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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had a client "Phoenix Promotions" in Cornwall, UK for past few years who we provided our digitizing services.

Because he was a loyal long term customer we were not very strict with payments from him but then in nov he stopped using us and now just makes false promises to pay but we never get anything from him.

He has outstanding invoices sept, oct & nov 2013 totalling to £550.00

I've got in touch with a debt collector for quote.

Anyone had similar experiences? and how did you deal with it?

Who do the designs belong to if the customer doesn't pay? Can I offer them to his competition to recover my costs??? yeah I know this can get very dirty.... this is the simple reason why we don't tolerate credit terms to new customers because its just waste of time!!!
 

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We keep an eye on everyone.
Set limits.
Only been taken for around thousand bucks over last 3 years.
Time to chase it is just not worth it after the fact.
We just write it off and try to tighten more.
Lose some work? Maybe, maybe avoided a no pay is how we view it.
Big stuff we need bank drafts or a factor.
Most small ones get into your pocket and find a reason to switch. Common.
They leave a trail.
Courts are time consuming to get a judgement, and most collection agencies are ineffective on small amounts.
You must value your time in this as in everything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Very true....I just got a quote from a debt collector.....they take 30%.

I've given the customer a last warning so will wait till end of week and if still they haven't paid I'm going to try out this debt collector.

I just want to collect what I can and be done with it cos it just spoils my mood everyday having to drop them emails and getting no replies....total waste of time and spoils my mood....not worth it.

Once I collect 70% I will make sure he pays for the 30% either by monetary or by loosing business to his competition and customers finding out they he hasn't paid his digitizer (remember I hold his designs.... I'm not here for charity work....I need to pay my digitizers.... I do believe in ethical ways to do business but not with people who think they can get away without paying their dues)...its a selfish world out there
 

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Except for a few long-time customers everyone pays in full upfront. I took a couple of losses early on and it just wasn't worth the time and emotional energy. Now I never worry about whether someone will pay or not. It also eliminates all the accounting time lost in handling partial payments. Occasionally I lose a potential customer but after I explain that its custom work that can't be resold they usually accept that. I do offer to have them pay for the embroidery set-up first and pay sparately for shirts after they have approved their set-up proof.
 

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Send one final invoice with a very clear warning of legal action if the account isn't cleared within 7 days.
At the very least accept a payment proposal in writing, preferably no less than one invoice at a time.

The UK Small Claims Court are a lot cheaper than debt collectors (who have limited legal powers without a judgement) and it is a very simple one form process that doesn't require a solicitor.
Bear in mind that if the customer makes a reasonable offer of payment prior to legal action, then the court will not entertain your claim until he is in breach of the agreement.

If it proceeds to court your customer will be given 14 days to reply, after which he will (presumably) have an enforceable judgement entered against him. He will also have a CCJ (County Court Judgement) against his name which will destroy his credit rating! The court will then enforce the judgement if he doesn't pay.

At least you have only provided professional services to your customer, and haven't been taken for any stock.

Final point, this issue is between you and him- to mention his name at this early stage in this forum is not very professional on your part, so maybe you deserve to get taken.
 

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Because he was a loyal long term customer we were not very strict with payments from him but then in nov he stopped using us
I know it's not your problem but I would be willing to bet he's a bit on the ropes financially (eating his seed corn so to speak). Loyalty comes from odd places, and real loyalty is not that common in my experience. I'm a Hippy era dinosaur, I would try to get to the Heart of the matter, and try for a timed payment arrangement with a lot of understanding that life can be a biotch sometimes, but that's just me. Barter, trade, anything other than jumping bad....unless he starts ducking your calls. That really pisses me off. :p p.s. good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Send one final invoice with a very clear warning of legal action if the account isn't cleared within 7 days.
At the very least accept a payment proposal in writing, preferably no less than one invoice at a time.

The UK Small Claims Court are a lot cheaper than debt collectors (who have limited legal powers without a judgement) and it is a very simple one form process that doesn't require a solicitor.
Bear in mind that if the customer makes a reasonable offer of payment prior to legal action, then the court will not entertain your claim until he is in breach of the agreement.

If it proceeds to court your customer will be given 14 days to reply, after which he will (presumably) have an enforceable judgement entered against him. He will also have a CCJ (County Court Judgement) against his name which will destroy his credit rating! The court will then enforce the judgement if he doesn't pay.

At least you have only provided professional services to your customer, and haven't been taken for any stock.

Final point, this issue is between you and him- to mention his name at this early stage in this forum is not very professional on your part, so maybe you deserve to get taken.
And you know that its early stage right? you know what communication I've had with my client so far right?? hmmm very professional
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I know it's not your problem but I would be willing to bet he's a bit on the ropes financially (eating his seed corn so to speak). Loyalty comes from odd places, and real loyalty is not that common in my experience. I'm a Hippy era dinosaur, I would try to get to the Heart of the matter, and try for a timed payment arrangement with a lot of understanding that life can be a biotch sometimes, but that's just me. Barter, trade, anything other than jumping bad....unless he starts ducking your calls. That really pisses me off. :p p.s. good luck!
I've called him twice. Both times he promised next week so I wait. Again no payment so I have to call again. This time I told him no to **** with me or his designs will go out. I'm not here to waste my time.
Still no payment so now I've given the matter to my lawyers are will approach him. I will loose 30% as a fee to my lawyers but I will make sure he pays that 30% by lose of business and customers. yeah life is a b*tch for me too unfortunately...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Final point, this issue is between you and him- to mention his name at this early stage in this forum is not very professional on your part, so maybe you deserve to get taken.
Firstly its not an early stage.... these are invoices that are 6 months old!!!

Whether they pay or not there is nothing thats unprofessional about me mentioning them because I'm mentioning facts and the truth. This information can come in handy to another digitizer who might have started digitizing for him to be aware that this client might not pay them.

What right do they have to take me to court??? I'm purely stating the facts that they are making false promises and have not paid me for the last 6 months!!! They can sue me for all I care....there's nothing they will be able to do because I've not done anything wrong and not stated anything false. Just giving out info to other members to beware of PHOENIX PROMOTIONS!!
 
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