As mentioned earlier, we’ve had a consistent problem with a few customers who wish to ignore their bills. They’d like to pretend we have no interest in getting paid, so they don’t pay.
This is part of the reason why we’ve stopped acting like a bank. We aren’t very good at it, and its not our core competency. You want credit, go to a bank. You want the fastest (in terms of measured speed, not theoretical guesses) storage you can get, we can help.
For those who’ve had issues paying, as in they didn’t want to pay what they owed, we had a set of simple knobs to turn. One of them is warranty coverage. The other is support.
Curious how quickly tunes change when someone needs help.
One customer had their warranty coverage canceled, and support revoked because they chose not to pay. We’d informed them previously we could not extend them credit due to what our lenders told us. Somehow we managed to squeeze their order in. And they proceeded to stiff us.
So we told them that their support was at risk. No action. We told them that we would cancel their warranty. Not a peep. We indicated that we would file liens against their assets in the US after taking them to court. Nothing.
Then they had a problem.
In the space of 24 hours everything changed.
They had a problem. They needed help.
We made it quite simple. They could put money down, on a credit card, and we would bill our time against that. But they had to pay up front, and in full.
They didn’t like that. I noted their very late payment and indicated that they could have avoided all of this had they paid their bill.
So they paid their bill.
And in no uncertain terms, we indicated that there is no possibility of any extension of any credit in any form to them, whatsoever. No net terms. Nothing.
They want credit, they can borrow the money from a bank and pay us in advance. But they don’t get credit.
This wasn’t an tiny sum of money. It was noticeable. Our accountant kept asking us.
We’ve had other stiff or try to stiff us before. And I am sure we will have it again.
We run an honorable and honest business practice, we don’t pad our invoices (as some whom are stiffing us now have claimed). We don’t make up invoices. We ask simply that our customers pay their bills.
Its sad, but we sometimes have to resort to painful mechanisms to do what is right. Stiffing us … that’s not right. That’s theft, that’s dishonorable.
Years ago, I used to wonder why T&Cs had all those paragraphs and stanzas.
Now I know. I understand, I accept.