Top Non-Payment Excuses and How to Deal with Them

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    We've all been there—you've put in the hard work, delivered top-notch services or products, and then, crickets. The payment you were eagerly awaiting seems to be playing hide-and-seek. What's worse? The excuses start rolling in.

    But fear not! In this blog post, we will talk about top non-payment excuses and equip you with strategies to tackle them head-on.

    Top Non-Payment Excuses and How to Deal with Them

    Excuse #1: "I never received the invoice."

    Ah, the classic "lost in cyberspace" maneuver. It's a common excuse, and while it might be true sometimes, let's face it – we live in an age of technology where emails rarely go missing.

    How to deal with it? Be proactive! Set up an automated reminder system or request confirmation upon sending the invoice. This ensures they received it and puts the responsibility back on them to stay on top of their emails.

    Excuse #2: "I'm waiting for approval from higher-ups."

    It's tricky, but keep it from catching you off guard. When faced with this excuse, gently inquire about the expected timeline for approval. 

    Better yet, request the decision-maker's contact information so they can follow up directly. This demonstrates your commitment and adds a personal touch to the professional exchange.

    Excuse #3: "The check is in the mail."

    This is an age-old excuse that, in the era of digital transactions, can be met with a raised eyebrow. In today's fast-paced world, there are more efficient methods than waiting for a physical check.

    Politely suggest electronic payment options to speed up the process, which saves them a stamp!

    Excuse #4: "I'm facing financial difficulties right now."

    This one pulls on the heartstrings, but navigating with caution is essential. Express empathy and inquire if there's a possibility to work out a payment plan

    Understanding their situation, while finding a mutually-beneficial solution can often lead to a positive resolution. It's a delicate dance between empathy and professionalism.

    Excuse #5: "I thought your terms were net-60, not net-30."

    Miscommunication can be a stumbling block, but it's crucial to address it head-on. Politely point out the agreed-upon terms in your contract or previous communications. 

    Clarify any confusion and, moving forward, ensure all terms are explicitly stated to avoid future misunderstandings.

    Excuse #6: "I'm not satisfied with the quality of the work."

    This one stings, especially if you've poured your heart and soul into your deliverables. In the face of this excuse, request specific feedback and be open to making necessary revisions. 

    This shows your commitment to customer satisfaction and positions you as a professional who values constructive criticism.

    Excuse #7: "I'm waiting for payment from my clients first."

    While understandable, your business shouldn't suffer because of its financial juggling act. 

    Suggest partial payments or a staggered schedule to accommodate their situation while ensuring you receive compensation for your hard work.

    Excuse #8: "I didn't realize the payment was due."

    Sometimes, it's a genuine oversight. However, it's crucial to establish clear communication and set reminders. 

    Politely remind them of the agreed-upon terms and discuss ways to streamline the payment process, ensuring everyone is on the same page.


    Navigating the tricky terrain of late payments and excuses can be challenging when running a business. However, staying proactive, maintaining open communication, and being flexible when necessary can turn these potential pitfalls into valuable learning experiences.

    Remember, you're not alone in facing non-payment excuses – it's a shared experience among business owners.

    So, stand tall, handle those excuses with finesse, and keep thriving in your business endeavors. Here's to a future filled with timely payments and prosperous collaborations!



    As a National Account Sales Manager at Adams, Evens, & Ross, I have over 26 years of experience in providing credit and collections solutions for the staffing and recruiting industry.

    My core competencies include staffing, recruiting, sales management, credit and collections, and industry knowledge. I work with national and regional clients to help them improve their cash flow, reduce their bad debt, and secure their accounts receivable. I also partner with industry associations and organizations to offer educational and networking opportunities for staffing and recruiting professionals. My mission is to deliver value-added services and solutions that enhance the growth and profitability of our clients and our company.

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