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Do I cover the cost of document retrieval?

Customer requesting archived invoices, who pays retrieval fees?

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A customer has requested around 20 paid historic invoices stretching back over two years and is withholding payment on due invoices until these are received. These are invoices were sent at the time and have all since been archived in a storage facility.

The customer has refused to pay document retrieval fees and is also stating that since they do not have the invoices they have no proof the order even existed and are demanding a refund. I have signed delivery notes for all the invoices, albeit also in storage.

I understand it is within a customers rights to request invoices but should the document retrieval fees really fall to us if they have lost the invoices?

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By Richard Grant
18th Oct 2019 11:09

Do you want the money?

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By Mr_awol
18th Oct 2019 11:22

This looks to be more of a legal matter really but, on a practical level - and as already asked - do you want the money?

1) If you were to take court action, you'd need these docs surely?
2) If they are genuinely disputing the debt, isn't it fair to provide evidence?
3) Is it really going to cost you that much to retrieve the items?
4) Were the invoices not produced on a computer system - can you not print off duplicates?

Although you have separated the invoices into 'due and paid' are there lots of repeating amounts/does the customer make lump sum payments against their account? If so, then although you may have allocated payments to the oldest invoices on your system the customer might think they've paid the newer ones and not even have a record of the older ones.

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Replying to Mr_awol:
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By RyanGlass
18th Oct 2019 13:17

If they were disputing a debt I would have no problem pulling out invoices, but they made it clear from the start they were just trying to remove a credit from their accounting software. They wanted me to cover the costs of their bad accounting.

Anyway I've spoke to them on the phone again and they've agreed to cover the costs.

Thank you for your help!

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By WhichTyler
18th Oct 2019 13:07

Depending on the systems you have, I would just recreate them and mark as a certified copy

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Nefertiti
By Nefertiti
24th Oct 2019 10:09

As a matter of interest, just how much were the document retrieval fees?

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