Friday, 30 January 2009

Why things are screwed - Part 1

One of my clients is largely funded from the public sector. A few weeks ago I sent an invoice to one of the funding organisations. This invoice was for less than 1% of the typical monthly charge to these people.

A couple of weeks ago I had a call asking if they could pay us through the "government's credit card system". The mind boggles... I told them that I'd never heard of such a thing, that we certainly didn't have one of these cards, and why not just send us a cheque. They couldn't do that and it was agreed that settlement would be made by BACS as with all of their other regular payments to us.

On Tuesday I had another call from a different gentleman wanting to finalise payment "through the government credit card scheme". Again I explained why that wasn't possible and that they'd agreed to pay by BACS. "Oh, he must have given me the wrong message! And I see that you're a regular supplier and are already set up on our BACS system. We'll pay you that way."

Roll on to Thursday. This time I get a call from a lady wanting to know our bank details. I gently explained that they already had these and that they'd sent us a payment around 100 times larger than the one being discussed only the previous day. That didn't matter: I had to send a fax giving the same bank details that they've been using for years. I suppose that we'll now get the money.

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