Do not collect $200.
Naomi asked how my end of financial year (EOFY) was going.
I reflected that it was rather less cheery than the current crop of pay TV ads.
The source of my ennui is a large sum of money which I’ve earned, but not received.
For the first time in Empire history, I’m thinking debt collection.
I wonder if I’m alone in this.
When seatbelts became mandatory, my dad had a belt installation business.
One client owed him ten pounds – a lot of loot in those days.
After trying everything else, Dad hired a debt collector.
This burly but very quiet man had a big van emblazoned with DEBT COLLECTOR.
His non-violent approach was instructive.
He simply parked at the offending party’s front door – in full view of his neighbours – and waited.
Soon enough, the debtor appeared. Eventually, so did the ten pounds.
Dad got nine of them and was well pleased.
A few months ago a debt collector cold-called to ask if I had outstanding invoices.
I didn’t, but now I do.
Then I got a business card in my letter box. I’m looking at it now. It says:
DCS. Debt Collection Services. We collect debts. That’s all we do.
Always a fan of clear, concise communication, I’m doubly impressed today. On the back it says:
Fast debt recovery. Email your problem debts to us for action.
I’ve just checked their website; their services look highly effective and seductively easy to invoke.
I’ll send them this post and invite their comments.
Of course, summoning the cavalry will do little for client relations. Perhaps I should send another polite email.
That’s what I’ve always done; the money almost always turns up eventually.
I’ve had a few bad debts over the years, but the circumstances have been so hideous that I’ve preferred to walk away rather than squander more time and energy on the offenders.
But dollars seem more precious these days.
Of course, this whole question could be academic.
Everyone could simply be holding off until the very end of the month.
By this time next week, I could be rolling in it.
And won’t I look silly?
Then again, maybe my clients are waiting to be paid by their clients, who are waiting to be paid by theirs.
We could all be in for a nasty knock-on effect.
How are you travelling as the year ends?
Are you waiting to pay or be paid?
Do you have advice or anecdotes?
I’ll be forever in your
Paul Hassing, Founder & Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire