Saturday, December 19, 2015

When do you expect payment for services rendered?

So I stirred up quite a conversation on my Facebook wall yesterday when I posted:

Got this line in an email today:

"it's just that we don't prepay anything we always wait to receive the services and then we pay just like anything else in life for the most part."

Think I can use that to pay for college?

A few of my friends replied with:
  • Please tell me this person was no older than 16.
  • People just don't understand that the person performing the services has to make the commitment ahead of time to be there so the people attending have to make the investment ahead of time. It is an investment, often with those you do not see the return immediately
  • I attend many seminars and trainings as a nurse and as an educator myself and it's always prepaid. Sorry Gail. I think you should require prepayment in the event no one shows you still ought to be paid in full. Good luck!
  • Have to say..I've always had to prepay (Both for business and personal commitments), this way the presenter is paid and so is the venue in case anything happens and the "event" is cancelled.
  • "Like anything in life?" Really? I seem to recall paying at or before the time of service for every class or program I've ever taken. I pay my doctor BEFORE she sees me. Who ARE these people? This is not groceries we're talking about.
The back story: I have some people in my class today whose employer is paying for them to attend. My policy is payment received no later than the start of the class. I had been asked to mail a bill somewhere and I explained I am not set up to do that, payment is expected no later than the start of the class.  At their request I sent a credit invoice to them. This is part of the reply that was forwarded to me after I told the person attending that I would be holding their cards until payment is received:

"I can maybe pay it electronically on my credit card on Monday it's just that we don't prepay anything we always wait to receive the services and then we pay just like anything else in life for the most part."

I receive this after attended a workshop in college financial aid. Snarkily I'm thinking, can I use that line to pay for my daughter's college tuitition?  "Maybe pay it on Monday"?  The class is on Saturday, yes please pay it on Monday.  Paying it on Saturday would be preferable.

But seriously, I'm not a tradesman that you pay for after the repair has been made or a utility company. Many courses and programs require pre-payment prior to the course. If I buy Christmas presents I have to pay for them before I can take or receive them.  I'm actually pretty lenient on requiring payment by the start of the class instead of in advance. I have to purchase textbooks and supplies for each course, there are expenses to the instructor or school before a class is even held.  I'm sure the industry that these folks are in requirement payment prior services received.  Whether it's a small business like mine, or a large educational institution, prepayment for educational services is the expected norm, not the other way around.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Newsletter spam

Lately, I've been receiving some new newsletters in my inbox, from businesses that I have really no idea who they are.  It took me a few weeks to figure it out why I was receiving them.

I had attended a networking meeting.

Co-incidentally I had also been receiving some FB friend requests from people I did not know.  Turns out they were from the same networking group.

So here's the thing;  If I don't know you personally I'm not going to accept your friend request.  Nothing personal, it's just that I try to keep my business and my personal life separate online.  If you want to know more about my business then please like and follow one of my FB business pages or check out one of my blogs.  It's also a good idea to actually meet in person and introduce yourself, again in person, rather than blindly sending out FB friend requests.

Also, just because you are in the same room with someone, and have access to their business card, does not mean you can add them to your newsletter or email list.  You must actually have their permission.

That means trolling for email addresses in a collection of business cards from a networking event does not give you permission to put them on your list.  Asking someone "Can I add you to my list" or having a conversation that includes phrases like "I just explained your question really well on my blog/newsletter/email marketing, can I send it to you?" is how to ask for permission to add them to your list.

Call me old fashioned, but it's polite etiquette to ask first.  It also keeps you legal with CAN-SPAM, which covers commercial emails, not cans of spam.

A quick anonymous thank you goes out to the gentleman who actually called and left an apology on my voice mail yesterday.  I had unsubscribed from his newsletter, one of the ones I did not subscribe to, and he apologized for adding me to his list.  Thank you for actually reading my comments on why I was unsubscribing.  I might have been a bit snarky, but it was getting frustrated with all the newsletters in my inbox.

In thinking about this I did a bit of research, and I found some pretty good articles about this online as well: