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OtleyLad

I suppose it was inevitable

Recently did an electrical job for someone who has just moved into a large detached house. Not a huge job but significant for me (around £450).
Since doing it she does not respond to phone calls, texts or emails nor to letters seeking payment.
I suppose it had to happen that someone would be reluctant to pay but its galling that she is a well-paid doctor with no real excuse (she was out shopping most of the time I was there buying all sorts of stuff for the house-so hardly on a tight budget).
So I am going to apply to the Small Claims Court (online) to get my money. What a pain (time consuming and stressful) and what a mean/thoughtless person.

Funny how poor people pay up promptly.

No doubt it will happen again Sad
Flamin'Panda

Is she a GP or a hospital doctor. You could always turn up at her place of work, bill in hand... embarrass her into paying, a lot less hassle than the court system. Also don't forget the BMC, she wouldn't want them knowing that she is a little piece of poo...

Oh also, did you use any of your own materials, if so, and if all else fails, go and get them back, and if that means chasing out a wall to get to the wire - so be it!
OtleyLad

Is she a GP or a hospital doctor. You could always turn up at her place of work, bill in hand... embarrass her into paying, a lot less hassle than the court system. Also don't forget the BMC, she wouldn't want them knowing that she is a little piece of poo...


I had thought of turning up at her work (she's a GP) - seems like a good idea to go along with the bill and its not too far away.
Flamin'Panda

Is she a GP at a practice that you attend, if so, make an appointment, and take the bill with you. If not, take the bill with you to the reception, conveniently either not in an envelope or with the envelope not stuck down and hand it over explaining what it is... I bet the receptionist wont be able to help but read it, and as it isn't a medical record she doesn't have to keep her mouth shut...
Rob R

How do you accept payment? Such people rarely carry cash or a cheque book so turning up with a credit card machine would be pre-armed.
OtleyLad

How do you accept payment? Such people rarely carry cash or a cheque book so turning up with a credit card machine would be pre-armed.


Sadly I don't have a credit card machine.
Flamin'Panda

Good point... Do you use pay pal, she could transfer it that way. Or present the bill and state quite clearly that you will return, say 3 hours later. A reasonable length of time for her to get to a cash point. I feel for you in this situation, some people are complete sh&ts, and 450squids is a lot of money to us in the real world. Let us know what happens, perhaps a possie of DS'ers could go round and put the frighteners on her! Rob R

How do you accept payment? Such people rarely carry cash or a cheque book so turning up with a credit card machine would be pre-armed.

Sadly I don't have a credit card machine.

Get one, it's worth the fees for attracting business www.worldpayzinc.com

ETA - let me know if you do decide on it, I've just looked & you can get £10 off if I refer you.

Or there's Pay-A-Trader
Mistress Rose

I regret to say that our lad had a similar but not quite so bad experience when he first started. He had a reasonable sized fencing job lined up, did it, with our help, and had trouble getting the money. He did get paid in the end, but he was just starting out for himself, and the people concerned were not poor. Completely thoughtless. Luckily we were able to not press for payment at once, and he had to pay us over a period.

Sadly some people are completely ignorant in every sense of the word.

Do hope you get your money and soon Otley Lad.
onemanband

What length of time are we looking at ?

I've never had payment problems with domestic customers, only with other builders. I generally don't take upfront payments either.
Maybe it's because majority of my work is thru recommendation by other tradesmen or customers.

I'd leave escalating the situation or kicking-off till you have made contact and heard her excuses.
Nature'sgrafter


Oh also, did you use any of your own materials, if so, and if all else fails, go and get them back, and if that means chasing out a wall to get to the wire - so be it!

I have to point out that this is completely illegal once the materials have become a part of someone's home you can not just go and rip them out. if you were you would find yourself in court.
of course if this is a rented property or council owned you could get permission from the actual owner to do so to avoid prosecution.
Shan

Before you pursue the small claims route, send her a registered letter demanding payment within 3 working days and specify, that you will be pursuing a small claims route if payment is not made. Add to this that you will also be entitled to costs if the small claims route is pursued. Flamin'Panda

OK, the ripping out bit may be a bit extreme, but some people need to be made aware that their mindless, selfish behavior can have a serious knock on effect to others. Please keep us informed as to the outcome. Rob R

Re: I suppose it was inevitable

Funny how poor people pay up promptly.


