EXCLUSIVE: Croydon garage adopts board of shame to deal with non-paying customers

Fiat 500 owner currently named and shamed after failing to pay bill for clutch and master cylinder replacement

EXCLUSIVE: Croydon garage adopts board of shame to deal with non-paying customers
The owner of a white Fiat 500 is currently named and shamed on the white board which is shown outside the workshop on the left.

MOTaPlus Ltd in Croydon has taken to naming and shaming non-paying customers by writing their name and vehicle details on a white board located outside the workshop for all to see.

Garage owner, Gary Pritchard told GW that he adopted the board “out of principle” after helping a customer only for them to bounce a cheque for a £40 MOT.

“Put it up out of principle”

He said: “I first put it up out of principle after a customer came in for an MOT following a recommendation.

“She called us up, desperate for a test because she didn’t have an MOT but it was a Saturday and we were fully booked up.

“To help her out though, we told her to come down and we’d get it done to get her out of trouble.

“We MOTd the car and it failed on a couple of bulbs and a few other small bits, which we put right and didn’t even charge her for it.

“She wrote a £40 cheque out for the MOT and off she went.

“A couple of weeks later, we noticed the cheque didn’t go through and after looking into it I found out that she parked around the corner and stopped the cheque.

“From there on, the board has stayed up.”

Amuses genuine customers

Gary says the board has gone down well among his genuine customers, with many finding it amusing and even taking photos of it.

He added: “I’ve not had many on there at all and those that have been on there have had plenty of warning.

“It’s all about embarrassment.

“I trust everyone on face value and if they fail to pay I’d rather just embarrass them and warn other garages around here.

“It’s not about the money, it’s the principle.”

Currently the owner of a white Fiat 500 features on the board of shame after failing to pay two bills for a clutch and a master cylinder.

Gary said: “The lady that’s on there at the moment is local.

“I’d rather embarrass her than waste my time chasing”

“I know where she lives and I could go and knock on her door but I’d rather embarrass her than waste my time chasing her.

“We fitted a new clutch and we told her it had a fault on the slave and master cylinder but she didn’t want it repaired at the time.

“Of course, that soon failed but we put it right for her.”

The lady in question had already made a couple of payments towards her initial bill for the clutch replacement and made one more following the later repair but has since failed to make any further payment.

How do you deal non-paying customers? Share your comments and experiences below.

Home Page Forums Croydon garage adopts board of shame to deal with non-paying customers

This topic contains 12 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  wendy 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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  • #177644 Reply

    Amanda Watts

    I would think that this is illegal unfortunately.
    We have been known to leave messages inside tyres to warn other tyre companies that the ‘customer’ doesn’t pay 🙂

    #177645 Reply

    Lawrence Wells

    We used to try and assist customers like this and had similar issues since refusing to accept cheques and having a no exceptions rule of no payment no car policy we no longer have a problem the odd car stays with us well blocked in in the compound but they always raise the funds eventually

    #177650 Reply

    Jackie Sedgbeer

    I think a good idea would be to have a website or group where you can put customers names and car registrations on who either don’t pay or are nightmare customers etc. Garages could then look up and decide for themselves if they want to deal with them. It would be a bit like a rating/review but in favour of businesses.

    #177653 Reply

    Angela leeming

    I to used to have a list up with customers names listed with large letters at the top stating customers on stop. Over the years I now only let vehicles go that have a monthly account and other customers pay before taking their vehicles. Few pay by cheque now the majority are by card. But I found it totally annoying when people used to do the dirty on you. One of our customers made a sign for me saying never mind the owner beware of the rotweiller. But I have bills and wages to pay and have no qualms even when I used to take them to court.

    #177654 Reply

    Ian

    I cant believe that are still garages out there that let customers take their cars with out paying.

    We operate on some simple rules, no customer supplied parts, no used parts and FULL payment or no car.

    There are no exceptions to this rule.

    #177657 Reply

    john w

    We operate on card or cash. We do not except cheques anymore. The vehicle does not leave the workshop until paid for in FULL. You wouldn’t go to sainsbury’s do all your shopping and try paying with a cheque.
    We don’t have any bad debts.

    #177659 Reply

    Peter Miles

    I have. after 25 years in business, reluctantly gone to the “no payment, no car” rule for new customers. In the last couple of years it has become a problem and I’ve found the more you go that extra mile (fitting them in at short notice, telling them can pay next month and so on, the more they take advantage. Court action doesn’t work anymore either. One “lady” who had been coming here for about three years for MOT’s and small jobs then had a near 400 bill . When payment didn’t come I found out she’d taken out an IVA (look it up if it’s new to you, it was to me!) where she is legally allowed to pay all her creditors off over 5 years at 15p in the pound so I get about 60 quid! But the firm that arranged the IVA for her get 4,600 paid in full!

    #177662 Reply

    Tim

    We have been caught before so we now have a cad terminal, and accept cheques or cash as we have no longer got a local bank.

    #177663 Reply

    Louise

    We don’t accept cheque anymore as ever have people ourselves cancel cheques. No vehicle is to leave the garage without full payment, this is our policy and all members of staff know this.

    #177914 Reply

    Tony

    Zero tollerance no money no car. If we do mobile you pay on completion. Our biggest issues are big car dealers who think it’s ok to pay when they want to but i have a late payment written into my invoice and have taken thousands of big well known car dealers……am currently chasing a formula one team with some very stroppy staff.
    I also use the courts and have had great success.

    #178131 Reply

    Clare

    I’ve always said that it’s garages that need protection from rogue customers. Hats off to them for the board. We still have principles and if people choose to be unscrupulous then they will suffer the consequences.

    #178706 Reply

    wendy

    We’ve had similar problems. A very soft owner that tries to help out all and been taken for a ride by some. Found a great company that debt collected for me and brought in a two year old debt within 24 hours. Didn’t cost us a penny but it did her…

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)

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