Updated: May 12, 2021
In early 2020 and in light of Covid and the reduced office operation, we upgraded several office operational systems in line with becoming more automated and streamlined.
Traditionally, customers had been able to pay for moorings and services using cash or card at the office. However, as exchanging cash became a health risk and the accounts team were placed on furlough, we upgraded our account system, moved all payments online and installed a vending machine for 24 hour access to electricity cards.
Below are some answers to frequently asked questions around some of the key changes and differences you may have noticed:
"Why do you keep sending me an invoice every month?"
We need to raise invoices to ensure we can match your payments to a reference.
If you pay monthly, you will receive a monthly invoice. If you pay annually, you will receive one at the start of your contract and once a year at the start of each renewal. You do not need to keep these invoices but you may wish to for future reference.
The invoices are set to repeat every month automatically. There is no human intervention involved in the repeat process. The invoices should be set to end at the end of your contract. If you have left and receive an invoice, please let me know directly.
"I have paid but you are chasing me for payment!!"
Once your payment has been received, the system will automatically match your payment using your name, payment amount or invoice number to the invoice raised.
However, the system is a robot and not as good as a human of course! Therefore, if there is an issue with your payment, it will fail to match. Your payment will sit unallocated and your invoice will sit unmatched until I am able to investigate it and correct it. This excersize is done at the start of the following month to allow room for customers who pay towards the end of the month so you may recieve a few reminders inbetween that time until the excersize is complete. If there is still an issue with your payment you will hear from me personally.
Please note, this reminder process is automated. The only emails that I send are signed off with my name at the bottom.
The reminders do say to ignore them if you have paid. Please do not worry if you have paid but are receiving auto emails. You should only worry if you have not paid and are receiving emails from me personally! ;)
Please also note that it takes 72 hours for payments to hit the system once you have paid into the bank - even if you choose immediate payment, I will not immediately see it!
"Why are you threatening to fine me for late payments I have always paid a bit late...!"
Unfortunately we do not allow customers to take out loans for moorings against their account under any circumstances and we are not licenced to act as a private bank. (It might suprise you how often I hear this one!)
Payments are expected on the 1st of every month up to the last day of the month. (NB: If you leave mid month you will only pay pro-rata as we will take your 30 days notice.)
Due to the sheer volume of customers who do not pay on time, we sadly have to implement the reminders and the automated penalties in line with our terms & conditions.
The reminders are set to send every 14 days and increase in severity with a max of 3 sent for each month the payment appears to be running late. After 14 days the reminder is simply advising you we have not received payment on the 1st.
After 28 days the reminder will inform you of the penalties imposed if the payment is not received by month end.
After 30 days and if payment is still not received, we will send you a final reminder and a penalty may be applied.
Please note that the matching of problematic payments is done at the end of the month, therefore if your payment falls into this category repeatedly, it may be worth picking up with me directly to investigate.
The two main issues with payments include:
1) Overpaying or underpaying - even by a penny! Please check your invoice and amend your standing order or DD to match the invoice exactly.
2) Partners paying on your behalf - If someone pays for your moorings on your behalf, please make sure that they use the following reference in their payment:
FULL SURNAME OF BOAT OWNER
INVOICE NUMBER (preffered)
I would ask that all customers refamiloarise themselves with our terms & conditions which explain our terms:
(1) Administration Charges:
(a) A charge of £20.00 plus VAT will be applied to all accounts which are not paid by the due date.
(b) If remaining unpaid after a further 14 days a reminder letter [now email] will be sent to you and interest will be applied to the sum outstanding from the date it fell due until full payment is received.
(c) After 28 days a second reminder will be sent pointing out that if the outstanding sum is not paid within 14 days of the date of that letter the debt will be passed to solicitors or a specialist agency for collection and, in addition to the sums due to us, you will be responsible for their charges also.
(d) Reminder letters will be charged at £25 each plus VAT.
"Who is Daniel Silverman?"
After 28 days of no payment, your debt will be passed to our legal aids & debt collectors Daniel Silverman. We will have no further involvement in the process. Their fees are charged at 20% less VAT of your total debt which will be payable by you. It is important that you pay all bills on time by standing order or direct debit to avoid this process being applied.
If you are having difficulties making payments, we are always willing to help. Please let me know personally so we can come to an arrangement before it escalates.
"I am trying to set up a direct debit, how do I do it?"
We encourage all berth holders to set up a direct debit as it is a condition of berthing with us. Those who do not pay via direct debit will receieve a small admin fee on top of mooring from next year so we are actively encouraging all berth holders to set this up earlier rather than later. All new berth holders are not accepted until proof of DD is provided.
We have tried to make the process of setting up a direct debit as smooth and simple as possible using GoCardless. Once you receive an invoice from us, please follow the folloing steps:
- Click the green 'Pay Now' buttom
- Choose pay by direct debit
- Follow the instructions
"I pay ahead of the month, why do I receive a reminder?"
I wouldn't reccomend paying in advance as the system can't quite handle it just yet!
If you pay in advance, it will need to be manually credited to your account. Then when the system auto raises the invoice, your credit will need to be manually matched to the invoice. This matching process happens once per month at the end of the month therefore you will receive reminders to pay for the month until the matching excersize is completed at start of the next month.
For this reason, I personally would reccomend you amend your DD or S/O to hit our bank on the 1st of each month so it is there in time for the matching excersize to take place roughly around the 2nd or 3rd of the month.
I hope this helps to answer any questions you have and solve any misunderstandings!
If you still have any questions or are confused about anything at all, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org