Beware in the future though, they don't always!
Flamin'Panda

The problem with the small claims court is that you still may not get your money. Crickey, how many people in the UK carry on normal lives with bucket loads of ccj's to their name. If it were me, I would ask nicely to start with, and then embarrass her into paying, just remember, it is YOUR MONEY (sorry I shouted there). To be honest she is no better than a common thief. Chez

Before you pursue the small claims route, send her a registered letter demanding payment within 3 working days and specify, that you will be pursuing a small claims route if payment is not made. Add to this that you will also be entitled to costs if the small claims route is pursued.

This usually works. I think there's a website somewhere with standard letter templates. I'll have a look in a tick.
vegplot

Send your invoice via registered letter with a very polite notice that non-payment will attract interest changes (8% above the base rate) plus permissible debt recovery fees (£40 in your case).

https://www.gov.uk/late-commercial-payments-interest-debt-recovery
Chez

Edited, because Vegplot and I share a brain Smile. That one's for companies that owe you money, I think.

But this is for private customers:

https://www.gov.uk/invoicing-and-taking-payment-from-customers/payment-obligations
Barefoot Andrew

Sorry to hear of woes OtleyLad; hope you get it sorted. I've generally found too that with the most are the more unwilling to give it up.
A.
dpack

a copy of the invoice ,a covering letter explaining that it may have been overlooked for payment and explaining that payment was due on completion and that if not forthcoming within x time interest will be added and legal action taken.

or a personal visit with a witness and copy invoice to explain the above if that is convenient

be polite and business like and give opportunity to pay up without escalation often does the trick

cant pay now, will pay soon is possible ,agree a date,
wont pay needs firmer measures

for the future written contracts with payment terms made clear helps a lot with such things and nearly always avoids such things
Flamin'Panda

Sorry to hear of woes OtleyLad; hope you get it sorted. I've generally found too that with the most are the more unwilling to give it up.
A.

That's why they have more money in the first place!
vegplot

Edited, because Vegplot and I share a brain Smile. That one's for companies that owe you money, I think.

But this is for private customers:

https://www.gov.uk/invoicing-and-taking-payment-from-customers/payment-obligations

It was your turn today wasn't it. I thought something was amiss.
onemanband

If you do anything that needs certifying(or should that be certificating?), then don't hand over the paperwork until you have been paid. OtleyLad

Thanks for the support/advice.
I have sent an email, text and taken a letter to the GP practice where she works (she wasn't there today). In them all I have said she has until the 7th of March to pay in full or else I will submit my claim to the Small Claims Court (I mentioned the extra cost she would have to pay (plus interest) should this happen).
I have used the online facility a couple of times before and got my money back eventually - even though on one of the occaisions they got themselves a fine for contempt of court by ignoring the first judgement and ended paying more to the court than to me.

Hopefully the thought of that will change her mind.
Chez

That sounds good. Solicitors always seem to want to give people a couple of weeks to respond to this sort of thing, in order to be reasonable. Keep us posted! Flamin'Panda

Yup, keep us posted... Hope it all goes well Smile

PS: Do we all get a drink when you get paid? Twisted Evil
Nick

Thanks for the support/advice.
I have sent an email, text and taken a letter to the GP practice where she works (she wasn't there today). In them all I have said she has until the 7th of March to pay in full or else I will submit my claim to the Small Claims Court (I mentioned the extra cost she would have to pay (plus interest) should this happen).
I have used the online facility a couple of times before and got my money back eventually - even though on one of the occaisions they got themselves a fine for contempt of court by ignoring the first judgement and ended paying more to the court than to me.

Hopefully the thought of that will change her mind.

This is good, but, tbh, text and email aren't the best way. Hard copy, every time, when you need to press a point.
Nature'sgrafter

And just for fun the day before you take the small claim route make up a huge sign saying
"Dr X As you wont pay your bill for £xxxx tomorrow I will be taking you to a small claims court. May I take this opportunity to publicly name you as a bad credit risk to all small businessmen"
if you can park your car outside her surgery put the sign on the roof for all to see and phone the local papers.
Ty Gwyn

[quote="onemanband:1389258"]What length of time are we looking at ?

From time the job was finished/Bill sent/handed over, to the present time?
12Bore

Thanks for the support/advice.
I have sent an email, text and taken a letter to the GP practice where she works (she wasn't there today). In them all I have said she has until the 7th of March to pay in full or else I will submit my claim to the Small Claims Court (I mentioned the extra cost she would have to pay (plus interest) should this happen).
I have used the online facility a couple of times before and got my money back eventually - even though on one of the occaisions they got themselves a fine for contempt of court by ignoring the first judgement and ended paying more to the court than to me.

