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What’s the worst late payment excuse you’ve ever heard?


From sick pets to fake illnesses and even blaming a CEO’s sailing holiday, some customers will try any excuse to delay or avoid making payment.

One outrageous comeback that has recently been reported was the customer suggesting he could buy the supplier a pint “and call it quits”.

Clearly this is out of the ordinary, but it’s surprisingly common for businesses to be greeted with some farcical excuses as to why their invoice hasn’t been paid.

We therefore wanted to invite our readers to share some of the worst excuses you’ve ever heard in the comments section below. We’ll then round up the best (or worst!) ones in our next newsletter for your entertainment and despair.

PS – it would be great to hear how you responded, and whether you ever did get paid in the end!



Barbara Cummings

30/06/2016 (09:56am)

I once had a customer tell me he couldn't post the cheque as promised as the post box had been super-glued by vandals. This same post box had previously been set on fire by gypsies, cut off by snow drifts and boarded up by the post office due to flooding..... We did eventually get paid each time but finally stopped offering credit. The business folded some time later.

Chris Allen

30/06/2016 (09:34am)

Some years ago when working for another company I was told the senior managers were out of the country at a seminar and no cheques had been signed, a likely story!! I sent an LBA via a well-known Liverpool based firm of Solicitors which was received the next day. Within a couple of days I had a cheque from the company. Was I to believe some-one had flown back into the country to sign a cheque just for me or was the seminar a bluff to evade paying. Needless to say that company was kept on a very tight reign thereafter. Another example when I was told a cheque had been posted on the such and such date.When the cheque arrived the franking date was some days later than they had told me. We always keep the envelopes with the cheques and I scanned a copy across to the person who told me the lie. They paid on time thereafter, knowing that they had been caught out with a 'fib'.

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