Welcome To Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals

Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals is the LARGEST online community & discussion forum for professional sign-makers and graphic designers.


  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Question Customer refuses to pay, can I take his graphics down?

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by HecklnDecalr, Mar 6, 2019.

  1. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    Sep 27, 2010
    Mid TN
    As was mentioned, repo is in the language of the contract that one signs for vehicles. It's everywhere. "You" essentially gave them permission. Even then, they typically have to do very specific sequence of things in order to proceed. Now, this may very from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but typically there is a process to be done.

    In my jurisdiction if you want the ability to repo anything, it has to be stated in the contract and one can't be "colorful" with the language ("emergency repairs" for example). It has to be spelled out as a repo.

    If these are affixed on to a wall, either external or internal that complicates things, at least here, as then it's considered apart of the building, so then it's actually owned by the building owner (which may or may not be "your" client).

    Not something that I would recommend. It may suck, but there are processes in place. To me, being the professional means to follow those processes. I may not like them, some may downright suck, but in the end, there is an accounting line called "Bad Debts". To not figure that there is going to be something on that line is thinking rather positively.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. kanini

    kanini Member

    Jul 13, 2012
    Just curious, why is so many against the collecting agencies? Here in Europe it costs maybe 100-200 bucks tops for that kind of a sum to get collected if it takes several reminders etc. and you don't have to mess with lawyers or anything. You just upload a copy of the invoice to them. Collecting agency sends out a couple reminders, if still not paid takes it to court (the debtor gets bad publicity and a note in a register) and if they still aren't paying they are forced bankrupt. Collecting agencies are very common and sometimes even handles all of the invoicing (for a fee of course). Why is it so difficult to get paid in the US/Canada that you have to run the case to court yourself and/or use a expensive lawyer? Sorry if OT but i'd send that to the collecting agency right away and be done with it. Defintaley not touch the installed stuff.
  3. DerbyCitySignGuy

    DerbyCitySignGuy Very Active Member

    Dec 12, 2013
    Collection agencies here actually buy debt, so it's probably not the same thing. If a customer owes you $10,000 on a job, an agency will by that debt for $2,000 (or whatever) and then they take over collecting the debt and you just take the loss.

    To do what you're talking about, you generally have to go through the courts and you end up losing money that way too. Most the time people just write it off and get on with life.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

    Nov 11, 2008
    Up here most collections companies are "don't pay unless we collect" types, however if they do collect, their fee is usually around 40%.
    • Like Like x 2
  5. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Member

    Sep 3, 2018
    United Kingdom
    Really this is the first comment and the last one you need. Taking graphics down should be the absolute last option. As long as you have your paperwork in order/proof they ordered all the stuff you’d win in a court. Just a lot more hassle! Granted it’s also not as fun as showing up and ripping everything off the walls!
  6. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

    Mar 12, 2005
    New England
    Collection agencies are only effective if you have a rock solid paper trail.And they take a large fee. Si,if you do, you might as well file the suit yourself and save the money.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. bowtievega

    bowtievega Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Gilbert, AZ
    Typically the issue you have with liens is that you have certain time frames in which you are required to file preliminary notices. If you don't file a prelim notice in the time frame required, you might not be able to file a lien. In Arizona you have to file a prelim notice within 20 days of initially providing labor or materials on the job. Makes it hard to complete a job, invoice someone at 30 days, and then try and lien them for non payment lol.
  8. fullpoint

    fullpoint Member

    Feb 9, 2012
    As previously posted. We hired a collection agency called Veri Corp. They were extremely fast and reliable.
    Their fee is 25% of the debt. I only had invoices and nothing else and they worked from there.

    No cost unless they collect money. Then they send us a bill for 25% of whatever the amount they successfully collected while the contract, 180 days, last.

    Depending on the state regulation, the collection agency can make the debtor to pay for the collection fee too.
    I looked around many companies before I hired Veri Corp but I have never seen 40% fee.
  9. Bobas Kalobas

    Bobas Kalobas Member

    Feb 19, 2008
    All of this being said, The story was true. I was allowed to get the signs that were outside. It was awesome! ......I have told a couple people that I was coming to get the "money or the sign" and they always pay me. They don't own my sign until they pay for it. I have taken a trucking co. to court once as they tried to bankrupt without paying, they said "We are not paying you" so I took em to court and they actually paid me more then they owed me in monthly installments...paperwork error I guess?
  10. Megagrafix

    Megagrafix Premium Subscriber

    First email: b.millhollon@tuckeralbin.com. He/they will get your money or at least most of it.
    In the future, when someone places an order the first thing you ask is “how would you like to pay for this?“ At that point you must establish a payment process such as so much down and the balance at installation. Do not be trusting or shy about asking for a pre-payment or guarantee of payment. In my company re-write off zero dollars in bad debt. We make no exceptions. Good luck!
  11. Old Timer

    Old Timer New Member

    Nov 2, 2018
    Using the same business model as amazon, get the credit card in advance. people are used to shopping online now and paying upfront. no reason it should be any different for sign professionals
  12. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    Exactly my thinking. Customer still has all the power with the dispute feature of a credit card so where is the downside for them? MOST of my orders are paid in full, unless it's a few thousand and someone balks I'll offer 50% with remainder the day they are finished. Usually I can't do this when I'm subbed as an installer.
  13. thesignpost

    thesignpost New Member

    Nov 3, 2011
    Las Vegas
    On installs I always get paid upfront 100%. The sign business is about leverage. I have had similar experiences in the past. I remember when a handshake was the norm. Not anymore. We are now in an upside down world. Times a have changed. You have to evolve. Never go against your policies. Every time I have, I lost. Consider this a learning experience.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    Just the other day I was remembering when you could just start pumping your own gas and paid after you filled up...Doesnt make any sense nowadays
  15. autoexebat

    autoexebat Member

    Apr 15, 2010
    Sorry , I didn't have time to sit and read the whole thread , but from what you said in the first thread you charges 5k , It's crappy and trusting they would pay is not something I would EVER do ! at least you only lost your retail price correct ? technically you REALLY only lost a couple hundred $ in materials ?

    You can't trust anyone these days ! A guy from Russia tried to scam me on Friday , luckily I have a strict policy on my website and I've been dealing with PayPal for so many years . Another guy on Thursday tried to scam me , bought graphics , installed them ! send me picture of them installed , then made a claim with paypal saying item not as described . The nerve of these people just baffles me .

    I hope you can get it resolved , sorry to hear about this .
    • Like Like x 1
  16. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

    Jun 10, 2016
    Port Coquitlam, bc
    Just send them a few of these links -

    • Like Like x 1

Share This Page