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Plumber’s work goes down the drain

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Here at BCA debt we're often asked to collect debts on behalf of tradespeople. Unfortunately it's an area that is fraught with misunderstandings that often leave the tradespeople out of pocket.

In one such case we had recently, a plumber was asked to quote on two jobs at a property that was being renovated. The plumber quoted on the jobs and these were accepted by the client.

When the plumber completed the first job and invoiced the client, she refused to pay, saying that she had wanted the other job to be done first as she had tilers who were waiting for that job to be completed.

Though there was no problem with the work the plumber had actually done, her justification for not paying was that she had to get another plumber to complete the second job and that the effects on her renovation schedule had cost her money.

Thus the plumber did not receive payment for the work done. Even though he referred the debt to BCA Debt for collection we were unable to ‘enforce’ the debt as they had only made verbal agreements about the works to be done.

Misunderstandings are natural but the consequences don’t have to be left at the mercy of the integrity of the parties involved. In this case, if the plumber had had proper procedures in place and clear Terms and Conditions that the client agreed to before the work proceeded, he (and we) would have been in a better position to collect his debts.

The sad part of this story is that it doesn’t take a lot of effort or cost a lot to set up clear rules and protect your interests as a creditor.

We have recently set up a BCA Debt assessment tool that helps you determine if your interests are currently well protected and then provides recommendations on actions you can take to reduce your risk. The tool is free to use and takes less than two minutes to complete. Whether you are a tradie or not, if you are providing goods or services on credit, we strongly advise that you assess your own credit risk and follow the recommendations given. It could stop your money from going down the drain.

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