch stores and all their payments come from the home office. When I first started I went a few months without getting paid. Local manager had helped me more than once in the past so I was trying to not get worked up about it. Ultimately it was a matter of the paperwork. I wasn't in their system yet, the person that did that had gotten sick etc, there were multiple stupid things that delayed them paying me. I toughed it out with advice from the local guy and once they got me setup and paid that first time, I never had anymore problems in the time since.
 

Ox

Diamond
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Location
West Unity, Ohio
You got an order to make some parts in early December, and [not knowing you ship date] you are already all up in arms about this?
(I understand that wasn't your terms)

You have called the customer's people names?

Other than this accounting concern, any reason that you wouldn't want to continue with them?
I wouldn't want to continue with YOU if I was them anymore.

Flying off the handle seldom does anyone any good.

At least one person above posted this - but if you were fit to be tied about anything,you should have contacted your buyer.
That is THE person that wants to keep you happy! (and knows your history)


I've said this many times in the past, but the mindset on this forum is always that you are going to git screwed by the customer, and I understand your concerns. But y'all seem to miss the other side of that.... You [the customer] just received in a skid of parts from Small Shop. You paid him COD, and he left. Now you find that the parts won't make it through QC. You call Small Shop guy, and he doesn't want to rework or completely re-run the job again, and maybe can't even afford to.

When you sell a made-to-order part, someone is taking a risk. Either you for getting paid, or them for it actually being what they asked for.
There really is no middle ground.

Yeah, the gun industry runs on COD. The rest of the world doesn't.
However, I don't think that lack of funds is really a major concern right now?
Business has issues with getting help, but not with getting work. So it's not like they have a large staff that they are trying to payroll for and don't have the ability to fund that.
Also - with interest rates so low, there is very little incentive to hold funds.

AND - with the issues of getting help, if you find an outside source that can fill your needs, you are going to doo everything that you can to keep that source on your side!

Of course you could always get screwed, but this is not the environment rich with that issue right now, and you just proved to not be someone that is at the top of that customers list to call on anymore. Hopefully that was worth it to you.


---------------------

Think Snow Eh!
Ox
 

Lanso

Cast Iron
Joined
Mar 16, 2013
Location
Cerritos, CA
At my last location I had a Jewish neighbour who's business was installing large Christmas trees at SoCal Malls and some Indian casinos, think 60'+ tall trees etc.

One of his installers was an ex Huntington Beach Neo-Nazi skinhead, covered in Nazi tats. Apparently he was a nice guy, but a Scary looking dude. Everytime my late German wife would see him she would dive under the tables.

Every time my Jewish neighbour had trouble getting paid he'd send this guy around. Only ever took one visit to get paid.

This story has everything needed for an old joke: A Jew, a Neo-Nazi skinhead and a German wife - they were all sitting at a bar.......
 

thermite

Diamond
Unlike thermie,I dont personally know any Triad,but I did have a bunch of bikies who would buy debt at 50c/dollar..........the importance of selling the debt ,legally,with paperwork,is if the bikies get carried away,you can show the cops it wasnt on your instructions.

Who? ME? Know triads.. and ... 'similar'....?

Ermm.. well... I'll admit to knowing those who have documented them.
And not-only.

BDO guys were far from my only government contacts..

:D
 

Fal Grunt

Titanium
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Location
Medina OH
At least one person above posted this - but if you were fit to be tied about anything, you should have contacted your buyer.

I would call your contact you made the parts for

As others have mentioned you really need to calmly reach out to the guy who solicited you

As I stated in the initial post, he was called, calmly and politely. In fact, multiple times, never answered the phone calls or returned the voice mails left. He also has not responded to the emails that were sent directly to him, nor the emails that he was copied on.

So to everyone that says, you should have contacted your buyer, I did. I didn't flip out on this over night. While I have a short temper for incompetence, that incompetence took over 4 weeks to prove out. Their invoice is now 5 weeks over due.

You got an order to make some parts in early December, and [not knowing you ship date] you are already all up in arms about this?
Order was placed 11/29 with a due date of 12/10, including design, grinding custom form tooling, etc etc. Do you make a habit of delivering 5 weeks late? I sure don't. A business deal is a two way street. I meet your terms, you meet mine. Done and done. You don't want to do business with me because I hold you to the terms you agreed to, that is fine by me. I'll always meet or exceed mine.

You have called the customer's people names?
Ox why would I call the customers people's names? Are they incompetent, absolutely. Are they idiots, probably. But I did manage to get out of my folks house with at least a basic enough education to know not to call people names. I might be stupid, but I know that insulting the person I am trying to convince to do their job is going to have a negative outcome.

It seems like to me you went outside of this normal process and just randomly dropped a package into their facility
The entire process was outside their normal processes. They couldn't get the job done through their normal processes. If you ask me to do a job outside your normal processes, I expect you to accommodate me outside those normal processes. They had no problem receiving the parts. They were received, and they were marked received, per the AP woman. As I stated in my initial post, the problem was the invoice was not submitted.

Probably 90% of my business is "outside normal processes". No PO, CC payment, rush work, high tolerance or weird features, we are not quite sure what we need, etc.

I suspect once you learn how to properly deliver items to this facility hopefully things will go a lot smoother in the future.

I won't have to worry about meeting their delivery procedures. In the future I won't be a nice guy. They will make the hour and a half round trip, hand me a check, pick up their items, and go. That part has definitely been straightened out!

Did you ever tell us the amount of money involved here?
No, a little less than $4k. Pocket change for the way a lot of folks boast on here. For me that is a big chunk of change.
 








 
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