You’ve provided the goods, carried out the service, sent the invoice and are now awaiting the sum agreed… How do you now tackle the fact that payment does not appear to be forthcoming?
At Cash Protection Agency we pride ourselves in our sensitive, diplomatic and discreet approach to recovering debt. We also believe in being proactive and that’s why we offer our clients support on dealing with the early stages of non-payment, bringing things to a speedy resolution.
The list below shows the most common excuses given for non-payment and our tips on how they can be handled.
We didn’t receive an invoice
Be prepared for this one with the invoice number, date and the person it went to. Gathering this information will also confirm to you that there was no error on your part. Then: –
- Get the direct email address of the person who can pay
- Request receipt of the invoice – this time and also for future invoices
- Quote T&C’s saying payment is due after receipt of goods and services rather than invoice
- Set up a reminder to check receipt of email one week before payment is due
The payment is on its way
The old ‘the cheque is in the post’ excuse, creating a little bit of breathing space by blaming a slow postal service. Even if this is true, payment is still officially late so don’t be afraid to: –
- Ask for remittance advice or proof of posting
- Ask for a letter from the finance department to confirm issue of payment
- Assume that money must be available in the bank and can therefore be paid immediately
- Suggest that an immediate bank transfer is made instead
We weren’t happy with the goods or service
This is where good record keeping is key – full notes relating to the transaction plus conversations and communications with the client. If there’s no proof of the complaint being raised then: –
- Ask for confirmation in writing as to what exactly is not satisfactory
- Where only part of the order or service is disputed, request part payment instead
- Get written confirmation of what action is required to release payment scheduled,
- Add a 7 day complaint limit clause to the T&C’s to avoid this in the future
We’re having Internal Issues
Firstly, it’s essential to get to the bottom of exactly what the issues are and what it means; it could be anything from staff holiday to serious financial difficulty. When the details are understood, there are some key things to try: –
- If they have cash flow issues, get a commitment on how much they can pay and when
- If they await payment from a 3rd party, remind them it’s still their responsibility to pay you
- Find a mutual workaround and a time-plan, getting written commitment to staged payments
- Ensure you have the best contacts for scheduled, regular updates moving forward
Need further guidance?
The unfortunate reality is that there will be times when customers make excuses when it comes to paying their bill. If after using the above advice, you’re still left chasing payments, then get in touch! We can help you address payment frustrations and help to resolve the situation.