Getting your hands on that cheque

Until payment is secured, a job is not complete. Without it there is no profit to keep the accountants happy.

While it can be embarrassing to ask for payment, it surely is far ruder not to pay.

Here are a few tips below as to how the tables can be turned while, at the same time, preparing the ground for securing payment: -

  1. The prime purpose for that nice waiter asking if the meal is to your satisfaction is to avoid awkwardness when the bill is presented. In a similar vein, putting in a call once the goods have been delivered to check if the customer is content makes a later complaint less credible.
  2. When the debt falls due, politely ask the customer to acknowledge that the debt is due. This is their second chance to register a reason for non-payment.
  3. Once the debt is overdue, consider options. When you change approach will depend upon how much you value this customer. Staying polite, send a short letter advising that legal proceedings will commence within 7 days.
  4. Stick rigidly to the 7 days or customers will not treat your threat seriously.
  5. Issue a claim in the County Court. You can do this online.
  6. If you remain unpaid you will obtain judgment. You can instruct a bailiff to remove goods, or a solicitor can advise on other execution methods.
  7. If the debt exceeds £600, consider transferring to the High Court where enforcers are paid by results.
  8. A further option, particularly for a one off or undervalued customer, is to commence winding up proceedings, which is now back into play as Covid relents.
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