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  1. #1

    Default An Easy $100, or ?

    I got a call for a "swarm" removal. It, in reality, was a whitefaced hornets nest. The house was about 10 minutes down the road. I told the owner that I would remove the nest, bag it and take it away for $100. When I went there the next day with a step ladder, no one was home. I was just about to snip it, and I thought I wont ever get paid if I take this out of here. I call her cell phone and she says take it down and I will pay you later. I said to her, I will come back tommorow when I have the cash in my hand. Was I wrong?


    Last edited by newbee 101; 08-28-2007 at 07:44 PM.
    "To bee or not to bee"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Default

    Yeah, you were wrong! You should of told her $125 for having you make the trip twice.

    Back when I was in the funeral home and cemetery business, probably about 10 years back, there was a funeral director in Texas, that lost his license for a year.

    Now, many funeral directors extend credit and for a host of reasons and get paid after the fact. Insurance delays, etc. And every now and then a funeral director gets stiffed on collecting the balance or even the whole bill. Some funeral directors build a certain loss into their business model.

    Anyways, back to the Texas funeral director. Seems after "Dads" funeral, nobody was willing to come forward and pay the bill. Most times when this happens, the funeral director even gets billed for the disposal. This one had enough. Ten days went by with dad on cold ice, so to speak. So what does he do? Well imagine the son coming home from work and finding dad propped up on the front porch swing!

    Two things happened. Every funeral director who knew about it privately cheered. The state licensing board seemed less amused. He lost his license for a year. I'm sure him speaking to appreciative funeral directors at conventions was well worth it.

    I thought of that story as I was thinking of how many things you could do with a hornets nest to a person who stiffed you with the bill.

    As a teen, ok, and perhaps a young adult occassionally, we would get a dead possum and stuff them into mailboxes of people we did not like. This mainly meant a teacher from school. Summertime break meant that the teacher was on vacation. And also that the dead possum after a few days would bloat up and destroy the mailbox.

    Oh, the memories....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Albany, NY
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    48

    Post

    Nice looking hive. Wish we had a few like this one in our area.

  4. #4

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by BjornBee View Post
    As a teen, ok, and perhaps a young adult occassionally, we would get a dead possum and stuff them into mailboxes of people we did not like. This mainly meant a teacher from school. Summertime break meant that the teacher was on vacation. And also that the dead possum after a few days would bloat up and destroy the mailbox.
    Dude, you ain't right! ...I'll bet you hear this a lot.
    Tom

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Princeton, West Virginia
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    Default That is a nice one, To add to your profit,,

    Keep some of the branch with it, hang it up in an area out of the weather. Spray several coats of varnish, polyurethane or something like that to seal it up. Having a few hornets stuck to the outside increases the appeal. Sell it on ebay. There is one starting now at $40.00
    http://cgi.ebay.com/True-to-Life-Bal...QQcmdZViewItem
    Last edited by kc in wv; 08-28-2007 at 08:23 PM.
    What I Smoke has a Sting to it

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Evansville, IN, USA
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    Default

    >I will come back tommorow when I have the cash in my hand. Was I wrong . . .

    You did the RIGHT thing!

    Funny, when things don't go "our way", most think about how to "get even".

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Hillsboro, Wisconsin, USA
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    Default

    BjornBee -

    Your yarning explains a lot.

    Interesting use of the word "stiffed", in the context.

    Seek professional help, before it is too late.

    Hey 101, do like kc says, or give it to a science teacher in your school district - they are always neat to study.

    MM

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Default

    Interesting take Dave.

    Yes I suppose those in the back of the car, and those Monday morning quarterback, always have the hind sight, the smart comment, and the like. I was not there. I was not under the gun to make those decisions. I think most people regardless would of made a "good" decision based on a soft heart, faith in one's nieghbor, and probably assumed the best.

    You mention that newbee 101 did the right thing. What was that? He was there with a stepladder in hand, stayed long enough for a few pictures, and was willing to walk away from the job, becuase of an assumption in thinking he would get stiffed. (1)Some would of snipped the nest and billed as the previous phone call dictated. (2)Some would of done it as a favor and would not of billed 100 doollars for a two minute job. (3)Others would of walked away becuase the cash was not in hand. (4)And some would of even relayed the thought process to the potential customer that the job will not be done till "I have money in my hand!"

