Ever had a Deadbeat Client? Please Read.

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Wells, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. Wells

    Wells LawnSite Member
    from SLC UT
    Messages: 0

    Unfortunatly deabeat clients are part of almost every business whether you're an electrician, plumber, builder, landscaper, dentist, mechanic, childcare provider, etc, etc, etc, etc. Millions of dollars are lost to deadbeat clients each year around the Country. Most of the time a business has to spend additional money to chase a client throught the court system or pay a fee to a collection agency just to get the money originally owed to them. WHY IS THIS TOLLERATED........
    Then, theres nothing to prevent a deadbeat client from pulling the same crap on the next company. I've gotten to the point where I'm tired of seeing deadbeat clients always having the upper hand. What I mean is we as businessmen and women have no idea if a client is going to stiff us on the bill or if they have a reputation for doing such. So, I'm in the process of having a website designed that will launch in the next 60 days that should be a benefit to most businesses.

    Concept: To create a searchable database of National deadbeat clients.
    Here's two examples of how the database can be used to a businesses advantage.

    Example 1:
    Electrician ABC does work for Mr Jones lcoatated on Lincoln Ave in Virginia. Mr Jones is then sent and invoice for the work and he decides not to pay the bill. Electrician ABC sends Mr Jones to collections but Mr Jones still refuses to pay the bill.
    Electrian ABC then logs into the deadbeat client database and adds Mr Jones to the National database stating the reason of non-payment for performed services.
    The website then generates a pre-formated letter for Mr Jones that says something along the lines of "Dear Mr Jones, your name has been added to a daedbeat client database by Electrian ABC for reasons of non-payment for performed services on such a date. You will have 10 days to respond to this letter if you feel this information is in question. The clients comments will also be added to the database. (Sort of like the feedback section on EBAY). The client will also be informed that their name will be removed from the database once a settlement has been reached with Electrician ABC.

    Example 2:
    Mrs Jones calls XYZ-Plumbing for service, XYZ-Plumbing goes online and performes a quick search to see if Mr Jones located on Lincol Ave in Virgina is in the deabeat client database. Once Mr Jones's name comes up for having payment problems with Electrician ABC, then XYZ-Plumbing knows they should either collect their payment in advance or pass on the job.

    I biggest hurdle I forsee is the legal issue of putting deadbeats into a database that is accessable online (the personal info issue), however the only people that will have access to the database will be businesses not the general public. There will also be some lengthy legal verbage about the validity of the information located on the site and the letter to the client will be the final opportunity for a client to address any issues.

    The Better Business Bureau has been looking out for a clients best intrests for years now but nobodys looking out for a businesses best intrests. As this website database grows it should become a beneficial tool.

    Would this type of searchable database in a website appeal to you as a business owner?
  2. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    There is such a thing and it was brought up here at one time... just can't remember the name of it.
  3. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,677

    Of course it appeals to me but there are some legal issues to work around. It is not defamation of character if the charge is true but every one on the list is going to claim it is not true and then it can get real ugly from there. Everyone has heard of the better business bureau allow me to help you name this The Better client bureau at least most people could relate to that after all they seem to think they need to report us why not them.
  4. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    It is called a credit check.

    Or just get the people to write a check prior to service starting, then if it comes in NSF your state's attorney will prosecute them for bad check writing. Much easier than small claims court.
  5. daveyo

    daveyo LawnSite Senior Member
    from N.J.
    Messages: 907

    This definitely interests me, it would just be another weapon in my arsenal. As long as it's the truth its not slander.
  6. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,889

    I think its a great idea but, it would require a lot of oversight, just think if you have a 1000 people listed on there and they decide to get a class action lawsuit going, it could cost thousands to get it over with even if the listings are correct. the only safe way would be to get it thru equifax or one of the other credit companies.

    I would think if this could be done with out fear of a lawsuit the people who rent homes and apartments would have done this a long time ago, You think we have it bad in this industy, try being a landlord that is not allowed to kick them out of his/your property for at least 90 days while it goes thru eviction.
    by the time you get rid of the worthles tennets they have done thousands of dollars in damage. plus they still owe 3 mos min. of rent.
  7. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    Has anyone ever pre billed customers? I talk to from time to time, an owner for a very big lawn care company and he says they pre bill everyone. They receive the payments starting in March or so and I guess they bill them in the middle of the month for the next month. I'm seriously thinking of it next season. I only have a problem with 4 out of roughly 25 customers, but it all adds up to well over $600.00.
  8. Wells

    Wells LawnSite Member
    from SLC UT
    Messages: 0

    Does anyone know where this can be found?
    If it's already out there then I can save myself the time and money of having it developed.
  9. Frontier-Lawn

    Frontier-Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,955

    i pre bill. they pay me in December for Jan. im now going to collect 50% up front for any other services... ie mulch, pruning, palm trimming.
  10. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    There used to be a sponsor here called blacklist group, their website is no longer working.

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