5 Common Excuses for Late Payment and How to Prevent ThemLast modified: November 22, 2023
5 Common Excuses for Late Payment and How to Prevent Them
When someone tries to make excuses for their actions, it is a fact this can be particularly annoying. This is the same for when someone is withholding payment and gives you lots of reasons for why they cannot pay on time.
Late payments are sadly on the rise, with SMEs chasing approximately £50billion in late payments in the last year. If you or your business are not receiving payments on the invoice due date, your cash flow will no doubt be affected.
Whilst there may be a genuine reason why the customer cannot pay for goods and services on time, this could also be a delaying tactic.
If you and the person that has not adhered to payment terms have a good relationship, you should be able to tell whether their excuses are genuine. In this guide, our experts have outlined some of the most common excuses for late payment and how to respond to these.
What Are the Common Excuses for Late Payment?
It should be a straightforward exercise to provide goods to a customer and for them to pay the invoice on time. When they choose to delay payment by making excuses, this can put you in a difficult position.
Below is a list of the most common excuses for late payment and how you can prevent these from happening.
1 – The payment will be with you in a couple of days
One of the most common excuses for late payment is when the debtor claims the payment will be with you in a couple of days. Whilst this could well be a genuine excuse, it is always good to have evidence to back this up.
Many late payers will use bank account transaction processing times as a reason for the late payment. We recommend that you request proof of payment if this is the case, for example, a screenshot of the bank statement.
2 – I have not received the invoice yet
An excuse that results in unpaid invoices becoming present is that the debtor hasn’t even received them. You should double-check that the address on the invoice was correct, as this will give you an indication of whether they are being truthful.
These excuses can also be prevented by requesting an acknowledgement of it being received. For example, you may wish to send the invoice via email so that it can be documented and a read receipt can be added.
3 – We are not happy with the work that has been provided
Everyone has heard the old story of someone ordering the most expensive food on the menu, only to complain once they have eaten it. This is the same situation when a debtor chooses to dislike the service after it has been provided.
This will most likely result in the refusal to pay, further delaying the funds landing in your bank account. If the debtor has a genuine reason to complain, then you should deal with this in a professional manner and through the right channels.
4 – There are incorrect details on the invoice
Just like with any terms and conditions, it is important to make sure all details on the invoice are correct. Failure to do this will allow the customer to easily delay the payment by not accepting the invoice.
Details such as addresses, cheque numbers, registration numbers, etc. should all be correct before sending to the customer. Failure to check the information is correct will only waste time in getting paid, and sadly, this is self-inflicted.
5 – Financial difficulties are preventing me from paying
It is common for customers to enter their financial difficulties, meaning you will not be paid on time. Whilst you have to be sensitive in this particular situation, the issue is theirs and not yours.
Regardless of whether or not they have are experiencing difficulty, you still need to be paid. We recommend that you try and come to a payment plan with the customer, as this will mean you still get paid in full, just in smaller intervals.
Stop Late Payment Excuses – Frontline Collections
If you are constantly seeing the common excuses for late payment on a regular basis, you should contact a professional debt recovery agency. Known as the leading private debt collection agency in the UK, Frontline Collections have demonstrated experience recovering late payments for our clients.
Since 2005, we have helped individuals and small businesses in all sectors recover the money that is rightfully theirs. If you are owed money by a customer and they are making excuses for why they won’t pay, speak to our experts today.