Would you bother chasing a £20 debt?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat & Introductions' started by Adams0211, Jan 27, 2016.

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  1. Adams0211

    Adams0211 Guru
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    I've got a customer who doesn't seem to want to pay me. She owes me for two £10 cleans and I've had no luck getting paid so far.

    She lives in a flat in a village a couple of miles from my other work. I only spend one morning every four weeks in the village.

    She first approached me as I was cleaning another flat in her block. We agreed a price and agreed on four weekly cleaning. I cleaned the windows there and then and she paid me straight away.

    Part of the problem is my fault, I didn't take down a name or contact number or ask her to pay online like the rest of my customers in the village do so I don't have to go out of my way to collect.

    She wasn't in for the second clean so I left a card and asked her to contact me to arrange payment. I didn't hear from her.

    I let it go and cleaned the flat again four weeks later. She wasn't in again and I left another card.

    I'm pretty sure she's just taking the **** now. She's got my contact details and hadn't bothered trying to contact me. Last week I hand delivered a polite letter asking for payment within seven days and I've still heard nothing.

    Part of me thinks I should let it go. It's only £20 and it only took ten minutes to earn. Another part of me wants to take it further. £20 is £20 and I did earn it.

    What would you do?
     
  2. Green Pro Clean Ltd

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    Last Friday I filed a small claim for £16 against a customer, it's not about the money it's about the principle.
     
  3. daveyboy

    daveyboy Legend
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    That the woman we were talking about Neil?
    I would make sure i get it on principle
    Too many people think it's ok to take the p##s
     
  4. Adams0211

    Adams0211 Guru
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    Yep, it's the woman we were talking about.

    I agree. It's the principle. What do you think should be my next step?

    A more formal letter giving her seven days notice that I will be filing a claim at the small claims court?
     
  5. kahoona

    kahoona Well-Known Member
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    I guess one way of looking at it is to weigh up the risk to your business v's the gain in taking further action.

    Risks:
    You spend time working on taking action, thus incurring a cost to your business (your time).
    You take action but the ruling going in customers favor, you end up not receiving anything and possibly incur fees.
    Ruling goes in your favor you get your money, customers has to pay you and the court fees/costs, however bad will created customer could damage your reputation by painting you/your business in bad light, village community gossip travels fast (bad publicity).

    Benefit/s:
    You win the case and get your money.

    Note I have avoided stating under benefits that if you won you would be satisfied you had beat the customers argument. This is because its a personal view that has no real baring on your business, yes it would make you feel better, but would it really help your business in the long run?

    The point being that whatever you decide to do, it should be in the interests of your business not a personal vendetta against an individual.
     
  6. Adams0211

    Adams0211 Guru
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    Some good points there. I'm hoping that the threat of further action will be enough to get her to pay up.
     
  7. Green Pro Clean Ltd

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    Adams customer takes the pi$$ for £20

    Adams lets it slide and writes it off.

    Customer a while later sees Davey in the area, has Davey do the windows, takes the pi$$ again for £20 Davey lets it slide

    A month later customer sees Green in town and books him for the windows and on and on and on these customers go, they are natural born pi$$ takers and will always be because you allow it.

    It is almost your duty to file a claim against her to show her you are a professional and need to be treated with the respect and dignity you deserve.
     
  8. Brandon

    Brandon Well-Known Member
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    I had the same issue a few weeks ago, custy owed £10 and wasn't replying to my texts...couple weeks later got a text saying she'd paid the £10 and another 10 for next time cause she felt so bad for forgetting :rolleyes:
    have you tried going round there in the early evening? could be at work etc.
     
  9. Green Pro Clean Ltd

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    I disagree on a few points there, firstly the sort that continue to take the pi$$ are well know in small villages already for doing so, so when they bad mouth you to a neighbor the neighbor will simply wonder 'well why didn't she just pay what she owed'

    As for the cost of £25 for filing the case you will get that back. Before I filed my claim I took advice from my barrister (not really my barrister) a customer whom is a barrister and always invites me in and makes a cupper. (biggest house on my round as it happens takes 3 hours a month to do)

    She told me 90% of all these small claims are settled before the court day as the defendant does not want to get more bills and knows they are in the wrong. So even if you lose 1 in 10 you will still be in profit on debts recovered overall.

    As I say as for running her fat mouth, let her, in a small village they all already know whom the bad debtors are. It wont hurt your work.
     
  10. Andy

    Andy Forum Addict
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    I no this sounds harsh last year I did a gutter clean for a feller only £50 when I got there he said il be back before you go guess what. Few phone calls later I said iv got a job in your rd tomorrow il bank the money won't be anyone there.turns up his wife was out side talking to the gas man his car was not there so I left it. Couple of days later about 8 in the evening I banged on his door and said I need my £50 My staff needs some dog food he's getting hungry and yes I had him with me sitting on his door step, got my money there and then strange that.
     
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