Thank You for Your Honesty – The Dark Side of Payment Issues
We are very thankful that the large majority of our customers are extremely honest and respectful of payment obligations. Most of us will naturally pay off a bill soonest, for fear of loss of trust with the people and company with whom we work. When it comes to the essentials such as utilities bill, we tend to be even more vigilant, as the spectre of being stranded on a hot night without electricity for even a fan is too much to take.
While Ace Tutors does not impose any penalty for late payments, few customers have taken advantage of our friendly policy. We are very grateful about it. When payments do come late, it is often due to the genuine over-sight of customers, and they normally come accompanied with sincere apologies. However, as any accounts personnel would have experienced, there is a dark side to payment issues.
A very small minority of customers, for reasons unrelated to service dissatisfaction, choose to delay payments – indefinitely. They seem to think nothing of their debt obligations. Some will promise you over and over again to pay up immediately, despite you having called him/her 5 times over several weeks before. Some don’t even bother picking up your calls. Tutors and agencies who have been on the receiving end of such poor treatment will tell you that it dampens their mood just thinking about these bad debtors. We have had our fair share of such injustice, and we wished for a golden solution which would create a better world for everyone, a world in which we treated each other as we ourselves want to be treated.
It struck us that bad debts should never go off unpunished. Just as the banks and money lenders of Singapore have a centralised system to track everyone’s payment behaviour, there ought to be such an equivalent system for tuition agencies as well. The system had to be fair; entering bad debtors into the list only upon adequate notice of late payment. The system had to be forgiving; allowing bad debtors to be promptly removed from the list upon fulfilling their payment obligations. The system needs to provide as much value-add to the community as possible; wide and free access to this bad debtor list will educate as many people in the community as possible about the dishonest tendencies of such bad debtors, and considerable time and effort (and fragile hearts) can be saved from not serving these bad debtors in the first place. With these values in mind, the Non-payment Blacklist was started on the informal forum of Ace Tutors.
(Blacklisted tutors to be wary of.)
(Blacklisted parents/students to be wary of.)
There are strict policies governing the listing of bad debtors, and fellow agencies are encouraged to contribute to the list, for the benefit of our whole community. So far, the possibility of entering such a list has already helped to nudge many debtors to pay up. We hope that in the near future, the list is kept as short as possible; as proof that people are wise about the consequences of their actions, especially in a well-connected world of the 21st century.