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Has a customer failed to pay their bill?

On Behalf of | May 21, 2023 | Business & Commercial Law

Your company prides itself on providing top quality products and services at a competitive price. Thus, you have been quite successful in your commercial activities. You have a catalog of repeat customers and you’re also attracting new clients all the time.

However, it hasn’t always been plain sailing and you’re currently struggling to obtain payment for an outstanding bill. What are your options in such a scenario?

Open lines of communication

Sometimes, an unpaid bill can occur due to a simple error in accounting or breakdown in communication from either end. When you first notice that a payment is outstanding, it’s important not to immediately pursue the customer aggressively, as this could jeopardize the business relationship. Contact them and send a gentle reminder. This way, innocent mistakes can be corrected promptly, allowing the business relationship to continue to flourish. Unfortunately, overdue payments are not always the result of a simple accounting error or oversight.

Find out why payment hasn’t been made

Your client may have fallen onto hard times financially and simply doesn’t have the resources to pay the bill. In such circumstances, it can help to take a more flexible approach. For example, is it feasible for you to extend the payment date until your client is in a better position to pay? Sometimes, cooperation can go a lot further than animosity. What matters is that you set clear dates and deadlines and receive some form of payment rather than nothing at all.

Of course, your cooperation and flexibility will not always be appreciated, and a customer may simply be refusing to honor their obligations. At this stage, you may need to take a firmer approach and seek legal guidance accordingly.