Late payers face a weapon of exposure in their bid to keep creditors from their door – the internet and an audience of millions.
Trials with sample companies who have tried everything, inlcuding courts, have shown “promising” results, with many offenders finally handing over cheques for old invoices.
The approach involves a 21-day stay of execution, during which
the latepayer is told in no uncertain terms that unless they pay up they’ll be named in public on the worldwide web.
Trevor Tierney, 60days.com owner and successful print broker, says: “It’s working”. He named the web site after the minimum time it takes most companies to settle their bills.
Tierney adds: “Small businesses face enough problems, without bad payers and debts, and I found out the hard way that a County Court judgement counts for nothing if someone doesn’t want to pay.
“Customers owe UK companies over 20bn at any given time, which is a staggering amount to be outstanding. The effect on cash flow is holding back commerce throughout the UK.”
“They report a company that is giving them grief, but we delay the information being shown on the web site for three weeks and tell the bad payer that’s what we’re doing. This threat of name and shame seems to bring it home to the offender.”
60days.com is also attracting interest from organisaions represeting small businesses and who are concerned that normal official channels for debt recovery very often don’t work.
The web site also allows businesses to promote their products and
services. There’s a forum for discussing topics, regular news service and plans for naming companies which give good service and pay up on time.
Tierney says: “As more companies discover the service we expect them to use the site as as a basic credit checking service, finding out whether their potential clients are going to be worth trading with.”