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Customer not paying what would you do?

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Post Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:47 pm

Customer not paying what would you do?

Customer who ive done work occasionally for over the last few years asked me to do a job September 2017. Didnt pay straight away and i had no reason to think he wouldnt(His address is a rather large Hall near by) Anyhow a second job comes in and i complete that too. Total owed apx £400.00 I Start sending out invoices followed by more invoices then start calling his mobile around Christmas. Yes ill sort it he says ok thank you i say. This goes on until last week when i again called him. Yes ill sort it he said, at which point i say but you have been saying that for months and not paid. As you say you will sort it can i asume i will have a payment from you in the next 7 days? No came the reply! Ok why not? Because i dont have any money, I have cash flow problems. Im really peed off :bangshead: The work i did for him was basically tidying up a few vehicles and trailers he uses so not a job that had to be done really given he had no money. Why would a man who has no money get local businesses to tart up his fleet of vehicles if hes struggling. Anyhow what to do, should i just wait (along probably with many others) or should i get in my car and locate the vehilce and remove my work? one car was all magnetic so very tempting grrr
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Post Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:01 pm

Re: Customer not paying what would you do?

I wouldnt re posses the work, that may be illegal, unless your terms and conditions state you retain title until the goods are paid for in full. I would send a letter before action and take him to court. He has taken advantage of your good nature as far as I am concerned. Get a judgement and the escalate it to the high court for recovery.
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Post Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:03 pm

Re: Customer not paying what would you do?

this is all available online but basically...

add 8% to the bill and send it special delivery, include the cost of the postage and a realistic / fair admin charge. give it 7days to be paid from receipt of the letter, you can see online when signed for, screen shot that. if not signed for or delivered just pretend to be that person online and get it sent back every couple of days until signed for.

if nothing after 7 days just go straight through the small claims, about £80, add this and further interest to the bill. if no payment forthcoming in accordance with the court then escalate to country court for CCJ, send in the bailiffs.

I did this latter part of 2016 - £370 bill, took around 6 months but I came back from Oz in feb 17 to a check for nearly £800. Well worth the effort.

Yes, I lost a customer but honestly, he wasn't a good one.
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Post Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:13 pm

Re: Customer not paying what would you do?

Have a read of the Late Payments & commercial debts act. You are entitled to claim compensation and charge interest. That is statutory in law.

If they've no cash, a CCJ is pretty pointless, but rather satisfying. It's worth trying.

We use a debt recovery company who add 15%+VAT to the debt :lol: it's a last resort when my patience runs out, and I don't want the customer.

Going forward, I would be taking at least part payment up front.
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Post Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:30 pm

Re: Customer not paying what would you do?

I work in a slightly different industry (construction consultancy) but we've had very similar.

The threat of court action shows you are serious, in fact we fill in the forms and enclose an unsigned copy with the last late payment reminder and state that it will be signed and submitted in 7 days if payment with interest and late fees isn't settled.

Also, because of people like this, we now take payment up front on all works below £500+vat no matter who the client is. Our regular clients are understanding of this and we don't seem to have lost any jobs because of it
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Post Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:33 pm

Re: Customer not paying what would you do?

If you feel it will help you sleep better then give them a good pasting :)

I come back from court today having done some debt collecting last year. i didnt win but i didnt really lose either. It didnt cost me too much and was well worth it :evil:

On a serious note there aint much you can do, play the legal game or take it into your own hands. Personally i wouldnt think twice about removing the mags etc from the vehicles just to prove a point.
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Post Thu Mar 08, 2018 6:40 am

Re: Customer not paying what would you do?

We had one customer that didnt pay us for over two years.
Because the bill was only about $300 (150 pounds) we didnt really think it was worth court action, other than an invoice every two weeks or so, to no response whatsoever.
Anyway, a couple of weeks ago she showed up on facebook, commenting on a story about lowlifes who had nicked a package that had been delivered to them mistakenly and who then put the contents on an auction site for sale.
The hypocrisy of it really annoyed me.
I waded in and said "thats no worse than people who dont pay their bills for two years."
She paid our bill within five minutes, and I deleted my comment.

Amazing what a little public shaming can do.
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Post Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:20 pm

Re: Customer not paying what would you do?

We had one recently the overall Invoice amount was for £750. The customer asked for 30 days which I was happy to give
because we had done lots of work for him before which he always settled quickly. This time very different lots of excuses
blah blah blah. 60 days later I was getting abit stressed out with it sending various e-mails, letters with no reply.

Started looking into the small claims, collection agencies etc when he finally returned my call said he would send two post dated cheques for £375. To be fair one arrived which we banked and it did clear but never saw the the other one and to be honest that made me more mad. But we later herd he had infact gone (oh i swore !) up very soon after our cheque cleared owing
various amounts.

