Debt collecting can be fun

June 30, 2009, 2:56 pm Ian Renton KBB

True stories on what people come up with to avoid paying you.

Debt collection does not have to be deadly serious. It is frustrating when we have to wait longer for our money than we would like. However, there can be a funny side to collecting your money.

Here are three examples from The Dog Ate My Checkbook, compiled by Peter Renton. These were reproduced with his permission. Yes, they are all true stories.

My Mailman Is Tipsy

I have a customer who is consistently late, but who always claims the cheque was mailed and cannot understand why we haven't received it. One day when I called her questioning why we had not received the cheque she claimed had been mailed two weeks earlier, she said "I know, it's our darn mailman. He drinks in the morning before work and is too tipsy to do his job. He picks up our mail and delivers it to our neighbours and then just throws it away. He has problems getting our mail to us. He just can't do his job. I will be sure to get you a new cheque in the mail today."

Blowing In The Wind

A good customer called me one day very distraught. It was a couple of days before her bill was due. On that particular day the wind was very strong, and gusting. She told me that she had attempted to put the "Cheque in the Mail" when the wind blew the cheque out of her hand. She said she had chased it through a field for quite a way but could not catch it.

She checked all the pieces of paper in the ditch to see if one of them was the missing cheque, all to no avail. The customer then informed me that her payment was going to be late. She was going to have to drive into town the following day and mail another cheque from inside the post office. She said she had learned her lesson. In the future she was going into town to mail a letter. I did get her cheque a couple of days later. Just like she said I would.

Out of the Hat

I work for a dentist as his business assistant. It was my responsibility to routinely call patients to collect on past due accounts. One day I called an older gentleman who had not paid his bill despite our previous written request for payment. When I told him why I was calling he became very angry and said, "every month I take all my bills and put them in a hat. At the end of the month I pull a bill out of the hat and I pay it. If you don't quit bothering me, you're not even going to make the hat!" The doctor and I were amused. We arranged for the man to do some needed maintenance workaround the office to pay off his debt rather than waiting for the luck of the draw