Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

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mtwhmemn
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Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by mtwhmemn » Sun May 24, 2020 9:14 am

I'm self employed and did a job back in Feb. of this year and haven't been paid. $1200 invoice. Customer told me upfront they pay net 60 and I was OK with that. Well C19 happened and they say they won't pay me until their office reopens because they are not set up for "remote" payment. They are in Georgia so they should be able to open or at least one person go in there and pay me! My invoice was sent to them via Quickbooks Pro and they can pay with a credit card or bank account number so really no "office special system required" in my opinion. So, since it is only $1200 it isn't worth it to hire a lawyer. I've asked for payment repeatedly but get same canned response. Anyone have any creative ideas on how I can try to extract payment assuming they are solvent? Thanks.

Jefferson
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by Jefferson » Sun May 24, 2020 9:28 am

At least two things you can do without a lawyer:

- Go to small claims court.

- File a UCC-1 - https://www.gsccca.org/file/ucc-forms

Topic Author
mtwhmemn
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by mtwhmemn » Sun May 24, 2020 9:37 am

Jefferson wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 9:28 am
At least two things you can do without a lawyer:

- Go to small claims court.

- File a UCC-1 - https://www.gsccca.org/file/ucc-forms
Thanks very much!

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galawdawg
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by galawdawg » Sun May 24, 2020 9:49 am

Anyone have any creative ideas on how I can try to extract payment assuming they are solvent?
There is really no way to "extract" payment from a non-paying customer. You can sue them but courts in Georgia are only handling emergency matters until June 15. Once that date has arrived, you would have access to Magistrate Court to file a civil action if you wish. You should be able to file by mail in the county where the customer is located but you would be required to appear in court on the date for the hearing. Be aware though if the case is subsequently transferred to a court of record, you would need to retain an attorney as non-lawyers may not represent corporations in state or superior courts.

It appears that the customer's payment is about a month or so behind. Given the current economic situation, you are fortunate if only one customer owes you money and a fairly modest amount at that. And what they are telling you sounds more like a cashflow issue than a payment method issue. Right now, about all you can do is exercise patience.

IANYL.

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Watty
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by Watty » Sun May 24, 2020 9:56 am

mtwhmemn wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 9:14 am
Well C19 happened and they say they won't pay me until their office reopens because they are not set up for "remote" payment.
I don't believe that. If they do not pay things like cell phone bills,credit cards, utilities, etc then those would likely be cut off. I think that special rules about doing things like cutting off utilities only applies to residences.

You could also try to see if they will pay you by credit card since they likely have a business credit card. You might need to set up something like a Paypal account to let them pay by credit card.

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mtwhmemn
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by mtwhmemn » Sun May 24, 2020 9:58 am

Watty wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 9:56 am
mtwhmemn wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 9:14 am
Well C19 happened and they say they won't pay me until their office reopens because they are not set up for "remote" payment.
I don't believe that. If they do not pay things like cell phone bills,credit cards, utilities, etc then those would likely be cut off. I think that special rules about doing things like cutting off utilities only applies to residences.

You could also try to see if they will pay you by credit card,since they likely have a business credit card. You might need to set up something like a Paypal account to let them pay by credit card.
See my full post.

CFM300
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by CFM300 » Sun May 24, 2020 10:04 am

I have this happen occasionally. My strategy is to try to stay on their good side, be patient, but persistent. I've never threaten legal action, and I've never seen that method work for others. Once paid, I never do work for them again, even if they offer to pay up front.

Good luck!

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bottlecap
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by bottlecap » Sun May 24, 2020 10:18 am

mtwhmemn wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 9:37 am
Jefferson wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 9:28 am
At least two things you can do without a lawyer:

- Go to small claims court.

- File a UCC-1 - https://www.gsccca.org/file/ucc-forms
Thanks very much!
A UCC-1 does not sound appropriate. You could waste your money there. I would at least call the Secretary of State for filing requirements if you don’t want to speak with a lawyer.

Realistically, you may need to just wait this out and be accommodating if you want any hope of recovering anything.

JT

tsohg
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by tsohg » Sun May 24, 2020 10:22 am

CFM300 wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 10:04 am
I have this happen occasionally. My strategy is to try to stay on their good side, be patient, but persistent. I've never threaten legal action, and I've never seen that method work for others. Once paid, I never do work for them again, even if they offer to pay up front.

