Covering Business Credit

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Commercial Credit Management

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Are the terms 2% 15 days, net 30 days meant to mean 15 days from shipment or 15 days from receipt of goods? One of my retail customers insists their clock starts when the goods arrive.

Answer: The retailer's approach is a logistical nightmare for the credit department. By the way, I have seen retailers claim the clock starts not on delivery but on acceptance, which has something to do with the customer inspecting the shipment. In any event, you want to eliminate ambiguityŠand the way to do so is to state clearly that the clock starts on the date of invoice. This can be written into the contract, provided in the form of a letter to the customer, listed on the face of the invoice, listed on the boiler plate on the back of your invoice, and explained verbally to the customer. When they take unearned discounts, charge them back and insist they be repaid. Once the value and the number of unearned discounts get large enough, consider a credit hold.

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