B2B Customer Terms and Conditions - RANT

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by TopBadger, Sep 9, 2009.

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  1. Hi All,


    I run a small business, with some big clients. Recently I've noticed that purchasing dept's are being cheeky little b*stards.

    We've always offered 30 days credit to reputable companies. But now they're telling me that if I actually want to be paid on 30 days, they'll deduct a 2-5% discount for themselves for the privelidge of paying me on time, otherwise they'll pay the full amount on 90 days...

    FFS, where do these people get off? Don't they realise that by giving them credit, we're actually giving them 30 days of our money... for free! Would they expect the same from a bank? Would they fcuk!

    Anyone else come across this? Recently I've dealt with it by telling them 'no way' via nice letters. But they don't seem to get the point. Instead i reckon i'll start charging a credit management fee, thats always three times the discount they grant themselves.

    Cheeky fcukers! As it turns out, we're short of competition, so I can dictate terms to the big boys, but i'm sure many other small businesses aren't so lucky.

    [\rant off]

  2. Is this now a common occurrence? Surely they are contractually obliged to honour the payment terms rather than taking the p1ss. Time to up your prices through a "big business" surcharge!
  3. Its not common, but it seems to be becoming more popular.

    As I understand it, the terms on the sellers invoice trump the terms of the buyer, but its the cheek of it that got me...
  4. I reckon you've been lucky to get this far without being hit with this one.

    Tesco, Diageo etc have all, reportedly, changed their terms in the last few months. Not much you can do if your biggest customer is Tesco!

  5. CountryGal

    CountryGal LE Book Reviewer

    TIsnt it once you accept their order you accept their terms, unless you use a proforma system?
  6. I think its 'last terms past the post', but i'm not 100% sure. I don't want to have to chase debts due to this. One for my accountants (my post was more to do with venting my spleen). I'll try to find the official answer and repost that...
  7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Offer_and_acceptance.

    Have you advised them of a change of terms in writing? Or is this something they have taken upon themselves? I guess one of the legal beagles on here will be able to advise you more in the small print of contract law.

    Edited to add that thinking about it, if you have advised them of the change of terms and they then place an order, surely that would be deemed acceptance of those terms?

    Whatever the case I think they are cheeky bastards for setting their own terms out!
  8. CountryGal

    CountryGal LE Book Reviewer

    I work for a large blue chip company, and our full terms are on our Proposals, if the customer then sends in a PO as ordering of a service if we then accept their PO which has different published terms on the back of it, and bill them accordingly we have in the past been held to their terms when challenging payment.

    It would be a good idea to have this confirmed ;o)
  9. Sadly it's how most larger firms work.. regardless of T's and C's.
    Our terms trump your terms etc etc.. you either want the product or not!!

    I see both sides of it customers on 60 days taking the Pi** paying in 120 days.
    Me placing orders demanding better terms becasue of our late payers.

    you can do 2 things.. refuse to take the order not good in this climate...

    review your pricing with them adding in an extra % to cover the late payments. Look at it as an oppourtunity.. :D to increase your margins..
  10. Just charge them 6% per day if they go over the 30 day credit terms.
  11. Right, have checked it out... sellers terms are final. Buyers can request terms but thats it.
  12. Is it popular?.


    I work advising several firms- all smallish- and they are all finding the same.

    So they are doing it to me!

    I still pay associates when they complete the task, those are my T&C and I
    hope to get promt payment from my clients but
    T&C go out the window when I've done the job.
    I'm at the customers' mercy!.