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Charging Customers a Deposit

By: Elaine Everest - Updated: 15 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Charging Customers A Deposit

When starting your electrical repair business you must decide whether you wish to charge customers a deposit when they leave an item for repair.

Charge Deposit Money

When customers bring an item for repair into your electrical repair shop or workshop it is not always possible to repair the item while they wait. This means that they will have to leave the item with you for a specified time until the work is complete. It is not unknown for customers to change their mind as they do not have the money for the repair or have decided to purchase a replacement item instead. Most customers will keep you informed of their decision but there are some that never return and ignore your telephone calls. These items then take up valuable space in your shop or workshop and also do not earn money for your business. You must decide whether to charge deposit money when an item is left in your care.

Make Your Terms and Conditions Clear

Put a sign in your window and also on display in the area where customers will see it in your workshop or drop off area. State that you request a non returnable deposit when items are left for repair. The amount of money can vary according to the item or you could have one set fee such as ten pounds that is then taken off the cost of the repair when and if the customer returns.

Giving a Receipt

Make sure each customer is given a receipt for the item they leave in your care. This will be a receipt for the money paid but can also show your terms and conditions. Show your telephone number so the customers can contact you and also state clearly that the item will be disposed of or sold to recoup costs, after (say) three months if the customers do not return to pay their bill and collect their property. You do not have room to store items if customers do not have the good grace to keep you informed of their intentions.

Keep Yours Customers Informed

If it is approaching three months since customers were told their item was ready for collection send a letter to inform them their property is being sold or disposed of. Ensure that you send this as a signed for letter and keep a receipt from the post office that the letter was sent this way. It is strange how many customers suddenly want their property back after four or five months of ignoring you! In some instances there can be a very good reason why they have not returned to you to pay the money owed for the repair and to collect their property so it is best to cover yourself in case the customer gets nasty.

Rules and Terms of Trading

By setting some simple rules when you first start your electrical repair business you will not find yourself losing money when customers do not come to collect goods and repay you the money they owe. Pin these rules in several places and tape a copy to your shop or workshop’s counter where the customer cannot avoid reading it. Train your staff so that they always point out your rules and terms of trading and this way customers owing you money for repaired goods should not become a problem.

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