Iíve always regarded my reputation as far more valuable than any project Iíve ever undertaken! The only way to protect this is with honesty, integrity and trust, if your client didnít see this they wouldnít part with money up front in the first place. As Iíve mentioned before, with a good paper trail of communication including financial arrangements/agreements both parties are legally bound and protected.
The client has to take their own responsibility and do the necessary homework to make sure they get the right tradesperson, this includes checking credentials and track record, whereas the tradesperson has a responsibility to be professional and deliver! This is where recommendation, good reviews and feedback is priceless! When I visit a client to discuss and measure I always make them aware of my terms, so even before they receive my quote they know the score and how it works! Of course I have been questioned regarding a deposit of 50%, but when explained they fully understand. On more than one occasion I've actually had clients wanting to pay in full up front, but is always best to leave a goal to aim for at the end as an incentive!