Good luck!
We take this approach in our business as well. I recommend it-- be the squeaky wheel, but also try to be understanding and empathetic. Especially under the current crisis.

Legal action in these matters usually only benefits the lawyers.

In our 20 years we have very, very little bad AR with this approach.

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cowdogman
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by cowdogman » Sun May 24, 2020 1:05 pm

tsohg wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 10:22 am
CFM300 wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 10:04 am
I have this happen occasionally. My strategy is to try to stay on their good side, be patient, but persistent. I've never threaten legal action, and I've never seen that method work for others. Once paid, I never do work for them again, even if they offer to pay up front.

Good luck!
We take this approach in our business as well. I recommend it-- be the squeaky wheel, but also try to be understanding and empathetic. Especially under the current crisis.

Legal action in these matters usually only benefits the lawyers.

In our 20 years we have very, very little bad AR with this approach.
+1. It's not worth the cost, hassle and, especially, the mental energy.

Unless the customer granted you a security interest in some personal property to secure his payment obligation, you have no right to file a UCC-1. Filing an unauthorized UCC-1 is a crime in most states.

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Bogle7
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be patient and realistic

Post by Bogle7 » Sun May 24, 2020 1:40 pm

In 24+ years of being self-employed, I have had $20+K go unpaid (<1%).
Some companies go Chapter 7. NeoScale went down so hard there was not even money for the lawyers to send the "you won't get any money" letter.
Some companies go Chapter 11, but then fail.
Some customers are evil and plan from the beginning not to pay (https://cims.nyu.edu/people/profiles/FR ... laude.html) and he even stiffed his ex-wife out of child support.

You just have to let it go.

straws46
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by straws46 » Sun May 24, 2020 1:47 pm

Listen to Cowdogman. A UCC-1 is used to perfect a consensual security interest in personal property. Even if it's not a crime to file an unauthorized UCC-1 in Georgia, it is certainly slander of title. Just keep being persistent.

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galawdawg
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by galawdawg » Sun May 24, 2020 2:00 pm

straws46 wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 1:47 pm
Listen to Cowdogman. A UCC-1 is used to perfect a consensual security interest in personal property. Even if it's not a crime to file an unauthorized UCC-1 in Georgia, it is certainly slander of title. Just keep being persistent.
Brings back bad memories of sovereign citizens and their penchant for filing fraudulent UCC liens against public officials, myself included. But, it is a ten year felony in Georgia, so it didn't work out quite like they planned... :oops:

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5th_Dimension
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by 5th_Dimension » Sun May 24, 2020 3:55 pm

I have had a handful of customers not pay over the years. The first time I took them to small claims court. The judge asked us each if we would agree to settle for half; they paid half, I get half. We both agreed. The whole experience was nerve racking and time consuming.

After that what I have done when it becomes clear that a client is not going to pay I send them a polite letter, stating that I did the work so I deserved to be paid, but I understand that there may be circumstances I don't know about that is preventing them from paying. What I then propose is that they pay half, and I accept half, and call it a day. I only send the letter once, if they don't pay I let it go. This has worked for me about half the time. Good luck :happy
Sometimes I feel like I'm waltzing in a 4/4 world.

go_mets
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by go_mets » Sun May 24, 2020 4:04 pm

It's a cash flow problem.

Last year, it took me 3 months to get paid.

After I got paid, I wrote a review on Glassdoor describing the delay getting paid.
It will help the next guy/gal.


.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by adamthesmythe » Sun May 24, 2020 5:39 pm

Maybe your customer is making the excuse because he just doesn't have the cash.

I suggest keeping after him on a regular basis for a few months. After a few months is may be more practical go after him in small claims.

The "half" proposal above might work but based on the posting the average yield is 25%.

Designairohio
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by Designairohio » Sun May 24, 2020 6:18 pm

I had a loan officer who ordered an FHA heating certification from me many years back, the deal closed and I didn’t get paid.
I put my wife on him, she called and when he said he would put a check in the mail she said that’s ok I know where your office is and she went directly to his office and grabbed the check. I think this worked because he may have been worried of what coworkers might have thought if my wife would have made a scene.

birnhamwood
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by birnhamwood » Sun May 24, 2020 6:22 pm

A letter to the Better Business Bureau got the immediate attention of a business that owed me $1300.

