I Said No To A Client! (This may help newer inspectors)

Hi! Long rant, long story, probably my last post so I’m going for it!

I got a client, I’m really tempted to blast out his name but I’ll refrain for now. A week and a half ago he texts and asks to do an inspection, it was scheduled for November 30th.
All of that was no problem, I got his quote, agreement signed. But he says he’s bringing out a separate mold inspection. And paying me by certified check. He didn’t ask if I take checks, he said “I will be paying you by certified check”. I’m dumb enough and business has been slow enough that I agreed to this. But then he says I have to pay his mold inspector by Cashapp or Zelle. I tell him I can’t do either of those, but I could do debit card.

Days go by and I receive the check. It’s an $1820 check on an inspection quote for five hundred and change. I’ve spent the last two days trying to figure out how to get this check cashed, it turns out my bank doesn’t have any check capabilities, and you can forget cashing a cashier’s check made out to a business at any store. A lot of places that used to cash checks don’t anymore.

I end up sitting down at a local bank opening a small business account. I’ve been open and in contact with this a-hole about this throughout this. The bank tells me it can take up to nine days for me to access funds for this check, I tell him this and that to guarantee there are no delays he could cancel this check and pay by card online or I can do inspection as scheduled and release report when check clears. I’m as professional, polite as I can be in all of this.

He says it’s a “pourous excuse. Checks take less than 24 hours to clear”.

I say I will do inspection as scheduled and get him report as soon as check clears.

He said the other guy needs payment so we’ll have to hold inspection.

I say I’m confused on who needs payment, and why was this check $1820?

He said “As I’ve told you previously, you’re paying the mold inspector by Zelle or Cashapp, so you deduct your quote and pay rest to mold inspector. Simple as that.”.

So by now I’ve had all I’m going to deal with from this asshole, so I say, “As i told you previously I can’t do Zelle or Cashapp. I’m not doing your inspection. You can cancel check but I won’t deposit it. Simple as that.”

And then he calls me a thief, an animal, and says he’s reporting me to authorities. I say “good luck with that, you haven’t paid me and I haven’t taken anything from you”, and I block his number.

So. I made several mistakes here. Without a bank account that I knew I could accept checks, I didn’t tell him I couldn’t take his check. Then when I got the check, I didn’t immediately ask him what the extra money was for. Of course I was going to ask him that and would have refunded him the extra beyond my quote. But I didn’t ask because for one I was working, I have a full-time job doing twelve hours three days a week now, and then I was just trying to get the check cashed because he wouldn’t have time to mail another one in time for the inspection. And thirdly I wasted my valuable and limited time off these past two days trying to cash this check. So all this to say as a warning to other newer inspectors that this stuff can be infuriating, time consuming, and can financially ruin you. I have about two hours and a good bit of gas put into this nonsense with this idiot.

I’ll let experienced inspectors give their take, but many of them are difficult boomers themselves, and to newer younger inspectors I would point out what you probably know, people who want to snail mail checks as payment are probably going to be pains in the ass. So my personal advice is that the free business checking accounts you can get online are fine, and just don’t take checks.

And in general my business hasn’t been a complete failure, but it’s not growing and I don’t have the weekends to do open houses anymore because I had to get that job. And I’ve realized that I can’t maintain membership, the website, and insurance to only get one inspection every so often, and one of those turns out to be duds. Overall I have more than broke even on what I put into this business, but it looks like it’s time to close shop and stop the bleeding.

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Others will chime in…This is a scam that has been circulating for a long time. Sorry you were involved with this.

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No should have occured when he first wanted you to pay the “mold Inspector.” I don’t transfer money for other people. PERIOD

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Frankly, it’s concerning that the bank didn’t warn you that the check was probably a scam. Haven’t they been trained to look out for this on their customer’s behalf?

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It gets posted on the forum almost daily now.

https://forum.nachi.org/t/scam-alert-be-aware/199952/42

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So sorry to hear you got caught up in this. My response to anyone saying they are paying by check is “Please ensure payment is for the correct inspection fee. Any overages will be considered a gratuity for excellent service, Gratuities are appreciated.” That has stopped all scammers in their tracks.

