Does anyone know at what point is a work order is considered voided?
On 20 Sept. 2002 a client brought in a bear.(No deposit was made) He said that a 2nd bear was also coming (when the processor could find it/lost). He would at that point pay 1/2 down on both mounts. 2nd bear
was located and brought in. No deposit was made on either work order, he said that he would be back soon. I told him that NO work would be done untill deposits were made. He agreed. Weeks pass, calles were made, messages left on machine were never returned. 24 April 2003, What do you know! Its the bear hunter...he picked up his phone. Is it done, he asks? No its not. No deposit I say. Your work order is coming up soon, make deposit quickly or you lose your spot in the rotation of work orders. Time goes by, nothing. 16 June 2003. Its him! With deposit! 1/2 down and he wants a change of work order. Bear #1 is to go on a pine log that he will supply. Great I say no problem, (past client so I'll work with him) I shall start work on your bears. (still frozen,not fleshed) He says "well how are you going to do that without the log?" Its at this point that I speculate that given his past history, this log may hold up the show. You are right,I wont start work untill all of the components of the job are in my shop. When are you bringing the log in I ask? Sometime this week or next is his reply. 24 April 2005. He calls asking how are the bears coming? (just shy of 2 years later)
WHAT are my legal and binding obligations?
Thank You Trapper
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That is what you should go by. Or call the guy to pick up his stuff if he does not want to play by the rules.
...if he's ever going to bring in the log? If not, ask him if he wants you to supply it? (What are we talking here $20 bucks?) I can't believe you waited 2 years for a log! Charge him for the log if you have to. Obviously the bears are not a high priority for this guy. BUT, he's got half down - a considerable chunk of change - no? Sounds like money is not the issue - he's just a procrastinator. If his payment history is good as a past customer then I would move forward if I were you. Assuming the hides are still good after all this time that is. I would look at the trade-oo of possible legal battles and headaches if you choose to do otherwise. And I would think finishing his bears for him would be the least painless...
I would have tanned the bear hides by now, since he did pay a deposit. Since you had some contact with him I doubt any contract has been void.
No work started until a 50% deposit is paid. The work is scheduled and current return times apply from the date of received deposit. If a deposit is not paid within 30 days of item login then a storage fee will begin to accrue. Any additional items neccessary to complete the mount,(ie. log, panel, etc.) to be supplied by the customer, will be considered part of the deposit and the above return time rule applies. "WE DO NOT MAKE EXCEPTIONS!" Prices are subject to change.
If a client brings in a specimen and two years later he finally pays a deposit, I guess he's got another year to wait or whatever your current return times are. You need to implement this policy in all fairness to your other customers that have decided to pay the required deposit when they dropped off their specimen/s. Repeat customer or not, you are in this as a business to make money to support yourself and/or your family. Your clients need to realize this.
Marty gives some good advice as to what to do now with the log bear. You have a 50% deposit on both bears so even if you complete the bear without the log the ball is still in the clients court. By my figures you would be paid in full for at least one of the bears.
You need to learn how to control the issues right from the get go. You are the boss! Set polices and be firm with all clients, even family members and friends. When clients tell you they will return LATER with their deposit it should set off lights and sirens in your business mind because you are now making concessions to your own policy. Especially if the client is a repeat and is already aware of your shop policies. Clean this up quickly and move on with a new set of rules.
I did'nt want to sway anyones opinion so I purposely left out my contracts wording...but I knew that it would be brought up...it says "All orders past 30 days will be sold" as well as "All deposits are non-refundable". As for the log..its a real log..10 to 15'the type used to build his log home. As for the deposit..I'm tired of getting taken advantage of by some people...Im either a sucker or a softy, Example..last week a new client picked up his deer, on the phone he stated that a different taxidermist still had'nt returned his buckskin from 2 seasons ago! I had a few of my own laying around and told him that he could pick one free of charge. This was done to help right his opinion of taxidermist everywhere. I'm thinking of telling the bear client to take me to court and see what the judge says. Very un-like me. Should I agree to finish the project,I'm going to demand to be paid in full up front due to his lack of consederation. However I fear that this will only drag out even longer and I really dont want to deal with this situation any longer.
Thanks again Trapper
Did you tan the bears or do any work on them yet? Order forms? With a deposit I am assuming you did some work. If not just tell him to come and pick his two bears up and give him the deposit back less anything you have already done. These are big enough projects that once they are started they will tie up some shop space. You don't want to begin and be stuck halfway through with unfinished work hanging around, especially of this size.
You should be right up front with this client and let him know your frustrations and concerns from a business prospective. If you do get through this and he returns make sure you charge this client a price that will drive him away next time.
I love the clients that call you and listen to you explain your policies and then drop the specimen off with no intention of placing a deposit until they get paid. Once you accept the specimen without a deposit you just told the customer they are in charge. From then on it becomes a big headache.
Stop being such a softy and start looking out for #1. You can sympathize with them about other taxidermists but remember it was their choice to go there to begin with.
Folks on this forum truly want to help you and their heart is in the right place, but take this advice . . .
If you are wanting legal advice, or information about the law, go to the proper source. Start with your state's game and fish commission. They may have laws on the book that are specific to your situation. Also, check with you states' commerce commission. They, too, may have statutes that you must follow.
You would't get information on brain surgery from a locksmith . . .
It has to do with what is right. You accepted the man's deposit. If standard procedure is to get the deposit, do the work, and collect the rest upon completion. Then you should be complaining about him not picking up his completed mounts by now. Not about the log. If he did not show up with the log, I would have been on the phone to him long ago. I would have sent him letters. And I surely would have began work. If you have not fleshed, turned, and at a minimum salted his bear. this all May be moot. Because By now I am sure they are grease burned, and or freezer burned so badly that you risk loosing them. Since you were paid a deposit. You must have done something to justify keeping any or all of it. charging for storing the hides that you could, and should have mounted. Probably will not fly with a judge. No matter what your contract says. When the deposit was paid you should have prepped and tanned the hides. If then the log was not there. you should have called the client, if that netted you no results. You should have sent him a certified letter explaining that you would do no further work until the log arrived. Or he advised you to supply it. And that if neither was done within A specified time. His work would be removed from the mounting order. If nothing was done within 30 days storage Of. X amount per day will be charged. and in 90 days the hides would be disposed of. Then you would have a basis for your actions. But at this point. it sounds as if you are as much to blame as the customer