I was paid in full within two or three weeks.

bberris
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by bberris » Sun May 24, 2020 7:07 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 5:39 pm
Maybe your customer is making the excuse because he just doesn't have the cash.

....
If he can't pay he should say he can't pay instead of making ridiculous excuses. It may help to know that the deadbeat is being evasive and dishonest.

toofache32
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by toofache32 » Sun May 24, 2020 7:17 pm

mtwhmemn wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 9:14 am
Customer told me upfront they pay net 60 and I was OK with that.
Interesting term I have never heard and I had to google it.

Topic Author
mtwhmemn
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by mtwhmemn » Sun May 24, 2020 9:02 pm

birnhamwood wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 6:22 pm
A letter to the Better Business Bureau got the immediate attention of a business that owed me $1300.

I was paid in full within two or three weeks.
This I like.

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Jim Profit
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by Jim Profit » Mon May 25, 2020 9:03 am

Been self-employed for 15+ years, and one thing I've learned is that if a customer asks for payment terms longer than net 30 you WILL have problems getting paid. Period. I've gotten to the point where I will decline the work immediately if the customer proposes longer payment terms than net 30. Even if they then come back with the desired net 30 terms, I still decline the work which has led to some quite spirited conversations with CFO's and such. Not interested in financing your cashflow with an interest-free loan, sorry pal!

Another red flag: You have to register in some kind of third-party vendor system to get paid by the customer, and maybe even have to pay some fee up front to complete the registration. Your business information WILL be sold to third parties, and you WILL be mercilessly spammed with emails and phone calls until the end of time selling various business-related services. Learned that one the hard way.

With COVID-19 the tide is still going out and a lot more people are swimming naked than anyone realizes. I expect many businesses will use COVID-19 as an excuse not to pay regardless of their actual situation.

BrooklynInvest
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by BrooklynInvest » Mon May 25, 2020 9:41 am

I'll be a contrarian.

In the middle of a global pandemic it's not likely someone's gonna go to a closed office just to pay a single invoice. My suggestion, especially if there's opportunity for repeat business, give 'em a little slack until the office reopens.

Best of luck.

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whodidntante
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by whodidntante » Mon May 25, 2020 10:04 am

BrooklynInvest wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 9:41 am
I'll be a contrarian.

In the middle of a global pandemic it's not likely someone's gonna go to a closed office just to pay a single invoice. My suggestion, especially if there's opportunity for repeat business, give 'em a little slack until the office reopens.

Best of luck.
Yeah. I would give the time they asked for. I would be pretty patient waiting for $1,200. It's just not a lot of money.

aristotelian
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by aristotelian » Mon May 25, 2020 10:09 am

I am not self employed but I would want a deposit in advance if the amount was more than I feel comfortable writing off.

Luckywon
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by Luckywon » Mon May 25, 2020 10:14 am

mtwhmemn wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 9:02 pm
birnhamwood wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 6:22 pm
A letter to the Better Business Bureau got the immediate attention of a business that owed me $1300.

I was paid in full within two or three weeks.
This I like.
Is the customer a business? What type of business?

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8foot7
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by 8foot7 » Mon May 25, 2020 10:27 am

I learned a long time ago net 60 means 60 days from whenever your contact decides your invoice is approved and presents it to accounting. Or 60 days from whenever accounting gets all their i's dotted and t's crossed. The 60, or 90, or whatever bore no relation to the date on your invoice or the date of completion of service. (On the contrary, I found most places that promised net 30 generally paid in or around 30 days.)
While I have a regular FT job now, I moved my business to a pay in advance model after getting sick and tired of chasing invoices. Maybe you don't want to do that, but I would highly advise not accepting any terms beyond 30.

Xrayman69
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by Xrayman69 » Mon May 25, 2020 11:40 am

mtwhmemn wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 9:14 am
I'm self employed and did a job back in Feb. of this year and haven't been paid. $1200 invoice. Customer told me upfront they pay net 60 and I was OK with that. Well C19 happened and they say they won't pay me until their office reopens because they are not set up for "remote" payment. They are in Georgia so they should be able to open or at least one person go in there and pay me! My invoice was sent to them via Quickbooks Pro and they can pay with a credit card or bank account number so really no "office special system required" in my opinion. So, since it is only $1200 it isn't worth it to hire a lawyer. I've asked for payment repeatedly but get same canned response. Anyone have any creative ideas on how I can try to extract payment assuming they are solvent? Thanks.

