Don’t Start Celebrating Until the Check Clears! (Part three) What if the check bounces?

What do you do if your customer’s check bounces (that is to say, is returned for “not sufficient funds” (NSF))?

Well, the first thing to do is hope is that Jane’s telephone has not been disconnected! (This Checkhappened to me once and really ruined my day.)

Even if the phone is still connected, you should immediately be suspicious of this company.  In my opinion, there are no good reasons for bouncing a check – especially if you’re in business.

Jane may tell you that there was an accounting error OR that checks they deposited bounced which reduced their apparent account balance OR that it was a bank error OR maybe, once again, the problem was caused by their company mascot. No excuse ever given to me fully restored my trust in that company again.

Jane may tell you to deposit the check again at some future date to see if it clears.  This is a normal procedure and one for which you really cross your fingers.

It’s also a pain in the neck.

Most banks will only allow three attempts at this process, so if I were you and the check bounced a second time, I would have a real long talk with Jane to see how you can get paid.  Do your best to work out a payment plan with Jane but if she is unwilling or unable,  begin to go higher up the chain of command to hopefully get results.

Keep in mind that bouncing checks is usually a prelude to the company’s going under, so you will want to protect yourself. Certainly, you won’t be sending any more product to this customer!


Please post your comments about your own NSF experience.  We would love to hear them. 

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