When A Client's Credit Card Is Declined

Jim Luff
Posted on December 9, 2015

When a ride is completed and there is an additional balance due to overtime and the credit card declines, challenges are presented. The first challenge is the call to the client to advise them of the decline.

This is never a pleasant task. You try to be as polite as possible and ask if they would like to use another form of payment. If they don't have another form, we move on to the next challenge.

In most cases, a client using a credit card does not have a billable account. This means you cannot "close" or "finalize" the ride and most of us don't have a way of tracking this situation short of making a note on your daily calendar to follow-up in a few days. It could be easy to lose track of this if you don't keep the trip ticket on your desk to constantly remind you. When days go by and the situation is still not resolved we move to the next challenge. Collecting your money!

Once a client has demonstrated he does not intend to pay, you have to switch hats from the friendly customer service agent to the nasty collections agent. My advice is to send a formal letter of demand in writing (email or snail mail) to document the service rendered, what was paid, what is owed, and a firm date you must receive payment to avoid further collections activity.

If this letter and the date are ignored, you must move to the next step and refer the client to a collections agency. Then, you lost half of the money anyway if the agency collects the money for you. It might be easier to just offer to split the difference with the client and get the same amount of money in less time.

Related Topics: bill paying, credit, credit card fraud, customer contracts, difficult clients, finance, Jim Luff, operations, Shop Talk blog

Jim Luff Contributing Editor
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