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Thread: Got stiffed...

  1. #1
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    Default Got stiffed...

    My client walked out and left the inspection while I was under the house yesterday. The agent and I thought she went to the store so we hung out for a while. Anyhow, I didn't get paid, I usually get a check at the end. i guess that will change now.

    Inspection Referral
    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Got stiffed...

    maybe she thought YOU left.
    Nice house huh?


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Got stiffed...

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne soper View Post
    maybe she thought YOU left.
    Nice house huh?
    Yea, maybe would have thought that but she was pretty concerned about the electrical problems. I assume she just had enough and saw me going under and made a break for it.

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Got stiffed...

    Cold feet?
    Second thoughts?
    Maybe u scared her with your findings?

    Very unusual never had a client leave in middle of inspection.

    Are you going to send her an invoice?


  5. #5

    Default Re: Got stiffed...

    Didn't you have a phone number for the client? We always get a phone number in case we need to reach them.
    But that really stinks.

    Welmoed Sisson
    Inspections by Bob, LLC, Boyds, MD
    "Given sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine."

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Got stiffed...

    Yes, that's rough. But I don't think you need to change your way of conducting biz. It won't happen that often.
    You could take a CC # if the house is real nasty and you are about to crawl and the client is looking fidgety. You could do the crawl first, but some guys don't like to do that.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Got stiffed...

    Did you have her sign the inspection agreement prior to the inspection? That would be the time to pay before you get started. She got exactly what she wanted and she owes you the inspection fee.

    Dan Hagman
    ProSite Home Inspections
    Des Moines, Iowa

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Got stiffed...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hagman View Post
    Did you have her sign the inspection agreement prior to the inspection? That would be the time to pay before you get started. She got exactly what she wanted and she owes you the inspection fee.
    I've never had that happen to me. They've been no shows and 1 cancelled check but never a walk out in the middle. If you believe in karma, she'll get hers in the end. I'd be sure to bill her through her agent. But much more than that is wasting the time you could be making more money doing another inspection as opposed to sitting in court.

    She may not have had the money any way and might have given you a bad check. Lesson learned if you feel iffy about the agreement get a signature prior to starting.

    Move on to the next order of business. Note: If it would have been a larger amount of money say over $1,000.00 I'd have gone to court.

    Expert Mobile & Manufactured Home Inspections O.C. & San Diego Co.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Got stiffed...

    If there is no signed agreement, you may just need to chalk it up as a loss and move along. No report, no paperwork, end of discussion. It sucks and it is very odd that a buyer just up and leaves with absolutely no mention to anybody. Some people have no respect. With any luck, she'll get saddled with a big fat car repair bill in the near future. Thieves are the worst.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  10. #10
    Garry Blankenship's Avatar
    Garry Blankenship Guest

    Default Re: Got stiffed...

    Probably not very difficult to prove she willingly engaged you in small claims or otherwise. If no signed contract, the how much part would be whatever the person on the small claims bench decided. Your client is responsible for the presence of both you and the Realtor, ( witness ). So he/she just gets to evaporate unscathed ?


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Got stiffed...

    1/2 the work is writing the report, hopefully you didn't do that.
    I had one woman leave in the middle of an inspection on her bicycle the "go home and get her check book". Never saw her again.
    Found her home address from the local list of democrat contributers and tried to pursue it but finally decided it wasn't worth the effort. From then on, all appointments are secured with a credit card, no matter how they want to pay.

    END GLOBAL WHINING

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Got stiffed...

    Email her name to every home inspector in town.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Got stiffed...

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Got stiffed...

    Cool! Interesting, it seems to be about 2:1 women on that list

    END GLOBAL WHINING

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Got stiffed...

    Send her an email, copy it to her agent stating to arrange payment immediately or you'll send the bill to a collection agency. The agent knows she won't get financing if she has a current collection on her credit report and will get her to pay.

    I had a guy order a radon test and inspection. The radon monitor was set two days prior to the inspection. He cancelled the inspection an hour before the inspection time. I left him a couple messages on his voice mail and never received a call back. Then sent the email demand to both him and his agent. Got a call and cc payment that same day.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Got stiffed...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hagman View Post
    Did you have her sign the inspection agreement prior to the inspection? That would be the time to pay before you get started. She got exactly what she wanted and she owes you the inspection fee.
    As a matter of fact yea... but she took it with her.

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Got stiffed...

