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Late payment of invoice

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2 months 5 days ago #4280 by duncan Bayliss
I am a self employed sole trader. I did a painting job for a building services company in the spring and I sent them a quotation prior to my starting. The work was completed and their client was delighted with my work. I invoiced the company for the  previously quoted amount of £9200 on 26th April. The operations director thanked me for my great work on site, acknowledged receipt of the invoice and promised to pass it on to accounts.

On 23rd June I spoke to the accounts dept. They said that payment had been authorised by a director but I wasn't then subsequently paid. I have made numerous calls but have since been unable to speak to anyone in accounts, put on hold, working from home and out of office excuses, promised calls that don't happen etc.

Then today after another attempt to speak to someone I received an email from E*** in accounts

"I can only apologize for the lack of response. I have been unwell recently so lots to catch up on. I won't lie this is the first time I have seen this invoice as far as I am aware. We obviously have every intention of paying it but would like to ask if we could set up a rough payment plan?
Would you be willing to accept £1000 each week and if we can do more some weeks we will?
Purely for cash flow reasons at the moment.
Many thanks"

This is now 84 days since my invoice and I'm not sure I trust them. I worry it will be occasional payments at their behest. I have a cash flow crisis of my own now and I really need payment in full.

How should I respond? Could their offer of a payment plan impact on me claiming expenses if I end up making a small claim? ie. if I reject this offer am I rejecting reasonable efforts to resolve the issue.

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2 months 4 days ago #4282 by james@cpa.co.uk
Hi Duncan,

not knowing the company involved it is difficult to know how genuine this all is but they re sending mixed messages. A lot of companies are in genuine difficulty both in terms of cash flow and staff not being in the office. But a lot of others have elaborate methods of delaying payment. Why say payment was authorised in June and then now raise the issue of delaying payment.

They asked for the work to be done, were happy with it and if they couldn't afford it then they shouldn't have authorised it.

Some would say it would be better to get some cash than none, but I think its better to start hard and then negotiate from there.

I would explain to them that this has put you in a difficult situation as well. Tell them that you have no choice but to add the late payment compensation and interest to the debt. Tell them that interest is accruing at £x pounds a day and you need to be paid. And see how they respond to that.

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