Legal collection
 min read

Receiving an invoice you disagree with – can or should I dispute it?

You’re sitting and watching Netflix. A company you’ve been interacting with sends you an invoice, and you cannot recognize the amount. Maybe you should never have received any invoice, or perhaps you disagree entirely with the amount. Suddenly, you get a notification from your email.

The next step is to reply to this invoice and explain how you don’t understand the invoice. But later comes in a reply that this company is serious and threatens with debt collection / legal action.

The question here is:
What to do?

The good debts – debt collection is not possible for disputed invoices

The good news is that you can dispute the debt.

Unless you’ve signed some “legal foundation” with a specific amount (i.e., when you sign a loan) – and here we’re NOT talking about you signing a contract – you can always dispute the amount. You can always reply with an “I completely disagree with the amount because of X”. It doesn’t matter if you keep disputing this to the customer or their debt collection company. Some debt collection companies are aggressive and will tell you that your dispute is not valid, but in this case, you should tell them, “I’m serious about the dispute, and we welcome you to sue us”.

The reason is that all the “pre-legal” debt collection processes are for debtors who can’t pay, not those who won’t pay.

However, the obvious risk here is that the customer wants to sue you.

A classic example of a situation is that you bought a new bathroom. You signed a contract with a company, and they have made a bathroom. Then you disagree about something and don’t feel you should pay the total amount – but the customer does. No debt collection agencies can “solve it” – there must be a third party to make a fair judgment. This is why we have the courts – the courts can decide what is “right” and “wrong”.

So you obviously risk being sued by filing a dispute with a customer or their collection agency. However, the good news is that for all scenarios where you’re being sued, the one suing you will try to find a solution. This solution will be some agreement where you pay X% of the amount, and you can move on.

Is it worth being sued?

When you receive an invoice from a customer – you have to make up your mind:
Is it worth the hassle?

We recommend always replying with your fair dispute and seeing the reaction. Often a company will send you a wrong invoice, and they will solve it. However, if the company insists and you have a potential problem – that’s when you need to make up your mind. You can keep sending disputes but at the risk of being sued on the other end. You can typically also try to find a solution with the company to pay a bit less – they know the legal proceedings are super slow and expensive, meaning they will be open to finding a different solution.


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