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bad/late payers.
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Lorrainelovesplants



Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 6514
Location: Dordogne
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 14 11:40 am    Post subject: bad/late payers.  Reply with quote    

We have a customer who I am having problems with late payments.

Weve done repeat work for him over the last 2 years and he's a pain in the arse. 'Can you come and recover my grass cutting tractor from the middle of the field as its not working and it looks like rain and Im going on holiday for 2 weeks tomorrow.'

You know the type......

He never has money/cheque book when we return the machinery, I always have to email an invoice and then chase, and chase, and chase. In the past Ive had to threaten late payment fee demand.

Personally I would be glad to lose him.
Weve just done another he's on holiday thing. The work was completed 2 weeks ago, but I held back as he was away. .I emailed the bill a week ago, and got a snotty reply:

Thank you very much for fixing the mower and all your work for me previously - it would be really nice if you were a little more trustworthy and appreciative of your local clients without resorting to threatening unspecified fees for late payment ( the invoice will not open on my phone. ). I will of course pay you for your work next week when I am home.

Im still waiting.

Suggestions?

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 14 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Unless it's a significant amount worth going to the small claims court, I would just write it off and refuse to ever work for him again. Life is too short.

joanne



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7095
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 14 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think I'd be honest and respond with a polite version of what you just said.

Something along the lines of:

"Thank you for your email last week, however a week has now passed, I assume you are home and we still haven't received payment. You are fully aware of our terms of business and I would understand if this was a one off occurence but unfortunately this seems to be the norm rather than the exception.

As a small business we rely on prompt payment to be able to manage our cash flow and our other clients respect that.

You are now overdue by <howevermanydays>, additional fees of <> will now be applied daily until the account is cleared."

Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35907
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 14 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Yep, what Rob said. Or have a special higher price for him that makes all the hassle worth your while.

joanne



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7095
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 14 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Then if you still get no joy, follow what Rob says

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 14 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Chez wrote:
Yep, what Rob said. Or have a special higher price for him that makes all the hassle worth your while.


With pre-payment - if you can't say no, just say "that'll be x times the normal price, please".

alison
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 12908
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 14 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Or tell him you are changing the terms, for all your customers, and it is 50% up front, with balance on collection / delivery, as unfortunately some people don't get that you need to eat too, and bills have to be paid. I bet he will be too thick skinned to realise that it is him you are getting at.

OtleyLad



Joined: 13 Jan 2007
Posts: 2737
Location: Otley, West Yorkshire
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 14 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The online small claims route is simple and it does get peoples attention. Also once you have applied its almost out of your hands (other than receiving the money).

Some people just don't like paying-go for the jugular.

Ty Gwyn



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 4261
Location: Lampeter
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 14 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If you know you have had previous problems with this client paying on time,
Why not just let him know the job has been done,and its ready for collection and the bill is so much,

If he don`t pay,don`t release it,its not as if you are worried about keeping this client anyway.

Pilsbury



Joined: 13 Dec 2004
Posts: 5645
Location: East london/Essex
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 14 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Its perfectly acceptable to charge a storage fee for any kit you are still holding say a week after you mail them the invoice, just charge between 1 to 10 a day storage depending on how much workshop or land it takes up, you can just invoke it on the people who pee you off and of course wave it if the people contact you before payment is due with a reasonable explination, ten the ball is in their court.
You mail them the invoice and twll them the item is ready for collection on settlment of the invoice and will incure tue storage charge of x per day from x date except by agreement with you.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1989
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 14 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Where I work we simply don't allow the goods off the premises unless they are paid for by the bad payers upfront. Most of our customers are good, very few take more than 60 days, and most, the usual 30 days. We have some really good customers who pay within a couple of days. How well folks pay governs how good the discount is!

BahamaMama



Joined: 21 Sep 2006
Posts: 2315
Location: Away with the fairies
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 14 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Hang on to the goods/keys until he pays?

Lorrainelovesplants



Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 6514
Location: Dordogne
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 14 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Great advice thanks.

Unfortunately in this case the tractor broke down in a field. John went to diagnose, battery knackered. came home ordered battery and when it arrived replaced it, drove the tractor to the guys shed and left it there.

Part of the problem is John. He hates to see someone stuck and this guy has done this a few times. Ive told him we refuse all work coming from him. Its not like we need work, we are snowed under all year now. Id rather offer the service we do to 'nice' customers.

Re T&C - should i have these on the website? I did have on the old website, and have some time where I can update. Should I have a drop down menu to the Garden machinery page?

Pilsbury



Joined: 13 Dec 2004
Posts: 5645
Location: East london/Essex
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 14 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

T&c on the website, pronted on the bac of physical invoices and copy and pasted into electroninc invoices, i wouldnt trust a link on email because they may claim they didnt want to click onto a hyperlink, you can set a signature for emails and this could he your t&c

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 14 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Lorrainelovesplants wrote:


Part of the problem is John. He hates to see someone stuck and this guy has done this a few times. Ive told him we refuse all work coming from him. Its not like we need work, we are snowed under all year now. Id rather offer the service we do to 'nice' customers.


I feel your pain, Paul is just the same, no matter how much it costs in time or money. Trouble is , being too nice doesn't pay the bills.

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