The greatest and most fulfilling part of our job is to get owed money back to our customers but there are plenty of other interesting aspects of what we do too. For example, we have heard some crazy and very unoriginal excuses for why people have not paid off their debts.
We thought we would share some of the best ones and also the ones that make you wonder how they thought we could ever be so gullible! Here they are:
“The cheque is in the post!”
People might have been able to get away with this one more in the 90s but in a world of online banking and immediate fund transfers, sending cheques has become rare. The inconvenience of posting a cheque should be enough to put most businesses off operating with cheque payments. So, when we hear people tell us that the cheque is in the post, we remind them that they can easily cancel the cheque with their bank and make a payment by card or bank transfer, or any of the other may digital payment options that we have at our disposal here in the 21st century.
“I’ve been chasing our Accounts department”
Passing the blame is another common excuse and the poor ‘Accounts department’ certainly take the brunt of the flack. In some cases, it might be that the Accounts team are genuinely understaffed etc. but more often than not, this is what debtors see as a delaying technique. When we ask if we can speak to the Accounts manager, it often becomes quickly apparent that their excuse is actually a lie.
“The goods were damaged/received late”
Then you have the people that try to manipulate the situation by claiming that the goods they received were either late, or damaged. Funnily enough, they usually hadn’t contacted our customer to complain and the issue only came up when the debt payment was brought up. Fortunately, courier records and asking for evidence of the ‘damaged goods’ will generally clear up any debate.
“The person who placed the order has left the company with the products.”
Another one we have heard is trying to blame an imaginary person, who placed the order, took the goods and vanished into thin air. They are often called John Smith or similarly common names.
“Not received the invoice.”
We hear this one a lot, even when numerous chase-up emails, and letters have been sent from our customer to the debtor, along with several phone calls and answerphone messages.
“Debtor is deceased.”
Just like an elaborate film plot, people actually do try to convince us that the debtor has passed away, when in actual fact they are hiding in the bathroom or trying to pretend to be someone else, such as their twin brother. Some people really do try every excuse in the book!
Debt negotiations really don’t have to be so difficult. At Cobra, we work with the debtor to find the best payment solution to suit both sides, whilst also maintaining a highly professional approach. There’s no need to go around in circles with these silly, fabricated excuses from debtors, call Cobra to get started on getting your money back.