Postponement of payment: yes, but...
Occasionally a customer asks for a postponement of payment. How do you respond to this and what is the best thing to do? Allowing a postponement of payment is not required by law. But why risk a good relationship and maybe even lose a customer by refusing? Maybe a short consultation is enough to agree on a new payment term together. You are happy and your customer even more so. Keep a number of things in mind.
How much payment delay should you allow?
When a customer asks for a postponement, there is a real chance that he is facing financial problems. You are therefore most likely not the only supplier with whom he is seeking a postponement.
To avoid your customer not paying the full amount later on, you can propose making partial payments.
Follow the partial payments carefully and intervene as soon as the customer does not keep to the agreement.
Do you have to charge interest or not?
It's up to you, but... do it anyway. That way you have something to compensate you if things still go wrong. Does your client always pay nicely and keep to the agreement? Then you can still waive that interest.
Put the payment schedule on paper
If you defer payment, you are deviating from the invoice date and your general terms and conditions. In order to avoid any dispute, it is better to put the arrangement on paper in clear points:
- Stipulate how much your client has to pay, in how many instalments, and how much any interest will be.
- Will there still be deliveries? If so, you can include in the plan a provision that the customer pays in cash until the overdue invoice is paid.
- Clearly state that the full amount will become due if the customer does not comply with the agreement.
- Is it a handwritten confession of debt? Then have your client write the amount in figures and in full. This way, there is no doubt and you avoid disputes in court.
You're never obliged to delay customers' payments. However, in order to maintain good customer relations, it may be advisable. In those situations, make sure that everything is neatly written down on paper. This way, no dispute is possible for any of the parties.
Does your client, in spite of all your efforts, not continue keeping up with his payments? Then simply request your unpaid invoices via the online Unpaid platform.