A billing dispute can happen in any business, but how you handle it has an impact on that customer and many others.
“Address it immediately,” said Johns, Flaherty & Collins attorney Brandon Prinsen. “Don’t avoid it.”
Disputes can arise out of any number of problems:
- A customer unhappy with the quality of a finished product or service.
- Billing errors.
- A misunderstanding about what was expected.
- Late delivery of the product or service.
- Perceived rudeness on the part of you or the business.
- A customer unable to pay because of a change in circumstances.
- Not responding to a call or email further frustrates the unhappy customer who may speak negatively about you to others. If you work to resolve the problem, that customer will more likely become loyal and say positive things about your business.
“Try to accommodate the customer as much as possible. Keep the line of communication open and be willing to explain the bill,” Prinsen said.
The best way to prevent billing disputes is a written contract outlining costs, expectations and delivery date. “Make sure both of you understand the contract before you sign,” said Prinsen, who often helps businesses develop such contracts.
“Sometimes a client wants to change the scope, maybe wanting additional services or products. Make sure that change is in writing with any added costs, time for completion and process listed,” he said.
Information provided by Brandon Prinsen, business attorney at Johns, Flaherty & Collins. For a business lawyer in La Crosse WI, call him at 608-784-5678.