Have you had a relationship with this “customer” and were they good “customers “ in the last and reliable for payment.

I would not use a lawyer. It is low yield and time consuming and likely just going to be expediently negotiated down by the lawyer for a quick and easy means to generate a fee with minimal effort or added value above and beyond you being transparent with the “customer”. Communicate your understanding of typical business practices and the willingness to be reasonably flexible.

Also use social media such as yelp or trade related sites to share objectively and factually based reviews on your experience.

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whodidntante
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by whodidntante » Mon May 25, 2020 11:52 am

8foot7 wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 10:27 am
I learned a long time ago net 60 means 60 days from whenever your contact decides your invoice is approved and presents it to accounting. Or 60 days from whenever accounting gets all their i's dotted and t's crossed. The 60, or 90, or whatever bore no relation to the date on your invoice or the date of completion of service. (On the contrary, I found most places that promised net 30 generally paid in or around 30 days.)
While I have a regular FT job now, I moved my business to a pay in advance model after getting sick and tired of chasing invoices. Maybe you don't want to do that, but I would highly advise not accepting any terms beyond 30.
I think businesses would be better served by paying small contractor invoices sooner, say, within two weeks. It builds trust and goodwill. I do, however, understand the cash flow benefit of delaying payment for a million-dollar component order. And that supplier is set up to ride through slow payments.

Topic Author
mtwhmemn
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by mtwhmemn » Mon May 25, 2020 12:02 pm

Xrayman69 wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 11:40 am
mtwhmemn wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 9:14 am
I'm self employed and did a job back in Feb. of this year and haven't been paid. $1200 invoice. Customer told me upfront they pay net 60 and I was OK with that. Well C19 happened and they say they won't pay me until their office reopens because they are not set up for "remote" payment. They are in Georgia so they should be able to open or at least one person go in there and pay me! My invoice was sent to them via Quickbooks Pro and they can pay with a credit card or bank account number so really no "office special system required" in my opinion. So, since it is only $1200 it isn't worth it to hire a lawyer. I've asked for payment repeatedly but get same canned response. Anyone have any creative ideas on how I can try to extract payment assuming they are solvent? Thanks.

Have you had a relationship with this “customer” and were they good “customers “ in the last and reliable for payment.

I would not use a lawyer. It is low yield and time consuming and likely just going to be expediently negotiated down by the lawyer for a quick and easy means to generate a fee with minimal effort or added value above and beyond you being transparent with the “customer”. Communicate your understanding of typical business practices and the willingness to be reasonably flexible.

Also use social media such as yelp or trade related sites to share objectively and factually based reviews on your experience.
Only indirect contact with non paying client once before. They were a supplier on a job I was also a supplier for a common client. I will not work with them again after this job because of slow/no payment and also the rate for the job was less than the job should pay.

Topic Author
mtwhmemn
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by mtwhmemn » Mon May 25, 2020 12:04 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 11:52 am
8foot7 wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 10:27 am
I learned a long time ago net 60 means 60 days from whenever your contact decides your invoice is approved and presents it to accounting. Or 60 days from whenever accounting gets all their i's dotted and t's crossed. The 60, or 90, or whatever bore no relation to the date on your invoice or the date of completion of service. (On the contrary, I found most places that promised net 30 generally paid in or around 30 days.)
While I have a regular FT job now, I moved my business to a pay in advance model after getting sick and tired of chasing invoices. Maybe you don't want to do that, but I would highly advise not accepting any terms beyond 30.
I think businesses would be better served by paying small contractor invoices sooner, say, within two weeks. It builds trust and goodwill. I do, however, understand the cash flow benefit of delaying payment for a million-dollar component order. And that supplier is set up to ride through slow payments.
I have always paid my subcontractors on receipt. It creates a huge amount of trust and has allowed me favorable rates when I need something different than the norm. If one can do it it is invaluable.

spectec
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by spectec » Mon May 25, 2020 12:26 pm

You don't have much leverage, especially given the amount and the fact it's an out-of-state customer. They've given a pretty difficult excuse to deal with, but you might try ignoring their excuse and make them some sort of offer. Either a 50% upfront discount as have been suggested before, or some other easy way to pay. Maybe suggest 25% per month, and if they make the first 3 months' payments in a timely manner the 4th month will be forgiven.

