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

Posted by spencer_electrician (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 30, 11 at 20:17

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.


Follow-Up Postings:

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

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


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

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.


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

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


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

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


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

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 (:


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

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.


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

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.


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

Never

Never

Never

Leave equipment behind at the end of the day.

Never.


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

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.


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

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


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

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.


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

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.


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

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.


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

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.


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

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


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

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

Was holding it hostage.

Leaving the keys around was just dumb though.


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

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.
<-sarcasm->


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