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How do i ask for money that's owed me?

(24 Posts)
plantwoman Sun 06-Feb-11 13:38:45

I hope someone can give me a bit of advice because I am rubbish at this sort of thing!
My husband and I run a photography business and run regular family portrait sessions in the run up to xmas. Before xmas last year a neighbour / friend said she would like some pictures of her kids and could she book a slot.
DH has done pictures for her before but just snapshots in her garden and not charged her. However as this was an arranged session and we have to pay to hire the venue, buy backdrops etc, we said she would have to pay for the session(£45), but DH would give her a disc of all her images free (normally £50). She seemed happy enough with it.
A few days after the session she said to me when did I want the money (people normally pay at the time), as she is a friend I said just give it to me when you've got it.
2 months later she still hasn't paid.
I know things are tight for her, but things are tight for everyone, they certainly are for us!
I am not sure how best to approach this...I know DH will just say forget about it, as he can't be doing with the hassle, but we need the cash!
Also part of me is annoyed that she has put me in this position - I hate owing people money, and pay it straight away if I ever owe people, I guess expect other people to be the same.
Should I just ask her out right - I don't want her to think I am demanding it from her.
As I said at the start of my post I am RUBBISH at dealing with things like this.
I thought about just sending her a message in a 'sorry to have to ask....' kind of way, or is that just totally cowardly!
Any advice gratefully received!

eviscerateyourmemory Sun 06-Feb-11 13:42:07

I think that you just need to ask her for it, in a calm matter of fact way. She obviously understood that she would be paying you, and hasnt done it yet. I wouldnt apologise for asking though.

activate Sun 06-Feb-11 13:44:03


hi could we have that £45 for the pictures by next friday please

plantwoman Sun 06-Feb-11 13:59:55

I guess I could go down the ' I imagine you've forgotten all about it but.....' route
Even though I doubt very much she has, At least that would make it seem like I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt?

cat64 Sun 06-Feb-11 14:10:11

Message withdrawn

GandalfyCarawak Sun 06-Feb-11 14:13:01

Have you given her a written bill? If not, you could present it to her, saying something like, "Oh, I've been catching up on the bills this morning, lots of clients are going to have these through the post tomorrow!" so it's as if you're not just referring to her.

plantwoman Sun 06-Feb-11 14:13:23

yes - although when she offered it me and I said pay when you've got it, I was being polite, and as she is a friend didn't expect her to take the piss!
Anyway - yes I will ask her...

catinthehat2 Sun 06-Feb-11 14:14:22

Avoid using the "sorry" word. I would be surprised if you are actually sorry in this situation. You will sound wet unprofessionsl.

Phone her "When do you want me to come round for that £45 for the photoshoot, I can do it Mon or Tues evening."

That is all. Silence until she responds.

She can only then say "Can you make it Wednesday as I'm at work on those 2 nights".

Then go round for the cash.

TheProvincialLady Sun 06-Feb-11 14:16:43

Next time don't say give it to me when you have it, when you have a timeframe in mind! For some people that would mean you are in no hurry for it.

Have you seen her in person or spoken to her since the few days after the shoot?

catinthehat2 Sun 06-Feb-11 14:18:41

"I said pay when you've got it, I was being polite" ah yes, wet.

This is your LIVING. You are there to earn money for you & your children to EAT and PUT A ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD.

Has nobody told you this?

" I am RUBBISH at dealing with things like this."

Now is your chance to stop being a bit rubbish giggle giggle.

" part of me is annoyed that she has put me in this position"

Actually, it's not her, it's you. YOu have no time for this passive aggression, you are running a business. You have to be honest in everything.

plantwoman Sun 06-Feb-11 14:24:45

Alright catinthehat2!!! So sorry for offending you with my rubbishness - we aren't all as direct as you - clearly. I wanted a bit of advice not psycoanalysis thanks.
Normally with customers we bill them, end of story.
As this was a neighbour / friend, it was more of a casual agreement, it would have seemed a bit OTT to have billed her, however I did expect her to pay up within what most peole would consider a reasonable time

plantwoman Sun 06-Feb-11 14:27:32

provinciallady i see her every day at school and she lives a few doors away, so she has had plenty of opportunity to give me the money, however I hadn't discussed it since as I just expected she would eventually pay up.

catinthehat2 Sun 06-Feb-11 14:35:26

gave you the advice & you don't like it (as I privately predicted)

you get all PA on my ass (again as I privately predicted)

if you can't cope with getting £45 off a friend, good luck with debt collection when your invoices don't get paid once in a while.

what are you going to do - stand outside your customer's home and make hurt faces?


plantwoman Sun 06-Feb-11 14:36:41

easy to be so insulting when you've got the internet to hide behind.
Clever old you

cat64 Sun 06-Feb-11 14:37:12

Message withdrawn

catinthehat2 Sun 06-Feb-11 14:39:19

I bet your "mate" ducks behind a hedge when she sees you coming!


have a nice day!

plantwoman Sun 06-Feb-11 14:45:27

god you're funny
have fun insulting people on your sunday afternoon - shame you've got nothing better to do

pugly Sun 06-Feb-11 14:49:26

Could you just use an excuse like you need to get all your paperwork to the accountants ready for end of financial year so need bills settled by Friday?

pagwatch Sun 06-Feb-11 14:50:51

I know you are feeling defensive and i don't wish to add to that op but tbh i think saying 'oh pay me when you have got it' isn't desperately polite as it clouds the issue.

i would pay straight away but someone without much cash may wishfully imply from this that the money is neither here nor there to you.

if you make it sound like it is a favour then it is perhaps unsurprising that she is acting like it isn't urgent.

I would use this as a good lesson that friendship and business can mix but only if you make it plain which is which.

next time you see her just tell her that the amount is going to start being flagged up in your accounts as a debt soon (that sounds plausible if you had perhaps a quarterly accounting system ) and can she let you know when she will be settling up.

warthog Sun 06-Feb-11 14:56:28

absolutely agree with pagwatch.

ImperialBlether Thu 30-Jun-11 14:41:21

Most employed people are paid at the end of the month and here we are at the 30th so if she and/or her partner are working, then they will have been paid recently.

I'd just text her and say "Hi, don't forget you owe the £45 for the photos! Can you please let us have it by Friday 1pm as that's when I'm paying money into the bank? Thanks."

In future, make sure friends pay at the time they're having the photos done. If she didn't have the money then, she should have waited before having her photos taken.

frazzle26 Fri 15-Jul-11 18:49:50

I feel for you OP, I'm still waiting for payment for a laptop that I sold to a so called friend 10 months ago. I see her most days at the school and I have asked her several times for the money but all I have had is £10 in all that time. Thankfully, I had only charged £60 for it but I am still fuming.

GetOrfMoiLand Fri 15-Jul-11 18:53:24

Did you give the woman an invoice? You should have done if not.

If not lie about it and do what pag has suggested - say that you accounts system has flagged up at the £45 has not been paid, you had forgotten all about blah de blah, but please could she let you know when she will pay it.

PercyPigPie Sat 03-Sep-11 10:26:29

I would just try a simple 'Ohh, I was thinking the other day, I must get that money off you for the photos. I'll pop around after school if that's OK'.

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