    Cool site nick...I'm gonna try to send a strongly worded letter , if that doesn't work...I'll drop off a burning bag of crap on her door step.

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Got stiffed...

    Surely the agent has her contact information.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Got stiffed...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Surely the agent has her contact information.
    The client wont call him back either. I have all her contact info from the order.

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  20. #20
    Garry Blankenship's Avatar
    Garry Blankenship Guest

    Default Re: Got stiffed...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Send her an email, copy it to her agent stating to arrange payment immediately or you'll send the bill to a collection agency. The agent knows she won't get financing if she has a current collection on her credit report and will get her to pay.

    I had a guy order a radon test and inspection. The radon monitor was set two days prior to the inspection. He cancelled the inspection an hour before the inspection time. I left him a couple messages on his voice mail and never received a call back. Then sent the email demand to both him and his agent. Got a call and cc payment that same day.
    What a great idea ! If the client is house hunting, they most likely will need financing. The collection notice may indeed stop the financing. As a contractor, I had valid liens against properties for unpaid bills. Owners ingorned the liens - - -until they wanted to sell the property. Then they were "So Sorry" it was overlooked and paid to get the liens lifted.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Got stiffed...

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Blankenship View Post
    What a great idea ! If the client is house hunting, they most likely will need financing. The collection notice may indeed stop the financing. As a contractor, I had valid liens against properties for unpaid bills. Owners ingorned the liens - - -until they wanted to sell the property. Then they were "So Sorry" it was overlooked and paid to get the liens lifted.
    Hey good idea.

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Got stiffed...

    Marc,

    Her taking a hike on you may be a blessing in disguise. People like that scare me and I prefer to not have them as clients. Had the inspection gone through she may have proven to be a real headache. I'd consider myself lucky by only being out time and effort.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  23. #23
    Don Burbach's Avatar
    Don Burbach Guest

    Default Re: Got stiffed...

    My stiff story is from about 5 years ago.....

    The agent knew about my payment at the time of the inspection policy. Got to inspection, nice house, buyer present and engaged. Upfront, the agent and buyer announced that they want to go through escrow. Deal was to be 'all-cash' and would close in a week. Don't worry, you'll get paid quickly! No risk of the deal cancelling. Got escrow number, local title company.

    Delivered report the next day, house was 5 years old, good condition.

    Never paid.... title company stiffed because escrow account was never funded. Agent turned protective of buyer, shielded him, etc. Sale failed.

    I didn't pursue it.... buyer was in law enforcement, was a corrections officer. I felt that I was better off pursuing some positive business than chasing a headache!

    Only stiffed once in 7+ years!

    PS: Agent is a creep and doesn't seem to sell very many houses, at least I don't have to feel I am passing up many referrals from him.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Got stiffed...

    Two clients tried to stiff me but were unsuccessful. On one, the inspection was set up by the buyer's son. A roofer did not agree with my assessment of the roof so the buyer decided he didn't want to pay. I dogged the hell out of the buyer and then his son because he set up the inspection. The son paid me.

    On another one, the loser purposely wrote a bad check knowing it would bounce. I dogged him and he began ignoring all my attempts at contact. I finally filed with the bad check program around here and got all my money and a little more too (I don't know how).

    So far, I'm batting 1.000.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Got stiffed...

    If you don't have a signed agreement in advance then you deserve to get stiffed!!!

    If someone walked out on me in the middle of the inspection I would still complete my end of the deal and send the report along with an invoice. I would have fulfilled my end of the contract and would win in court.

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Got stiffed...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    If you don't have a signed agreement in advance then you deserve to get stiffed!!!

    If someone walked out on me in the middle of the inspection I would still complete my end of the deal and send the report along with an invoice. I would have fulfilled my end of the contract and would win in court.
    .
    Agreed on Signed agreement before anything happens.

    Disagree on sending the report as in No Payment = No Report payment is expected at the end of the inspection no payment , no report.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Got stiffed...

    Sorry to hear about missing out on payment. Happened to me once. Huge 5500 sq ft home. Literally took a day to complete the inspection and report. Didn't get payment as usual. Found out her husband just suddenly died. They didn't get the house. I didn't pursue it. I have extra karma in the bank! Once in 7 years, so im not changing my process for one freak personal problem. Like others say, move on.

    Dave Hill
    Buyers & Sellers Property Inspections LLC
    WWW.BuyersSellersPi.Com

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