Client: Public School
Period of SLA : 4 months
Agreement / Contract: Verbal ( Official contract to be signed next week )
Contracts get signed 3 months after the trial period has passed, to make sure the client is happy, and I'm happy.
A verbal agreement was made that payment gets done on the last day of the month.
First month was fine. Second month, payment was made on the 1st, 3rd month, the 1st.
Fourth month: Not yet
The lady who pays the accounts at the school is a faculty member. All payments get done by her via EFT. Unfortunately there has been a death in the family and she hasn't paid me yet. It's the 2nd today.
I mailed her, and she said, "Death in the family etc etc, will try and pay you today"
1pm comes, no payment. So I mail back asking her to send proof of payment so I can forward it to my accounts dept.
3 minutes later the secretary calls me, informing me that this lady is very upset now because I mailed her asking for payment after she told me she'll try & pay me today. I was then told that she'll now try & do it over the weekend.
Verbal agreement was for the 30th. When they call me for IT support, I drop everything & help them as they are my biggest client.
Am I wrong in thinking the following:
Business & personal issues are two separate things. I honestly feel bad that there's a death in the family, but on the other hand, I have a business to run, and I also have people I need to pay.
I delivered a service according to the T & C's of the agreement, so I expect to be paid on the agreed time every month.
There's no one else who can make payments when this woman is absent. So what happenes when she goes on leave, or she is sick, or something happens to her? What then?
I'm having a meeting with the principle and her next week. I'm going to suggest debit orders.
PLEASE can the business guru's help me with how to convey to this lady in the most professional way possible......."U need to pay me on time regardless of your personal issues or what happens in your life".
I'm really scared they going to turn around & say, "You know Andrew, if you're going to be so anal about payments, then we rather going to go with someone else".
This is my biggest fear.
Please could someone help me as I'm honestly chain smoking here of fear of losing the client due to this little episode.