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Do you have a customer who just refuses pay you? It’s a pretty sad reality that there are quite a few peeps out there who will happily take advantage of the benefits your biz offers, but when it’s time to pay you, they’ll refuse to do so. It’s hurtful, annoying and stressful. Quite often these peeps will have some kind of an excuse, but the bottom line is you’re not getting paid.
Here are 4 steps to take to get your customers to pay you:
Step 1: Get on the blower one last time
Phone your customer and have a chat about their unpaid invoice. Perhaps they have an issue with your product or service that you weren’t aware of. Perhaps they’re having a downturn in business and can’t afford to pay you. Perhaps they just forgot or they’ve been overseas and have just got back. Whatever their excuse, here are some ideas on what to talk about on the phone:
Step 2: Send a letter of demand
If you still haven’t been paid, it’s time to get serious. Send your customer a formal letter of demand that tells them how much they owe you and what will happen if they don’t pay you within a set timeframe.
If you want to write your own letter of demand make sure it includes:
Step 3: Call in the debt collector
If the customer hasn’t disputed your invoice, you can get a debt collector on the job. You can’t get a debt collector to chase up an unpaid invoice if the customer has disputed the invoice. You can also report the debt to a credit reporting agency (agencies that sell info about people’s credit history) and in some situations you can sell the debt to a debt collector. Talk to your preferred debt collector for more info about these options.
Step 4: It’s time for legal action
If the customer has disputed your invoice, you can file a claim in either the Disputes Tribunal or court depending on how much mula is involved.
If your customer owes you $15,000 or less you can file a claim in the Disputes Tribunal (this amount can be raised to $20,000 if both parties agree). The Disputes Tribunal is a cheap way to sort out a dispute as filing a claim costs $45 – $180 depending on how much $$ is involved, and you don’t need to worry about legal fees as there are no lawyers allowed. Click on this linky link for some info on filing a claim in the Disputes Tribunal.
If your customer owes you more than $15,000 you will need to file a claim in court. It’s best to get a lawyer involved at this point. The first step is to file a statement of claim in either the District Court (for claims up to $200k) or the High Court (for claims over $200k).
Disclaimer: The information on this page is general information only and must not be relied on as legal advice. Legal Beagle is not a law firm or a substitute for a law firm. We are unable to provide any kind of advice, explanation, opinion, or recommendation about possible legal rights, remedies, defences, options, selection of legal documents or strategies.
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