The creditor operates in a niche market, designing and manufacturing specialist components for racing cars. Over the years they have built up an enviable reputation and have supplied components to many of the teams involved in Formula One. A Warwickshire based UK subsidiary company of a Swiss Motorsport Racing company had instructed the creditor to manufacture specialist seat components for one of their cars. The safety of seats in racing cars is of paramount importance and few manufacturers have the knowledge, experience and qualifications to undertake such projects. This project was meticulously completed in line with the detailed brief, on time and within the budget requested. The invoice was issued promptly by post and email.
Our creditor was not too concerned when the invoice was not paid within the agreed terms of 30 days. Many of their clients’s regularly paid a few weeks late especially those with offices outside of the UK. They did become concerned 30 days later as the invoice remained outstanding and began to chase for payment. What followed was sheer frustration in being passed from pillar to post. Our client’s initial contact had been made redundant, and they were advised to contact the UK Finance Manager. It transpired that the UK Finance Manager had been placed on Furlough and was uncontactable. Our client was advised to contact three further employees of the company before finally being advised to contact the Swiss Finance Manager. The initial call was encouraging, and it was promised that the matter would be given immediate attention and to expect a call back shortly. The call never came, and further attempts at contact were ignored.
Patience exhausted after six months of chasing for payment
At the time of the Advocate’s instruction, the invoice was overdue by more than six months. We commenced the action by issuing a Notice of intended Court proceedings by post to the debtor’s offices in both the UK and Switzerland. The following day copies of the notice were emailed to the multiple email addresses accumulated by our client during their efforts to secure payment. Several read receipts were returned, including those of the UK Finance Manager and the Swiss Finance Manager. Despite several employees of the company being aware of our involvement, it continued to be challenging to make telephone contact with anyone who could or was prepared to deal with the matter.
A follow-up email was sent on day five of our action advising the debtor that only two days remained before a 7-day Final Demand was due to be issued to include additional late payment charges and debt recovery costs. Several telephone messages were delivered to the same effect. The following day we received a telephone call from the office in Switzerland to advise that payment had been arranged to credit our bank account that day. The payment duly arrived later that afternoon, and we transferred 100% of the invoice value to our client via a faster payment the same day.
Our client was happy to receive payment six days following our instruction, especially after chasing for payment for over six months.