Top 10 excuses for not paying – Ashley’s BAFTA Awards

  • Anil Kanda
  • 04 Jan, 2007

The team at small business invoice finance specialists, Ashley Commercial Finance has been busy collecting and voting on the top reasons for businesses not paying up. Failure to pay is a serious problem in the UK where at least 10,000 businesses fail each year as a result. The following are those excuses which made it onto Ashley’s shortlist this year, the BAFTA award winning performances from the business finance world (Business Accounts in the Future To Avoid).

Very often collecting payments for invoices is a little like being a marriage guidance counsellor between supplier and customer, what was ordered versus what was delivered. It also means separating BAFTA award winning performances to determine the ’can’t pay’ from the ’won’t pay’. The following reflect this.

The award for make-up (and hair):
Excuse 1: “I’ve got the spaniels, but it’s the one with the welly in its mouth, not the ones ordered.”
(The customer was a Blackpool gift shop taking a delivery of china figures).

The David Lean Award for Achievement in Direction:
Excuse 2: ” am not paying because the dust sheets let the paint through.”

The Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding British Contribution;(the most common):
Excuse 3: “We can’t pay we’re in the middle of an audit” or its all so familiar sister excuse’ “We can’t pay we’re in the middle of a payroll run”.

The award for sound production:
Excuse 4: “I refuse to pay because I heard a laugh when I answered the phone.”

The awards for special visual effects:
Excuse 5: “I posted the cheque but a firework was put in the post box.”
Excuse 6: “I dropped the cheque book in the rain”.

The award for actor in a (non)leading role:
Excuse 6: “I didn’t send the cheque as I don’t know your address”.

The award for original screenplay:
Excuse 8: “I haven’t got a pen”.

The award for scenery:
Excuse 9: “I’ve moved address and lost the box with the cheque book in”.

And for short(ened) animation?:
Excuse 10: “I have posted the cheque but can’t remember if I put a stamp on it”.

Jayne Merriman, Operations Director at Ashley Commercial Finance;
“Our client managers are very experienced and have heard all these excuses’ plus many more. Excuses like this can make credit control a really time consuming and damaging exercise for businesses that want to concentrate on running their business and not collecting cash. We have many clients who use our invoice finance services because they don’t want this hassle and don’t have the time to chase overdue debts. It is fast becoming the smart way to finance a business particularly for smaller businesses. Ashley chases EVERY invoice it deals with for a client. This means we come across some real BAFTA excuses – it stands for Business Accounts in the Future To Avoid.”