bob – the builder (part 8)

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bob – the builder (part 8)

this is part 8 of a live Case Study. click on the picture for the full story bob – the builder is a real, live Case Study. I am recording what does or doesn’t happen so that you can see the thought processes behind an effective collection strategy and how the three principles of effective account collections are applied in real life.

To see all of bob – the builder as it unfolds/unfolded click here.



Part 8

30 March 2009
The March instalment has not yet been received. It was due today. This is the email we sent to Dave (the debtor)
Hi Jane (Dave – the debtor’s wife)

As Bob is away this week, please advise what date you remitted March’s installment.
If you have not done so yet, please advise when you will be.


03 April 2009
No reply to our email, so, we sent another one. This time, the only “threat” being used is that we will re-institute the interest component of the debt. We are simply following through. No emotion involved, just “this is what will happen if you don’t pay or contact us“.

Hi Jane,

According to our records
1: the March instalment has not yet been received, and
2: you have not replied to our last email (below).

In an earlier email of 13 February we advised you that
In view of your recent payment, no interest is being charged on the balance remaining. This will continue to be the case as long as regular instalments continue. However, please be quite clear that if no reduction is made in any one month and you have not advised us accordingly beforehand, the firm will be left with no alternative other than to re-introduce the interest component in protection of its interests.

If we do not hear from you by 2.00pm, Wednesday, 08 April we will be obliged to re-introduce interest to your account. I will advise you of the new balance due on 10 April should that be the case.

Michael Todd.


What next?
Nothing, until 10 April. We are showing this debtor that we say something, we do something. We follow through.


So, what do I expect to happen now?

They will either pay or contact us. If they do neither, we will send them an email with the new balance due (including the added interest). It will be much stronger. I think they’ll contact us.


Long story short – Dave the Debtor paid everything except a final $2,500 and that was only because Bob decided not to chase this anymore!

Points to Note:

No legal action was ever taken.  It couldn’t have been anyway as the Statute of Limitations kicks in after 6 years and this debt was 8 years old when we started collecting.

Dave paid because the ‘pressure’ to pay never let up.

The “threat” of re-introducing interest was made clear to him although, in fact, Bob would never have done that but … Dave did not know that.

A new name was introduced to Dave.  Me.  He KNEW how to get away with not paying when dealing with Bob, but this unknown factor was very unsettling to him.

Many of the principles mentioned in other posts in this blog were used – unusual deadlines, sms messages, chasing BEFORE the payment was due, precise language, using ‘down time’ to our advantage …


By | 2018-06-14T03:37:47+00:00 April 4th, 2009|case studies|0 Comments

About the Author:

Have you ever wondered why a client does business with you and then ignores your invoice like they had no intention of paying it in the first place or they treat you like their own personal line of credit, leaving YOU dangling, waiting months for their payment? Unfortunately this situation is all too common and can even be puzzling for the most experienced business owner. If you’ve ever had to handle outstanding accounts or you are just so over non-payers, then we can help. Real-world skills, solutions, tips & strategies to get more accounts paid on time, and, most importantly, how to maintain customer goodwill while keeping YOUR cash flow in the positive. You will find the blog posts helpful but to get real results, contact us by using any of the forms on this site, by email or by phone. I’ve been involved in the management of accounts for over 30 years, heard every excuse in the book, can spot a non-payer at 20 paces. Finance Companies in the 70s (systematic, tough), professional firms in the 80s (no systems, too gentle) and, since then, just about every other sort of business you can think of. I’ve written books on the topic, spoken all over the place about it and the blog in this website is my way of “giving back”. I hope you find it helpful.

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