What would you do if a customer stole your ladder!?

spencer_electricianOctober 30, 2011

Hate to go off topic too much, but besides being $5,000 into a project with no payment... My ladder is held hostage in the house! A 32 ft fiberglass step ladder so not cheap. Customer went dark on answering the phone, still working on a lien notice, carpenter would not let me into the house. Would you call the police on this sort of nonsense? Hopefully the company info is still legible on the ladder if not already defaced. With a clear view of it in the living room window, I should have clear proof. Got to love residential investors.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stash-hdy

Talk to the police to see what your options are to get on the property to get the ladder.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 9:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
spencer_electrician

And would you warn the fraudulent customer first? Or my guess is he'll just ditch the ladder or take it to his personal home if he knows the police are informed.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 9:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wayne440

Find one of your local thugs/thieves and offer him $100 if he can "some how" get your ladder back.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 9:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
petey_racer

Forget the ladder for a moment. Why in the hell did you let yourself get $5 grand deep with NO payment????

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 10:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
spencer_electrician

I know it's stupid but it was a customer that has paid on time for four other houses and felt him out as a good guy. Do work for his other family members. This 5k was in the course of a week rewiring a house in a "college rental house" area. He "planned" to pay all 7k at the end of the week to even prepay for the finish work.

I did find a facebook account for his wife tonight and made sure to fill her in in-case she's not aware of his business practices. The ladder just pisses me off, the 5k I know if there are real problems going on, I won't be seeing it any time soon. At least a lien would cause trouble refinancing from a construction loan to an investment property rental.

Maybe that local thug/ thieve could rip out a thousand feet or two of my romex while he's in there for an extra $100 (:

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 11:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ionized_gw

Call the "other family members". He is giving them all a bad rep. I would not mention going to the police to any of them. There is no sense in tipping him off to any of your strategy.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 3:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stash-hdy

I would not say anything to the customer about the police. If he knows the ladder will end up at another location. Talk to the police to see what your options are and go from there. Your letting the wife know may solve the problem. Try asking him to put the ladder outside he may not want you inside because of what he thinks you may do.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 6:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
brickeyee

Never

Never

Never

Leave equipment behind at the end of the day.

Never.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 7:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hexus

I can't think of any instance where I've had property held from me like this, but in cases of late payments (or no payments) I give people only one chance to make it right. If they don't, I don't play games anymore, I lien it right away.
Once people start with the whole "ohh I'll get it to you ASAP" game they'll never stop.

In your case I would call the police, state your case and how they are holding your property from you and denying you access to it. Ask for a police officer to be present at the property at a certain time so you can reclaim your property. They should be willing to work with you.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 7:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bus_driver

Wise advice from the others. Less wise would be my inclination to make him an offer he could not refuse.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 8:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wayne440

bus driver- Sometimes you just have to do what needs to be done. Had a "customer" stiff me on a service entry job once. Didn't take long to remove it with a tow strap.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 9:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hexus

It's fun to play all tough guy and everything, but it's just plain stupid business and will come back to bite you in the ass.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 11:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
spencer_electrician

I managed to get in the house today when some demolition guys did not know I'm no longer allowed in. My ladder was chained to the floor and they found the keys to remove it. They then even asked if I could leave it there so they could use it! Hah! One of them knew the investor's "contractor" that was supposed to be holding all permits had taken the money and ran. Between permit issues with the city and the construction loan, I guess the trusting electrician is the weak link to pay later. I don't think I'll be nearly as trusting and friendly with regular customers anymore.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 11:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wayne440

spencer- When you talk to your own banker, ask for advice on this situation- shortly after, there will probably be a very interesting phone call.

hexus- You make a valid point. "Playing tough guy" is one thing, gaining a reputation as someone who will not tolerate BS is another.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 7:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stash-hdy

Glad you got the ladder back; don't understand chaining the ladder to the floor???

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 8:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
brickeyee

"don't understand chaining the ladder to the floor???"

Was holding it hostage.

Leaving the keys around was just dumb though.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 10:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
greg_2010

don't understand chaining the ladder to the floor???

Maybe he was worried that another tradesman would walk off with it and he was just trying to keep it safe for spencer.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 11:14AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Spa Capacitor question
My spa is wired for 220v. The pump motor is rated for...
pugmark
ceiling fan, fan works but lights do not
I have 2 kids and one threw a toy that hit one of the...
katy_bug
Doorbell goes off by itself.
Can anyone tell me why this would happen? It's a wired...
stu2900
electrical outlet distance to radiator
how far from a radiator should a wall electrical outlet...
amsayan
Replacing fan speed dial back to standard toggle?
I am removing a ceiling fan and replacing it with a...
onkyokoi
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™