Most Common Late Payment Excuses To Watch Out For

Identify These Warning Signs Of Late Payment Excuses.

“The Check Is In The Mail”

This is one of the simplest excuses, made easy for a company to fall back on because it’s so believable. Maybe the payroll department actually did send out payment a day or two prior – or maybe it’s an easy excuse. The best way to follow up with a statement like this is to ask for records of the check number and when the check was sent. Make note on your calendar of when it is promised to arrive, and follow up if it’s been any longer. If necessary, have the customer cancel a check if it’s not received within the anticipated time frame and issue a new one sent by certified mail.

“I Haven’t Received An Invoice”

Even if you’re confident the invoice was sent, make sure the customer can’t deny receiving its copy by sending the new invoice in three forms: mail, fax and email. Additionally, you can implement a system of sending out statements separate from invoices, which will give your customers a list of outstanding invoices every month.

“I’m Waiting For Payments From My Customers”

If a client tells you that they need payment from their customers to fulfil your credit agreement, reiterate the terms of your contract with them and explain that you need the payment in full as you previously agreed. If they still are unable to pay the fee promptly, suspend services to them as soon as possible to motivate payments.

“The Person You Need To Speak With Is Not Here Right Now”

Sometimes at a company there are a select few people equipped and/or cleared to deal with partiular payments, but this also can be used as a way to put off collection calls. First ask who the person you need to be in touch with is, and then ask when they’ll be available. Make note of the time, and call back then.

“Our Signatory Is Not Available To Sign The Check Right Now”

Businesses commonly require two signatures on checks, but if one of the signatories is out of office it can be difficult to obtain a signed check immediately from the accounts payable clerk. Speak to the available signatory to see if it is possible to authorize the check with a single signature, and if not, get the information of the out-of-office signatory to know when to follow up.

“We Never Received The Good/Service”

In today’s digital age, there are almost always online receipts confirming deliveries. Request a copy of the delivery note and send it to your customer, then request the payment again.

“We’d Rather Pay In A Lump Sum”

Review your payment plan outlined in your contract with your customer, and reiterate the terms of payment they agreed to. Remind them of the dates you set for payment and ask that they send payment in full as promptly as possible.

“We’re Switching Banks This Week”

Moving accounts to a new bank could be a genuine reason for a delay in payment of a few days, but anything more is likely an excuse for late payment. Make note of how long it takes for a company to follow up with you, and if it takes any longer than anticipated, ask for proof of the situation and permission to speak to the bank concerned. Alternately, push for payment either electronically or by way of a shareholders check.

“We Only Do Check Runs Once A Month”

Though it might be true, this is still not an acceptable reason not to pay on time. Every company maintains the ability to issue individual checks during the month. Another option is to insist on an alternate form of payment, but make sure to note when the company’s monthly check runs are done for future reference.

“We Have A Problem With Cash Flow”

Perhaps the most honest of all excuses, this still must not be accepted in terms of collecting payments. Again, you can request immediate electronic payments or a shareholders check, but it’s likely that you’ll have to put services to the customer on immediate hold until they come through with the payment.