Advocate has successfully recovered payment of a £1.1K invoice that was more than 2 years overdue at the time of instruction. The debtor is a builders merchant with sites nationwide serving both trade and retail. Our client is a much smaller business based in the North East of England providing bespoke joinery services. They are acutely aware of the prestige in supplying a major brand and the USP it provides over competitors. Such is the specialised nature of our client’s installations they will travel hundreds of miles to fit anything from a small bathroom cabinet to the centrepiece of an architect’s grand vision. This diverse base prevents our client from being too reliant on one customer or subsector. For this particular order, our client had been tasked with providing pressure treated boards with precise measurements and characteristics. The end product was to be a raised flower bed showcasing the merchant’s landscaping products at a newly opened site.
Going On a Journey
An invoice for £1.1K was raised in line with the quotation shortly after completion. Historically invoices had been sent to the respective branch and paid in 30 days. When the branch rejected the invoice it came as a surprise. The branch advised all invoices must now be sent to Head Office. In one of the multiple follow-ups to Head Office, our client was told the invoice should be sent to a branch different to the one first instructed. The branch accepted the invoice and asked our client to obtain a Purchase Order Number. Never in the trading relationship to date had a PO been required or provided. By the time our client had obtained a PO and resubmitted the invoice, it was now 1 year overdue. Over the next 9 months, the £1.1K invoice remained in limbo between the branch who said it had been approved and Head Office who were still investigating why the payment had not been made. It was at this stage frustration peaked. Our client elected to raise a modest invoice for £30 of interest to create some urgency. Feedback on the invoice dried up and at 2 years overdue the client sought assistance from Advocate Debt Recovery.
Bringing it Home
Once instructed Advocate applied Statutory Interest of 8% above base rate totalling nearly £200. Our client had certainly undersold themselves seeking interest at less than what they were entitled to. To enable maximum reach the client provided all post addresses, email addresses and phone numbers encountered on their 2-year journey for payment. With multiple departments at multiple sites being aware of Advocate’s instruction and impending court proceedings, the debtor gained motivation. The invoice and statutory charges were uncontested. Full payment was received on day 4 of Advocate’s instruction. Throughout the 2 years of chasing our client continued to trade with the builders’ merchant seeing revenue steadily growing. The £1.1K had been a moot point overshadowed by much larger invoices cleared with little to no follow up. After payment was received and Advocate’s file successfully closed the client and debtor have continued to trade, seemingly as though the £1.1K debt had never existed. Another successful recovery by Advocate.