imagine my excitement to be asked to do seats for a professional company that had previously had their seats done by Dave. Maybe I should preface this by saying that Daves work is one of the main reasons I got into leathercraft in the first place, guess you could call him one of my idols. Anyway things started off great, I agreed to do a seat at no charge so they could see my work up close and personal. Before I finished this seat they ordered a second with a design picked out by a customer. One of the main things we had discussed on our original conversation was their need for a quick turnaround. With this in mind, and looking to impress I took a couple of vacation days and knocked both seats out in about seven days. Shipped seats, got thumbs up but no check, Sent a couple of emails and finally got a check in the mail for the second seat.
A week or two later another seat was ordered for a customer of their's, same thing 7 to 10 day turnaround just like I promised. About a week after this seat was delivered I was contacted to make another just like it, the first one had been sold to someone other than the original guy so I had to make one to replace it. Heres where things start to get funny. Someone got paid for that seat, only it wasnt me, that seat was delivered about three months ago. Another couple of emails asking for payment and told check was on the way. Then another order for two more seats, Same thing, quick turnaround and thumbs up but no checks. so heres where I contact the main man that I originally spoke too instead of the shop foreman who Id been communicating with. He assured me that it wasnt a problem, some venders were paid every thirty days, some every sixty. Hed make sure the office manager knew that my seats were a pay on reciept item.
Relief, I thought, everything was cool now, well another week goes by, still no check but another seat completed and shipped, so now im out four seats still waiting payment.I contact them again to be told the office manager had been out sick but he'd have her mail the check in the morning. Nope. I talk to him again, this time I guess it was a little more obvious that this was bothering me, I explained how twice, I'd set aside other customers seats tthat were in progress, but with no real deadline, in order to meet the SPS quick turnaround. He tells me he wasnt aware I was awaiting payment for that many seats and that, being friday he would get a check in the mail Monday morning for the grand total and send it second day mail so Id have it by that wednesday, soooo after no check on wednesday or thursday I get with him again on friday. He lets me know he's at the airport catching a flight and that the check is on the way, and he will even send me the tracking # when he returns Sunday. Which was this sunday, so far since then ive tried 2 or 3 times to get this tracking # but now no one even responds.
I know I was partly to blame by not getting paid before shipping, but I figured that these were pros, numerous dealerships around the country, no way theyd rip off a fellow craftsman. Live and learn.
Im writing this long winded post for two reasons, to warn any fellow leathercraftsmen who might be asked to do what I was asked to do (especially if asked by who asked me). And also if anyone can tell me if I have any recourse to get paid. Ive got copies of all invoices, delivery confirmation showing all packages arrived, and numerous e mail threads documenting everything Ive written. They have nothing but the one cancelled check for the second seat, first one being free. Thanks for letting me vent if nothing else. Rick
Edited by rickeyfro, 18 May 2011 - 10:13 PM.