Didn’t charge customer

Customer setup a order with us and mistakenly the order was never charged, but did ship. Credit card info shredded.

Gave customer a call and he was hesitant, but might be willing to work with us.

What recourse do we have if he blocks our number and avoids all contact?

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Assuming this is a product, not a service?

How much was the order for? How did you deliver the product? How did they buy it from you (your own website, they ordered in person, 3rd party marketplace, etc)? Did you give them some sort of receipt?

I don’t understand “might be willing to work with us.” Why didn’t you just get his payment info while you were on the phone?

Can I send this to collections if he refuses to pay?

Anyone have any other strategies to collect?

Invoices emailed, paper invoice mailed, we reached out a few times via phone.

So either ask him to pay for it or ask for the product back. I mean, both of you are presumably good with the sale, so just tell him the CC charge didn’t go through and you need his information or another card to try again. It’s not like you agreed to give it to him for free.


Vendor error in your favor. Collect $200 (or however much the product is worth).

Well, you send a bill. If they still do not pay, you get a judgement. It sounds like you typically require payment upfront, but its no different than any account receivable.

I’m confused about this call, why he’d be “hesitant”, and why you wouldnt just ask him to resend the payment information? Did you give him a 10 minute full recap of what happened, rather than simply tell him his info accidentally got shredded before it was processed? Was he afraid he would be double-charged, or that you were a scammer trying to steal his card info? Or was he thinking it’s your own fault for not charging his card the first time, so you are SOL?


Speaking as an old FWF member, I’d say sucks to be you and thank you very much for the gift! I completely understand why any customer would be hesitant to reprocess or give a new card number. What type of physical product or industry is this? We take advantage of legal loopholes all the time.

On the other hand, as an old FWF member, pay your bills deadbeat. If product or service was received and you are happy with it, you owe a responsible obligation to pay for what is owed.

I don’t know about recourse if you shredded all info for the mistaken order (it wouldn’t hold up in small claims or be sold to collections without proof of bill - lol on that). Without giving too much info for fault, say the original card didn’t go through and ask to resubmit the payment.

The issue here is that this is a product, not a service. Contractor payment issues for work done happen frequently. Product received, you have less recourse, can’t place a lien.


Why should they be hesitant? Any duplicate charge could easily be disputed. And no, it’s not a gift - that is only true for unsolicited items you receive, not items you ordered.

The bottom line is there’s a balance due. It doesnt matter if payment info was provided earlier or not; that’d only be a relevant detail if OP was trying to add late charges.


Can I send this to collections if he refuses to pay?

Anyone have any other strategies to collect?

Invoices emailed, paper invoice mailed, we reached out a few times via phone.

There are two sides to every story, and the truth usually lies in the middle. Since we have only yours here, here’s what I would do.

Consider the costs and benefits of collections relative to your cost (not price) of whatever good or service you provided. Don’t forget opportunity costs of posting and reading here, for example.

Then offer some sort of discount on the current item or some other way of incenting your customer to pay. It will surely cost less to accept less now than wait for potentially collecting less or nothing during collections. You don’t have to detail exactly what happened or why, but take responsibility and be humble in asking for payment. Give them 30 days max, and then send a formal demand letter if you do that yourself; otherwise the collections agent will do it for you.

Consider the risks of negative reviews or publicity if you pursue collections. And, consider the customer’s side of the story as well. I don’t necessarily subscribe to the theory that the customer is always right, but we know that at least some of the fault is with you.

If the customer is in a different state, your collections cost will be higher and will take longer, so consider that expense.

Put a time limit on your efforts to collect (45 days would by my max) and then turn it over to your collections agent with all that supports your side. Learn from whatever went wrong on your end and move on.

You might consider a payment intermediary or agent going forward. As much as I despise PayPal, it’s a well known one that might intervene in a case like this.

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No this only has one side. Error on our end

We setup a phone order for someone who gave us their credit card. A order was entered, processed, and shipped. We did not charge his card and all documents were shredded for the day. Completely botched this order, but we are still within our rights to collect payment. He can confirm that his card was never charged.

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You’re going to annoy your good customer with collections to get at most $0.30 on the dollar? Have you called and asked them to pay for it again? Maybe offer them a 10% discount for their trouble to pay by CC right now, or send them an invoice.

RIght now, he’s a customer who’s stiffed them. Not a very good customer. No indication of if this is a repeat customer, but as he’s apparently cut off communication the likelihood of future orders is already diminished.

Obviously we dont know what was said in the initial conversations, but clearly it is the customer who is choosing to escalate this. Going the collections route is merely responding in-kind.

So you’re certain now that this customer isn’t going to pay you voluntarily?

How sophisticated is the customer? Sometimes a good demand letter is all you need. If it’s an unsophisticated customer who thinks he’s sophisticated, it may take further action. It sounds to me, solely based on the limited information we have so far, that you’re trying to move too quickly.

Aren’t there specific laws for telemarketing sales? If there is no phone recording or even record of the verbal CC info, how would it be possible to prove it was an actual order rather than a scammer that sent unordered product and then billed if it were sent to collections? Seems like an easy win for the customer if they don’t want to pay, with possible damages? Maybe it’s a smart deadbeat customer. NAL

He gave us a business phone number when we set the order up so we initially reached out and had a conversation on Friday of last week. Subsequently when someone answers the phone now they say he left the company on you guessed it Friday.

I do have another phone number but it’s going to voicemail.

Phone records indicating he initiated contact? If he’s smart then yes, it’d be hard to collect. But I’d definitely try to call that bluff.

How much of a loss is this?

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Not to be cold, but maybe there’s more to him “leaving the company” on Friday. Have you googled him for possible recent news articles/arrest reports/obituaries?