A post in the surveying & geomatics forum:
concerns missing out on being paid for work already completed.
We provide professional services that once released are difficult or impossible to get back. The situation in that post is a prime example!! I have been very fortunate in the small number of times I have had difficulty collecting and even in slow collections. However, it can be frustrating when people are in hurry up mode to get your services then milk the time to pay their bill. I'm the type that likes to get my bills paid as soon as possible - example, property tax bills came in the mail today and have already been paid.
I know many people are requiring percent down and remainder on delivery or full payment prior to delivery of survey plat. These have been discussed often as to the benefits. But would not have completely solved that original poster's problem.
Is anyone requiring payment in full prior to beginning the work? If so, how is it working for you?
I have considered it, but hesitate to start that policy. Not due to potential loss of business, but potential issues with me getting the work done or having collected for a job then a health issue crops up that prohibits getting it done. It seems as simple as refunding the fee collected, but I haven't looked into any potential consequences of having collected payment and not delivered on services.
To your question, NO.
50% upfront with the balance at completion. I do not release my survey until paid and I do not record it until paid. They do not even get to see it, touch it, lick it or sniff it.
Commercial clients are different.
Only regular secure clients get any service without payment up front.
For small jobs, it's 60% minimum deposit. Most will go ahead and pay the full amount up front if it's a straightforward lump sum job.
Only surveyors would worry about losing business by requiring a deposit.
Most continue the same SOP along with the same complaints of not getting paid and not making any money.
If you're a one man show, it's hard to beat the cash in hand while on job business model.
I understand what you are saying. We require a deposit on the survey before beginning the survey. This case was unique and my fault for not asking for that deposit. Been in surveying for over 2o years and this is the first person to "stiff" me for my surveying fee. The worst part of this experience for me is they are telling me what I should be charging and keeping the time clock on the amount of work I did. LOL!
What I do: I charge by the hour and draw a plat for everything I do (I like a paper record with my field work). After the field work and plat is completed I send it out with an invoice. I like payment within 30 days, either check or credit card. Mechanics lien gets filed after 60 days if I don't get paid. This has worked for all but two jobs in about 20 years. I file a couple of mechanic lien warnings every year.