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Client pays monthly

No Work done

Hello

We have a client who pays us monthly through DD. She has been our client for just over a year. 

After reminders including telephone calls, she has not provided us with any information to work on her:

- VAT returns

- Annual accounts

- SA100

Is it best to resign or keep taking the money? Any other options?

Thanks

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By Mr_awol
14th Mar 2018 12:21

What happened with the phone calls? Did she ever answer? Did you leave messages? If she has said she will bring it in 'eventually' then I'd keep taking the money.

If she is completely non responsive and/or moved, then you have a different issue. Is it a DD or is it a Standing Order? As I understand it you can 'turn off' the DD but if she has a SO running then it needs to be terminated at her end.

Certainly I wouldn't be taking any more money off her if I didn't think I was ever going to earn it and I had the power to stop the payments. I'd write to her telling her that I'd stopped it and inform her of the balance I was holding to her order. Eventually I'd close the file and send her a cheque. If she never cashed it then I'd deal with it in the same way as any other permanent overpayment.

Thanks (2)
By mrme89
14th Mar 2018 12:21

I would stop taking payments until contact has been made.

It might be that end up refunding her and disengaging. Perhaps you'll deduct a small admin fee for the time spent chasing?

Thanks (2)
14th Mar 2018 13:07

Why have you left it a year before even thinking about this, I think most of us would have resigned a long time ago!

Thanks (2)
14th Mar 2018 13:58

There are myriad reasons why your client has not replied, including; illness or worse!
Is the lady sufficiently local to you, to pay a personal visit, to the last address, you have?
Vat returns would, presumably by now, have incurred ever increasing penalties and, if that was the case, surely she would have been in touch, was she so able?
I think you need to seek a discussion, meeting, if that is at all practical and, at the same time, to try and turn off the monthly subscriptions.

Thanks (2)
14th Mar 2018 14:43

What does your letter of engagement say what should happen when to terminate a relationship and what happens with regard to the finances?

If you are taking money monthly rather than billing after a job is done this is important for you and your client. If you are taking a DD this might start to look like theft.

Thanks (3)
14th Mar 2018 18:38

Thanks for the response.

I have talked to the client various times. She promises to send the info and it does not come.

I will resign now. It is not going anywhere.

Thanks (1)
14th Mar 2018 18:38

Thanks for the response.

I have talked to the client various times. She promises to send the info and it does not come.

I will resign now. It is not going anywhere.

Thanks (0)
to FirstTab
14th Mar 2018 23:04

Dont listen to them FT keep the cash she might come back when the deadline is looming. In the meantime you could invest the monthly payments in Bitcoin, cash them in give her the cash back and retire on the profits.

Thanks (4)
By Ruddles
to Glennzy
15th Mar 2018 13:42

Glennzy wrote:
invest the monthly payments in Bitcoin, cash them in give her the cash back and retire on the profits.

Hmmm ... a loss of more than $2k per Bitcoin in under a week?

Thanks (0)
By mrme89
to Ruddles
15th Mar 2018 14:00

I think that his comment was said in jest.

Thanks (0)
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By Maslins
15th Mar 2018 12:41

We've had this kind of situation several times.
- Client is paying regularly.
- We're doing our best to fulfil our side of the bargain.
- They're not providing us the info we need.

Resigning is a tricky one...as whilst it's the client's fault not yours, you haven't completed work you agreed you'd do. They'll suffer penalties, not you.

Continuing to take their money whilst not filing anything isn't great...but similarly neither is just resigning when perhaps they were on the brink of giving you everything you needed.

Where we've had the situation you've described we've basically resigned going forwards (so stopped invoicing/collecting further money), but also confirm to them that as they have paid us in full to do work X, if/when they provide us the info, we will complete it (obviously for no further fees). Invariably they don't respond still, and next you'll hear will likely be various penalties/threats from Cos Hse/HMRC that will also be ignored until the company is struck off.

Thanks (2)
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16th Mar 2018 11:29

Resigning confirms your integrity - you're not prepared to accept payment for no work.

In telling her you're resigning, I guess you'll emphasise to her the seriousness of her situation if she ignores her VAT and other tax responsibilities.

She sounds like one of those chaotic individuals who mean well but never get around to doing what's necessary. Coming to you in the first place indicates her good intentions, as does her continuing to pay a monthly fee. But she needs to understand that doing this has not magically transferred her compliance responsibilities onto you, as she may subconsciously believe.

She needs help, you've done your best to provide it and she hasn't cooperated. You can do no more for the time being, save protecting yourself and your reputation by resigning.

Somebody, sometime, will have to sort out the mess and it may well be you if she comes back to you when the baillifs arrive. But meantime you need to preserve your place in the moral high ground.

Thanks (2)
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