Reminder sticker takes sting out of
Report: Mark Lawson
Australian Financial Review, March 20-21, 2010 (Page
The goods and services have been provided, and
the invoice has been sent out. Now all that remains is
for the customer to pay the bill when, or hopefully
before, it comes due.
But what happens if no cheque arrives?
managing director of Australian Credit Stationers, has
written Debt Collection Made Easy which he has
self-published and is marketing on the internet.
says he does not chase a debt just because its a few
days overdue. That is a very costly exercise, especially
as he has lots of small accounts to deal with. Instead,
he uses his own product, overdue reminder stickers that
can be attached to invoices when they are sent out
again. Usually this is when the debt becomes 45 days and
60 days overdue. Australian Credit Stationers
distributes the reminder stickers, among other products,
to credit managers.
That is sufficient for the vast
majority of customers who are taking longer than they
should to pay bills and does not annoy them.
be a good customer who has just lost the invoice or it
is on the bottom of a stack of other invoices, and you
dont want to call a few days over the time asking for
your money, Renton says. You want them to keep doing
business with you.
So that means a friendly reminder
at different time. When the bill gets past 75 days
overdue that is the time to call, he says.
A lot of
the remaining overdue debts will come in after you do
finally call, Renton says, but there will be some people
who cannot pay because they have gone bankrupt or the
company has gone into receivership. Then there will be a
few who simply dont want to pay, and then you have to
resort to the courts.
The system for collecting debts
through the courts varies in each state, Renton says,
but in NSW it is relatively simple to get an order from
a magistrate. If you fill out the required form
yourself, a $200 debt may cost another $200 in court
costs, including the cost to send in the bailiffs with
an order to seize assets. But those costs can be added
on to the original bill, so that the $200 debt becomes
Fortunately it is rare that matters go as far as
bailiffs seizing assets. The debtor will suddenly
produce the money.