Customer not paid due to the Coronavirus?
It is a problem that many Sole Traders and Small Businesses are facing right now: Customer not paid due to Coronavirus! – So what can you do? Customers not paying because of the Coronavirus pandemic is a problem that is facing many. You are going to need to be understanding of the unprecedented situation.
Well the truth of the matter is that your hands are tied to some degree. Every situation is different. As everybody knows, a minority will use every excuse in the book to avoid paying what they owe. Regardless of that, there is a government lockdown in place due to the current Covid-19 pandemic.
Thousands of people have lost their jobs over the past couple of months. In addition there have been stark warnings over the impact the coronavirus is having on the economy. However many more thousands have been furloughed. What does this mean? Effectively they have been laid off on 80% or full pay. This does not mean they cannot pay what they owe.
There have been reports of a massive rise in tenants not paying their rents. Wrongly believing if their landlord was to get a break in mortgage payments, they would get a break in rental payments. This was never going to be the case as the mortgage ‘holiday’ payments are not available for most Buy to Let mortgages. Some saw this as an opportunity to gain at others expense.
We are here to help the Small Business Owners and Self Employed get paid. We can also help individuals who are owed money and just need some advice. This situation will not last forever. Here are a few tips to try and get you through this difficult and testing period.
Engage with your Customer
If you have had a customer that has not paid, try to remain calm. Like many people, you will be anxious about what the immediate future holds. Politely engage the customer by any means possible. This would normally be via Phone, Email or SMS text. In the current circumstances, it is not appropriate to visit their property other than to maybe deliver a letter.
Be flexible in terms of Payment
If you are sure that your customer has been made redundant or been furloughed, then you need to be understanding. You will need to agree a repayment plan that is realistic under the circumstances. If somebody has been made redundant then you are going to need to demonstrate patience. Their source of income has been effectively wiped so you need to manage your expectations of what they can afford to repay.
If they have been furloughed then they should be receiving at least 80% of their normal wage. This should be factored into any repayment plan you make with them.
Be on guard
For any new work you are supplying, ensure the customer has the means to pay. The temerity of some will see them order services/goods in the midst of all this to then claim they have no money as a result. A very small minority but it pays to be diligent. Sole Traders and Small Businesses need to protect themselves
Get Expert Help
If you have a customer that has not paid due to the coronavirus, speak to one of our friendly team. Contact us today for a FREE consultation. We can advise you of your best options to recover what is owed to you.
Stay safe, stay calm and stay smart.