Originally Posted by Sean Adams
It's your money. Go get it. You earned it. It belongs to you.
I find it interesting how our world has changed in many ways over the years - but that is an off topic subject.
One thing that has changed is how entitled consumers feel - how they think that if they do not feel like paying you the money or it just doesn't fit in their budget that they aren't going to pay you.
Write the letters, make the phone calls, but don't waste an excessive amount of time. Be stern and professional. When that does not work, take them to court - no matter who it is.
When you get your judgment, the game is not over. They have x number of days to pay. When/if they don't pay you have options.... Pay another fee and have the sheriff collect the money. If they don't pay the sheriff will confiscate their property and sell it at auction until the judgment is paid, plus fees.
Think about that....how much do you think a 50" flat screen TV goes for at a police auction? Nowhere near it's face value.
In other words, a lot of their personal belongings will be confiscated to pay the judgment.
Most don't pursue it far enough.
Sean, I hear what you're saying...believe me. And I understand your point of view. Just not so sure it is the best advice given the circumstances. A) I can make more money in the time I would spend pursuing a small amount of money. B) I would be creating enemies I don't need, that could adversely affect my business in a major way.
I understand it's my money. I don't like people who think they shouldn't pay. But it's a waste of time. I know what my time is worth. Arguing with an idiot is a waste of time. Throwing dollars to save pennies and make a point, is dumb. I'm not hard headed enough to waste my time. I'm wise enough to walk away. Lesson learned. Karma will catch up.
I'm no wuss and not one to be given orders or to take crap. But I know when it's better to keep your mouth shut, and when to avoid emotions getting the best of you.
No point crying about spilled milk when you're trying to build a dairy farm...
Thankfully I can cry and vent a little bit here to my brethren on Lawnsite...which helped me avoid doing what could be a very costly thing: taking a government sanctioned thug to court for $125. He's a degenerate, but I do work in his area...my first ticket would cost more than what he owes. If I pissed him off by pursuing it, daily operations would be tougher. And I would be adding gasoline to a fire. He would talk trash about me to all his neighbors and slander me. Right now he thinks he just got a freebie and pulled a fast one on me and probably doesn't think twice. I figure, I could waste a punch of time, create a lot of enemies, and have him talk a lot of crap about my business, and get my $125. Or I could do a little venting/therapy on lawnsite and forget about it.
Completely understand what you're talking about when you say times have changed...I couldn't imagine not paying someone (and actually planning not to) who I had do work for me (and watched breaking back and sweating). Some people have a completely different moral guide. Scary that this guy is supposed to uphold the law. I could have easily slapped him with unjust enrichment and had my day in court, but not worth it. I am, however, acutely aware that there are still some amazing citizens out there. I am one of them, and I try to surround myself exclusively with them. Part of being in a business dealing with the public, however, causes us to meet all kinds of people. Better to get them out of our worlds sooner than later. Even if it cost me my hard work/$125. It's a cheap price to pay to rid yourself of something you don't want. But it would be more costly to try and get the $125 back and suffer angering someone with a big mouth/no moral conscience and lots of power.