Advertorial: An inconvenient truth?

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAeyAAAAJDg3YmY1NzA4LTBlODgtNGUzNi1hNTZjLTBkZmIxYjk1MTI5MwLet’s just get this out there shall we? Contractors and subcontractors are “bad” people.

Boffins* have told us this, therefore it must be true. Contractors are out to screw you over, every single last one of them. Even their name contains the word con which is conclusive evidence of their unscrupulous intentions!


In a recent survey by the much vaunted Department of Germane Statistics** (DoGS) it was shown that when they are not on your site delivering your project, these nefarious contractors sit in conclaves with their dastardly fellows dreaming up ever more innovative ways to screw you over. I know, mad isn’t it!!

It has been revealed by an anonymous whistleblower named Bob Evans from Runcorn that the word “workmanship” is a secret codeword that actually means - “shaft that client good”.

Statistically*** speaking contractors don’t get ahead by delivering quality projects, no sir, they thrive on shafting people and don’t care about you or your project. In a further recent survey by the DoGS****, it was shown that there is not one single contractor in the whole of the known universe who gives a rats tale about you or your project, so why should you give up your cash to these obvious con artists?

Six Reasons or maybe seven, I lost count to be honest….

  1. When you hold money back from a contractor there is a very real chance their company might go bust. After that you probably won’t need to pay them and you can always go and replace them. After all, that is not an expensive way to operate, I mean who needs warranties anyway and getting somebody in to pick up a job half finished will “always” be cheaper I would imagine……wouldn’t it?
  2. If a contractor is very small, when you don’t pay him then he won’t be able to pay his suppliers or for that matter his mortgage or feed his family. But on the bright side, you will, so why should you care?
  3. If a contractor is a bit bigger than number 2 above then the same will likely happen to him, his suppliers and his family, however if he cannot afford to pay wages then your actions are multiplied and many more people end up not being able to pay mortgages or feed families. Well done you!!
  4. Screwing contractors breeds mistrust throughout the industry and leads to higher prices ultimately for all those who want to build things. Low trust equates to low speed, high prices and low morale. But you will be okay, this only affects “others”, I’m sure your reputation will be just fine, I mean it is not as if people speak to each other…..

  5. Not paying contractors stifles economic growth. Your actions actually damage the wider economy and impact local communities and other smaller businesses. But this doesn’t affect you in any way, I’m sure, well when I say I’m sure, I mean I’m not sure on that one.
  6. By forcing contractors to offer unrealistic discounts to win work or give you best and final offers, or even further and best final offers you undermine their ability to resource your project properly, which undermines quality. Ironically you end up losing more money due to corners being cut to make ends meet, not to mention legal costs in fighting disputes. But on the bright side… wait, there isn’t a bright side as you’ve screwed him because you thought he was screwing you!
  7. When you don’t pay contractors please don’t tell them why. This way they have no way of knowing why you are holding back payment and therefore they have no way whatsoever of coming after you, I think…….no wait, I forgot they do have a way to come after you, but they probably won’t, Im sure……..will they?

  8. Meanwhile in the Real World!

    While it may seem I am making light of what is a huge blight on our industry, the truth is I am trying to highlight the awful impact of not paying or delaying payment has on the human beings who run our industries contracting organisations.

    In addition to losing money, many of these people ultimately lose companies, homes, spouses, hair, minds and sanity. They endure stress, heartache, health issues and are typically very unhappy in life. This is the actual inconvenient truth of this article.

    If you are sitting reading this thinking so what, then you my friend need to take a long hard look at your life.

    I have personally experienced non or late payment first hand as a former contractor and for the last ten years have fought hard to protect many contractor clients, like my father, who lost his company due to a number of people who simply didn’t give a rats tale when the chips were down.

    The status quo I am highlighting is a race to the bottom with no winners. Wise up.

    If a contractor does a job well, pay him and pay him on time. That’s the very simple solution to this problem.

    If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem and I, karma or somebody like me will be coming to see you soon.

    It is not okay to screw over contractors, just the same as it is not okay to screw over clients. The point is though, that clients hold the key to changing the current low trust environment.

    While there are some dodgy contractors out there, in my experience the vast majority of contractors, main and specialist simply want to do a quality job, be paid what they are owed and grow their businesses. They are just people who do care, who want to be happy and live fruitful and fulfilling lives. That to me is the bottom line, screwing them over takes this away from them and that is never right.

    Pay correctly and on time. It’s not rocket science

    Thank you for taking time to read this article, please do me a favour, if this article resonated with you in any way can you share it with your networks and let’s all work together to stamp out supply chain abuse. It is not big and it is certainly not clever.

    Please feel free to connect with me or get in touch via


    * Boffins. BOFFINS!! RUDDY BOFFINS - don’t be daft, they didn’t say this, ever. You did look here though, but I won’t tell.

    ** The Department of Germane Statistics sadly closed it’s doors on the 52nd of Julember 2076.

    *** 78% of all statistics have been found to be untrue.

    **** DoGS had planned to use the Hubble Space Telescope to prove this theory, incredibly discovering an alternate universe where people paid on time and disputes didn’t exist. They also found a planet shaped like a bone.

    About the Author (Me)

    I am first and foremost a human being who has witnessed and continues to witness the impact non and late payment has on the people I work with and advise. I say enough is enough, we need to change this and we need all sides to play fair and pay what they owe, when they owe it.

    I have worked in the construction industry for over 25 years. In that time, as a contractor and now as a dispute and contract specialist who gets contractors paid what they are owed. I advise at all stages of the contract cycle from invitation to tender to final account and where necessary dispute resolution.

    My goal is to restore balance to the industry so that parties to a contract have mutual respect for each other and work collaboratively as opposed to being adversarial.

    Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

    Find out more at or on Twitter @EwingADR

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