    I guess I could have a problem with each of these four possibilities. I find it interesting that you chose to think #4 was the right thing to do.

    Personally, I would of snipped the branch while I was there. So you can put me down for a #1. (And if I did not get paid for it, it would become a #2.) I have you and newbee101 for a #4 (although newbees question concerning the whole matter makes his decision uncomfortable in his mind. Perhaps rightfully so.) But your a stedfast #4 with no doubt.

    I'm not sure if I would of left the nest there and then made a phone call, informing them I was there once, and left, becuase I did not have the cash in hand. Something just does not feel right about that.

    It would be interesting since you started this now with commenting on others posts, how exactly some of the others may have handled this, regardless of whether you think newbee was right or not. I have no problem with what newbee did. But his question does raise the point that perhaps others would of handled it differently. What say you?
    Last edited by BjornBee; 08-29-2007 at 02:36 PM.

  9. #9

    Default

    "(1)Some would of snipped the nest and billed as the previous phone call dictated."
    I did not have a contract, let alone a last name. Bill? Now I got to write a bill and mail it?
    "(2)Some would of done it as a favor and would not of billed 100 doollars for a two minute job."
    10 minutes there, ten minutes to suit up and set up, 10 minutes back home, that adds up to 30 minutes according to my fingers.( not to mention, disposing of the hive and my gas to get there) I dont know about anyone else, but I dont work for free
    "(3)Others would of walked away becuase the cash was not in hand."
    Re read previous 2 replys. Thats just what I did
    "(4)And some would of even relayed the thought process to the potential customer that the job will not be done till "I have money in my hand!"
    I did that, and even asked what time was best for her. Of course she was not home.
    "I have you and newbee101 for a #4 (although newbees question concerning the whole matter makes his decision uncomfortable in his mind. Perhaps rightfully so.)"
    You should be a shrink Bjorn ! Actually I am a #3. I was uncomfortable doing it that way, but this is not my primary business. I gave her a price, in which she accepted right away. I know she called an exterminator who "wanted a fortune to kill it" I collect honey bees for free because I love beekeeping.
    "I'm not sure if I would of left the nest there and then made a phone call, informing them I was there once, and left, becuase I did not have the cash in hand. Something just does not feel right about that. "
    Thats why I started this post, to hear what others would have done. Good points everyone. Lets hear more...
    Last edited by newbee 101; 08-29-2007 at 06:34 PM.
    "To bee or not to bee"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Default

    I will not do any bee removal, honeybee, hornet or wasp, without money up front. I've had more calls for removal where I've scheduled to go to the site only to have the client back out. The only times I didn't collect up front was when the exterminator hired me to do the job.

    You did the right thing.

    - Barry

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    174

    Big Grin

    Do everything he says below, but take it to various locations in the dark of night and make it look like it is a natural nest hanging in a tree. Wait for the calls to come in to remove it again and again - just kiddding!

    Quote Originally Posted by kc in wv View Post
    Keep some of the branch with it, hang it up in an area out of the weather. Spray several coats of varnish, polyurethane or something like that to seal it up. Having a few hornets stuck to the outside increases the appeal. Sell it on ebay. There is one starting now at $40.00
    http://cgi.ebay.com/True-to-Life-Bal...QQcmdZViewItem

  12. #12
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    May 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
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    2,030

    Default

    Just don't tell her that, come winter, the hornets will all leave anyway. I had a nice one in a tree that I was going to cut down and save, but to my surprise, after the hornets left, the nest was torn to shreds by tufted titmice, I assume going after the left-over larvae.
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

  13. #13
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    Evansville, IN, USA
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    Default

    I agree w/ Barry

  14. #14
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    Jan 2007
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    berkshire county MA
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    Default

    I like Scut's humor. I probably would have snipped it and stopped back to collect the money. The good thing about no one being there is they wouldn't see how easy it was
    I can't remember who mentioned on another post that after weeks of not getting paid for a removal, they stopped by on the way home from catching a swarm, said they were returning the bees and promptly recieved a check

  15. #15
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    Jan 2006
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    Princeton, West Virginia
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MapMan View Post

    give it to a science teacher in your school district - they are always neat to study.

