This is a misplaced belief, and clients will take advantage of it.
I was called by a contractor who had carried out multiple projects for the same client over 3 years. They had completed the works perfectly, and the client kept re-engaging them on new projects.
But the contractor was now owed nearly a million dollars! Yet not once did this contractor issue a default notice, make a Payment Claim under the Security of Payment Act, suspend work, or make any other payment demand. The urge to remain ‘good blokes’ was so strong that it compelled these contractors to extend a million dollars in credit to their client! In addition they still thought of the client as a ‘good bloke’! After all, he kept handing them huge contracts and all the work they could handle.
I suggested that the client was only taking advantage of them, and only kept offering them more work because they had consistently demonstrated a willingness to work for extended periods for no money. Their client was a thief.
There was a pause in the conversation. It was like the lights going on. These contractors finally saw how they had been used, and how they had been blinded to the true nature of the relationship: they were trying to be good blokes with a businessman. What they should have been is businessmen themselves.
My view was only confirmed when we commenced strategies to get payment, which included suspending works under the contract. The client responded with a series of venomous letters and unsubstantiated allegations, accusing the contractor of poor workmanship, causing damage, and mistreating other tradesman on site.
So much for being a good bloke. It was a savage lesson to learn, but a good one. In this instance the client was clearly aware that he had gotten away with non-payment for a very long time, and the moment the contractors put the pressure on, he lashed out.
It didn’t take long for my contractors to adopt a businessman mind-set, and we got busy running payment claims, suspending works, and sending letters of demand.
Then the cheques started to arrive. Good blokes don’t get paid. Businessmen do.