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Please allow me to Rant a little. LONG

Discussion in 'Business Forum' started by rick417, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. rick417


    Nov 4, 2004
    N.E. Oklahoma
    Sorry, this ended up longer than I thought

    I am in the business of manufacturing and selling pneumatic valves & components. Last month I gave a quote to a company that I had never heard of. (this happens frequently)
    My policy in these situations is to accept payment by credit card or COD. They opted for the COD method and placed the order for about $1400 in valves and spare parts. The day after I shipped the order, I was contacted by another company looking for the exact same items. They had told me that they had placed the order with the first company but had not heard from them. The lady told me that she had faxed them informing them that they had cancelled the order since they had not responded and wanted to order directly from me.
    I told her that the order had shipped to the first company and I was sure that they would contact her when the shipment came in.
    She finally was able to make contact with them and all was well.
    So I thought.
    Well about a week after I received the check from UPS, I received a notice from my bank that they had put a stop pay on the check. I immediately tried to contact the first company without any luck.
    I then contacted the second company and asked if they had received the order. They had and all was Ok with them. I explained to the lady that I had talked to earlier what had happened and she told me that they had not yet payed the first company. She told me that she would put off paying them untill I received the money that was due.
    I finally was able to make contact with the first company and they gave me a story that someone had gotten into their bank account and they were forced to put stop pays on all of the checks that they had out. He told me that he would be sending me a repacement check on the new account. A week and a half passes and I still have nothing.
    I finally contacted the lady at the second company and she offered to help. She called the first guy and left him a message telling him that she knew what was going on and that she was just going to send the check to me.
    Well that got the guy off his ass and prompted him to pick up the phone. He called me and said that he was going to have the second company sent me the $1400 and send him the $700 that he had marked it up.
    So it seems that I will finally get the money, the lady at company 2 was in agreement and said she will be sending the check to me.
    I was very thankfull and plan on sending her a gift card for lunch or something.

    Business is hard enough without dealing with dead beats like that guy.
  2. Yep. Running and maintaining a business is hard enough as it is. Having to fight to get paid AFTER you have provided a service can be infuriating, even dangerous to a fledgling business, especially when the payors are in no hurry, or don't care.

  3. hd67xlch


    Jun 15, 2002
    I too own a small business, but mine is in the construction field. I have had to wait 90 days sometimes before getting paid, but not anymore.

    I now require 50% up front on all jobs of any meaningfull dollar amount. And on all staements, I request payment within 10 business days. If I dont recieve payment within 30 days I call and say you have 48 hours to get whats owed to me to me, or Im going slap a lien on your house, business, etc.. Its easy to do here in FL, and cost $20 to do it online.

    Some people dont believe id slap them with a lien for a few hundred bucks, but I will if you dont pay up. My bills keep coming whether deadbeats pay or not, F em.
  4. I suppose there are a lot of different businesses where, for whatever reason, it is not typical to be paid in full at the time of service. I am sure with construction projects there are plenty of complexities and expenses that go into producing a completed job. But, hey why not be paid at least a significant chunk up front? You incur certain expenses from the get-go.

    Imagine what would happen if you owned a grocery store, and people walked in, filled their baskets and walked out on the basis that the store might get paid weeks or months later, and the owners having to later chase after each customer on top of it all.

    If contracts or "discounted fees" from third-party payors are involved, as is often the case in the medical field, it gets even more complicated and frustrating. I'm not talking about the infamous "$45 per bandaid" scenario that people see on hospital bills, but rather individual doctor offices treating patients with various insurance coverage. Folks have paid good money to buy their coverage and they rightly expect good benefits. If the doctor does not "participate" in that insurance, the patient will have to pay out of pocket. Naturally, the patient may just go to a doctor that does "participate" so they will not have to pay nearly so much. But that participating doctor will only get maybe 30% of their stated fee because of contracts. This produces an incentive to indifferently run people through like cattle, so the break-even point can hopefully be met a couple of hours before quiting time each day. Some insurance pays a fixed amount (usually always low) for a service, while others pay on a percentage of the doctor's charge. Since the charges generally have to be uniformly applied to everyone, they are jacked up sky high in order to cover all the bases. This makes the doctor look greedy, almost evil. It's crazy, why the hell charge $140 when the true amount of pay is only going to be around say, $40? Especially if $80 would truly suffice. Then there's always the occasional regular joe who pays cash, and is able to get an up-front "cash discount" of perhaps 10%, so he will cough up $126 for something that would otherwise be a fair deal for both at $80.

    Add to this nonsense all the delays, denials, and other tricks that insurance companies play to hold money on claims well beyond 30-45 days, sometimes 6 months, and that potential $40 devalues rapidly.

    A logical thought may be to not operate on that basis, just say "This is the fee, $80, period." And why not utilize the insurance toward that? Ahh, but there's an insidious aspect to this. If a patient tried that, their deductible often is instantly something like $1,000 annually, instead of a couple hundred bucks and small co-pay. Also, the covered benefit amount (if any) is decreased, so the patient will have to pay more even after the higher deductible is met. Bottom line is, patients pay big bucks for premiums. Anything beyond a reasonable deductible and small co-pay is sometimes more than they can handle. The doc has to decide either to participate and herd people through in 10 minutes or less and hope they brought their $10 co-pay, or tell people "You have to pay $80 today" (actually more like the $126 above if insurance is utilized in any way with other patients).

    You can bet somebody is profiting in all this. Is it the patient who gets eyeballed for less than 2 minutes in the exam room? Most of the time the ailment is typical and quickly recognizable. If it's 99% of the time, who wants to be that 100th patient? Is the doctor making a mint on $40 every 10 minutes (keep in mind he won't actually get it for weeks or months)? Well, overhead is staggering, as in other businesses. Count the nurses and other staff at your next visit, estimate the potential salaries, then consider malpractice insurance.. some pay upwards of $70,000 per year. There's more, lots more.

    I know of one insurance CEO whose net worth increased about $144,000 per working day last year. $300, every minute. Just an average workin' stiff, huh? Then there's the shareholders. And they will tell you they are "protecting the patient" against outrageous doctor fees.

    My point is any business owner needs to be paid fairly, in timely fashion, and without an obscenely large number of unnecessary outside obstacles to delivering a service and getting paid.
  5. rick417


    Nov 4, 2004
    N.E. Oklahoma
    Just to update.
    I went on vacation for the week and when I came back, the check from the second company was there. Along with several others that I have been waiting for.
    In my industry, it is standard practice for customers to want credit terms. I offer a 1 1/2% discount if paid within 10 days with the balance due in 30 days. Most pay somewhere around 45 days. I also accept credit cards. This really helps cash flow and I am always glad to get those orders.
    I am thinking of insisting that new customers pay with a credit card.
    I do business with some large companies that will only buy on terms, and they are usually the worst payers. I guess that they know that everybody wants their business in hopes of getting the big orders.