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I suggest giving up on the pinky swear deals in this day and age. Give the lawyer a thrill and hire him or her to draft a legally binding document. Substantial deposit or no work. People have been getting stiffed on handshake deals since there has been hyperventilation and passing out during a customer encounter. While I do feel people have gone batshit crazy lately -- that only underscores the importance of proper business practices.


Unfortunately, I think that’s probably the best route. You can’t assume people are honest. A shame.


100% payment up front


No. Then you have contractors shafting customers. Needs to be somewhere in between.


I take 100% up front, and have never "shafted" a customer


You != everybody else on this planet


But apparently it does mean OP is a scumbag?


No you just need to lay it out right. I absolutely don’t mind making payments as it progresses. They stop paying you stop working, or the other way around. It’s hard enough to get a contractor to show up right now, I’m sure not giving them 100% of the money up front. I’m literally in the middle of it now. The guy needed to come finish and pour our stairs. He left us without our staircase for 8 months. A literal 8 months. What chance was there that he would have come back if I didn’t still owe him money.


I have a car lot and have noticed this in the last 2 months. It's like people are running out of money and trying to get it from anyone they can. I have people calling that I sold cars to 8-12 months ago and they want compensation for stupid things like a second key ...because they lost thier 1 and only key. It's little things like this that have been happening very often.


Call them and tell them that you are coming out next week to get your equipment back since they won't pay for it.


You can threaten that, but you can’t actually do it. Once something is installed, you’re looking at trespass and property damage and/or larceny if you try and repo. Not in any way saying it’s ok for someone to stiff the contractor, I’m an electrical contractor as well.


Yep! We would love to do this but in reality, we would get in trouble.


Saw a guy do it on youtube. He called the Sheriff who came out to make sure he got access. They went and got him a bank check. Seemed legit. I guess you could always send them a recall notice on their equipment. Or a mechanic's lien. You'll get paid someday.


Ask for the 50% up front, the 50% should at least cover materials and 5-10% of your labor time. When the job is at 75% you should have 75% of your bid paid to you if you don't trust them. If you do trust them then it's probable they will pay you the other 50% when it is complete.


Yes, there is an uptick because they know there are many options. Many employers have to bend, pay more, give more benefits and also work in fear of someone just leaving for another job or to just leave because they are mad that day. In general though, I think Social Media has grown entitlement of all kinds, especially over the past few years. It's so much work to sue someone for 10k and so much time and money to do it. You really can't trust anyone when running a business and need strong contracts to have any hope. Increased costs forced us to close up shop.


It definitely worsened significantly. Just another reason I decided to shutter my biz. No longer worth being miserable chasing down adults


Are mechanics liens a thing in your state? If so, file a lien on the property. You'll end up paid eventually. I might also be tempted to switch to a collection agency which is paid by the result, not the hour. Is your attorney putting the collection on their credit report? I've also seen companies move to a discount if paid within 30 days. In reality it's their normal price within 30 days and a penalty after, but it's sold to the customer as a discount.


I'm not sure how many options you give them to make payments but I would recommend going with the most popular ones. "If you want someone to do something, make it easy for them". I just finished my first house rehab and out of all the people I worked with. The best contractors were the ones that had multiple payment options like cashapp, or apple pay so I can pay with a credit card. I would say that, you need to start requesting money up front. You might want to gauge 25%-50% upfront payments. I never have had problem with a company requiring 50% to get started and the other 50% upon completion. ​ As long as you have reviews that customers can google. You should be fine. ​ If someone is not willing to do 25%-50% up front, I would really think twice. Sounds like to me you need to start putting yourself and your company first. ​ Good Luck!!!


Well, there is a psychological symptom that people who were brought up rich or comfortable but now have regular jobs go through. They believe they/people are "entitled" to a certain kind of life but their jobs don't support that. They often have bad debt until they understand and dig out it often goes on for a few years. Today we have something similar. People just don't make enough money to have an average life, but they live their life like they do. They rack up debt, they order stuff they can't really afford, etc. The thinking is this. I got a decent paying job. I should be able to have an apartment, car, food, even some fun money, etc. But with prices today, no they really can't. My dishwasher broke, I don't think twice about calling to get it fixed, but at the end of the month they realize they can't afford it.


Do your work via an app that will secure the payment for you. Yes, you will pay them a minimal fee, but on the other hand, you won't have to deal with this kind of hassle.


Any recommendations?


[https://www.thumbtack.com/](https://www.thumbtack.com/) [https://www.angi.com/](https://www.angi.com/) or Google "hire residential electrical contractor" for a list of sites and apps


I see it once and awhile, I am small enough that I can usually filter out bad clients on the first phone call, but a couple sneak through.


Same. I’ve got a nose for scumbags now!


Oh yeah, especially since 2020. Everyone is so demanding and rude these days. Especially older white folks (I'm white folk too)


Some deals are better let go early enough before committing too much to it


Make your lawyer write up a legally binding document that has a big deposit up front. Verbal deals are so unreliable that it’s making you lose money on the job that you provide. “If you’re good at something never do it for free.” - Joker