The Cowboy Customer. (As Financially Deadly as the Cowboy Business)
While everyone has heard of the 'Cowboy Builder trap', not too many are aware of an even bigger
problem, which is the 'Cowboy Customer trap'. Maybe because most people are 'employed' and
don't really like to delve into the mysterious world of the 'Self-Employed' and the 'Small Business
owner' who more often than not are the victims of unjustified jibes and envy.
It's mainly assumed by 'those employed' and the various 'government bodies' that all self-employed
and small business owners are well-off, overpaid leaches on society, where in fact, nothing could
be further from the truth. What with all the red-tape and cumbersome tax laws intended to obstruct
these mainly honest, hard working individuals, they can be really up against the odds. Just
because they are independent free thinkers who don't mind trading very long hours and hard work
for their just rewards, they are treated with suspicion on all fronts as far as the public, and
government bodies are concerned.
Any self-employed individual who has fallen on hard times through no work, illness or family
circumstances will confirm that it's like getting blood out of a stone when it comes to claiming help
from the public purse. Whereas 'professional dossers', drug addicts, criminals etc are all offered
maximum benefits in the blinking of an eye, even though, (unlike the self-employed and the small
business owners who have usually paid small fortunes into the government coffers because they're
persecuted relentlessly to ensure that they do), most have never paid a single penny into the
system. All they do is take, take, take, (because it's their 'right', and the world owes them a living).
You may think, why on earth do people still want to be self-employed or run a small business if they
are treated with such disrespect? They do it because they have life's most important value. They
have "Self-Respect" and a driving ambition to be able to provide for themselves and their family
through the trade of a fair days work for a fair days money. But over the last ten to twenty years
here in the UK, the self-employed and small business owners have come under attack from the
very people that 'they' are wishing to serve with integrity and honesty; Their customers.
Yes, a new breed of low-life that has spawned out of a broken society and has grown to be an
even bigger menace than the 'Cowboy Builder' itself. It's recently been estimated that in 2014, over
£38- Billion was owed to the self-employed and small business owners throughout the land by this
despicable 'sub-society'. With over 43,000 going bust in the same year, causing heart-ache and
misery in it's wake, with family homes being repossessed, stress related illnesses, and even
suicides because of the impotence of our UK laws to uphold common justice.
It's become well known throughout that sub-society that there is absolutely 'nothing' that the UK
law-Lords can do at present to 'force' any of these low-life non-payers to pay up. CCJ's have
absolutely no teeth and the defaulters know it. They sit in their homes, chuckling away to
themselves, bragging to their friends and families about just how much they've managed to get
away with. It's like a reverse snobbery, where the more money that's owed, the higher the rank in
their sub-society. All the while, there are lives out there falling apart because of them.
More and more self-employed and small business owners are being sucked into the 'Cowboy
Customer Trap' with seemingly no way to avoid or escape from it.
Bearing in mind that although the 'Cowboy Customer Trap' is very real, we also have to take into
account the fact that the 'Cowboy Builder Trap' (please read cowboy 'any' trade or profession) is
also just as real, and a happy and secure middle-ground needs to be found.
There are various 'name and shame' websites set up all over the internet, but these are certainly
'no' help whatsoever, because they are just like the forums where they attract trouble-makers by
the boat-load who are only intent on causing as much destruction for as many people as possible
with no accountability.
Throughout the internet trading world there is the 'Escrow' system where both parties sign a
contract laying out 'exactly' what is expected of them. When the job, or part-job, depending on the
contractual conditions laid out are completed to both parties satisfaction. Then, and only then,
does the Escrow system release the relevant funds which 'must' be placed up-front by the person
who has ordered the goods or services. (No exceptions).
In the case of any dispute regarding the quality of product or service provided, an independent
adjudicator should be employed at the 'cost' to the party that is ultimately shown to be at fault. That
would stamp out any unfair interpretation of the terms of the contract, and would keep the
transaction 'fair' to both parties.
(Although very early frank discussions between both parties about whether standards being
acceptable or not 'should be recorded'. Video, Audio or signed paper agreements, so that there is
absolutely no hiding place when it comes to liability at the time of stage or full payment)
It needn't be the Escrow system, it could quite easily be a mutually agreed solicitor service that
would hold the funds and release them at the agreed payment points. This would hold both parties
accountable to each other, and would certainly stamp out the Cowboy Builder, and the Cowboy
Customer scenario. Those who wouldn't agree to such an arrangement would surely place
themselves in one or other of those 'sub-societies' that we must surely stamp out.
The 'FRED67.com Business Referral Club' is taking a GIANT leap as far as 'only' signing up
self-employed and small-business owners who have demonstrated their ethical qualities previously
and therefore offers visitors to the website a safe and secure 'search' environment where the
'Cowboy Builder' has become extinct.
|FP Publishing, Reading, Berks, RG1 7UG. UK.
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