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Getting Paid – the Final Frontier
by Janet Torley on 14/08/2011

A favourite subject of mine and I know many of my fellow small business owners – getting paid!  I am now in total despair at the futility of the ‘system’ for getting paid.  In reality the ‘system’ would appear to only benefit solicitors – (Note to self – re-train as a solicitor). 

I had occasion last week to end up in a Sheriff Court chasing an unpaid debt.  I watched all the other proceedings of the Small Claims Court whilst I waited to be called.  Now do remember dear readers that The Small Claims Court is for amounts up to £3000.  The blurb is that a small claim “could be dealt with in the relatively simple, quick and easy to use small claims procedures of the sheriff court”  Rubbish I say to you. 

In each case I witnessed, the reality is that you do need a solicitor to tackle the proceedings and the Sheriff who was certainly in line for “Smart Alec of the Week Award”  Do not for one second believe that the system is user friendly.  If you are uninitiated in the ways of legaldom, you need nerves of steel.

Now back to the £3000 limit – and the need for legal representation which could quite easily be £400 an hour.  Costs really starting to rack up now!

So the door is open for the schemers, shysters and the down right immoral who know the system to not pay as I believe that far too many small businesses just won’t bother to go as far as a small claim court to get paid.  It is just too much hassle for many.  But not for me!  I will do it again if pushed and I will continue to raise this issue and I will speak to as many people I can who have the power to look at change to the system.

(Second note to self – must get large baseball bat, ski mask and steel toe caps – maybe some surplus on E-Bay used only once last week)