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Contractor not cashing check? O.o

JakeCK Member Posts: 1,401
edited June 2022 in THE MAIN WALL
So this isn't really heating related at all, but almost a month ago I had new garage doors installed. They look great, work great, only took a day for both, and the warehouse the guy used had the right ones in stock so waited less then a week between signing and done.

Also had good reviews.


But that was the middle of last month and the guy still hasn't cashed the check. Which wasn't exactly a small amount these are decent sized doors and are top of the line three layer r12 doors. Is this something that happens a lot with small one man operations? I would think a check worth thousands would be top of mind. :S

And yes I did put r12 garage doors on an unheated detached garage. Hey I might put a mini split in there some day. 


  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 514
    That happened to me years ago at a local garage. I'm not good about balancing a checkbook (I usually just throw in more money than I owe and try to reconcile it every 3 months or so), but I noticed a check wasn't cashed for a lot of money, at it was almost 2 months since I paid him. That next Saturday I drove to the garage and asked the owner if he lost the check. He said they misplaced/lost a whole deposit and my check was in there, but he was too embarrassed to call me. I handed him a new check and if the deposit showed up, tear up my first check.
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,587
    Everyone has their own routine. Maybe they reconcile it all monthly when the bills from suppliers are due.
    Personally, I would give it around 6 weeks and then send them a friendly note thanking him for the prompt service and asking for him to verify the payment was recieved.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,458
    I was that guy. I usually just let checks pile up until my wife would ask if we had any money coming in as the account was getting low. Sometimes 6-8 weeks of checks being held.
    It was just more important to me to be getting the jobs done, than cashing the checks.
    It was nice to make larger deposits though with the pile that would be there.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,153
    When I started my first HVAC business in the Philadelphia area, I also was that guy! I do remember one story on a particularly cold January and February, one of the supply houses that gave me my first open account, pulled me aside from the counter and told me that it was time for me to go home and do some paperwork. You’ve got a love that guy! He knew exactly where I was. Too busy getting heaters running to go home at night and do paperwork. That evening I went home and looked at the amount of money that I owed him. Not paying my supply house bill for two months in a row, I was so upset  to find out that I owed him over $2500. 00. In 1970 that was like equivalent to $30,000 or $40,000. I had no idea where I was going to come up with that much money.

    Then I looked at my bank balance. It was over $3,000. There was also four weeks worth of payments from customers sitting in my desk drawer. That brought my balance to over $5000. After that I didn’t feel so bad! I actually felt pretty good.

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

  • GroundUp
    GroundUp Member Posts: 1,934
    edited June 2022
    As I sit here typing this, I have roughly $42k worth of checks on hand because I have not had time to get to the bank in the past 3 weeks or so. Sometimes people are busy. Personally when I write a check, I would prefer it's cashed/deposited sooner than later for bookkeping purposes but I also keep close tabs and would never spend more than I have checks written. Once it gets out 2-3 months and I can't balance the checkbook, I start getting nervous and reach out to whoever needs it. The nearest bank is almost an hour drive for me and is only open M-F from 7-5 so it's not an option sometimes unless I have a cancellation or the Mrs is going to town for groceries. Everybody has their own thing, but I wouldn't worry just yet.

    There are several contractors in my area that won't even send a bill until Christmas, regardless of when the work is performed. A February 8th job may not even be billed for 10.5 months but then I think they spend the whole month of January at the bank.
  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 1,187
    edited June 2022
    Don’t you have electronic check deposits to your bank from your phone or a dedicated device? If not I’d change banks. 
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,828
    PC7060 said:

    Don’t you have electronic check deposits to your bank from your phone or a dedicated device? If not I’d change banks. 

    I'm not sure i'd want to do that with $40k.
  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 1,187
    edited June 2022
    mwe have a small device issued by the bankthat scans in our business checks. Simply login to the online business account and follow the steps. The process includes a multi-factor usb plugin & a pin so very secure.

    We use the multi-factor device when paying checks over a certain amount too. I’ve recently seen some suppliers that that allow payment via Zelle which is US banks versions of Venmo. This uses multi-factor verification using your phone (text a pin to your number which you enter into online page). 

    Time is money and cash is king when running a business! Best get that risky paper turned into numbers in your account within 24 hours.