Dealing with Business disputes
Spurious disputes cause headaches for Businesses across the UK, this unfortunately can be used by the unscrupulous to avoid payment. Whilst some will be absolutely valid, it pays to be open minded in relation to these.
Unfortunately there will be times when customers may not agree with the invoice amount, and/or make claims that they were not satisfied with the goods or service. This is one of the many challenges facing Business Owners but a firm but fair approach should secure payment done correctly.
Writing off disputed debts should not be an option as no business can afford to do that. No company has ever lost a customer because they wanted them to pay what was quite rightfully owed. Where there is a spurious dispute, it is better the try to communicate a reasonable and fair resolution.
We have compiled some of the most common ‘disputes’ our clients encounter:
“The goods delivered were damaged”
If goods delivered were genuinely damaged then request them to be returned or arrange inspection. If they refuse then the amount as per your invoice is due without question.
“Not happy with the work done”
Sometimes, a ‘finished’ project may not look exactly how the client envisioned it but you cannot be held accountable. If the works were completed as per the clients request then payment is rightfully due.
Regardless, it is always better to offer minor revisions as a matter of courtesy. An agreed schedule of changes should be agreed and documented with the provision that payment will be made on completion.
You may consider allowing your customer to return the goods IF they were delivered late. ‘Late’ means that they were delivered after the stipulated date and/or time when the order was made. If this was not the case then payment is due.
“Did not agree to these works being done”
Never provide services without some form of agreed terms of service or signed order. By having a signed terms of service, it protects you in the event of a spurious dispute.
“No money to pay at the moment”
If you have a basic terms of service in place, stick to them. When your customer placed the order they should only have done so in the knowledge that they can pay upon request. Do not be a banker for your customer, the longer you allow non payment, the less likely they will pay, FACT!
If you are being a spun of tales then at some point you will need to take action, using a reputable & Professional Debt Collection service will benefit you in this situation.
Communication is key!
Communication is the best way to resolve any dispute, spurious or otherwise. The majority of disputes can be solved with basic friendly dialogue but for those that just stonewall your best efforts, Federal Management can help your business recover what is yours.
For more advice on dealing with spurious disputes or collecting unpaid invoices, call us now or fill out an enquiry form.