construction subcontractor payment problems

engineering subbie payment problems

Tel: +44 (0)1773 712116

Email: info@streetwisesubbie.com

#WiseUpWednesday: Fight Back Against QS Cash Vampires

You may have seen the grim headlines from Construction Enquirer about the widespread abuse of Subbies by Main Contractor’s QS Cash Vampires.

It’s a sickening state of affairs which is getting worse by the day as cash strapped Main Contractors use every trick in the book to reduce and delay your payments.

Don’t Let Them Screw You…

If that sounds blunt then I’m sorry, but that’s the world we are living in.

Because Roger, the sleek haired 30 something QS in his pin striped suit and crisp white shirt doesn’t care about you or how hard you have had to work to get that job done.

The payment problems in the construction industry are driven by the lack of money and the fact that Main Contractors simply bully their Specialist Contractors into submission will not change unless you make it change.

 

Cracked Record…

 

Even if you are too young to have ever owned a record player, I hope you know what I mean when I say that “I’m beginning to sound like a cracked record.”

 

And regrettably we need to keep pumping out the same message because every single day of the week Specialist Contractors are getting into trouble because they are not getting the basics right.

 

Speaking of Records…

Whether it’s recovering the cost effects of variations or delays you may need to be able to prove to a third party that your version of events is correct and your assessment is fair and reasonable.

 

And, please trust me on this, you will need those records, starting with a copy of the contract…

 

Keeping good written and photographic records is a fundamental issue, the importance of which cannot be overstated.

 

Regardless of the size and value of the work, good records are essential in order to protect yourself.

 

Fight Off The QS Cash Vampires And Avoid Those Contra’s          

 

We are seeing more and more Main Contractor’s QS’s hitting Specialist Contractors with contra charges at the end of the job.

 

Once the job is done the QS Cash Vampire turns on you and blames you for events that occurred weeks, months or even years in the past.

 

Any records that you make at the time will be far more valuable as evidence than your memory of what happened, particularly if you can show that they have been issued to the other party at the time the events took place.

 

Check What It Says…

 

Check what the contract says about records and make sure you comply. It is not uncommon for a failure to submit records to be used as an excuse to reduce or withhold payment or blame you for delays that are not of your making.

Here are my top tips about records;

 

  • Verbal instructions – don’t act on verbal instructions and always confirm them back in writing to the Contractor.
  • Access dates – make sure you can actually get at the various parts of the job when you are supposed to and tell the Contractor when and why if you can’t.
  • Delays – notify the Contractor about everything that holds you up or interrupts the regular process of your works.
  • Sequence – you will have priced and programmed the works to proceed in a logical sequence. If you are expected to go backwards and forwards to and from different areas you will be less efficient and your costs will definitely increase.
  • When you have completed the various sections of the works make sure you notify the Contractor and get them signed off if possible. Make sure you get someone to sign to acknowledge the date and time that you handed the works over.
  • Photographs/video can be invaluable. You can record exactly what was done, and when.Use a camera that records the date and time, but it is still a good idea to use the old fashioned idea of taking a picture of the headline from the Sun or Mirror for each day you are taking photographs.
  • Make sure you keep records of what all the other trades are doing, when they start and finish various areas if these are impacting on your works.

What If The QS Cash Vampire Still Attacks You?

If your account is attacked and you’re not getting paid, StreetwiseSubbie’s team of professional Consultants are on hand to resolve your immediate payment problems and recover monies owed to you

We stop you being be bullied into simply accepting what the Main Contractor says about how much you’re owed, so don’t settle your account for far less than it’s actually worth.

If your account comes under attack the best advice is to act quickly and to take appropriate advice. Our Professional Consultants have decades of experience in contractual and commercial matters and will give you no-nonsense, practical advice and take action on your behalf.

We won’t blind you with legal jargon, we will just get stuck in and get your money. Mouse here: Buddy Details

Alternatively email us at info@streetwisesubbie.com or give our friendly team a call on 01773 712116.

We’re here to help.

A Team Of Experts In your Back Pocket

We give you the tools and skills you need to ensure that you do everything you can to resolve your current problem, and to avoid problems in the future.

And we provide a whole range of dedicated business support services specifically tailored to your needs as a Specialist Contractor.

Together we can make a difference…


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Construction’s a tough place to do business right now, and Specialist Contractors need all the help you can get. That’s why you will find our resources and expertise are invaluable, whatever the size of your business and whatever your specialisation. We’re here to help you solve all your business problems, including the crucially important contractual ones, such as getting paid.

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Tel: +44 (0)1773 712116
Email: info@streetwisesubbie.com

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