Unpaid invoice.

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Small Biz & Charities' MoneySaving
4 replies 2.8K views
LadyLolaLadyLola Forumite
2 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Small Biz & Charities' MoneySaving
Hi All.

My hubby is a self employed subcontractor, ( He really is self employed as he works for many different companies) and we are having a payment issue with one of those companies.

In short, he went away for 4 days to complete a building job on a consumers property for 'Company X'. On the fourth day it was found that they didn't send enough of a particular product for the job to be completed. It was decided as they had to wait for the product from their supplier, that hubby would come back and another subcontractor would go down the next week to finish the job as hubby was booked in elsewhere.

Company X have now tried to reduce the invoice amount as they had to pay another contractor to finish the job even though the lack of materials were the cause of the job not being finished and Company X supplier couldn't get the stock there on that day.

We argued the point of withholding payment when the contract was for 4 days, all of which were worked and the lack of stock was not an issue with anything we had done.

We were expecting payment on a Thursday after invoice, their usual payment day. On the Friday I noticed no payment had gone into the bank. Hubby rang and was told there was an issue with a job he did a few weeks ago and a service call was needed. The amount for a service call is nowhere near the amount outstanding on the invoice (service call is about 10% of outstanding). Hubby hasn't got a problem going to the service call, but as it's 100 miles away, and while he is doing that wouldnt be working elsewhere and would cost us fuel, so we would like payment first. This is not acceptable to them It seems as though they are looking for excuses not to pay.

Any advice would be great.


  • trailingspousetrailingspouse Forumite
    3.9K Posts
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts
    I think you need to keep the two issues separate. You're owed £x for the 4 days, and you're owed £y for the service call (which ideally you would like to be paid upfront).

    Resend the original invoice, stating that it is now overdue. Stick to your guns. You have done the work/been available to do the work, you now need to be paid.

    How do you normally get paid for service calls? if it's normally upfront, fair enough, but if not then just do it the way you normally do it (presumably do the work and then get paid), and invoice accordingly.

    If they are generally a difficult company to deal with, then perhaps it's time to move on and look for other clients.
  • Thank you trailingspouse. We are trying to keep the two issues separate but the company won't. We have already said that we won't work for them again as a weeks invoice is a lot to lose. I'm going to send them a letter today outlining the issues and if they don't pay then I suppose a letter to threaten legal action.

    I have no faith in receiving any money from them unless we go to court. :sad::sad:
  • bengalknightsbengalknights Forumite
    4.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    If its past your due date and terms a thomas higgins template demand seems to do the job of getting people to pay up
  • ComicGeekComicGeek Forumite
    838 Posts
    Fourth Anniversary 500 Posts Name Dropper
    They should notify you promptly if there is a dispute with your invoice, even if it's something that you disagree with - not wait until after the agreed payment date and only when you call them to chase. But did he work the full 4 days agreed, even though it wasn't doing the job that the materials weren't available for? Depends on the contract as to whether he should have invoiced for the full 4 days - just playing devil's advocate in case it does end up going to court!

    It's mainly building contractors that we have problems getting payment from. After a couple of chasing letters/calls, I fill out a draft claim on Money Claim Online (no fees/cost at this stage) and send them a copy along with a letter before action, stating that the claim will be filed in 14 days if full payment isn't received - 95% of the time it triggers a prompt payment, but I have gone through the full process of obtaining a CCJ for a handful who didn't even respond to that. Just shows that you're serious, as they're obviously looking for any excuse not to pay.

    Keep it simple - just ask for payment of your outstanding invoice. My understanding was that the service call is a completely separate issue, so ignore that for now - unless your contract states it, I don't believe they can withhold payment for an unrelated issue.
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