So in a nutshell we were lucky to get half our money I remembered he had a very young family and to be honest he overstretched himself and just had to much on finance. I actually emailed him wishing him the best of luck for the future
I just kept thinking about his family it's not nice he never paid the full amount but it was obvious he just could not pay
not like the ones who can and take the (oh i swore !).
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Post Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:23 pm

Re: Customer not paying what would you do?

you were lucky there Paul.

Just really annoys me when people order things knowing full well they haven't the money to pay for it or don't stick to their terms.
Did some work for a company recently and my 7day invoice took a month to pay, only about £150. their next order was for £500 worth of correx site boards so I put in a 50% pro-forma, didn't hear anything back despite it being a desperate order, two follow-up emails to see what they wanted to do and nothing, I won't even waste my time quoting next time.
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Post Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:05 pm

Re: Customer not paying what would you do?

Paul.Carter wrote:We had one recently the overall Invoice amount was for £750. The customer asked for 30 days which I was happy to give
because we had done lots of work for him before which he always settled quickly. This time very different lots of excuses
blah blah blah. 60 days later I was getting abit stressed out with it sending various e-mails, letters with no reply.

Started looking into the small claims, collection agencies etc when he finally returned my call said he would send two post dated cheques for £375. To be fair one arrived which we banked and it did clear but never saw the the other one and to be honest that made me more mad. But we later herd he had infact gone (oh i swore !) up very soon after our cheque cleared owing
various amounts.

So in a nutshell we were lucky to get half our money I remembered he had a very young family and to be honest he overstretched himself and just had to much on finance. I actually emailed him wishing him the best of luck for the future
I just kept thinking about his family it's not nice he never paid the full amount but it was obvious he just could not pay
not like the ones who can and take the (oh i swore !).
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Post Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:08 pm

Re: Customer not paying what would you do?

good on you paul some people just hit a stone wall they have every intention of paying you but things just happen .Then theres those who have no intention of paying in the first place
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Post Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:45 pm

Re: Customer not paying what would you do?

Brian Little wrote:good on you paul some people just hit a stone wall they have every intention of paying you but things just happen .Then theres those who have no intention of paying in the first place


I think the key thing here is communication, if they're in bother then say so, I'm more likely to be a little compassionate to the situation if they let me know and we can try to set up a payment plan, however, many just blank you and refuse to respond to attempt to contact them.. leaving you in the position whereby you need to get a bit heavier.
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Post Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:20 am

Re: Customer not paying what would you do?

We printed (farmed out) some loyalty cards for a Vape show. Artwork approved on the Thursday morning. Ordered them from the supplier. On Monday afternoon he wasapp a message and photo of how he wanted them..... Told him they were already ordered, he said they are not how he wanted them so he's not paying.

We had just done a flat cut lettering sign which he paid for in full, so took no deposit or payment.

He couldn't understand why we wouldn't just forget the payment as he would be ordering some more so wouldn't be out of pocket... Apparently we are supposed to keep the customer happy at all costs.
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Post Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:33 am

Re: Customer not paying what would you do?

We've started taking payment in full for orders under £100, a minimum 50% on anything else.

We're also taking deposits before we start any work as we're inundated with time wasters.

That said we've a customer now who paid a £500 deposit nearly 6 months ago, and we've only just got sign off on their sign :rollseyes: along with another one who paid their deposit last month, and has now decided the phone number needs changing but they don't know what to :rollseyes:
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Post Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:32 am

Re: Customer not paying what would you do?

Thanks all for the feedback, Im going to give him another week then call (if he answers) and see if he can pay in small sums. I really dont want to go down the legal route (not yet anyway). Its always frustrating when your good faith in people is abused. He must have know he was in trouble when he asked me to do the jobs. Like i say it was just tarting up what he already had so not a job that had to be done really. :shake:
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Post Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:21 pm

Re: Customer not paying what would you do?

i had this problem with a kebab shop sign , i am normally a cash or transfer on completionguy, but i gave this guy till the end of month to pay, 3 months later after many calls and visits to him, no payment.
So one day feeling so ( oh i swore ) off i pulled up outside his shop took the ladder off my van i was half way up the ladder when he came out and asked what i was doing, i just said " i am taking the sign back " by the time the first screw was out he was there with a big wad of cash. end of story
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Post Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:49 pm

Re: Customer not paying what would you do?

This was a good number of years back in our early development and I had a Golf Course that owed us a very large amount.

I quickly put together a web site called xxxxgolfcoursedontpay.co.uk, explaining what the sign job was, how much we were were owed and the long history of the promises made and failed in respect of payment (it went on and on) - hasten to add that we made sure everything was 100% factually correct and expressed no bias.

We then posed questions / statements below such as

Suppliers - after reading the above consider on what terms you will supply your goods and services
Golfers - before paying your 12 months membership in advance you may wish to consider the viability of the golf club if it wont pay its bills.
etc. etc. etc.

