Client Wasn't Billed For Four Months!

    • 118 posts
    January 7, 2022 7:18 AM PST

    Here's the deal: the station I sell for uses a company that takes care of billing and accounting for the station. While the order was turned in and information sent to the company to bill them in August, it was not until my client asked about billing in late November. It was then it was realized the client had never been billed.

    My client is using 'local' dollars to buy my station, so these dollars go against his monthly budget. In short, in December his numbers were way out of whack with 5 months of billing landing in December. As a result, the client got called down by the home office and he said he had to cancel until the numbers were back in line. He thinks 2 or 3 months.

    I'm toying with going to bat for him. We enjoy a great relationship and he had signed an annual with me. I am thinking of going to station ownership and suggest we simply bonus his schedule until his budget is back in line. I figure this lets us 'own' our mistake and demonstrates we are out to help clients over and above the monetary benefit. After all, we are never sold out in the 1st quarter. 

    I never like to do freebies but I think in this situation it might solidify our relationship even further. Given our unique relationship where he is just as concerned with my success as I am with his, I sort of feel like it is the right thing to do.

    I'd love to hear some comments from others unconnected to the situation. 

    Granted, my station is not perfect in it's methods of doing things and this never should have happened, but it did. If this will be a learning experience for my station remains to be seen. 

    • 121 posts
    February 4, 2022 10:44 AM PST

    I always urge my team to think about the long term ramifications of the actions they take (or don't take).


    In this situation, I would have attempted to work out a payment plan instead of expecting them to pay the entire amount upfront.  We just had a similar situation when we had a staff change at the radio station.  The a/r person at the business was receiving invoices that said PAID IN FULL because under the old radio A.E. the client was pre-paying monthly.

    Anyway due to the confusion, I cancelled the old contract under the old A.E. and put it on a payment plan for the next 6 months at $1000 monthly.  In the meantime,  the new A.E. has a new contract and everyone is on the same page.


    Regarding free ads, yes if you have the inventory, do what you need to do to keep the relationship.  We did that a few years ago for two months and that client is now a long time Key Account with us.

    • 118 posts
    February 4, 2022 11:54 AM PST

    Thank you for your suggestion. Actually a payment plan was not the issue. The problem was how his expense report appeared at the home office. In other words, on paper, to the home office, his marketing dollars were too high and he was told to hold off on anything under the numbers were back in line. He explained the situation but all the home office saw was months of being good on the numbers and one month being exceptionally high. He has already paid the whole amount and expected to be back on in March.