Whatever side of the invoicing process you find yourself on, Atradius Collections – which says it has heard just about every excuse when collecting amounts due from debtors of its customers – has not only put together a set of the most common excuses – it has also included a list of “can you believe it” lines.
Some of the classic or more common excuses for not paying invoices include:
- We haven’t received the invoice
- Our terms are (30, 60) days
- We don’t have a payment run until next month
- There are no check signatories available
- The check is in the mail/the invoice has already been paid
- The goods were never delivered or the order was cancelled
- The goods/services were faulty or not as described
- The balance is incorrect and we are awaiting a credit note
- The goods have not been sold/the buyer has not paid for the goods yet — need sale proceeds to be able to pay
- The debtor is insolvent.
Atradius – a firm that provides trade credit insurance, surety and collections services worldwide, and has a presence in 40 countries – says that, although it happens rarely, “some debtors still manage to surprise even us.” Some of the more unusual – but actual – excuses:
- It’s not a valid debt as my vindictive ex-wife ran off with the company credit card
- I just got back from my luxury holiday, it cost more than I thought so I no longer have the funds to pay
- I wanted to pay but all the invoices were in my briefcase, which was stolen on the street
- My wife has been kidnapped, and I need the money to get her back.