Commercial Debt Collection: Top Non-Payment Excuse and What To Do

21 May

Check is in the mail

mailboxYou probably guessed the number one excuse for non-payment right off the bat.

When we ask our customers what phrase they hear most often when making collection calls, this one is always close to the top of the list: The check is in the mail.

Why do people say that when it’s simply not true?

The circumstances behind that statement might be slightly different for every customer. But the heart of it is always the same: stalling a payment.

Maybe they’re expecting a big check in the mail and they just don’t want to go through the long explanation with you. Or maybe someone else screamed a little louder this month, drowning out your voice of reason.

Regardless of the reason, the best response from you is to request the check #, amount on the check, date of the check and a copy of it via fax or scanned and emailed.

This isn’t about shaming the customer into admitting a lie. It’s about provoking payment immediately. When faced with the demand for a copy of the check, the customer is probably going to get off the phone, write the check, scan it, drop the check in the mail and then email you the scan. They save face – you get paid. Problem solved.

The long lasting effect may well be that this customer knows he’ll be called on the carpet for non-payment, therefore, he’ll be less likely to skip a payment next time.

For many customers, once they receive this response from you, they’ll never use the “checks in the mail” excuse again!

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