Debtor profile number 112- “Whiny Whitney”

Ahh yes, we have all had that customer who is just never happy. You could have gone above and beyond, worked until 2am to ensure their work was done in time for their deadline, literally done everything asked of you, but when it comes time to paying, “Whiny Whitney” will ask you to justify and substantiate all your costs. Putting aside the fact that it is borderline offensive to be asked to basically PROVE why you should be paid, dealing with these types of people requires a certain level of skill. Don’t worry folks, we have collected plenty of money for “Whiny Whitneys” in our time, so I speak from experience as much as anything. Whilst asking for a bit of a breakdown of your costs is nothing more than a slight inconvenience, being asked to justify how much you have charged is just rude. Withholding payment until you do so is even worse, and there is absolutely no legal basis for them to do this unless it is reasonable. We once collected $2300 with one 30 second phone call- 23% commission = $529 for 30 seconds of work. $63,480 per hour if you want to get technical. When the client refused to pay our invoice until I justified such a high rate, I kept my cool, took a deep breath and reminded her that she agreed to the commission rate, which was wholly and solely dependent on the amount collected- not the amount of time it took to do so. Still not satisfied, I simply turned the tables and asked if she would be offended if one of her customers asked her to justify her costs- she paid that day.

Guys, the way to get “Whiny Whitney’s” to pay is this:

1. Ensure they don’t have a point. Withholding payment and complaining just because they can is one thing- withholding payment because your work was poor, the product wasn’t as described or because you did in fact stuff up, is another.

2. Keep your cool. Bite your tongue and don’t ever lash out or antagonize them. This just makes things worse. Nod, smile, explain very rationally how the amount came to be, remind them that they agreed and you would appreciate them honouring their word.

3. Turn it around on them. Ask how they would feel if one of their customers did it to them.

4. Remove the emotion and just stick to the facts- they requested a quote, you provided a quote, they agreed to your quote, you did the job or supplied the product as per the quote, they just haven’t paid.

5. Tight deadlines. Payment in 24 hours or you are taking legal action. Or engaging debt collectors. Their call.

Cheers guys.

Debtor profile number 112- “Whiny Whitney”

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