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Independent Contractor - Job cancelled by employer's customer Arizona

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  • Independent Contractor - Job cancelled by employer's customer Arizona

    OK. Please read everything about this particular situation before just saying "no work performed no pay". i Have been an independent contractor since 2005 and I understand when that rule applies.

    In this case I was assigned a work order on Sunday morning for the work to be completed the same day.

    When I arrived at the residence of the customer for the client I was doing the contract work for she informed me she had cancelled that service request the previous day minutes after calling and opening it. That would have been Saturday morning around 7:30am according to her.

    So, at this point I have nothing invested other than my travel time to her home. However, as a mandate, I am directed to call this situation into their call center before leaving the site. The call center sees that the job order was cancelled well over 24 hours before my scheduled time to arrive, but the company that hired me never cancelled the work ticket that I had accepted and was assigned to me.

    The girl that answered the phone sounded genuinely scared and told me that she would put a note on her manager's door to make sure that I was compensated as it was not my fault that I showed up to a cancelled work order. They should have contacted me and canelled with me. To which I agreed with and ended the call with the center.

    I began to explain that obviously it was a mistake that I was there. The customer was wary however and asked me if I was there to try to convince, sell or coerce her into having the service performed and paid for even though she had cancelled the ticket. I assured her that it was just a system error, and as a representative of the company I was "hired" by, made sure to estabish faith in "our" company for any future needs she may have. As per the contract I was not allowed to tell the customer that I had my own business, and must act as if I worked for the company that "hired" me. I would risk legal action if I persued any type of work of my own with this customer and that included direction all the way down to not giving the customer the business card for my own business. I was also given a dress code that I was to follow or risk not being paid for the work. Also, I was directed that I MUST report my inability to not arrive to do the work no earlier than 24 hours in advance or I would never be able to contract with them again.

    So, they had full knowledge, or their computer ticketing system had full knowledge of this ticket being closed by their customer. Their system, or they had ample opportunity to cancel this work order with me and had over 24 hours to do so. According to their own standards they by all means needed to prevent me from showing up at their customer's house but they did nothing to prevent it. This means that I was unable to perform work at any other site. Generally I block out 4 hours for service call like this on my schedule to avoid over commiting to my clients. An hour before for prep time and travel time. Two hours for the work to be done, and then an hour closing the call ticked and getting back to where I am able to perform work again.
    I have historically billed $250 to clients tht do not canced me in a timely fasion. In this case I simply asked for the price of the contract (aprox $92) to be honored as it was their mistake that I was in all ways paying for.

    I must go for a moment I will return to finish this question in a few moments.

  • #2
    If you are an IC, wage and hour laws do not apply. You are owed what your contract says you are owed in this circumstance. You are not owed anything that your contract does not say you are owed.

    The answer is in your contract. I have not read your contract.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

    Comment


    • #3
      As cbg said, you are owed what it states in the contract. If the contract does not address this circumstance specifically and say that they are not liable, then I would say you are owed the money, as you fulfilled the terms of the contract. I would send a bill anyway, and try politely but firmly to collect. If they won't comply, your remedy would be to take them to small claims court, and honestly, $92 is probably not worth the time.

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      • #4
        Agree. This is a matter of contract law, not employment. An employee would only need be paid for the time spent sorting out the mistaken assignment. No such rule automatically applies to ICs.
        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

        Comment


        • #5
          That is why you are called an independent CONTRACTor. Your contract should spell out the terms of when you get compensated. Even though it seems like sending you go the the location after the service call had been canceled was their fault, unless the contract provides that you are paid in that situation, you probably have little to go on other than appealing to their sense of what is the "right thing to do" under the circumstances.
          David K. Staub (www.illinoisbusinessattorney.com)
          Forum posts are not legal advice, are for informational and educational purposes only, and are not a substitute for proper consultation with legal counsel.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks to all - not just the quoted message.

            Originally posted by dkstaub View Post
            That is why you are called an independent CONTRACTor. Your contract should spell out the terms of when you get compensated. Even though it seems like sending you go the the location after the service call had been canceled was their fault, unless the contract provides that you are paid in that situation, you probably have little to go on other than appealing to their sense of what is the "right thing to do" under the circumstances.
            I guess what concerned me was the concern the customer had - as if I was out there to force her into the call she had cancelled. Maybe a bit far-fetched but that would be a heck of a way to eek out a little more profit. Don't send a regular tech on a cancelled call - hire an IC and leave them clueless - especially since if they don't manage to perform the work the client cancelled we can just cancel the order a week later, void it out and not pay them for their time and effort. I apologize if I came off a little heady with my question - it IS a matter of doing what is right as this quoted answer stated - I became an IC to be able to perform at the level I chose - usually 110% more than corporate america (especially in the tech world) is willing to provide. I would never treat a customer like this, and in a way the company that "hired" me is my customer. They are paying me to do work for their benefit - or not paying in this case unless I raise enough of a stink to make it not worth their while to argue the point - and I had standards that this company wanted me to adhere to. The fact they had control of the information that would have allowed for me to not go on a wild work chase for over 24 hours and chose to do nothing about it at the time, or after the fact is really the part that draws that anger out of me because it is just not right. They are pathetic and I will just have to live with the fact that the companies I have dealt with like this in the past don't exist any longer but I am still plugging away with my little one man show.

            Thanks again... these types of things just make me want to tear my skin off I get so pi**ed - but what can you do?

            Comment


            • #7
              Not a lot, unfortunately, if the company won't act right. Except choose not to do work for them again, but sometimes, that's cutting off your nose to spite your face.

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              • #8
                You need to add a drive fee to your contract for situations like this, or when the customer cancels at the door. RE appraisers almost always have a drive fee as part of their agreements.
                I am not an attorney, and don't play one on TV. Any information given is a description only and should be verified by your attorney.

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