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Thread: Payment Issues - anyone having them?

  1. #11
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    Dan Furman's Avatar

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    Excellent ideas everyone - thanks.

    By the way, Steve (CBS Steve), I do use a copyright statement, and yea, I feel it does help. Great minds and all that

    By the way, the slow guy paid me yesterday a few minutes after posting - isn't that always the way?? (maybe that's why I posted? Subconsciously, anyway - it's like going to the restroom at the restaurant - that's when the food comes.)

    I am going to think on the image idea (GREAT idea!!) - I would MUCH rather do that than raise my "prepay" limit. Raising the prepay limit will scare people off, and it is not my way to punish 99 good people for 1 jerk.
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    By the way, the slow guy paid me yesterday a few minutes after posting - isn't that always the way??
    On a similar note I often find that the moment I call technical support to complain about something not working is the exact moment it starts working again. I've also solved problems moments after posting a question about it.
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by billbenson View Post
    Evan, its industry dependent, but I don't think charging high interest rates is a good business strategy. I have a Lowes credit card with a $100 balance. I went to pay bills. Web site didn't work. They charged me $70 in late fees. They outsource the billing. Had a nice conversation with india. I did my best to ruin the day of the outsource billing persons day. I doubt I will ever step in Lowes again. They are a block from Home Depot anyway.

    The point is, if you leave the customer with a sour taste in their mouth, you just lost a customer. If the customer is late or likely to skip, protect yourself upfront, but unless they will never be a repeat customer or never have an impact on your business but complaining about you for the interest penalties, I don't really agree that charging penalties is a good idea.
    Knowing there is a penalty for paying late is usually an incentive to pay on time -- not always. With Lowes, the situation is different as this is a credit card and not so much a line of credit. The $70 fee was probably fixed and not a percentage based. On that $100 balance at 24% (lets say), that's going to be a $2 charge this month which certainly is better than the $70.

    Credit card company fees never tend to be reasonable.
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  4. #14

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    The credit card companies that look for people with bad credit are vultures. Kind of surprised me with Lowes though. They play the game of not posting the payment until after the due date to get the late fee. That or they charge you a fee for next day payment. I've been hit for late fees when I paid a week in advance.

    In some research on a credit card that I canceled, they charged 7.95 for online payment. They also sent out paper bills so late that if you didn't use express mail, your payment would arrive late and you would get a late fee.

    Interestingly, the last card mentioned above canceled all cardholders. I wonder if there wasn't some class action suit against them. There are really some slime bag credit card companies out there though. And it's not well publicized.

  5. #15
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    Admittedly there are some bad credit card companies out there. I still have one -- the first I ever got -- which has a poor "online" system. You can't see prior months of statements, and its $12.95 to pay online or by phone. So I always mail a check in. Plus the grace period is horrible once you factor in the mail time to receive it and send it. So I'm forced to pay it pretty much the day I get it. It also has my highest interest rate (21.95&#37. To say the least, I almost never use it.

    Discover Card has always been my preferred card. Lots of benefits, great online system, and a mere 7.24% interest rate. When you factor in a lot of the 5% bonuses and 1.9% APR on some purchases, plus a full month grace period (Billing ends on the 23rd, let's say, and is due the 22nd), it's really a great deal for me. Of course this isn't the same case for everyone.

    So yes, there are vastly different credit cards. Store cards (Lowes, Home Depot, etc.) are notorious for bad terms. This is why I stick to the major cards and not the store cards. Why do I need 50 more cards. "Oh crap, I forgot my Target Visa... and my Kohl's Charge... and my WalMart store card." I'm too busy to deal with that stuff.
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  6. #16

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    I've noticed over the past few months that some of our vendors have started requiring 50% downpayment when for the past 3 years nobody has ever questioned COD.

    Really, it's no problem for me, and it makes things easier in some cases depending on how the customer pays. It's just something I've noticed.

    I actually had one vendor call me and suggest that I was trying to rip them off because I left in such a hurry... Simply signed the check and the receipt and got in my car. He was so sure the check was going to bounce that he called me before even calling the bank. This offended me hugely, as I've never had a check bounce in my life and we have had a great relationship with this vendor.

    Just the nature of things these days I guess. I'm going to have to get used to it.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vivid Color Zack View Post
    He was so sure the check was going to bounce that he called me before even calling the bank.
    *chuckles* Bounced check.

    The bank profits more if they just process it and let you overdraw. A $35 whack for you, and it usually increases the longer you're balance continues to be negative.

    I have yet to really encounter a bounced check, unless that is the policy of the bank. Only one bank I know of in this area actually does that.
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  8. #18
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    All costs to your business must be passed onto your customers...you should raise your prices to cover your rip off customers.

    You need to come up with a solution!....its out there!

    I constantly have stress in my life due to slow payers...there's always 1 almost constantly...right now i have 3....2 are repeat customers and i know i will be paid and the other 1 is making me mad....

    I do business 90% on gut feeling...i know when something is out of the norm....as work keeps slowing down i find myself taking risks which i know dont feel right...so far they all worked out....i have changed the way i do business recently to stop my worries.

    As a plumber i can put a lien on a house....if im dealing w/ the homeowner i have 30 days to do a prelien and builders its 60 days...i usually wait until the builder is at day 50 before i pay $41 to do it...Now any job over $5,000 i do it before the job starts...im protected.....i just heard of some language that i can also include in my contract about the homeowner paying my legal fees if it goes to lien....so they owe me $5,000 and will pay $10,000 more so i can lien their house...the house gets sold and i get $15,000...now where can i hide that language..hmmmm...

    i had a stressful problem and i somewhat solved it...every lien notice that gets sent out always results in a phone call the next day to solve the problem....the word LIEN makes homeowners worry....most dont know the costs to forclose...if they did it wouldnt worry them at all...

    I would research small claims court

    I would look into being a credit card only company

    can you get a credit card as backup? they dont pay then you charge them on the credit card? i had a service hit me up for this service once...no builder would accept it, but your customers might....you may lose 10% of your customers, but your business will be stronger for it long term.

    im the type who doesnt like to lose...id pay $1,000 to get $500 from these people...id spend 10 hours in court.....i dont like thieves....they get away with it and thats why they do it again and again..
    Last edited by huggytree; 12-31-2008 at 09:21 PM.

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    im the type who doesnt like to lose...id pay $1,000 to get $500
    I can understand where that desire comes from, but in the end you're better off letting some things slide. It sucks to get ripped off, I agree. But it's worse to compound that by ripping off yourself.

    The one or two times a client did put one over on me I reworked my processes to ensure it didn't happen again. I looked at the getting ripped off thing as a lesson. It happened because I wasn't doing something right in my business. I learned, fixed the problem and now don't have the same problem anymore.
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  10. #20
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    Liens are tough, but if the interest rate is up there you can benefit in the future. Our family business put a lien on a persons home before I was even a thought (aka unborn), and we still haven't collected.

    The good news, using the rule of 72, it doubled every 3 years.
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