Last week I highlighted the problem that I had with a late payer. We all know the type, ”your cheque is in the post” or, in my case, ”your payment is in the system”. Well, it was either coincidence or the constant daily routine of calling their accounts payable department, but I finally got paid …
To Pursue Or Not To Pursue
However – and quite interestingly – they did not pay the late payment interest I had added, nor did they pay the late payment compensation. I was entitled to both!
Still, I got most of the outstanding account paid. I was at a networking event recently and spoke to one of the litigation lawyers who worked at my wife’s office. She’s advised me to continue chasing the outstanding payment. She suggested that I send invoices and statements, showing that the money is still outstanding. After all, an email doesn’t cost anything really and I’m entitled to that money under the late payment policy which is part of UK small business law.
Only time will tell if I actually get the outstanding account paid. What’s really annoying is that this client is due to have their six monthly equipment tested in a few weeks. Can I really be bothered wasting my time doing the testing and then wait around for four months for them to pay me? Not this time! It really isn’t worth the effort.
Another option would be to arrange for this client – and all future clients – to be set up with a direct debit mandate. The late payment problem would certainly be solved but is it an avenue that, as a small business, I really want to travel along? I’m not sure.It was suggested by someone on one of the PAT forums, that I should charge an additional £100 which can be deducted if the account is paid on time. It would be seen as a bit of an incentive to pay within our payment terms. I smiled at the idea but could I really do it in practice? Well, that’s one that I should check with my solicitor first and if I can, I guess I would have to include it in my terms and conditions of sale.
At the moment all new clients are credit checked so we are aware of any risks associated with giving the customer a credit account. Yet, no matter what we do, there will always be an exception to the rule and I would have to do something different. Being a small business can be very frustrating at times, can’t it?
Until next time …So if you’re looking to have your equipment PAT Tested and want to work with a professional company that has clear terms and conditions, then do call me on 0330 6600264 or click here to ping over an email and I’ll call you right back.