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Should clients pay without a bill?

Groundman One

Groundman One

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We had a nice job today. A spruce, about 2' x 60'. By the house and wires, take down, take away, pass the rake, lovely.

At the end of the job we realized we didn't have our bill book. The guy said it would be fine and we could pass by in the morning. My climber asks if he can pay us now and we'll pass by in the morning with the bill like he asked. He says no, He doesn't want to pay without a bill in his hands.

My climber says it's ok, but I'm pretty POd. I don't say anything to the guy but I let loose in the truck on the way home. Why couldn't the guy have paid us? We did $500 worth of work without a deposit, without anything but the guy asking us to do it, and we did a perfect job, no damage, nice clean up, everyone's happy, but he won't pay until he gets his little piece of paper. It's like he doesn't trust us to come back with a bill. Maybe he thinks if he doesn't get a bill the tree will grow back, I don't know.

Is it just me or was the guy (and guys like him) an anal retentive little :censored:?
 
clearance

clearance

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Just you. The guy is most likely going to use that bill as some form of write-off. If he payed you, maybe he figures you would never come back. No big deal. Stick an extra reciept book under the seat.
 
randyg

randyg

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Not sure about Canada, but here in the states some think they can use it as a tax write-off. They can't.
 
tree md

tree md

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Can't really blame the guy. How does he know that you will turn the money in (assuming you are working for a large company and are not the owners)? He prolly wants a receipt for what he is paying for in case there is any claims that he hasn't paid in the future. Not too uncommon. I have taken draws on larger jobs to pay help and had to make out and sign receipts of what I have been paid on the job so there isn't any confusion when the final bill comes in. Not too uncommon for someone to ask for a receipt stating the job has been paid in full. Just good business really.
 
Groundman One

Groundman One

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It's a write off here as well. But I still think the guy is being a shmuck and expecting us to have faith in him that he'll pay when the work is done but then he has no trust in us to give him a bill.

I'm sure I'm being a bit... whatever, but it still pisses me off.
 
treemandan

treemandan

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Interesting. Perhaps some contrast? Here:

After almost killing the HO today ( read about it in the injury section please) he did stick his head out the door one more time to ask how to spell my last name ( for the check).
I was a sub-contractor on this job, never seen it before, never met the HO. I didn't have a reciept for him.


On my jobs I send a bill in the mail like a normal person. I would not hand the money to anyone but the guy who wrote the proposal and had a receipt. You shouldn't either. I usually don't make the HO pay like that when I sub, its not polite, neither is the guy I worked for today.

But yes, I guess the guy didn't trust you G-man 1. ^%$# him. Maybe he just felt better with the papers done up right, I know I do.
 
treemandan

treemandan

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It's a write off here as well. But I still think the guy is being a shmuck and expecting us to have faith in him that he'll pay when the work is done but then he has no trust in us to give him a bill.

I'm sure I'm being a bit... whatever, but it still pisses me off.
No, you are walking a one street there buddy. Do the job, get paid. That's it. He expects you to expect to get the job done before you expect to get paid. Get some money for materials if you have em or you have some kind of big contract job.
 
capetrees

capetrees

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Groundman, you made the mistake of not showing with a bill pad. The guy didn't say he wouldn't pay you, he said once he gets a bill he would. And what's the bigh deal anyway? End of the day with a check in hand doesn't do anything till it gets into the bank so that has to wait till the next day and thats when you'll be paid so what's the big deal?:confused:
 
treeman82

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As far as I am concerned, if the work is done and the owner is home, there is no reason why they can't pay me right then and there. I will always get them a reciept later on, whether that be by e-mail or leaving it in the door when I am in the area next.

I've done jobs where I will send the bill and they hand me a check later on, or send it in the mail. However if they have the checkbook there, and are home... "I want my money."
 
