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Partial Payment

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  • Partial Payment

    First time I've ever sent a bill to a customer and received a check for a lesser amount.

    The bill was close to $300 and the check I received today was for $75 with no explanation or reason for the lesser payment.


    Should


    I cash the check and resend the bill with the adjusted amount

    I hold the check and collect them until full payment is made

    I call and ask if there was an error in judgement



    I'm not sure if cashing the check is an acceptance of payment in full or not. I wouldn't think so but I'm not so sure.

    Older widowed lady, took me a few months to send her the bill and when we spoke she told me to send it right after the 1st of the year. I complied and this is her first payment.

    I'm assuming she wants me to extend her credit and I'll do this even though she set the rules without my knowing.



    So should I just hold onto the check? I know this bangs up a checking account real bad when you start holding them. I'm not going to push for payment since she's a well-known lady who was responsible for safely transporting me in a school bus for a few years. She still does this as she's financially forced to after her husband died last year.


    I have a heart but I don't want this to become habit, that's for sure.
    Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

  • #2
    Re: Partial Payment

    I would call and ask if you got someone else's check amount by accident, if the answer is no it is all she could afford then the rest is up to you in what happens next. And you can always cash a check unless it says paid in full at the bottom then never cash the check or you are paid in full
    Bryce
    Seattle Drain Service

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Partial Payment

      Sounds like good advice to me. First step is really to find out what's going on.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Partial Payment

        What's the name of your business?...Dunbar Plumbing or Dunbar Savings and Loan?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Partial Payment

          dunbar, you need to call here and find out what she did. was it a mistake, a payment or all it was worth

          being elderly, she might not have caught a mistake. she could have misplaced your bill and sent a payment waiting for the balance.

          or she could have had to put up with you on the bus for years and felt the payment is payback

          call her

          rick.
          phoebe it is

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Partial Payment

            Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
            dunbar, you need to call here and find out what she did. was it a mistake, a payment or all it was worth

            being elderly, she might not have caught a mistake. she could have misplaced your bill and sent a payment waiting for the balance.

            or she could have had to put up with you on the bus for years and felt the payment is payback

            call her

            rick.
            Maybe she slipped on one of his banana peels and hit her head...??!!??
            I'm on "The List" and I love it!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Partial Payment

              Based on her financial difficulties, this is all she can pay right now and not a mistake. I would definitely cash it as soon as possible- many people don't balance checkbooks and they think they have as much money as their account balance says they do.
              However...
              If you've ever cashed a check and the payer had insufficient funds, you know you are stuck with the bounce check fees.
              So if there is any doubt, take the check to HER bank (the bank name is right on the front of the check), and cash it there.
              A few years ago, I had to take a client's check to their bank four times before their account had enough money for me to cash it.
              As Cuda mentioned, as long as she has not written anywhere on the check anything like "paid in full", you're not admitting anything by cashing it.
              In some states, even if the payer did write "paid in full", you can write "under protest" with your signature, which signifies that you do not agree, but want the partial payment.
              Perhaps you can write "$75 of $300 owed" by your signature on the check, to document the situation.
              Call your bank and they can confirm what we can only theorize.
              Since the original bill is so small and you know her personally, I agree with your last sentence about having a heart. But definitely make sure she knows that it's not cool that she did this without consulting you and that you won't be able to work for her again if she can't pay you in cash.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Partial Payment

                i agree with everyone here, call her and say something like,,,,"hello,i am just following up on the job to make sure every thing is still ok and to let you know that i just recivied your partial payment, should i expect this amount of $75 for the next 3 months as well until the balance is paid."

                the only reason i say to sugar coat this one is you have history with her and you know she is in a bind. keep in mind though, there is a difference between being nice and being a fool.
                9/11/01, never forget.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Partial Payment

                  one nice think about being a gopher..and not the owner....I call office if someone does not want to pay full amount..on the spot....its then the office problem.


                  Think the topic has been covered..I'd say call her and ask whats up....hows the kids, hows the hubby were is my $$$$ woman!....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Partial Payment

                    Deposit the check immediately.

                    Send a statement reflecting the payment and the balance.

                    At one month, send a statement with a $10 or $20 late fee and 2% finance charges. Continue sending statements twice monthly - add interest on every second statement.

                    If she pays no more, blacklist her. Never work for her again. But write off the amount.

                    If she attempts to pay but cannot afford to pay in full, help her out when she needs it. Realize that you are a business, not a charity; but also that you have a heart and can share your success with the community.

                    Do not argue with her. It's like wrestling with the proverbial pig. You get covered with mud and the pig enjoys it.

                    And in future, try to collect while still at the job. Explain to your customers that it's how service work is done. That way, you'll have some idea why the customer isn't paying.

                    I realize that you're already experienced in business, and if some of this sounds condescending, maybe it will help others.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Partial Payment

                      From what I go through you should try to cash it because it might be the only payment you get Been there done that !
                      http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Partial Payment

                        Originally posted by Herk View Post
                        Deposit the check immediately.

                        Send a statement reflecting the payment and the balance.

                        At one month, send a statement with a $10 or $20 late fee and 2% finance charges. Continue sending statements twice monthly - add interest on every second statement.

                        If she pays no more, blacklist her. Never work for her again. But write off the amount.

                        If she attempts to pay but cannot afford to pay in full, help her out when she needs it. Realize that you are a business, not a charity; but also that you have a heart and can share your success with the community.

                        Do not argue with her. It's like wrestling with the proverbial pig. You get covered with mud and the pig enjoys it.

                        And in future, try to collect while still at the job. Explain to your customers that it's how service work is done. That way, you'll have some idea why the customer isn't paying.

                        I realize that you're already experienced in business, and if some of this sounds condescending, maybe it will help others.
                        BINGO!!!!
                        http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Partial Payment

                          Thanks for the responses; I'm taking the advice.....I cashed the check already but I'm immediately resending a bill and acting casual about it.


                          This person knows a ton of people I already work for and if I tighten the screw on her it would look awful bad on my part. The world won't end if a recently widowed woman needs to make payments.


                          She also knows that there's not a plumber around that'll treat her as nice either, that's my advantage to get her to pay.


                          I charged her $55/hour which is giving away plumbing services. Her son uses my services as well so I can hang that over his head if need be, cut em off till payment is made in full.
                          Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Partial Payment

                            do not hold him accontable for her, they are two totally differnt people.
                            9/11/01, never forget.

                            Comment

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