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07-01-2017, 14:54   #1
DVCI
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Anyone have any advice about customers not paying invoices iv got a few customers some from on here who have not payed despite several emails and phone calls.the amounts are not much but it's the principle and the fact people think they can have work done and not pay
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Last edited by DVCI; 07-01-2017 at 14:58.
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07-01-2017, 15:01   #2
Cyclone
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After 30 days you can add 10% to the invoice legally.
Send them a letter of final notice before court action, you can find templates for the letters by googling. Send it registered so you get a signature, state a date (2 to 4 weeks, up to you) at which point if they haven't been in touch you will start court proceedings, then file a small claims action through money claim online, it's not expensive to file, they'll probably pay up once they get court papers through the post.
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07-01-2017, 15:03   #3
DVCI
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Is it called a statutory demand ? My payment terms are clearly stated on my invoices
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Last edited by DVCI; 07-01-2017 at 15:12.
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07-01-2017, 15:44   #4
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07-01-2017, 17:10   #5
Chez2
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Good advice from Cyclone. It might be useful to look at the T&Cs on your quote. Ours state that price(s) quoted are discounted fro payment cleared within 30 days. Payment cleared 31-60 days are a higher price (this is also written on the quote). We also add that if the debit is passed to a debt collector their fees will also be added. The approximate fee for this is quoted too.

We had someone who wouldn't pay us. After he received the surcharge invoice he started querying the invoice. There was nothing to query or refute and he had already had two months to do this anyway. Silly man said he would see us in court so we filed a small claims court claim on line. In just over a week he was begging us to take his call and confirm we had received payment. He ended up having to pay small claims court fees for us too.

If someone is struggling to pay we try to work with them. Some people just don't pay as a matter of course so future work is proforma.
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07-01-2017, 17:15   #6
DVCI
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Yes I understand tines are hard for people and I do my best to work with them but when iv been told my payment was sent a week ago by bacs and still received nothing and when I query this by email I get no reply so I'll wait another week then I'll send a final notice to the unpaid invoices thanks for your help
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07-01-2017, 18:16   #7
spider1
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Send them an E/M saying if they dont pay in full in 7 days that you will put it in the hands of a debt collector and 10 percent added as allowed in law
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07-01-2017, 18:27   #8
Chez2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVCI View Post
Yes I understand tines are hard for people and I do my best to work with them but when iv been told my payment was sent a week ago by bacs and still received nothing and when I query this by email I get no reply so I'll wait another week then I'll send a final notice to the unpaid invoices thanks for your help
If they aren't replying to you then I would send the email 'letter' now. We gave our customer a week to pay the bill but after they said they would "see us in court", (a bluff we think), we filed small claim immediately.
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07-01-2017, 19:06   #9
tinfoilhat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVCI View Post
Yes I understand tines are hard for people and I do my best to work with them but when iv been told my payment was sent a week ago by bacs and still received nothing and when I query this by email I get no reply so I'll wait another week then I'll send a final notice to the unpaid invoices thanks for your help
Tell them you'll be there in a week to take away everything you've installed.

Special delivery letters are ok if they get signed for - I've had a couple where they've just refused to sign for them.

---------- Post added 07-01-2017 at 19:07 ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chez2 View Post
If they aren't replying to you then I would send the email 'letter' now. We gave our customer a week to pay the bill but after they said they would "see us in court", (a bluff we think), we filed small claim immediately.
How easy have you found that?
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07-01-2017, 19:26   #10
Chez2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinfoilhat View Post
Tell them you'll be there in a week to take away everything you've installed.

Special delivery letters are ok if they get signed for - I've had a couple where they've just refused to sign for them.

---------- Post added 07-01-2017 at 19:07 ----------



How easy have you found that?
VERY easy. We send all our invoices via email, switched a few years ago. We can then proved the email arrived, nobody can say they didn't receive an invoice.

We have only ever had two real problems. One company was going bust so I sent debt collector sharpish to get our money. The second one was really nasty / difficult, said he would see us in court. Totally changed his tune when he got the communication from small claims court. I thought there would be some effort involved but after filing the claim a cheque arrived about a week later for the money plus expenses etc.

Edit - we sent the one week notification of debt collectors / court action by fax and email not post.
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08-01-2017, 10:48   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spider1 View Post
Send them an E/M saying if they dont pay in full in 7 days that you will put it in the hands of a debt collector and 10 percent added as allowed in law
Until a court rules that they have to pay there is nothing a "debt collector" can do. Filing a small claims action is far more likely to get the invoice paid.

---------- Post added 08-01-2017 at 10:49 ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chez2 View Post
VERY easy. We send all our invoices via email, switched a few years ago. We can then proved the email arrived, nobody can say they didn't receive an invoice.
How can you prove that email arrived?
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08-01-2017, 11:56   #12
DVCI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclone View Post
Until a court rules that they have to pay there is nothing a "debt collector" can do. Filing a small claims action is far more likely to get the invoice paid.

