Well, I guess this happens to all of us eventually. I called a customer about his fish being done about a month ago. I know he got the message because we played phone tag on our answering machines for a few days. He never came. A week ago I mailed a letter to remind him to pick up his fish. No reply. Now I think I may be sending him a certified letter with a final notice and a deadline that clearly states that if the fish is not picked up within a week it is considered abandoned and becomes my property to dispose of(sell) as I wish.
Obviously I am NOT happy with this guy for not getting his mount and paying the balance in a timely fashion. I am wondering how to deal with this fellow IF he shows up. I'l like to be very BLUNT...take his check and tell him to hit the bricks. Not professional...eh? It will be difficult for me to hide my feelings though. What would you have to say to such a customer when he shows up so long after his first notice?
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When I run into that situation I send out a letter, if no response a certified letter goes out. I DO NOT accept personal checks if the person is delinquent...or you should at least make them wait until that check clears...
Let him pick up his fish and the next time he comes in make it a rule to get 100% payment before you will even touch his stuff.
remind him of the contract he signed which states...ALL work not picked up after 30 days notification of completion is subject to a dollar per day storage fee, and that part about him paying ALL court costs, attorney fees, long distance phone calls, directory assistance fees, etc. involved with getting him to fulfill his sigined contract is non negotiable. You are not Dick Tracey nor are you a storage facility. OK, back to work, lunch is over!
I just sent a blunt letter certified to a client about his elk, comes to find out that he and his wife have been in the hosital since a auto wreck several weeks ago. Never wish you were someone else, they are probably more scewed up than you!
I went that route to the tune of $5. The bum never accepted the letter and 3 weeks later it came back to me unsigned/undeliverable. Add another $5 to my loss.
I sold the head for peanuts as it was only a small six.
This is just a part of the taxidermy business, it will happen again. One way to avoid this is to get a deposit, 30-50 percent of the total owed. Very few people will give up that deposit. Money seems to be tight now days and that deposit will help both you and your customer when the balance comes due.
I'm seeing even folks that leave 50 percent are having a hard time coming up with the balance. Never seen it like this. I know I'm not alone. I even got an email from a distinguished fish taxidermist you all know that says the same thing.
Only silver lining is I'm getting on top of things like never before. However if this keeps up I will be looking for another job in a few weeks.
Got to be the gas prices.
You are right about that. The deposit will only cover your cost of supplies, but as you said a lot of the customers won't pick up, deposit or not.The money is tight and I guess we come last on their money list.