Here’s one way to deal with deadbeat customers: Send out the repo men.
(Within the law, we recommend, which is tough to do.)
It worked 15 years ago for John Cummings, an Ontario window and door installer, as he posted earlier this week:
“FIFTEEN years ago we delivered windows and doors for a 6,500 square foot house being built by a ‘contractor’ in a remote area for his own family. He had previously taken delivery of three smaller orders, one of which one was paid and two were just over 30 days. I began checking with other suppliers and trades and found out the guy was a crook.
I dispatched five employees to the site to retrieve the product. Nobody was there; the house was under construction and all the doors were open. Our guys cut through the vinyl brickmould from inside with reciprocating saws and loaded the windows into the truck. Just before my men left the site with the second truckload, one of the contractor’s men showed up on site. I got a call from the contractor. He said the police were on their way.
Our vehicle, loaded with windows, headed up the highway with the contractor following close behind in his truck. An OPP cruiser came down the highway and did a U-turn and dropped in behind the caravan with his lights flashing. The contractor and the police cruiser pulled over and our guys kept on trucking.
Later that day the officer paid a visit to our warehouse and took photos of the repossessed goods. He said this guy wants to lay charges. I showed him the order which states that “all goods remain the property of the supplier until they are paid for in full.”
A few days later, the same OPP officer called and asked me to send the five men to a village which was halfway between our location and the OPP dispatch location. I told him I could only send three because the others were at a remote job site. The three received trespassing charges. The officer communicated through the three that his supervisor wanted the other two to come to the OPP dispatch location to pick up their charges because he was not coming all the way to our location to serve my men.
A month or so passed and the three employees received subpoenas to appear in court. A week before the court date, I told this story to an OPP officer that I know and he spoke to the Crown Attorney and the bogus trespassing charges against my men were dropped.
The following year on the anniversary of the “repo,” we were served with a lawsuit. I turned it over to my lawyer. A couple of weeks later my lawyer called and said the suit is dead because the plaintiff’s lawyer was unable to collect a retainer from the plaintiff. This lawsuit hoax was repeated for two more years on the anniversary with the same outcome.
Six months later, a roofer that had done work for the con-(artist)-tractor was in our office on unrelated business and told me the con-(artist)-tractor has fled to the US and that he was wanted by the police – and biker gangs were after him due to some drug dealings, allegedly. I haven’t heard from the con artist since.
My men tell me the day they repossessed the windows was the most fun they had ever had at work.
I would not recommend this method of dealing with bad accounts. We now use a more civilized approach.”