Hopefully the thought of that will change her mind.

This is good, but, tbh, text and email aren't the best way. Hard copy, every time, when you need to press a point.
I believe that fax counts as legally "served".
onemanband

[quote="Ty Gwyn:1389430"]What length of time are we looking at ?

From time the job was finished/Bill sent/handed over, to the present time?

Dunno if you're asking me what I was asking or if you're re-asking OL what I was asking ......
but yeh timescale is relevant

If she forgot for a week, then went on 2 weeks holiday, yes it's out of order, but you won't get any recommendations or follow-up work by sending snotty letters.
If however it's been longer and you get fobbed off with excuses and broken promises, then yes take it to court.

As yet you haven't spoken to her. She could have genuinely forgot, been unavailable or have a genuine reason. Yes it's out of order, but being hasty could cost you future work.

Where you hasty or have you given reasonable time ?
Ty Gwyn

Re-asking,as time is relevant in the case,

If your in business often ones accounts are settled by the following Month,and as a GP presume the surgeries accounts are handled in a similar manner,

If one want`s paying quicker,its best to hand the bill to the customer from ones receipt book,ready to sign payed with thanks.
Flamin'Panda

Thanks for the support/advice.
I have sent an email, text and taken a letter to the GP practice where she works (she wasn't there today). In them all I have said she has until the 7th of March to pay in full or else I will submit my claim to the Small Claims Court (I mentioned the extra cost she would have to pay (plus interest) should this happen).
I have used the online facility a couple of times before and got my money back eventually - even though on one of the occaisions they got themselves a fine for contempt of court by ignoring the first judgement and ended paying more to the court than to me.

Hopefully the thought of that will change her mind.

This is good, but, tbh, text and email aren't the best way. Hard copy, every time, when you need to press a point.
I believe that fax counts as legally "served".

Could be wrong, but I think I read some time ago that emails now count as being 'legally served'.... Perhaps the citizens advice could help.
Mistress Rose

Certainly e-mails count as a written document these days, but not sure about any further as legal documents.

Hope she responds now Otley Lad and pays up.
Nick

It's only partly about legality. Texts and emails just get ignored. Put it on paper. Colin & Jan

Doctors are notoriously bad payers. I have a couple of friends (building trade) who have had big problems with payment from doctors. One said he will never work for anyone else in the medical profession unless it was money up front. Flamin'Panda

Any further updates? OtleyLad

I had rationalised that this wasn't worth the stress and never did apply to the small claims court - so since my last email to her 5th March nothing happened.

Out of the blue saturday (that's 3 months later) I got an email from the doctor apologising profusely for 'misremembering of our communication, and my amnesia about the fridge' (referring to the work I did in her kitchen). Now she wants to pay up in full.

Amazing. I wonder what suddenly prompted her to come clean?
RichardW

Don't celebrate till you actually get the cleared payment.

What do your T & C's say about when payment is due?

I vaguely remember a case where a smallish company did work for a bigger one & their T & C's did not specify exactlywhen payment was due. The smaller company lost in court as the bill was not "due" to be paid as no terms were agreed.
Mistress Rose

We have a bit at the bottom of our invoices that says payment is due within 14 days. That said, we expect larger organisations to pay up within 30 days as that is their usual method, but push if it is anything beyond that.

Glad she now says she is willing to pay up Otleylad. Hope the money comes through quickly and with no more hassle for you.
Hairyloon

The problem with the small claims court is that you still may not get your money. Crickey, how many people in the UK carry on normal lives with bucket loads of ccj's to their name.
You do have to take steps to enforce a CCJ. You can, if push comes to shove, force their house on the market...
wizz

to misremember = to purposely forget....? OtleyLad

Despite her confession she didn't come up with money. So i went via the small claims online. It cost me £25 but she has paid up. Waiting for the cheque to clear... OtleyLad

Despite her confession she didn't come up with money. So i went via the small claims online. It cost me £25 but she has paid up. Waiting for the cheque to clear...

The cheque cleared today. Stupid that she dealyed payment for over 5 months and it cost her more in the end due to the court fees. It cleared just in time for me to pay for next months advert in the local traders mag Rolling Eyes
Rob R

At least it didn't come until after the traders mag so that you had to pay £25 in bank charges or suchlike...
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