If you have a PayPal account and/or a Square account you can suggest that as a method of payment. It's all about incentive, which might work if they're an honest customer. If they're dishonest or desperate, then no incentive is going to work.

In the end, if they beat you out of $1,200, at least you have learned something important about them. They will never have an opportunity to beat you out of $12,000.
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it. - Will Rogers

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Cobra Commander
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by Cobra Commander » Mon May 25, 2020 12:30 pm

Going forward consider adding the following provisions to your retainer agreement: attorney fee provision, exclusive forum provision and a mandatory arbitration provision.

Obviously subject to enforceability in your jurisdiction.

WildBill
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by WildBill » Mon May 25, 2020 1:31 pm

Howdy

Keep chasing it until you get a straight answer on whether they are going to pay you or not, or a least a non-straight answer that indicates that they probably aren’t. It does not sound like you are there yet. If you figure they aren’t going to pay you, or at least pay you part, there is no good will left and you are not going to be working with these guys anymore. Go to small claims.

For corrective action, in the future bill on 30 days net from submission of invoice, even better with a partial or full retainer in advance. I bill for payment in advance, but with the work I do and customers I have I can do that. I know it is unusual.

Good luck

Happy collections

W B
"Through chances various, through all vicissitudes, we make our way." Virgil, The Aeneid

adamthesmythe
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon May 25, 2020 1:55 pm

bberris wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 7:07 pm
adamthesmythe wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 5:39 pm
Maybe your customer is making the excuse because he just doesn't have the cash.

....
If he can't pay he should say he can't pay instead of making ridiculous excuses. It may help to know that the deadbeat is being evasive and dishonest.
There are plenty of examples of people in responsible positions making verifiable lies in order to avoid an uncomfortable truth. Look around you.

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Harry Livermore
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by Harry Livermore » Mon May 25, 2020 6:28 pm

Jim Profit wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 9:03 am

Been self-employed for 15+ years, and one thing I've learned is that if a customer asks for payment terms longer than net 30 you WILL have problems getting paid. Period. I've gotten to the point where I will decline the work immediately if the customer proposes longer payment terms than net 30. Even if they then come back with the desired net 30 terms, I still decline the work which has led to some quite spirited conversations with CFO's and such. Not interested in financing your cashflow with an interest-free loan, sorry pal!
This times 1000. I get calls for work from many people/ companies who are "new to me". I always explain that my work is COD until we have an established business history. My industry has basically no barriers to entry, and the people who hire me often are younger and have very little business experience, running a "lean" operation. They get stiffed by THEIR clients at a shockingly high rate, and of course then want to dodge out of paying me. I avoid that if I insist all new clients pay when work is completed. I even threw in the towel and got a Square account a few years ago to make it even easier to get payment "on the day". I have to give up 3% but get paid that day.
It's also common practice to have people ask for a discount in my industry. I double down on the COD then... "sure, I can do it for that price. I'll need a check on the day though. Oh, you don't have location checks? I can take a credit card but you need to fill in this credit card agreement and I need to charge you a 3% convenience fee. What? You can't do that? Sorry, I don't think I can make it work". Click.
I have come to this point in my career after being stiffed over the years to the tune of almost $100K.
I have also noticed a disturbing trend that the largest of companies seem to EXPECT that I'll be happy with 90 day terms, or longer. That tells me that many of my colleagues have capitulated and are happily accepting that... 90 days??? I could be DEAD by then!
As you said, no thanks, pal. I'm not the interest-free loan fairy.
Cheers

go_mets
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by go_mets » Mon May 25, 2020 7:00 pm

Harry Livermore wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 6:28 pm
I even threw in the towel and got a Square account a few years ago to make it even easier to get payment "on the day". I have to give up 3% but get paid that day.
Do you worry that they will do a chargeback?

.

