getting paid

somebody stole [part of] my car...

somebody stole what...

Does anybody know the answer to this equation? Two calls yesterday from two people in the trade both to say they just took a hit of a five figure sum of money where the client refuses to pay. No reason – just not getting paid.

The problem is it seems as this colleague of mine told me today, is that litigation is expensive and sometimes for certain amounts of money not really worthwhile chasing. So what does one do?

I went into my neighbour for a cup of tea yesterday [also self employed] and told him my tale of woe. Guess what? He’s not the only one. If ever I wanted feedback this is the time for it.

3 replies
  1. Karl
    Karl says:

    There must be a reason a client will not pay.
    If they say they have no reason then nyou have a very good legal case and should not be afraid of litigation.

    On a practical point of view it is important to communicate with your client so they no exactly what to expect and also what not to expect. An itemised quote is a good starting point for agreement

  2. doneganlandscaping
    doneganlandscaping says:

    karl,

    thats a fair point but as I’m not fully aware of the finer points of the situations as mentioned above so I wont comment so specifically on the two gentlemen in question.

    I do know however that we have had ‘a’ client in the past who refused to pay their full bill and our legal advisors advised that whilst they could take proceedings it was not advisable to follow the case to court due to the cost of chasing such an amount. In this case the client did simply refuse ‘for no reason’ but that she could. In this matter all contracts were agreed in advance the work was done with a photograph diary as always – but, I think the answer is that whilst we did have all matters in order sometimes just sometimes a person with a different code of morals and ethics will cross your way. What we did in the end was to give the money paid to the meningitis research foundation and asked that if money was not a problem [as I was told in writing] to pay – that she might do the same. The amount paid to us was 20% of the full bill.

    I dont know any golden rule for getting paid in full or on time and I know ISME have some very interesting statistics on this in Ireland. I do know on the day in question I posted the original blog – I literally had two successive calls saying I/ we cant/ wont get paid. I couldn’t find any statistics on this [bad debts] in ireland but I do kow as my neighbour told me that there is not one business in Ireland who has not had ever a refusal of payment. I must say that one person in seven years to refuse payment is probably not a bad statistic? and I will admit that sincerely I have really good clients who are genuinely really good people.

    Let’s just hope Ireland will do better in the rugby than we did in the soccer last night!

    Slán go foill
    peter

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