We then mailed them a link to our website, plus a mock up of our vans with big banners on the side parked outside their entrance on the public road - the banners directed people to the website to for an interesting story on the golf club.

They came back to us straight away and paid the majority of the money and we took down the website - they even congratulated us on our efforts to persuade them to pay! We never got the full balance and I think a month later they went into a pre-pack administration and we found out we would have only got 5p in the pound if we hadn't done something. We probably didn't help their cause but at the time the debt genuinely threatened the viability of my company so no scruples overall.

Cheers
Dave
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Post Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:42 pm

Re: Customer not paying what would you do?

If you're going to do that, don't forewarn them.

My uncle did that many years ago "if it's not paid by Monday we're taking the sign down"

Monday came, so Tuesday they went to remove the sign, to find it had vanished from the shop :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Post Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:32 pm

Re: Customer not paying what would you do?

I’ve always wondered where we stand on repossession of our goods when unpaid for work done. I’m under the impression that title passes to the client unless otherwise specified, & that repossession constitutes theft, criminal damage & even trespassing. Question is, most of a signmakers work is on the outside of a building so are we breaking the law by turning up to repossess without going legal if we don’t actually go inside the premises? There will always be exceptions when signage is on private property & not accessible from public property, but are we really expected to take it in the tail pipe when we have these chancers obtaining our goods & services with no intention of paying?
I always try & remain professional but must admit to getting more than a little physical when tested, trouble is you don’t want that kind of reputation sticking. The legal route seems heavily stacked in favour of the cheating customers.
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Post Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: Customer not paying what would you do?

I email 2 reminders and one final letter all 7 days apart. In 10 years I have taken 2 companies to small claim court.
They’ve paid as soon as I send them screen shot of the finished online application. In the form i put the value of the invoice + small claim court application fee. PAID!

One of the them was good enough for a film scenario. I made is a sign 1800x600mm, 10mm clear on stand offs. Beautiful sign. I’ve used black and white vinyl. Client complained the white is not white enough! I called a meeting and took with me piece of clear acrylic + black and white vinyl. I did the application in front of them again. Client said, I know you are using correct materials, but this white is not white enough. (Sign was in a dark part of the office) He didn’t want to pay. Full stop. After I emailed him the “notice of default” he emailed me saying they called a “proper” sign company and they amended the sign.
I no longer communicated with the client.
As soon as I did the small claim form, client emailed to say that his boss will give me another chance to amend the sign (he was bluffing)...he already wrote me the called a “proper” sign company... he was lying.
I never replied to his email.
In the next 3-4 days I received a payment.
I fight well for my money. I only have £35 not paid and I’m not sure if the chap died or something.
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Post Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:47 pm

Re: Customer not paying what would you do?

My wife worked for a solicitors, she filled in the form with the offending companies name on it, faxed it to them (shows how long ago it was with fax) with message if not paid within X days this is posted. Got paid pretty quickly
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Post Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:52 am

Re: Customer not paying what would you do?

I fight well for my money. I only have £35 not paid and I’m not sure if the chap died or something.

I can't believe you let something trivial like the Customer dying get in the way :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Post Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:17 am

Re: Customer not paying what would you do?

We had a company go bust on us to the tune of £4k, I wasn't happy.

We got inundated with calls from companies who claimed they could recover the money (I know they couldn't as they had no money)

One day I snapped at one these calls, telling them "You'll never get a penny from the director" the stubborn sales rep demanded to know how I could be so sure... "because the t**t is at the bottom of the ship canal wearing breeze block trainers" she hung up and I never got another call.

It was all very funny, until the next morning when the police did find a body in the canal :shocked: (not related to us) :yikes:
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Post Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:08 pm

Re: Customer not paying what would you do?

UPDATE
Well, thats been a long drawn out saga. After emailing a letter back in March and saying i was going to invoice him personally for the two outstanding invoices. (I felt the Ltd company was not looking very healthy and he might close it soon to avoid paying me and posibilly others)I got not reply. In August we have a big one day event, Oswestry show. Said customer is there with the trailer attached to the vehicle we have done for him. My employee sees it and manages to do a 'selfie' with just a picture of the vehicle and trail. I email him attaching the two invoices and the photo. I explain i was happy to see that he is still very happy with the work we are still awaiting payment for. I give him 7 days till 12.00 noon to pay or i will be going to small claims. Check bank account at 11.30 on the day nothing. Start filling in the forms check bank again at 1.00pm and incredably he has paid. Thats 11 months after the jobs done. I think the photo was the deal breaker. Thanks everyone, I nearly emailed him to say never darken my doorstep again but i think he already know that.
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Post Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:37 am

Re: Customer not paying what would you do?

Great news, Perseverance pays off in these cases, these people generally rely on their debtors giving up!

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