Q&A

What recourse do I have when a customer promises to pay the next day but doesn’t?

Q.

What do you do when your customer says to you after you are finished her set of nails, “Oh I forgot my purse at home, can I come back tomorrow and pay you?” And she never comes back. What recourse do you have?

A.

Unfortunately, this is a classic example of service robbery. You provided a service and they provided the robbery. The key is to avoid this — plain and simple. Luckily, it can truly be simple to fix. Make it your policy to process payments prior to service or at least halfway through. It’s not uncommon for nail providers to take payment midway since nails can often be wet — or at least delicate to the touch — at the end of their service. Wet nails or not, you can insist on all payments to be paid upfront. As for services that have already been completed and you are still waiting to be paid on them, send an invoice if you have their billing address and refuse all future services until you are paid in full. While this won’t guarantee you to gain your rightful money for past services, it can help eliminate future incidences.

— Nicole Leinbach-Reyhle is founder/writer/speaker of Retail Minded (retailminded.com).

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