As a courier we get asked to quote for business all of the time, it seems on some days everyone has something to get delivered.
As a courier business we know there are some not very nice customers that prefer not to pay for their deliveries. A sad but true fact.
We are currently entering our tenth year of trading, and already in Feb 2011 I have had to issue two sets of court papers to clients who are not only avoiding payment but pretending never to have been given the information in the first place.
We don’t quote by text for a reason. If you are one of those dodgy, not very nice people then we need an audit trail to track back. We can show the judge evidence that you agreed the price and that you agreed the payments terms and since then you have been a bit of a naughty person.
We have yet to lose a case and every time we have had the court costs awarded. So it costs the customer even more.
Now we are all adults here (I hope) and we understand things get tough but bills still have to be paid and it really is unethical to try and run your business on someone else’s credit.
You can try, but it won’t happen.
If you are looking to become a courier, these useful facts are included in The Complete Courier Guide. It’s sad but true you will have some customers try and rip you off.
The good news is, the courier industry is a small industry and if you don’t pay up then the chances are the pool of couriers looking to complete your work will also dry up – we all talk to each other. Often open and frankly.
3 years ago we did some deliveries for a furniture importer, a lovely chap. He had knocked several other couriers in the area before he got to us. Like I say, it’s a small industry and one days competitor is tomorrows sub contractor… we knew that the importer had done this and we laid our terms and conditions down – we took payment up front for every single delivery.
This is not as harsh as it sounds – they took payment in advance for the furniture, they were no longer running their business on someone else’s credit and the risk to our courier service was limited.
At the end of the season they gave us some lovely furniture as a gift, they found the service we provided exemplary. They also liked the fact that we had back ups of everything. So if their customer complained about a delivery, we knew exactly who, where and why.
They also knew exactly where they stood with us. Prices were in writing, payments were agreed. In writing. No margin for error or neglect on either site.
In conclusion, if your customer wants a quote by text think about your audit trail – begin with the end in mind and make sure every step of the sales process to delivery is documented.