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Clients who do not respond to queries

What is the best way to proceed with clients who do not respond to your letters, e.mails and phone calls. I have a husband and wife who are a partnership and in the middle of an Inland Revenue enquiry. I have to send all my letters by recorded delivery as apparently none of my letters ever reach them! There has been one meeting with the Revenue which only the husband and myself attended. This raised further queries from the Revenue but despite my e.mails, phone calls and letters they did not respond to my requests for details.On the threat from the Revenue of an assessment being raised the wife wrote directly to the Revenue, I do not know what was in the letter and she has not discussed it with me. The Inspector then telephoned her direct to arrange another meeting, even though I had asked for all future queries to be made by correspondence only. She has agreed to another meeting with the Revenue with her and her husband being there, but again she has not contacted me to discuss this. The husband and wife are not on good terms which adds to the problem. I have not heard from either of them for some months - where do I go from here as they seem to now be dealing with the Revenue direct?
Lin Williams

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Too much of a co-incidence?
It could not possibly be Mr and Mrs CEO of FD's Diary fame/infamy? Could it?

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Clients who do not respond
Thanks for the all of the advice. I have now resigned and no longer act for them. As they had always been late with payment of their invoices I had insisted on a payment in advance earlier, which has luckily covered costs to date. I have learnt that there are some clients that are just not worth acting for!

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Goodnight Vienna
Remember no client is bound by an ethical code of conduct. Therefore you have done more then most to help them- and got nothing back.

Remember also that their reaction, sooner or later, will be to blame you because they were "done by the Tax" or whatever they want to call it.

You are in a cleft stick, I presume! You want to continue to act and help them (for sufficient reward) but does part of you say that no matter what you do, it may flare up in your face??

I suggest you take a damage limitation line and follow the advice from the correspondents below.

I speak from bitter experience.....

Yes, pursue your fees throught the County Courts if necessary, but in reality a CCJ is not as big a problem as, say, 10 years ago and as long as you watch your outlay then you get a good feeling if they arrive in Court full of pub advice and get blown out of the water by the Judge! Ensure your case presentation is good, though.

Start herding up your flock for the January 31 deadline instead of pushing time wasters like these. Strikes me they are guilty anyway. Truthfully, what do YOU think??

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I honestly think this is a case of being caught
between Scylla and Charybdis.

The best way to proceed now is to make good haste and bill them for any outstanding accountancy work or indeed any other work contracted for.

As regards the tax work, you may be on shaky ground with that one.

Get your bill in for accounts work and press for immediate payment. Remember if this tax enquiry goes agin these peops they may be made bankrupt and you will not get paid.

Make haste. Time is of the essence.

Once you have been paid, only then think about going on holiday to Vienna.

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I may be wrong but from the information
you have provided, it seems to me that they do not actually want you to deal with this enquiry for them.
Do you have a letter of engagement or instructions in writing from the "clients" in respect of this work?
Maybe they do not want to tell you directly that they do not need or want your help concerning this matter. They are hoping you will go away if they ignore you. I can't think of any other reason why they would not return calls, emails, snail mails, text messages, faxes etc.
As I say, I may be completely wrong in my analysis, but I can only go on the information you have provided.
It would be helpful if you gave further background information.

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Bin them!
Perhaps it's time to do the same as they do to your letters. Surely you can not care more about their tax matters than they do? If it seems you do it ranks as an emotional attachment rather than a commercial one. That can only be bad for business.

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Bill them and resign asap
This could be a very high risk client if you carry on acting.

I would:-

1 Send them a bill for all work carried out to date and sue if you don't get paid.

2 In the same letter, formally resign and give the reason as non co-operation from them.

Make sure you send the letter by recorded delivery.

As said before more succinctly - Bin them!

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Get rid
Clients like this just aren't worth the hassle. I'd get rid asap!

Also it does your reputation with the tax office no good having clients like this.

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