10 Tips for Getting Paid

Here’s a topic I’ve come across on more than one occasion and, I have to say, I’ve had discussions about it quite a bit recently too.

When do you decide to commence proceedings against someone you’re working with because they haven’t paid you?

Now all the smart money and advisers will tell you that it depends on what the contract says, the terms you’ve agreed to, etc. etc.  And yes, that’s right – I would say that too, but it doesn’t really help when you need the cash to pay your own bills and they’ve gone beyond the agreed terms, does it? And don’t you find that it’s the big companies who seem to be the worst at paying?! Don’t they realise that they are playing with peoples livelihoods?! You can hardly afford to tell your staff and suppliers each month you can’t pay them. How are they going to meet their commitments and pay their mortgages and feed their families?

So here are a few tips that may help:

  1. Record everything that you’re doing towards chasing monies from the word go: Dates/times/letters/emails/statements. You can never have enough records!
  2. Check and double check that you’ve sent your invoice to the correct address, the correct company and the correct contact – there’s nothing worse than getting the point where you’re ready to start legal proceedings only to find you’ve invoiced the wrong company etc (and this is always a tactic that gets dragged out as an excuse not to pay!)
  3. Make as much noise as you can. The louder you shout the more likely you are to get listened to – and paid!
  4. Go higher up the decision-making tree (if there is one). When you get stonewalled, ask for the next person up. Tell the person you’ve been dealing with that you’re going to speak to them too.
  5. Chase each person hard. Give them details of all the efforts you have been making to get paid. Be assertive, but not aggressive – losing your temper never works in my opinion.
  6. If it all seems to be falling on deaf ears (and presuming you are prepared to do so) then threaten legal action.
  7. If you still get no result (and you know you are clearly entitled to the money) then issue a draft copy of a County Court Summons, stating the date you are going to lodge it. Send it by email or fax, but use a method that allows you to confirm that it has been delivered/received.
  8. Make sure you state that you are going to include interest at the Statutory amount on the outstanding debt.
  9. On the whole, 9 times out of 10 the threat of legal action works well and you’ll receive payment shortly after and can get back to work!
  10. If payment doesn’t arrive though, you should absolutely carry out your threat – 10 times out of 10 this works!

For more information about issuing a summons and the like, visit the HMCS website – you’ll be surprised how easy it is to do!

Or you could just get in touch with us. We’d be pleased to help you! 🙂

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About Me

I’m now the Managing Director of Mynott Associates Limited my own specialist measurement business. I’ve been in the industry all of my life since I left school. My first job was with Bovis Construction as a management trainee where I trained to become a quantity surveyor. I’ve worked for contractors all through my career, I am FRICS, FCIOB and MCIHT qualified and act as an RICS assessor. I’m also a keen Arsenal supporter having followed them from a young boy

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