The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge

rainy

Kingfisher
Don't feel hesitant to call a higher up and simply request a new contact or account manager to continue your relationship with them.

I have had a number of similar issues with both vendors and clients. For whatever the reason the accounting practices of some of my vendors have gotten worse since COVID hit. I was patient when everyone was working remotely but not anymore. Not when it becomes a distraction.

At one point I was hesitant to make those calls. Not anymore with my understanding of business and accounting. I actually had a related conversation with a vendor yesterday who we give a lot of business to. They give us this unreadable purchase ticket when we get the material from them which you can't do anything with. Then they would send an account statement each month for us to pay with the listed invoices. Yet that kept getting delayed further and further. So I requested an invoice to be emailed the day of purchase. They can't follow thru with that. I finally just picked up the phone, asked for the owner and said listen man, can you help me understand why in the year 2021 it takes your company months to get me invoices when all your competitors I also do business with provide them the day of purchase. It creates a headache and as much as I enjoy doing business with you I have to be honest with you, it really does reflect poorly on your company. Every month it is your billing systems which causes us more issues than anyone else we deal with. I need you to address this immediately. This isn't personal but business is business.

He was embarrassed and unaware of the incompetence below him.

I would go up the chain. Not only is this guy not doing his job but his supervisors aren't do theirs either.
 

TheFinalEpic

Pelican
Gold Member
Looking for some more advice.

I have had an arrangement with a company since 2016. Never had issues with them. In 2018 my contact with them changed. Since the new guy has been my contact things have degraded and continued to get worse. All this guy has to do is send me the billable amounts each month and then I send him an invoice. His predecessor always sent me the billable amount at the beginning of the month. But now I never get them. I ask for them and he either does not reply or says he will send it shortly and never does. Other than two occasions I have had to email other people in the organisation, after which I always get the billable amounts, I send the invoice and it is paid.

I used to bill them every two months. This was agreed upon by email. But since the new guy has been there the billing periods have got longer and longer. I let it run up a bit longer this year, due to some of my own issues, but no longer than it had been due to the problems with this guy. Once my issues were sorted I sent an invoice and now I am up to 12 months unpaid, as this guy has been running me in circles, not replying, saying he will get on it an never doing so.

I have avoiding specifically criticising this guy, being rude or reporting on his specific issues with his superiors, but it has gone too far this time.

One of the reasons I have given him such leeway as I think he is the idiot nephew of someone important. He looks and behaves like a moron. I can't really understand his behaviour. He must know I am eventually going to contact his superiors for about the 20th time, and essentially tell them he is not doing his very simple job. I can't see how they cannot see how this guy is grossly incompetent.

So I am going to report the issues that have now degraded to the worse level since he took the position. And I will also request that someone else deal with me, which, as mentioned, consists of sending an email a month and processing six invoices a year.

Any tips on how to handle this? I want it to be diplomatic and free of negativity.

Tagged: @rainy , @EndlessGravity , @TooFineAPoint , @TheFinalEpic
It sounds to me like you're handling it correctly. Is the location of the client close enough to you in which you could present yourself and speak with someone higher up the foodchain? Sometimes just walking into a location is enough of a wake up call (I understand in current year it's more difficult or impossible if fully remote).

What deliverables are you providing? Are you able to withold delivering until paid? If you are still providing goods/services, then it is completely unacceptable for late payments. Personally, if I have late payments for my development company, I simply start pulling web assets and that usually has them pay up the second they see that their site is offline.
 

Coja Petrus Uscan

Crow
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
It sounds to me like you're handling it correctly. Is the location of the client close enough to you in which you could present yourself and speak with someone higher up the foodchain? Sometimes just walking into a location is enough of a wake up call (I understand in current year it's more difficult or impossible if fully remote).

What deliverables are you providing? Are you able to withold delivering until paid? If you are still providing goods/services, then it is completely unacceptable for late payments. Personally, if I have late payments for my development company, I simply start pulling web assets and that usually has them pay up the second they see that their site is offline.

I sent an email that just laid out the issues without being ratty etc. I requested to have a different contact with them.

Things have always gone well once I emailed someone else. I am just surprised that they hadn't twigged this guy is useless. Though as I said I think he is the nephew of someone important. The reply seems to suggest this. I was just a bit worried about how exposing this guy would go. But as @rainy noted, they seem happy to know he is dead wood.

I've withheld. Likely something similar to you. By pulling web assets, what do you mean? I remember the days of development and it was a truly terrible time with the amount of hassle you have to deal with.
 

TheFinalEpic

Pelican
Gold Member
I sent an email that just laid out the issues without being ratty etc. I requested to have a different contact with them.

Things have always gone well once I emailed someone else. I am just surprised that they hadn't twigged this guy is useless. Though as I said I think he is the nephew of someone important. The reply seems to suggest this. I was just a bit worried about how exposing this guy would go. But as @rainy noted, they seem happy to know he is dead wood.

I've withheld. Likely something similar to you. By pulling web assets, what do you mean? I remember the days of development and it was a truly terrible time with the amount of hassle you have to deal with.
I have taken down parts of websites, entire websites, or critical functionality that upon receipt of payment I automatically restore. I take 50% payment upfront for pretty much all work nowadays, this alleviates much of the headache that can come with this sort of clientele.
 
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