As a business owner, there's nothing more frustrating than completing a job or providing a service and then not getting fully paid for it.
It can be tempting to lose your cool and take matters into your own hands, but that's never a good idea. In this blog post, we'll give you some tips on how to deal with a customer who short-pays an invoice—the right way.
What Does It Mean to Short Pay an Invoice?
It's important to stay calm when dealing with a customer who doesn't pay their full invoice. After all, getting angry and confrontational will only make the situation worse.
The best thing you can do is try to reason with them and see if they're willing to negotiate. If that doesn't work, you can always threaten legal action—but we'll get to that later.
When Is It Acceptable to Pay a Bill Partially?
There are a few circumstances where it's acceptable to pay only part of an invoice. For example, if you've received a bill for services that were not rendered or were not up to par, you have every right to dispute the charges and pay only what you feel is fair. The customer typically uses the partial payment invoice example if this is precisely the situation.
If you're unable to reach an agreement with the vendor, you can always ask for a mediator or arbitrator to help settle the matter. In some cases, it may be necessary to take the vendor to court.
What Are the Penalties for Not Paying an Invoice in Full?
If you don't pay an invoice in full, the vendor has every right to take legal action against you. This could result in wage garnishment, seizure of assets, or even jail time. In some cases, the vendor may also report you to the credit bureau, which could damage your credit score.
It's important to remember that businesses are entitled to receive payment for services rendered—so don't take it lightly if you're caught short-paying an invoice. We want to encourage you to make use of the budget tool. It helps keep your budget and payments on schedule. Pay your bill on time.
How to Handle Short-Paid Invoices
Here are a few things you can do to try and get the full payment you're owed:
- Talk to the customer: The first step is always to try and talk to the customer about the situation. They may not even realize that they didn't pay the full amount. If they're uncooperative or refuse to talk to you about it, move on to the next step.
- Send a reminder: If talking to the customer didn't work, your next course of action should be to send them a gentle reminder about the money they owe you. Be polite but firm in your language. Something like, “We noticed that you didn't pay the full amount on your last invoice. Please let us know if there was an error so we can fix it.”
- Escalate the situation: If both of those options fail, then you may need to escalate the situation by threatening legal action. This should only be done as a last resort, but sometimes it's necessary in order to get what you're owed. Be sure to consult with an attorney before taking any legal action so you know what your options are.
No business owner likes having to deal with customers who don't pay their invoices in full—but unfortunately, it's something that happens from time to time. If you find yourself in this situation, it's important to stay calm and professional. There are a few things you can do to try and get the money you're owed, but if all else fails, you may have to take legal action.