7 Potent Tools To Prevent Bogus Disputed Debts Ravaging Your Business
Whether you know it or not you're a soft target for career criminals. With the economy tightening more and more desperate[people are falsely disputing their debts in an effort to get out of paying those accounts.
Now the reason this dirty tactic works so well is because almost without exception collection agencies won't touch a disputed debt. And it really makes no difference whether that dispute is genuine or clearly bogus... collection agencies don't care!
With no one to help you, trying to settle a bogus debt on your own will inevitably cripple you physically, emotionally and financially!
Luckily, there are 7 simple yet powerful barriers to immunize you against disputed debts. When used in combination these secret weapons of destruction will mow down bogus disputes with the ruthless efficiency of a machine gun at a knife fight.
Your 4 Soft Spots
To gain a deeper respect for these tool's immense power it helps to first shed light on your greatest susceptibilities with regards to falsely disputed debts. In essence, whether genuine or made-up, disputes tend to exploit one or more of the following holes in your business:
1. The amount charged is more than was discussed;
2. The quality of goods or services received is unacceptable;
3. Property was damaged during delivery of product or service;
4. The customer did not receive what was asked for.
Bearing these 4 'soft targets' in mind, here then are the 7 Pillars of Prevention that'll strengthen your defenses against the ravishes of bogus disputes.
7 Pillars Of Prevention
Pillar of Prevention #1: Terms of Trade
Conditions of Trade constitute a set of legally binding conditions which unequivocally define how you and your customers shall conduct business together. By stipulating the rights and obligations of both parties your Conditions of Trade both protect you from abuse as well as empower you with substantial legal might.
While there is no such thing as standard Terms and Conditions of Trade and that such terms must be tailored to your particular business, there are 12 essential acts of legislature intimately related to preventing disputes that your Terms absolutely must address.
To be comprehensively protected against disputed debts your Terms and Conditions of Trade must address each and every one of the following acts of legislation that is relevant to your business...
* Terms of Estimates, Quotes and Pricing
* Terms of Payment
* Terms of Delivery of Goods and/or Services
* Guarantees, Warranties and Liabilities
* Terms of Ownership
* Rights to Recover Goods
* Merger With Other Goods
* Privacy Act Authorization
* Personal Property Securities Act
* What Happens If Customer Defaults on Payment
* Events Of Disputes
Your Terms of Trade are the plutonium of your warheads. Without comprehensive Terms of Trade tailored to your particular business all of the following anti-disputes weapons won't even scratch a bogus dispute.
Pillar of Prevention #2: Conduct A Credit Check
Just like a leopard's spots, most people never change. If some one has repeatedly defaulted on payments in the past, it's a pretty safe bet they'll do it again... and quiet probably by falsely disputing the debt.
A powerful way to weed-out potential disputers is to conduct an online credit check. Basically, a credit check provides you with detailed information relating to an individual's (or a company's) level of debt as well as their ability to service those debts.
Alert to such patterns of behaviors you can then 'handle' them appropriately. This might mean you avoid doing business with them altogether or alternatively it may mean making arrangement for them to pay you prior to you doing business with them.
Either way, by conducting a credit check up-front you'll dramatically reduce the risk of being taken advantage of. And because conducting an online credit check is so easy and affordable frankly, there's absolutely no excuse why you shouldn't be performing routine credit checks right now!
Pillar of Prevention #3: Goods Authorization Form
Designed to reduce potential for a customer claiming they never actually agreed to purchase your goods as an excuse for not paying, this Goods Authorization Form clearly documents who has requested to receive what, by when and for how much.
Pillar of Prevention #4: Work Authorization
Similar to an Authority To Supply Goods, this form averts any confusion or misunderstanding related to services provided. Once again this form details what work is to be carried out; it stipulates who's responsible for the account; and it states the terms for payment. Importantly, it also specifies whether the agreed fee is a quote or simply an estimate.
Pillar of Prevention #5: Variation of Quote
An extremely common source of disagreement arises when a client requests an amendment to the work specified on a quote.
To illustrate, imagine you've quoted a client say $1,000 to install a manual roller door for their garage. Then before you actually install the roller door the client asks for an electric roller door instead.
Regardless of whether or not you both shake hands on higher price, if you don't formally document and sign this amendment then you leave yourself wide open to performing the more expensive work and only being paid what you originally quoted.
In order to prevent this common trap you must get your customer to sign this completed Quotation Variation Form whenever you deviate from what has been originally quoted.
Pillar of Prevention #6: Work Completion Confirmation
This is an extremely potent piece of paper. By spelling-out exactly what has been delivered and getting the customer to sign this declaration, this form virtually eliminates the opportunity for your customer falsely disputing that you have not fulfilled your part of the agreement.
In addition, as covered in your Terms of Trade, your customer has a maximum of 7 days following the signing of this document to formally notify you of any grievances they have with the quality of your work.
Now should your debtor raise any concerns with the quality of goods or services received after this 7 day window has closed then you automatically possess the full power of the law to recover the debt. In effect you've slammed the door shut on disputes relating to quality and damages.
Pillar of Prevention #7: Personal Property Securities Register
Should a debtor dispute the quality of goods or services more than a week after signing a Work Completion Form, for a measly $3 you can register a security over their goods, car, house or assets. In so doing you empower yourself to potentially repossess these registered assets should they continue to dispute the debt.
To reinforce the point once more, it's critical you understand that there is no such thing as standard set of tools. For complete protection it's essential that you utilize each and every Pillar of Prevention that's appropriate for your business. Should you leave any relevant defense out you'll needlessly leave yourself open to abuse.
And finally, as the preparation and execution of these tools requires considerable legal expertise you should only ever engage the services of a Terms of Trade specialist.
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