Amazing ... and frightening.

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Rath Darkblade
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Amazing ... and frightening.

Post by Rath Darkblade » Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:40 pm

So I work in accounts, in the health industry, dealing with disabled people and their families.

Yesterday, I received a call from a lady who wanted to pay 4 bills. I said no worries, I have an EFTPOS machine here and I can take your payment over the phone and send you a receipt.

What she said next was frightening: "Can I come into the office and pay in cash?"

The reason it scared me was this: The bills totalled a little over $2,000. :shock:

Once I picked my jaw off the floor, I said very diplomatically, "Ma'am, I'd be happy to take your payment, but I need to check our policy with my manager." I arranged to call her back.

After checking with my manager (a woman), and having a good laugh, my boss called the lady back. She was very nice to this lady, but explained that cash payments were out of the question. Not only is it dangerous to walk around with that much cash (over two grand?!), the risk of it going missing in other ways -- e.g. being put in a drawer and forgotten etc. -- is just too great.

This lady said she understood and would pay by EFT.

She was very nice about it, but I couldn't help thinking ... what the heck? Lady, we're simply trying to protect you and ourselves from the risk. This is why we accept payments by cheque, EFT and EFTPOS: they are much more secure.

Cash payments are fine if you work in retail, because the value is relative value is small. But I wouldn't accept payment of two grand in cash, no sir! :shock:

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Re: Amazing ... and frightening.

Post by BBP » Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:31 am

I get those questions all the time too. In most countries online banking is normal and accepted but in Germany online payments are advised against and the amount of people who want to pay with a good old bank transfer there is much higher than in any of the other countries we deal with. Also the amount of people asking "Can I pay onsite in cash? " is pretty high. We don't do that because, aside from the danger it puts our home owners in, it's a way of laundering money, or of getting rid of fake money.

Sometimes I have to check proofs of payment, which is pretty funny - especially when they send a photo of the banking computer terminal (can't accept those because they usually have a big red button that says "cancel").

That said, the "German client" has been an office stereotype that is very often seen - the type that can spell your terms and conditions and that fusses over a penny, in either direction. (EG cl cancellation costs are €100,34, client paid €100 and asks "How can I pay the remaining €0,34?). German law protects clients a lot better than in other European countries, causing German clients to be well aware of their rights, but they don't necessarily know how to apply them.
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Rath Darkblade
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Re: Amazing ... and frightening.

Post by Rath Darkblade » Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:38 pm

:lol: Love the fussing over a penny or the €0,34. :)

My manager gave me some leeway about short payments or over-payments. I'm allowed to write off up to $10 either way. In practice, though, I always inform clients when they drastically over-pay (e.g. an extra $20) and give them the choice of getting a refund or a credit. That keeps them "on our side", since they feel we're being fair. :)

From time to time, people pay a few cents more or less (e.g. $30.73 instead of $30.37, or vice-versa). I understand that -- people are tired, especially now with the COVID situation that's really exhausting, so I write it off for them.

I obviously wouldn't chase them over 36 cents! :lol:

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Re: Amazing ... and frightening.

Post by BBP » Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:30 am

Oh when a client overpays with us, we refund. :) I don't have permission to write off.
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Re: Amazing ... and frightening.

Post by Rath Darkblade » Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:25 am

What about they overpay by a really small amount, like 10 cents or something like that? :) Something that they wouldn't miss, and that would cost more to refund than it's worth?

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Re: Amazing ... and frightening.

Post by BBP » Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:43 pm

We don't refund amounts smaller than €5 unless the client makes more fuss than it's worth. Which fortunately I haven't seen yet. :D

(And I twice had a client who was allergic to dogs and thus got an allergy-free pooch, so has to look for a pet-free accommodation where pets are allowed.)
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