Beware folks.... I want to share my experiences in working for USM last year. For those of you not familiar with USM, they are a large maintenance company who wins national or regional contracts for all the big box stores like Wal-Mart, Rite Aid, Lowe's, Home Depot, etc. Then they sub the work out to local vendors like us on a store by store basis (usually). I only worked for them on 1 Rite Aid Store in my area, and have officially been screwed. They are just now telling me that they can't pay me for invoices from last summer! I have been trying to collect from them all winter, and it is a nightmare. The process begins when you become a "qualified vendor" for them, by signing their vendor contract and providing all your compliance information and insurances. Their requirements and contracts are borderline ridiculous to begin with, there is so much red tape to work through with these people. Then once you do get through that headache and get on board to start bidding on jobs for them, they low-ball you until you wind up working for peanuts. Then after you talk yourself into working for their low rates, they take forever to pay you, and will take every opportunity to not pay you if you don't stay right on top of every thing. I think they even put a clause in their Vendor Agreement that if their client doesn't pay them, then they are not obligated to pay you. This has been my experience with them, so proceed with caution when considering whether or not to work for them. I know I will never work for them again, I can't afford to. Below is a recent email I received from them regarding the payments status of 5 invoices STILL not paid, from last summer. All procedures were followed on our part, but nonetheless... : "I understand where you are coming from and I am not disagreeing that you did provide the services required of you. The issue is that certain procedures have to be followed and unfortunately they were not which is why we are in this situation. I would love to pay you for everything you did but I need some type of validation that I could present to Rite Aid confirming that the work was done. We dont have an IVR call in or a signed work order for invoice 2301 so I dont have a good solid case to present to them or even my manager. What I can do is issue you payment for invoices 2325 and 2326 for a total of $160. You did provide validation that the work was done but I want you to know that we did not bill Rite Aid for these services so we were not paid for them. I received approval from my manager to issue these payments in good faith to you because I understand that you did the work required of you and yes the procedures were difficult to follow. This is the best that I can do and I hope that you can accept these terms so we can move forward. I am sorry to hear that you no longer wish to work with us. We are trying to improve our processes for the lot sweeping if our contract is renewed so we do not experience what we did this past year. I think we are all more experienced with the Rite Aid IVR system so we hope to have a much more successful year. Below is a summary on the other 3 invoices that I can either not pay or I show were already paid to you. Please feel free to give me a call and let me know if this is acceptable to you and I will issue you the $160 as soon as I can. 2301 I will be unable to pay because procedures were not followed and I dont have any validation to show work was done that week. 2193 looks like it was paid as invoice 2226A on check 901634 on 3/10/11 2357 was paid as either invoice 2350 or 2382 on check 860443. There were two payments made for lot sweeping in September, it is possible that we posted the services on the wrong invoice but I see that the September lot services were paid even though this particular invoice number was not paid against. " Here's a thought folks...If we get organized and don't work for "Jobbers" like USM or Ferrandino & Son, then they won't be able to continue to exist. This will not likely happen, but do be aware that these companies are taking significant money off of the table which could otherwise be in our pockets. Additionally, they are adding layers of frustration and dumping all the liability on us as well for their operations.