---------- Post added 08-01-2017 at 10:49 ----------


How can you prove that email arrived?
Iv ad replies saying payment has been sent and when payment hasn't been received days later I emailed againy
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08-01-2017, 12:04   #13
Cyclone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVCI View Post
Iv ad replies saying payment has been sent and when payment hasn't been received days later I emailed againy
In this case yes, I was wondering how Chez2 thinks that you know that an email has arrived somewhere.
For court purposes a registered delivery letter will be much better.

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/co...before-action/

A letter before action is what is needed, then if they don't communicate or you can't reach an agreement, commence the action (ie file with moneyclaimonline).
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08-01-2017, 12:09   #14
DVCI
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Think I'll send final reminders out end of next week just for the benefit of giving them a chance then if payment is not received I'll send a statutory demand
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08-01-2017, 13:09   #15
Chez2
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Its easy Cyclone - you can request 'delivery receipt' on your email when sending it. If a company has an email address for invoices that is sufficient. Small claims were happy enough when we used that method.

A debt is an unpaid, overdue bill, rent or similar. They have a debt as soon as you make credit available. Its overdue once passed the agreed T&Cs.

I said debt collector not specifically enforcement agencies. There are a lot of companies who you can pass debts, overdue invoicing chasing to. Their methods vary from calling, emailing, writing etc. Ours never got to sending enforcement agencies once we passed it to a debt collector. We never bothered involving a debt collector to chase the nasty customer, just immediately filed the small claims on line. They were totally happy with our procedure as they never got in touch. The next thing we knew a cheque arrived. As I said, they has to pay the interest and our costs for filing the claim.
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08-01-2017, 14:50   #16
Cyclone
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I routinely disable requests for delivery receipts, so do many other people I suspect.

I was only questioning that sending an email is proof that it's received, I don't think it is. Getting a delivery confirmation is, I agree.

Spider said to pass it straight to a "debt collector", this would be less effective than filing the court action IMO.
If you are going to file court action then it's best to send a registered post "letter before action" as per the advice on the citizens advice bureau page.
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08-01-2017, 15:22   #17
Chez2
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I think you are out of date with your information cyclone, legislation changed to help SMEs being messed around by late payment of invoices. I had presumed we were talking about business to business invoices.

It seems you will argue black is white but we have been through the process twice as I described. If you are dealing with large corporates you will no doubt know that they often have a third party managing invoices, often abroad. These don't always accept any format other than emails, no post or fax. The ones that will accept post are often PO box addresses so again, no good for sending recorded letters. This has been my experience over the last thirty odd years. Quite a few small businesses don't use their own address either. Many use a company to do their accounts or a factoring company to handle their invoices to aid their cash flow.
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08-01-2017, 15:36   #18
Cyclone
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I assumed that the OP was asking about business to consumer invoices, not sure what difference that makes though.
I'm not saying not to use emails, I didn't even suggest that. But sending isn't proof of delivery, and if you intend to potentially use court action then the legal advice is to send a letter before action through registered post. There is no reason this couldn't be a duplicate of the same letter sent by email though.
Imagine it from the courts point of view, action starts, you put in your pack a copy of the letter and the invoice, the other party disputes having received them. Saying "well I sent an email" isn't proof that they were received. A signed for delivery by royal mail is proof though.
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09-01-2017, 07:37   #19
Mac_Plas
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If your customer is a domestic customer follow this advice.

Keep all quotes and invoices, T&Cs and any communication between you and customer. Don't verbally contact the customer from now on, do everything via email or letter.

Give the customer 28 days from the date on your invoice to get the reasons why they are not paying you in writing and to you.

If 28 days pass and you don't hear anything, send a letter before action, debt-guard do one online and are pretty good. You can now start charging interest at 0.08%

To work it out - if you owed 500 - 500 x 0.08 = 40 that's what interest you can charge for the year.

40 divided by 365 = 0.11 a day interest ( a joke I know )

Try and show you want to sort before taking to court, court should be last option.

If letter before action does nothing then file a claim online at MCOL cost 60.00 claim fee

When your further down the the road and don't want mediation you'll have to pay 80.00 hearing fee

You can claim all this back, plus your interest and expenses, it will take about 6/8 months to get it to court, make sure you have all paper work and prove there is no good reason for non payment
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09-01-2017, 09:39   #20
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Originally Posted by Mac_Plas View Post
If your customer is a domestic customer follow this advice.

Keep all quotes and invoices, T&Cs and any communication between you and customer. Don't verbally contact the customer from now on, do everything via email or letter.

Give the customer 28 days from the date on your invoice to get the reasons why they are not paying you in writing and to you.

If 28 days pass and you don't hear anything, send a letter before action, debt-guard do one online and are pretty good. You can now start charging interest at 0.08%

To work it out - if you owed 500 - 500 x 0.08 = 40 that's what interest you can charge for the year.

40 divided by 365 = 0.11 a day interest ( a joke I know )

Try and show you want to sort before taking to court, court should be last option.

If letter before action does nothing then file a claim online at MCOL cost 60.00 claim fee

When your further down the the road and don't want mediation you'll have to pay 80.00 hearing fee

You can claim all this back, plus your interest and expenses, it will take about 6/8 months to get it to court, make sure you have all paper work and prove there is no good reason for non payment
Spot on and the correct advice for the OP
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