You may recall that last year I wrote about the 10 most common excuses we hear to avoid payment - those we hear over and over with customer assuming we actually have never heard it before and will accept it as fact immediately.
However, every now and then, you get presented with an excuse that just makes you to smile (or frown) either because it’s unusual and at times extremely convoluted or because it’s blatantly untrue and even Forrest Gump would have trouble swallowing it. I’ve been collecting debt in one form or another for over 30 years and know I’ve still not heard them all. So my favourite excuses in reverse order…drum roll please!
10. “He’s Dead…He lives!!!” This is not a particularly rare one either. We are told the customer has passed away only to catch them on the phone or suddenly receive an income and expenditure schedule some weeks later. They are usually resurrected after we ask for a death certificate and it was all just a silly misunderstanding!!
9. Another really popular one is the new job that doesn’t pay the first salary for 6 to 8 weeks or more! Not sure who these companies are but I’m amazed they attract, let alone keep any staff, it’s a lucky person who can manage to survive unpaid that long and is happy to do so!!!
8. “I can’t pay you because my hamster hurt himself in his ball when it accidently bounced down the stairs and I have to pay vets bills!” what could I say? I had to defer for a month just because it made me smile and not because I actually believed it!
7. “It’s my turn for flowers” a lady once told me she couldn’t pay because it was her turn to buy the flowers for her church.
6. “My dog is psychic and he’s told me I shouldn’t pay” now this was a long, long time ago and we of course found it hilarious. Nowadays of course a flag would go up about mental health & capacity but back then calls like these broke up the monotony of the “cheques in the post”. For the record she was completely unmovable too.
5. “I have a bank phobia” yes seriously!
4. Then there was the chap who claimed to be haemophiliac and unable to leave the house because he’d lost so many family members, which would have been believable had he not been shopping when we rang back an hour later to verify something!
3. One that caused a bit of a stir was the lady who wrote in to say she couldn’t pay but would happily work the debt off “in kind” needless to say we responded that we required pounds shillings and pence only!
2. The doppelganger excuse, it wasn’t me it was my brother uncle nephew we have exactly the same name. Heard this one too many times to remember, they answer all your DPA questions then decide its’ not them but that other chap with the same who lives in the house and he’s away for 6 months….yawn!
1. As shaggy would say….it wasn’t me! No matter how much information you have about them how much data you can furnish them with….it wasn’t me. “But we have your date of birth and National Insurance number” It wasn’t me! “But you made payments for years” it wasn’t me! “You provided copy documents at point of sale I’m looking at them” it wasn’t me! At least until you ask them to provide a Crime Reference Number from when they reported it to the police…then suddenly “it may be me”
I would be interested to hear anyone else’s odd excuses, brightens up the day!
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