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.