How *not* to treat your plumbing customers

Early this year I had a local plumber do some work in my basement, including removing an old cement laundry tub and replacing some spigots. He did a decent job in spots, but a shabby job in others (chipped a cement wall up pretty good, but didn't fix it, etc.). I paid him on the spot for most of the work (about $600), but he said he'd bill me for some remaining items he had to get a price on (about $150 worth). Never got the bill.
I didn't plan on using him again, but my water heater kicked the bucket two days before I was expecting company, so I had to use him for that. He did a good job on it. That was over two months ago. Finally, last week I got the bill for that and for the remaining $150 from the previous job. Two days later I mailed a check.
This morning the guy calls and says, "I just wanted to check if you sent the payment, because I recently changed my business address to a P.O. box, and people have been getting mail sent back to them. I just wanted to check."
What, am I an idiot? The post office doesn't forward mail now? When I told him I sent payment last week, he said "Oh, okay," and hurredly got off the phone. Funny, but he didn't give me the alleged new billing address.
Moral of story: If, for any reason, you're paranoid about receiving payment for your services -- but you'd like to retain the customer -- take more than three freaking seconds to devise an excuse for calling.
Time to find a new plumber.
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If he was honest and fairly priced in his work than you were lucky and shouldnt make a big deal of it . So what if he called , Im sure he has had problems with no pays. and needs the money. Or maybe his ex is taking his checks and hes imbarased and wont tell you. Or maybe he pissed off the mailman. Hire a crook and you will see how lucky you were, or maybe you woulnt know one you are to busy thinking of manners. I vote for the plumber.
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On Tue, 26 Aug 2003 12:51:14 -0500 (CDT), snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (mark Ransley) wrote:

Manners? Please. This isn't about manners; it's about calling to ask where payment is only days after the bill was sent. Regarding "problems with no-pays," obviously I wasn't a no-pay, as I was willing to pay him immediately each time, and did so the first time.
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So what he called. Maybe he called everyone that owes him money he hasn't received yet without thinking of when he sent 'you' the bill. So he isn't an accountant. He also forgot to send you the $150 bill in a timely manner. And why post anything about this, you got decent and timely service at reasonable charges so where's the foul especially when if not for your emergency, you wouldn't have used him again anyway?
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For my curiosity, what did the water heater cost?
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Christopher A. Young
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