A not so absent managing director
International debtors sometimes believe they can easily hide from us. Communicating in the same language as your debtor always does the trick, but sometimes a little detour is needed. One of our lawyers at the Polish desk was helping a Dutch client with a debtor in Slovakia. Since Polish is very similar to other Slovak languages, they can also assist clients with cases in Slovakia, Czech Republic and other Slavic countries.
The Dutch client had supplied cooling machines to a Slovakian customer. However, when the invoice was sent, the debtor suddenly refused to pay. The company did not respond to any reminders, neither from the Dutch supplier nor to those sent by our Polish lawyer.
Our Polish lawyer decided to give the Slovakian debtor a call. Once our lawyer introduced herself in English and explained the reason for the call, the secretary indicated to know nothing about the unpaid invoice. That’s when our lawyer requested to speak to the managing director of the company.
Thinking the line was put on hold, the secretary explained the situation to the director who replied saying: "I don't want to speak to Bierens. Tell them I'm not here, and you have no idea when I'll be back in the office.
The secretary returned the phone that was supposedly put on hold, indicating that the director was absent. She was completely unaware that our lawyer was able to follow the entire conversation until our Polish lawyer let the secretary known she had understood every single word.
Because our lawyers deal with such debtors on a regular basis, our Polish lawyer knew that a strict approach was necessary. Our lawyer replied saying: "I was able to hear the entire conversation between you and the director. I understand the Slovak language inside out. The director has 10 minutes to call me back on this matter, otherwise, I will take stricter measures against your company.
Within minutes the 'absent' director contacted our Polish lawyer. Even more so, the complete payment including interest and costs were paid the next day.
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Foreign debtors can easily play the ‘absent’ card. Assuming that they will never be caught, they believe there is no way we can get hold of them. But with our team of specialists, we know how to communicate with your debtor and which approach works best. If you would like to know more about what we can do for you, contact us today for your free consultation.