SxSW
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by SxSW » Mon May 25, 2020 7:01 pm

I used to be a collections manager, and the only thing that really mattered was that the client signed a contract. The contract was still in effect regardless of recessions, layoffs, pandemic, bankruptcy, etc. Someone in the home office had an adult kid who was a day late on a rent-to-own TV with another business, and the repo man was knocking on the door the very next day -- pay now or we take it. After that story got around, our company put the following policy into effect: Courtesy call at 14 days and 30 days, Notice of Breach of Contract and Right to Cure sent at 60 days, Final Warning sent at 90 days. We went to small claims court after that, probably a total of 20 times, and won every case. You have to make sure you know where to serve them, so a business will have a statutory address. You have to file certain documents at certain times and it can take several months to obtain a judgement, and that's no guarantee you'll get paid. You have to know where the bank accounts are. If the courts aren't operating, small claims might not be an immediate option, but you should still be notifying them that late fees are being added and it's to their advantage if they pay now. Collections is a matter of being diligent, and being diligent again and again.

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Harry Livermore
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by Harry Livermore » Mon May 25, 2020 7:24 pm

go_mets wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 7:00 pm
Harry Livermore wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 6:28 pm
I even threw in the towel and got a Square account a few years ago to make it even easier to get payment "on the day". I have to give up 3% but get paid that day.
Do you worry that they will do a chargeback?

.
I don't worry about it much more than NOT getting paid 30, 60, 90 days later. I also have them sign a Credit Card Authorization Form that is stacked pretty heavily in my favor. I also assume that they will have to offer an explanation as to why the chargeback... "I didn't feel like paying Harry because I have backed my business into a corner financially" or something like that?
My #1 preference remains a check at the end of the day. If the check bounces or they stop payment without cause, I go see the police.
Cheers

toofache32
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by toofache32 » Mon May 25, 2020 8:32 pm

Harry Livermore wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 6:28 pm
Jim Profit wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 9:03 am

Been self-employed for 15+ years, and one thing I've learned is that if a customer asks for payment terms longer than net 30 you WILL have problems getting paid. Period. I've gotten to the point where I will decline the work immediately if the customer proposes longer payment terms than net 30. Even if they then come back with the desired net 30 terms, I still decline the work which has led to some quite spirited conversations with CFO's and such. Not interested in financing your cashflow with an interest-free loan, sorry pal!
This times 1000. I get calls for work from many people/ companies who are "new to me". I always explain that my work is COD until we have an established business history. My industry has basically no barriers to entry, and the people who hire me often are younger and have very little business experience, running a "lean" operation. They get stiffed by THEIR clients at a shockingly high rate, and of course then want to dodge out of paying me. I avoid that if I insist all new clients pay when work is completed. I even threw in the towel and got a Square account a few years ago to make it even easier to get payment "on the day". I have to give up 3% but get paid that day.
It's also common practice to have people ask for a discount in my industry. I double down on the COD then... "sure, I can do it for that price. I'll need a check on the day though. Oh, you don't have location checks? I can take a credit card but you need to fill in this credit card agreement and I need to charge you a 3% convenience fee. What? You can't do that? Sorry, I don't think I can make it work". Click.
I have come to this point in my career after being stiffed over the years to the tune of almost $100K.
I have also noticed a disturbing trend that the largest of companies seem to EXPECT that I'll be happy with 90 day terms, or longer. That tells me that many of my colleagues have capitulated and are happily accepting that... 90 days??? I could be DEAD by then!
As you said, no thanks, pal. I'm not the interest-free loan fairy.
Cheers
I agree with this 100%. Fascinating how, depending on the industry, the expectations change dramatically even for the same dollar amounts.

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Cubicle
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by Cubicle » Mon May 25, 2020 11:03 pm

Sorry to hear OP. Always a gut punch when this happens. I try to walk a fine line between "I understand" & "pay me now". I have broken out the "things are really lean on my end, I'll really need half now to tide my operations over until you can get me the rest".

Cash at the time of service is king. Followed by deposit & ongoing payments. My other method is finish the job minus something critical. Collect your payment then your work is released. I'll even mention it:

"To protect my interests, I'll have to hold this portion back until at least half the amounts owed are paid. Bad luck recently."

-or-

"This last portion is a chargeable event for me. I'll need payment from you so I can pay my vendor/supplier/etc... They require immediate payment, so now I need to collect."

