Friday, November 22, 2013

How to Not Get Paid

I recently concluded business with an internet hosting company, and was trying to pay the last payment of my contract with them, when I ran into a huge problem. They took payments only by credit card, debit card, or Paypal--but the Paypal account had to have a credit card associated with it. I did not have any of these things, and I unsuccessfully spent the better part of an hour on the phone trying to find a way to pay them my last payment.

So, when you are setting up ways to accept payments, remember that not everyone has the same situation you do. Some people, trying to straighten out identity theft, temporarily disable credit and debit cards. Others may be in a situation where even a bank account may be a problem for them. Others, worried about identity theft, want to limit their exposure by paying cash.

Buy at
Man Sweeping up Money
Always try to be as flexible as possible when allowing customers to pay you. Cash, checks, credit cards, PayPal (not necessarily linked to a credit or debit card), bank transfer, cashier's checks, money orders: these are all perfectly common forms of payment.

At best, you want to ask your customers how they would like to pay you. A listening ear, and understanding their concerns, will help you to be a better resource for them.

And the end of my story? The company decided that it was too much trouble to collect the $2.97 from me, because my situation didn't allow me to use any of their acceptable forms of payment. So they cancelled the invoice, and, in the process, used at least $30 of labor.

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