What happens if I don’t settle your bill on time?
Strictly according to our Terms and Conditions, there is a two-week period in which to settle the bill after receipt of the invoice. If this time has elapsed without our noting any payment from you, but our records show you to be a customer who normally pays promptly, we simply remind you that our bill has not yet been paid.
This is frequently a matter of an oversight, which can easily be rectified. We do not charge for this initial payment reminder.
Letters Before Claim chargeable to the customer
Should you still not settle your overdue payment, we always look at the individual situation. If it appears likely that you will send the outstanding amount soon, we can, under our Terms and Conditions and following general business practice, typically send out up to three letters before claim (formal late payment requests) chargeable to you.
The first of these letters will be charged at EUR 5.00, the second at EUR 10.00 and the third at EUR 15.00. You should not, however, count on this. You have no statutory right to expect from us three, or indeed any, of these chargeable letters before claim.
Legal Action (in Germany and Europe)
If we have gained the clear impression that sending you such letters before claim would have no effect, and that you are evidently unwilling or unable to pay, we will commence legal action against you. This may follow the first letter before claim, or it may ensue without any such letters being sent.
For those resident in Germany and throughout the EU, the claims court conducting the judicial proceedings will be the Zentrales Mahngericht Uelzen or Amtsgericht Berlin-Wedding — and a court fee will be charged, also to be added to your bill. In addition, default charges will accrue, to be determined by the court. As the instigation and implementation of the legal action involves a considerable quantity of work, our Terms and Conditions also provide for a fine amounting to 10 % of the invoice total of at least EUR 300.00. This sum will also be incorporated into our judicial claim.
Should you fail to respond to the default summons, the court will issue us with an enforcement order. This allows us to commission a court bailiff to demand the outstanding sum from you, by force as applicable (compulsory execution). The bailiff also will charge a fee. The procedure will therefore not only be extremely unpleasant for both parties, but will involve you in even greater expense.
If you have knowingly sought to prevent us, by giving false information or through other forms of behaviour, from implementing our claims to remuneration under civil law, we will moreover be compelled to bring criminal charges against you for fraud. Please take care therefore always to provide us with accurate and up-to-date information: name, first name, date/place of birth, permanent address, contact details, financial status etc.
In Germany, the penalty for fraud, according to § 263 of the German Criminal Code carries a custodial sentence of up to five years in jail, or a fine.
Our Appeal to You
That is why we make this appeal to you in your own best interest: please ensure, before placing your order, that it will be possible for you to settle our invoice promptly. Please also make sure that you have put at our disposal full and up-to-date information about yourself. Failure to do so could result unnecessary costs arising to you — and could in certain circumstances even make you liable for prosecution.
In the case of larger sums of money, we can agree payment by instalments. We would ask you to discuss this with us before placing your order with us, rather than leaving it until afterwards, or until the legal action has begun, by which time it will understandably be harder for us to regain our confidence in you.
You quite rightly wish to be able to depend on us to complete your orders with work of the highest possible quality, delivered on time. In return, we rely on you to pay us the agreed fee as soon as possible, and at the latest by the agreed deadline. We simply seek a fair arrangement all round.