    MM
    That has always been # 1 on my list, you see I am married to a biology teacher and anything I get that she can use she takes to school. So if I find a hornets nest I like I have to find another for her to take to school
    I take my observation hive to schools several times a year.
    What I Smoke has a Sting to it

  16. #16
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    Feb 2003
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Default

    Barry,
    Sorry to hear your problem with the many clients that took you for less then professional, or at least in some way thought you could be stiffed.

    I think if one is going to be a professional, no matter what it is, you must present yourself as professional. I have in 5 years of pollination, one full year of shipping bees and queens through the mail (before I got a credit card machine) and asking them to send me a check after they got the bees, along with a good number of removals, have a grand total of one person stiffing me for a bill.

    I think a little thought needs to go into it. I would say something along the lines when such phone calls come..."Mrs. Smith, please understand two things before I come out tomorrow. One is, I don't provide the service without getting paid for it up front. And two, I do not do any work without the homeowner present due to liability concerns." If you need to go further in detail explaining these two items, then be prepared.

    So what happens when youi get there and Mrs. Smith is not home? You have a reason not to do the work, and have explained these points prior to making the trip. You then can contact the client and not need to mention the after-the-fact reasoning of "I need cash in hand", which sounds cold and unprofessional.

    I think everyone you come into contact with is a potential long term customer, and many times its these one time encounters that come back in so many ways. Conversations have led to finding out the brother is a farmer, an uncle is a market owner, etc.

    I think being upfront and being honest about not doing work prior to payment, asking the homeowner to be present so you know the bill will be paid, and perhaps for liabilty reasons, is beneficial anyways.

    I know Barry said, or suggested that "many" backed out of the agreement. But with the above mentioned items, you would think that a professional followup call just prior to making the trip, could of eliminated some of this. "Mrs. Smith, this is Mike from Bjorn Apiaries. We spoke last night about the bee nest you have. I just wanted to give you a quick call and make sure everything was ok and let you know I'm on my way."

    If your going to provide professional services, then provide professional service.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
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    5,159

    Lightbulb

    I find myself in many different situations, but in general I don't accept money until I have completed the job. That is the way I would want to be treated and that is the way I treat others.

    What I would have don is to go ahead and snip the hive while I was there, take it home and hang it up in a tree, or at least at another location. Call the client and give them an address to send the check. If I had not received payment after two weeks follow up with a phone call. Then if they are slow pay I would tell them that they will find the nest on their porch on such a date. After the check clears the bank I would dispose of the nest.

    To date I have only been stiffed twice. Hind sight being nearly perfect, I should have taken those mother mean bees in the gum back to the cowboy.

    Live and learn.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BjornBee View Post
    Barry,
    Sorry to hear your problem with the many clients that took you for less then professional, or at least in some way thought you could be stiffed.
    I don't know if they took me for less than professional, but until they have to either part with some green backs or sign a paper, people can be very loose with talk and commitments. I see this in my full-time profession of construction as well.

    I think being upfront and being honest about not doing work prior to payment, asking the homeowner to be present so you know the bill will be paid, and perhaps for liabilty reasons, is beneficial anyways.
    I agree.

    I know Barry said, or suggested that "many" backed out of the agreement.
    The agreement was to come out and either assess the situation and/or do the work then or at another time. I'm talking about cut-outs from houses, not a swarm of bees hanging on a branch.

    But with the above mentioned items, you would think that a professional followup call just prior to making the trip, could of eliminated some of this.
    Yea, it's the call prior to making the trip that the potential client backed out for various reasons. I arrange my schedule to accommodate these jobs only to have them back out.

    To fit these into my full-time profession has not proven to be worth the effort. So, I will not do a removal unless there is money up front and I will charge for my time to go look at the job, even if I have to come back at another time to actually do it. If I only had to drive a few miles away, that would be another story, but an hour one way and another back I can't do for free.

    - Barry
    Last edited by Barry; 08-31-2007 at 01:42 PM. Reason: spelling

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