Unusual excuses for not paying a bill - think you've heard them all?

June 23, 2006   Business News
(PRLEAP.COM) Check in the mail? That's nothin'!

Professionals in the collection business get used to hearing excuses as to why someone can't pay an outstanding bill or at least can't pay according to terms. But, even seasoned and experienced collectors can get thrown on occasion.

The clients for an International Specialist in training for accounts receivable kept track of the unusual excuses they heard during the month of May. Three judges, once they were able to control their laughter, selected the top three. Their criteria was simple:

- something they hadn't heard before
- funny bones were tickled
- chutzpah counted (big time)

The first prize in the contest went to Ernestine Vicini of NetBank, located in Columbia, South Carolina. When contacted about a bankruptcy notice, her customer said, “I didn't know I filed bankruptcy!”

It was tough for the judges as you can see by the second and third prizes:

2nd place: "I am just a small 'mom & pop' business. I can't pay because an employee embezzled over a half million dollars from me in six months!"

3rd place: Payment had been arranged with a client and the collector confirmed details with a fax that on the bottom included "PAYMENT BY CREDIT CARD IS ACCEPTED". When no money was received after a couple of weeks, the collector called the customer who said, “At the bottom of the fax I saw, “PAYMENT BY CREDIT CARD IS ACCEPTED”, so I figured you'd already taken the money.!” His unique interpretation bought him another three weeks or so of free credit!

For her first place finish, Ernestine received a trophy (Bull Rider), copy of Michell Dunn's latest book, “Become the Squeaky Wheel”, a one-year subscription to National Credit News, “The Excuse Terminator” - unique software to resolve standard collection excuses, and a t-shirt with “"Carpe Nummos" (Seize the money) and "Retine emptorem" (Keep your customers)

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Tim Paulsen is the author of “Paid in Full” and has trained collectors all across North America as well as in Bahamas, China, India, Kuwait, Jamaica, Philippines, and Singapore. He can be reached at: (416) 691-2648, www.trpaulsen.com
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Tim Paulsen
T. R. Paulsen & Associates
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