In the modern day United Kingdom, it is in your own interests to be aware of the potential problems your actions can cause when trying to get your customers to pay you. Ignorance is not an excuse and there are laws in place to protect people regardless of the situation or circumstances.
Running a business is difficult enough without having to deal with those that do not want to pay you for your efforts.
We totally understand the frustrations associated with being owed money but there is a fine line between what is deemed as acceptable and unacceptable credit control / debt collecting actions. Taking your own course of action can be done but it needs to be conducted in a civil and disciplined manner or you may find yourself in hot water which is the last thing anybody wants.
We have heard many stories of people and SME’s that have felt very wronged by a ‘cheeky’ customer. Business owners have took the customers attempts ‘not to pay’ very personally and took a very robust approach to collecting money owed. One reckless move and it can end up with the authorities becoming involved. This just exacerbates the matter and also provides your debtor with the perfect excuse not to pay.
It does not matter if you are a business or an individual that is owed money, there are still fundamental principles of law that need everybody needs to abide by. Based upon our great wealth of experience in the art of recovering debt, some of our Commercial Collections Team have put together a list of seven banana skins you will want to avoid slipping on to keep you and your ‘debt legal.
Some of our recommendation may seem fairly obvious but we hear regularly of mistakes being made due to over enthusiastic creditors. Do not get angry, get even.
Here is our recommended list of ‘7 things you should not do when somebody owes you money’
- Never become abusive or aggressive – This is the most obvious ‘don’t do’ as we all know the intense feeling of frustration when dealing with somebody who just does not want to pay up what they rightfully owe.
- Do not telephone an individual more than 3 times in one day – This can be deemed to be harassment dependant on the situation.
- Use social media to try to ‘collect’ your debt – Once again, potentially deemed as a form of harassment that could have both civil and criminal ramifications.
- Disclose details with a third party – It is illegal to discuss or disclose details to a third party associate of your customer unless authorised to do so.
- Never become violent or threatening – This will result in Police involvement without a doubt.
- Do not call your customers at unsocial hours – A telephone call to your customer at 5am or 11.30pm is viewed as unacceptable.
- Never pretend to be Professional Debt Collectors or Solicitors – It is illegal to pretend to be a Solicitor or imply to be a licensed Debt Collector seeking goods, cash payment etc
So there you have it, our seven nuggets of wisdom when it comes to trying to collect money you are owed. Clear and professional communication is key to resolving any situation.
The industry of recovering debt is a lot more strategic than people think and there are many potential landmines and faux pas to avoid. If you or your business are owed debts from the consumer sector, let the experts help.
With our fully inclusive Business Debt Collection service, we take all the strain. You do not pay us per action or by the hour, we only charge for our success. Simple! You will see improved results, better cost effectiveness and avoid the frustration that comes with dealing with those that do not want to pay!!
Take action today and make a new start – Speak to our friendly New Business advisers today, by call us on 0333 043 4420