Good luck.
"Oh look another bajillion point declin-Ooooh!!! A coupon for pizza!!!!" <--- This is what everyone's IPS should be. ✓✓✓

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mtwhmemn
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by mtwhmemn » Wed May 27, 2020 6:06 pm

Got a notification from Quickbooks the invoice was paid via AMEX today. AFTER, earlier today updating my invoice (online) to reflect almost 60 days of interest at 8% per month. That was the button that got pushed to make them pay. That and I told them if they paid by this Friday I'd waive the additional fees. I pestered them until they couldn't take it anymore I guess. I will not work for them again if they contact me so I just drove them all nuts. Thanks for all the suggestions.

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galawdawg
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by galawdawg » Wed May 27, 2020 6:20 pm

mtwhmemn wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 6:06 pm
Got a notification from Quickbooks the invoice was paid via AMEX today. AFTER, earlier today updating my invoice (online) to reflect almost 60 days of interest at 8% per month. That was the button that got pushed to make them pay. That and I told them if they paid by this Friday I'd waive the additional fees. I pestered them until they couldn't take it anymore I guess. I will not work for them again if they contact me so I just drove them all nuts. Thanks for all the suggestions.
Surely you didn't mean 8% per month??

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mtwhmemn
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by mtwhmemn » Wed May 27, 2020 6:23 pm

Yes, 8%. I didn't think I'd ever see any of the money so what's the difference - 8% 10% whatever. I said waive the fees if I was paid by Friday so it was a win win.

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galawdawg
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by galawdawg » Wed May 27, 2020 6:32 pm

It is generally unwise to threaten to do that which the law prohibits in order to collect a debt. See OCGA § 13-11-7 and NC General Statutes § 24-10.1.

toofache32
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by toofache32 » Wed May 27, 2020 6:56 pm

mtwhmemn wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 6:06 pm
Got a notification from Quickbooks the invoice was paid via AMEX today. AFTER, earlier today updating my invoice (online) to reflect almost 60 days of interest at 8% per month. That was the button that got pushed to make them pay. That and I told them if they paid by this Friday I'd waive the additional fees. I pestered them until they couldn't take it anymore I guess. I will not work for them again if they contact me so I just drove them all nuts. Thanks for all the suggestions.
Good. Lose the client or lose the money. Don't lose both.

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mtwhmemn
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by mtwhmemn » Wed May 27, 2020 7:37 pm

toofache32 wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 6:56 pm
mtwhmemn wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 6:06 pm
Got a notification from Quickbooks the invoice was paid via AMEX today. AFTER, earlier today updating my invoice (online) to reflect almost 60 days of interest at 8% per month. That was the button that got pushed to make them pay. That and I told them if they paid by this Friday I'd waive the additional fees. I pestered them until they couldn't take it anymore I guess. I will not work for them again if they contact me so I just drove them all nuts. Thanks for all the suggestions.
I like that line.

Good. Lose the client or lose the money. Don't lose both.

WildBill
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Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by WildBill » Wed May 27, 2020 8:26 pm

mtwhmemn wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 6:06 pm
Got a notification from Quickbooks the invoice was paid via AMEX today. AFTER, earlier today updating my invoice (online) to reflect almost 60 days of interest at 8% per month. That was the button that got pushed to make them pay. That and I told them if they paid by this Friday I'd waive the additional fees. I pestered them until they couldn't take it anymore I guess. I will not work for them again if they contact me so I just drove them all nuts. Thanks for all the suggestions.
Bravo!!

If folks owe you money they should be given time to eat sleep and bathe. All of their other time during the day you should occupy with their arrears😎

W B
"Through chances various, through all vicissitudes, we make our way." Virgil, The Aeneid

hudson
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Re: Customer hasn't paid me not worth cost of lawyer but...

Post by hudson » Wed May 27, 2020 8:41 pm

mtwhmemn wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 6:06 pm
Got a notification from Quickbooks the invoice was paid via AMEX today. AFTER, earlier today updating my invoice (online) to reflect almost 60 days of interest at 8% per month. That was the button that got pushed to make them pay. That and I told them if they paid by this Friday I'd waive the additional fees. I pestered them until they couldn't take it anymore I guess. I will not work for them again if they contact me so I just drove them all nuts. Thanks for all the suggestions.
Anything that works is good technique!

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