Keep trying to collect or write it off? What do your “good” customers think?

The debt collection business can be a tricky one.  All of our clients wish they didn’t need us, but they are glad we are here!  It’s an interesting question for some people when deciding to use a collection company to help collect their debts, or just write them off as noncollectable.  Is it worth the effort and resources?  Is it worth the potential bad publicity?  Should I simply write these debts off and absorb the losses?

We work form many medical services providers and doctors, and they will ask themselves these questions when trying to decide whether to pursue non-payers with us or simply write it off as a charitable event.  I wish the “world” at large knew and understood the amount of pro-bono work doctors do in their communities, but the concept of the greedy physician seems to only grow.  We have a harder time now getting doctors to turn accounts to us for collection than ever before.  The misconception of the overpaid, fat-cat, greedy doctor is as fictitious as that of an honest politician!

So: is it fair to send accounts to collections when the economy is bad and it seems people don’t really have the money?  Let me ask it this way:  For your good customers who are struggling to pay you, is it fair to them to ignore those who could pay but choose not to?  Aren’t those people who choose not to pay you making your services more expensive for those who do pay?

We can’t collect from people who don’t have money or income, so turning them to collections won’t affect them.  But for those people who have the money, but are doing something else with it (like buying flat screen tv’s, cell phones and service plans, xbox games and consoles, drive-though coffee drinks, gambling, tattoos, jewelry, hair and nail fixes, etc.) we can recover some of what you are owed, thereby keeping costs down for your “good” customers!  Most people of working age can’t stay on unemployment indefinitely, so at some point they will need to go back to work and should be able to pay something.  After all, they received your services or goods you sold, and you deserve to be paid for the work you do!  Why would you want to punish those who are trying to pay you and reward those who ignore you and their responsibility?

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