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Aggregator Information, Tips and Techniques

Contractor's Tips to Get Aggregator Companies to Pay Up

by Ranger Kidwell-Ross, WorldSweeper's Editor

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Contractors throughout the United States have reported difficulties in getting paid by the so called "Third Party Aggregators. This was especially true when WalMart cancelled its contract with US Maintenance in April of 2011. Many months later sweeping and other contractors reported they still hadn't received payment due to them under the previous contract.

The intent of this article is to provide you with tips and techniques on how to get paid by third-party aggregators. The sweeping contractor I interviewed in the audio portion, linked below, has been in the industry for many years. When offered a percentage of what he was owed, he declined. By keeping at it and, quite frankly, becoming a thorn in the side of his representative, he has managed to receive much of what he was owed already. And, he has every expectation of receiving the rest.

Through the years I have received numerous reports about different service aggregator companies. Although a few have good reputations, more the norm is that contractors have difficulties in getting paid, either in a timely fashion or at all. One central report is that a number of service aggregator companies "nitpick" about anything they can find to withhold payment. Wrong dates; wrong manager's signature; sketchy complaints – there are a host of excuses why payments have been withheld.

Often times, these types of organizations also provide contracts that are very onerous. These have provisions which may clearly be used against the contractor who is providing sweeping and/or other services. For example, some require that a manager on the client property sign a "memo of satisfaction" every time services are provided. If you lose any of the memos, expect to not get paid for those services.

I have also heard many reports of paperwork being lost by the service aggregator company. So, if you work with any service aggregators, be sure to keep your paperwork in order and keep copies of everything you submit.

Another tactic often cited is that an aggregator representative will say one thing and do another. Or, the contractor will leave voicemail messages that the aggregator representative will say they didn't ever receive. For this reason, it is recommended to conduct as much communication as possible via e-mail. The big advantage of e-mail is you have a record of what was sent and when it was sent.

With the situation as has occurred with the cancellation of US Maintenance by WalMart, I received several reports of contractors being offered only a percentage of what they were actually owed. Some have taken this percentage, figuring that getting some was better than getting none at all. This is unfortunate, since the margin on aggregator contracts is typically very small to nonexistent, so any reduction in payment often times represents a loss to the contractor.

For the audio portion of this article I spoke with an experienced sweeping contractor who I have known for many years. At the time of our interview, he had received about 2/3 of the approximately $30,000 owed to him for services provided to WalMart via a contract to US Maintenance. His collection work was done via contact with his US Maintenance representative.

In the approximately 12-minute audio interview with him, during which he wanted to remain anonymous in order to avoid any possible retaliation, the contractor provides a number of ideas you can use when working with US Maintenance, other third-party aggregators, and clients who are late in paying.

Note: To play the interview, click this link or on the small triangle inside the circle you see to the left. If you have any trouble accessing this audio, please let us know.

Having trouble getting paid by USM or another third party service aggregator? Chances are, they are part of WorldSweeper's exclusive rating program sponsored by Click here to go to the place where you can register your own complaint (or praise) about any of the national service providers.

Editor's Note: If you have more information about this story, please let us know. If appropriate, we'll add it to the bottom of this page.

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