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Dealing with International Clients’ Non-Payment Excuses

When it comes to making excuses for the non-payment of a debt, some people seem to come up with some very convincing and creative reasons.  For businesses in the UK that deal with customer and clients overseas, getting an international debt settled can seem challenging, to say the least.  After all, the debtor is living in a foreign country, using legislation that may seem confusing to us here in the UK.  This is why it can be a great idea to call in the professionals when faced with non-paying overseas customers, and hire the services of an international debt collection agency that has the expertise and experience necessary to recover the money owed to your company. 

In the meantime, take a look at some of the excuses that have been used in some European countries by non-payers who seem to have become experts themselves at avoiding coughing up what’s due.

  • Winter Woes – “My business is located at a Mediterranean summer resort which is closed in winter.  This means that I have no source of income in winter and am unable to pay what is owed”.  Any business that operates on a seasonal basis will still need to attend to administrative tasks in winter – and this includes paying their creditors, whatever the season.
  • Crisis, What Crisis?“I’ve tried to transfer the money but the bank is causing problems”.  Unless this excuse came from a Greek customer at the height of the crisis when the Greek banks closed for several weeks (back in 2015), this reason just isn’t plausible.  It’s no longer acceptable from a Greek customer either, as the banks in Greece have been operating as usual for the past few years.
  • Out of the Country“I know I owe this money, but I’m travelling overseas at the moment and won’t be able to make the payment until I return”.   This is 2019 and the internet is available globally, so there’s no excuse for not paying as the debtor only needs a broadband connection to log into their bank account and transfer the money.
  • Money Manana“The invoice was only issued four months ago – we’ll pay when we get to it”.  This laissez-faire attitude may be more common in some of the Mediterranean countries where a more laid-back attitude towards business is the norm.
  • Polite Promises – “I’m dreadfully sorry about this, paying is my top priority and I promise to transfer the payment as soon as possible”.  However polite the non-paying customer is, a promise is a promise and should be kept. 

Whatever the reason one of your overseas clients is giving for delaying payment, if you’re having difficulty obtaining what your company is owed, then engaging the services of an international recovery firm is a sensible option.  Knowing that the experts are dealing with this problem for you will take the burden off you and leave you free to concentrate your time and energy on your business, which is what you do best.