CUSTOMER DISPUTES – REAL OR BOGUS
Many times a complaint is nothing more than a disguise cover-up for the financial woes of a customer. Bear in mind that 50% of all complaints are legitimate, if formalized and communicated as a complaint prior to the expiration of payment terms.
Complaints registered by a customer prior to becoming “past due” must be researched. All of these complaints should be treated as if they are warranted and the resulting action should be a company’s immediate attention. Complaints “discovered” beyond past due terms must come with the suspicion that such complaints are “bogus.”
If there is an overdue balance past due in excess of a disputed portion, then this is a “red flag” indicator that the customer has cash flow problems. The Uniform Commercial Code places the burden of proof of non-conformity on the buyer. This should be reinforced in a credit grantor’s credit application with the provision that “ALL CLAIMS ARE VOID UNLESS SUBMITTED IN WRITING WITHIN TEN DAYS OF DELIVERY.” The Uniform Commercial Code specifically states that all commercially accepted units must be paid in accordance with specified terms.
The buyer must raise all non-conformity issues within a reasonable time that is specified by the creditor such as the disclaimer above. Further, the burden of proving non-conformity is the buyer’s responsibility.