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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

LET THE SELLER BEWARE

When you are in business there are a few people who are not of goodwill.

My wife and I ran a roofing business for almost thirty years and I had to deal with some customers that tried to take advantage of us. I’m happy to say they were few and far between.

We had some who refused to pay and we had to lien the property and it took about a year to force payment and during that time they had free use of our money.

Some developers did business this way they saved a lot of interest and it was cheaper than borrowing form a bank.

Some would try to get you to settle for a percentage of what was owed and you would lose the balance. I saw several contractors struggle with this for they were owed so much money they had to have whatever they could get in order to stay in business.

I had some developers come to me and ask why I wouldn’t settle for less, they said all the other contractors did. I always told them I would settle for the contracted price and nothing less. I always got paid while many would lose thousands.

In all of the years we were in business there were only two jobs we didn’t get full payment. One job happened while we were attending Rhema Bible training center. My brother was running the business and the owner claimed he never signed the contract. Hazel flew back to California and our attorney suggested it would be better to settle for some less than to fight it in the courts. The amount was less than two hundred dollars that we lost.

Another case was a little strange in as much as I had a salesman who sold a roof to a person of color and after the job was finished she wouldn’t pay.

I spoke with her and told her she had signed the contract and we did the job, to which she agreed. She further said the job was fine and she was happy with it.

Upon further questioning she said she didn’t have any money and never had any intention of paying for it. I must admit I had to think about that for a minute, and then I asked why she had gotten several bids on the work to be done if she wasn’t going to pay for it? She explained that she wanted to get the best deal. That I couldn’t understand at all.

Then I asked why she choose us to do the roof? Her answer was she thought we would do the best job. About this time I asked if she was going to pay me. She said no because she had no money. Then I enquired why she bought something she couldn’t pay for and she said; "I needed a new roof and I got one !!"

We went through the process of filing a lien on her property and some years later a financial company asked about the lien for she was going to sell the house, so we told them what the pay off would be. She decided not to sell the property and that was the last I heard of it. In all those years I lost almost lost nothing, this was because most of my customers were honest and I always tried to satisfy them.

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