The world of radio advertising is something most of us don’t think much about. It’s only the really catchy adverts which stick in the mind. The beauty of radio is that even the smallest basement businesses can sound like they are operating out of Canary Wharf Tower. This particular advertiser is a small, Pennines-based further education provider. They specialise in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) qualifications. Operating in one of the more deprived Pennines districts, the pass rate is on par with more palaceous establishments. Their advert received more broadcasting slots than the 150 invoiced, rewarding the educator with a greater number of enrolments than expected. That was just over two years ago, and the £2.5K remained unpaid.
During those two years, the radio station gained new owners and a whole new Finance Department. With an insufficient handover, Credit Control was at a loss as to why this debtor was ignoring them. When Advocate commenced action, it became as much about discovery for us as it was for creditors and debtors. We quickly established dialogue with the educator, who admitted the invoices had been left unattended because of high staff turnover. Simply put, the AP team had all been in their roles for less than a year. In going through reams of old emails and handwritten notes, the current AP staff showed that a payment plan had been suggested 18 months ago. Our client’s archives showed the debtor had admitted liability and committed to an extended payment plan that, had it not been immediately defaulted on, would have been completed later this year. We also had sight of emails between the new staff of one company and the outgoing staff of the other, repeatedly asking about the number of broadcasting slots invoiced, who authorised the spend, and whether the station still had a copy of the audio.
Having trawled through it all, there was only one conclusion to be had – that £2.5K should have been paid 25 months ago! The invoices were just as valid back then as they are now, and our client remained entitled to payment. With the debtor now in agreement and dialogue still amicable, the only action left was to make payment of the £2.5K. It took Advocate 7 days to recover payment of a debt dating back two years that had been shrouded in a mist of confusion and miscommunication. Our radio broadcaster client has now seen first-hand how Advocate creates urgency and prompts payment. This was another successful commercial debt recovery by Advocate.