Groundman One

Groundman One

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On my jobs I send a bill in the mail like a normal person. I would not hand the money to anyone but the guy who wrote the proposal and had a receipt. You shouldn't either. I usually don't make the HO pay like that when I sub, its not polite, neither is the guy I worked for today.
We're a small operation, usually it's just me and my climber. The bossman and the other climber do logwork and a few tree jobs here and there, and we have a couple of extra guys we can call for the big jobs. We tell all our clients straight; the very nanosecond the work is done, start writing the check or peeling off hundreds and skin me, baby. One client in fifty sends a check in the mail.

But yes, I guess the guy didn't trust you G-man 1. ^%$# him. Maybe he just felt better with the papers done up right, I know I do.
I understand, but it still irks me. We have an excellent reputation. We work in a chain of small towns and you only have to screw one or two people before your name is mud and you're unemployed.. Our company has been around since 1989, though I've only been with it since '98. Most other tree companies here are just a few years old. I guess it pees me off because we do everything expected of us except for one little bit of paperwork -which we say we'll do the next day - and the client just slams on the brakes as if we're deadbeats.

Oh well.
 
Groundman One

Groundman One

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Groundman, you made the mistake of not showing with a bill pad. The guy didn't say he wouldn't pay you, he said once he gets a bill he would. And what's the bigh deal anyway? End of the day with a check in hand doesn't do anything till it gets into the bank so that has to wait till the next day and thats when you'll be paid so what's the big deal?:confused:
Absolutely my mistake. But my climber throws that check into the bank machine on the way home and I get cash on the spot from him and I want to pick up some groceries on the way home.

It's impatience on my part, that's obvious and I'll take the blame for that, but I still don't like the client's attitude. We do a nice clean job for him and then he looks at us like criminals because we want to be paid eighteen whole hours before he gets a receipt. it's like he doesn't notice that the sixty-foot tree by his house is gone; that he didn't see us loading the truck with all the wood; like he didn't hear the chipper running twenty-feet from his windows. It's like all of that meant nothing.

I know it's just me, really, but I've been doing this for years and I'm so :censored: sick of stupid customers and their little quirks.
 
M.D. Vaden

M.D. Vaden

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Have one solution for this sort of thing.

My estimates / contract forms have a line that says the page "becomes the billing upon completion" and that payment is due "upon" completion, not after completion.

Once they accept, and my work is done, they already have their billing and payment is due - according to the terms we both agreed upon.

I understand your frustration though - and we can't be perfect and remember to have all things at all times.
 

ATH

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......this isn't the kind of industry that they get a bill with a 30 day window to pay.
why not? That is what I have always asked. Some folks offer to pay me on site - others don't and I don't ask. Most are not home when I finish.

Groundman One said:
...but I still don't like the client's attitude. We do a nice clean job for him and then he looks at us like criminals because we want to be paid eighteen whole hours before he gets a receipt. it's like he doesn't notice that the sixty-foot tree by his house is gone....
And he is saying: "I don't like that tree guy's attitude. All that I ask for is a bill before I pay him - a simple little piece of paper just like I get from any other service contractor. If it is so easy to stop by, then what is the big deal if I pay him 16 whole hours later. It's like he doesn't even realize that $500 is a lot of money....."

Final questions: How many here get paid (by their employer) every day they work? How is this any different?

Now...if the contract said something like M.D. Vaden wrote up, you have every right to be a little annoyed - but don't make yourself look bad to a client over 16 whole hours.
 
tree md

tree md

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Have one solution for this sort of thing.

My estimates / contract forms have a line that says the page "becomes the billing upon completion" and that payment is due "upon" completion, not after completion.

Once they accept, and my work is done, they already have their billing and payment is due - according to the terms we both agreed upon.

I understand your frustration though - and we can't be perfect and remember to have all things at all times.
Ditto.

I do the same thing. Sometimes I will write paid in full and sign it after I get done if the request that I do so. Sometimes they lose the original estimate and I have to write them out another one (instead of giving them my carbon copy). When they ask me for I receipt I simply say "sure, do you have the original statement I gave you"? Write paid in full on it and "there you go".

If you guys were not the ones to sell the job to the guy he probably wants an invoice to be sure he's paying the right man. Distrus*tful I know but understandable.

Edit: LOL, they are blocking #### in distru####l, hehe.
 
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