No matter how long you are in the collections business, customer payment excuses never seem to get old. There is always a new and ridiculous payment excuse that will shock you. Customers will never quit trying to get out of paying, so these hilarious (and frustrating) excuses will keep coming.
These seven ridiculous payment excuses are real and were reported by companies participating in a survey by FreeAgent.
- Can I buy you a drink and we can call it a deal?
- My cat is sick
- Our CEO is still on a vacation
- My dog ate your invoice
- Your invoice was “unethical”
- I referred you to a friend, I thought that meant I wouldn’t be charged
- You didn’t chase me enough for payment
Although these payment excuses are funny to read about, they do happen. So how can you avoid hearing one of these ridiculous payment excuses from your client? Sending payment reminder emails early and often is one of the first lines of defense you have against these excuses. Sometimes customers just simply forget, so you can eliminate those excuses if you are keeping in touch with clients. Another possible payment excuse eliminator is offering a small discount for paying early. If companies are truly struggling with money to pay on their invoices, they will jump at the chance to save a couple bucks. In fact, one of the most common excuses in the survey was “I’m waiting to get paid by a client before I can pay you”. Allowing for a little extra savings can end up going a long way. Finally, using an accounts receivable software can put the collection process on auto-pilot. By automating all your manual tasks, you can take more time to call customers and resolve any payment excuse issues quickly.