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View Full Version : Received bad check, client will not answer phone!!


vr6rafal
01-28-2008, 07:09 PM
Hi all, so I received my first bad check. Called client multiple times, left numerous messages, but he doesn't answer or call back, I think he knows he gave me a bad check. I did the job onsite so I know his address!! I do not have any more information other than address and cell #!!

I know, I know, I should've checked his ID and write down his license #, I thought about this after I left.

I received hundreds of checks before without a problem, I guess I got sloppy this time, and it got me!!

What are my options? Any suggestions?

gunslinger
01-28-2008, 07:39 PM
Sorry about you bad luck. This is exactly why I will only take checks from certain long time customers.

ftbendpc
01-28-2008, 09:17 PM
keep calling and calling. I found out the hard way that going through the courts (at least where i live) is a waste of time if it is for service only. The fee the court charged was almost as much as what the check was for. In the 3 years of my business being open i have had about 6 hot checks only 2 were not resolved. I actually had one customer come in for service , leave happy then cancel the check out of the blue.

Simmy
01-29-2008, 12:16 AM
Sorry to hear about your problem. I would say you should take him to small claims court as a matter of principle (or whatever the equivalent is in your country). The threat alone is usually enough to make people pay and it probably won't come to court action. In the mean time, keep pestering him via phone and recorded letters/fax/email etc.

In the UK you can start charging interest after a certain amount of time. You can also add on admin costs, which covers money spent posting letters. Let him know you are taking note of it all and that he will eventually have to pay. You've done the work, you're owed the money and he should pay up. I hope you sort it out :)

swany971
01-29-2008, 02:02 AM
You may want to pay him a visit and see what he has to say. I received a bad check once, and it seemed that the lady was dodging me also. It turned out that she was out of town on business. Her bank account had a stop on it after a purse was stolen. We resolved the issue when she returned, and she paid me for the trouble.

Hopefully it's just a misundertsanding. Don't stop calling him. Send him letters threatening to take him to court.

nonchalant
01-29-2008, 11:22 AM
Sorry about you bad luck. This is exactly why I will only take checks from certain long time customers.

Agreed. Though I have taken cheques from 1st timers on occassion though Ive only ever had a problem once in 8 years (and she was a spunky chick that knew I thought she was hot and wouldnt mind..)

Your 'demeanour' counts a lot in this game..

tartis
01-29-2008, 12:09 PM
In my town, you can go to the Police Station and fill out a complaint form. You have to follow all of the steps listed at the Police station, and if they still do not pay, the local prosecutors office gives them a call for writing bad checks. They will usually pay after you threaten them with the police.

mortisult
01-30-2008, 09:02 PM
I think it's also important to take into consideration the amount , which hasn't been stated. Consider what your time is worth to follow up with all this stuff. It may just be better to write the whole thing off. Of course it would probably be a good learning experience to learn the process of taking someone to small claims court (which I've never done.)

~jim

gunslinger
01-31-2008, 02:17 AM
I think it's also important to take into consideration the amount , which hasn't been stated. Consider what your time is worth to follow up with all this stuff. It may just be better to write the whole thing off. Of course it would probably be a good learning experience to learn the process of taking someone to small claims court (which I've never done.)

~jim


Good point, how much is it really worth to you. But then again if one person did it and gets away with it others could also, you might want to make an example out of this one.

Bryce W
01-31-2008, 02:34 AM
When your coming by the area next. You could always show up semi-unexpected. Just before you arrive, call them on their land line (so you know they are home) tell them in a casual voice "oh, i just finished up with another job in the same area, and I would like to quickly drop in and get some cash for that last job I did. That way, you dont have to goto the trouble of mailing it to me etc.."

Ive never done it myself but my father has done similar and it worked.

IcedFalcon
03-03-2008, 04:54 AM
I get cash or in the case of larger orders and sales a cashiers check. I do take personal checks from customers as a deposit but I take it to the issuing bank and have it in cash before I order the parts or continue the service. Locally bouncing a check for more than $20 is misdemeanor, over $100 is felony. With a signed invoice and a bad check they can go to jail then to criminal court. I like to keep that in my back pocket so to speak just in case someone tries and stiff me.

rsavoia
03-04-2008, 04:35 PM
This has happened to me in the past and it can be difficult to collect. I generally never go directly onsite to collect unless I know the customer well or it is safe to do so.

I created a series of collection letters that I send to customers if I receive a bad check. It is similar to the series of letter templates I used at my store when customers would drop off a PC for repair and never pick it up.

It is a series of three letters. I usually send the last letter registered mail with proof of receipt. I give them a set amount of time to pay and I also charge a late penalty fee (which I can, at my discretion, rescind if they pay after receipt of the first or second letter and can also be used to negotiate a settlement with the customer to encourage payment of the original invoice without taking a loss on the original amount.)

I found this method works for me almost every time and it save the embarrassment and awkwardness of showing up in person or the nastiness of taking it to small claims court.

I released my original letter templates in the downloads at theforcefield.net. If anyone wants them they can find them there or PM me here and I will send them a link. You are free to use and modify them for your own business.

Rick

gunslinger
03-04-2008, 04:56 PM
My policy is that you don't get the computer until I get paid. The only people I will take checks from are long time customers of 3 years or more that I know really well and only then for small amounts of less than $50. Doing business this way I have only had one problem check in 6 years.