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ohh. Of course I was suspicious and wasn’t going to do that transfer. But now I feel worse for wasting my time with it. But. I’ll keep the post up so others can see if they haven’t seen that scam alert. Us younger folks don’t pay attention to “scam alerts” because we’re generally immune to them naturally. I half-fell for this because I haven’t done any business with checks before.
Thanks everyone for letting me know

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Jonathan, Sorry to hear about what happened. This has probably happened to everyone one of us here. As Mark said, “This is a scam that has been circulating for a long time”.
Best of luck.

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Apparently not, the form of payment doesn’t really matter, the whole thing stinks of “scam” if you press the pause button, so to speak, and looked at it.

And I’m surprised you didn’t see the need to take checks as a business owner, even if only occasionally.

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Perhaps it’s time for Nachi to add scam awareness to the curriculum?
@gromicko ?

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Actually, no it hasn’t. Many of us here are business owners/operators, and do everything necessary to NOT be taken advantage of. Age doesn’t mean shit. Either you’re (the OP) a business person, or a hobbyist. I think it’s pretty clear which.

Who the hell has ever heard of a bank that doesn’t handle checks?
ONLINE BANKS, that’s who!!
Now this is where age does matter! GTFOYA and get your business in order!
You keep calling the scammer names, when in fact, you are the one mostly at fault for your hassles!!

JMHO.

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WHY? It’s all over the MB!
What the hell else do you need, other than to friggin’ pay attention and take this business seriously!!

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Perhaps for that fraction of CPI’s who study the board. Do you have empathy for those who came to Nachi, but don’t choose to engage in the polite and respectful conversations that happen on the message board?

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If you are a real business performing home inspections this should have been done a long time ago.

You are a shady dude.

I think this will be good for you and will be good for the public.

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Yeppers…

:triangular_flag_on_post:#1 and :triangular_flag_on_post:#2.

I would have to concur with this. Not sure why anyone would start a business without an actual business account… But to each his own I guess…

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The difference between running a business and running a service.

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I enjoyed your responses. :laughing:

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Apparently you don’t take checks but your business procedures fail to notify the client of this condition. That is a failure of your business MO.

Where do you bank that the bank does not take checks for deposit? The only one I have heard of is The Bank Of Guido. Guido doesn’t take checks for payment and instead takes arms, legs, etc. Maybe you’re hanging around with the wrong crowd?

As an additional point you were aware that the check was for way more than your fee and yet you continued down this path?

Obviously you have not been “open” with this person.

But you did take his check from him and apparently made the effort to try and cash it. Hopefully this is a scam but if not you have caused a delay in his process that may have cost him and he would have a right to pursue the matter for recompense for your actions.

Your full time job has no bearing on your responsibility to service the consumer. If you are not able to fully perform in both jobs then one or both of the jobs will suffer from poor performance. That’s certainly not fair to the consumer who is depending on you the perform a job that can cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars if you fail. It is not fair to your “full-time job” employer as they are paying you to perform a job and a failure to perform will cost them as well.

First there is a difference between ignorance and stupidity. Ignorance is not truly knowing enough to not do the wrong thing. Stupidity is knowing enough but still doing the wrong thing.

IMO you have demonstrated a whole lot of ignorance! Add to that a whole lot of condescension! It is obvious from these statements that with this time on this earth you have done little to nothing to learn much about anything. Instead you have chosen to read the ads in the comic books that tell you Home Inspection is a lucrative career that takes no effort to do. I suspect that you have pursued these limited educational resources for all of your other education.

Age has little to do with abilities and drive and desire play a much larger part. I know young people less than half my age that are quickly catching up and can surpass many “difficult boomers”. BTW your description is very condescending and displays the ignorance of your age and lack of drive to excel.

Bye! The Inspection profession does not need attitudes such as this.

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This type of scam preys on a lot of people, typically those desperately looking for work. This scam is prevalent on employment websites as well.

It happened to a family member of mine last year who was desperate to make some extra Christmas money. Basically, the scam involves shopping or errands with payment involving an oversized cashiers check with the residual sent via a cash app. In the end, not only was she unable to buy Christmas but also could not make her December rent. It was pretty devastating to her financially and emotionally.

Jonathan, I have been an entrepreneur most of my life with various degrees of success and failure. Keep your chin up and keep grinding no matter which path you choose. This is nothing more than another life event that fills your knowledge bucket.

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But only if you’re smart and wise enough to accept the lesson(s) taught and make changes in your life so it never happens again.

It appears the OP has shown who/what he really is, choosing to ‘run’ instead of make corrections and fight for another day.

Good riddence!

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