What to do When Customers Just Won't Pay

Posted 9th October 2012

Written by Sarah Townsend

Sarah Townsend, Debt Collection Manager, talks through the options when you are faced with customers who simply won´t pay.

Anyone like me who has worked in a debt collection role for many years will have heard just about every excuse you can think of for why payments are late or not being made (I think I could write a book).  Some of course sound more genuine than others but the net result for the person owed the money is always the same – they are not getting what´s owed to them!

Sometimes though the businesses who are owed money could do more to make sure their invoice or debt is receiving the right attention at the right time. Simple things, like getting invoices out promptly, making sure the payment due date is clearly identified, then making sure the payment process is easy by giving bank details and so on, all help. I am more than willing to discuss or provide an onsite seminar on credit control and procedures my client´s should follow to minimise debt.

However, no matter how good that side of the process is, there are some instances where the customer is simply not paying up and you need to take further action.

Where possible I like to call the customer to discuss any issues or reasons for non-payment, discuss the best way forward and then confirm everything in writing with a clear timescale for payment. I then follow-up carefully and persistently and as necessary, explain the consequences of further non-payment. This type of methodical and timely approach has proved to be extremely cost effective and productive. I have acted for a number of businesses in this way for over 18 years.

If a debt or your claim is contested, then I have the backup of the litigation team to advise you on the most cost effective route in order to deal with your debt.  This might be that I provide a hand holding exercise for you so that you can act in person, or if necessary our litigation team will take over and deal with your claim from the outset.  They will provide an in depth indication of costs and full guidance to ultimately recover or settle your claim.

Trading conditions are tough enough for businesses at the moment. Not getting paid on time can add a great deal more pressure and stress into day to day management activities, and divert time and energy away from more productive areas. However, I can help you; I have an excellent track record of recovering funds for clients and will be happy to talk through the various options with you.

For more information contact Sarah Townsend on 01423 789 062 or sarahtownsend@newtons.co.uk

This article is for general information only. No responsibility can be accepted by Newtons Solicitors for any loss suffered by anyone acting or refraining from action as a result of anything on this website. We recommend you take independent legal advice in relation to any particular personal circumstances.