Credit Matters

Article of Interest

Repossessing the Fridge From Madam Lily's

In the early days of easy credit and prior to the crazy days "No Deposit" era, which sent many retailers bankrupt, such as H.G. Palmers, Reid Murray plus dozens too numerous to mention, electrical appliances were sold for one pound deposit with payments of one pound weekly, until the required amount under the Hire Purchase contract had been met.

Madame Lily was one of those buyers and purchased a refrigerator. After paying her one pound - the aftermath of an in-tense advertising campaign, "A Pound to Pay, Give You Delivery Today" no further payments were ever received from her and after many requests and final notices, instructions were issued to pick up the refrigerator.

A letter advising that the transaction had been cancelled and enclosing "one pound note", refunding her original payment was duly despatched with our truck and two employees.

On arrival at the massage parlour they were told she was engaged with a client and would not be long so make themselves comfortable.  When she finally appeared, Lily looked absolutely stunning - a big, buxom blonde with a low cut slinky see-through frock. Our drivers were stunned and di not know how to deliver the news.

Finally the bravest of the two handed her the repossession advice and amidst a thunderous storm of abuse were told what they could do with the refrigerator. After the clouds of unprintable language had cleared they were told to wait whilst she removed the contents.

Several minutes elapsed, and Lily could be heard talking on the telephone in the other room. Finally, after a long wait, our drivers were ushered into a back room with instructions to pick it up and get to b ..... as fast as they could.

To their dismay the refrigerator was splattered with jam and tomato sauce, the linings were smashed and filled to the brim.

Picking up the ugly mess, they struggled down the stairs and into their truck ... and would you believe, standing alongside their truck was another from H.G. Palmers waiting to deliver a brand new gleaming fridge.

Our boys promptly informed the new crew they would eventually end up with the same fate. Their answer "We couldn't care less, we are only the delivery staff".

Credit Matters Comments

There are numerous aspects of doing better business in this story which could be learnt by modern business people today. 

These issues include:

1  Selling on credit and due diligence;

2  Having appropriate and adequate credit and debt management processes;

3  Involving all staff in the sales process;

4  Having  employees committed to the welfare of the business at all levels in your organisation;

5  To never under estimate the ability of your customers to avoid paying you if they do not want to.

Source: Credit Review April-May 1983 by Don Bisset, F.I.C.M.

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