Classic responses to collection letters


"What would your neighbors think if we repossessed your car?" the collection letter read.

"I have taken the matter up with them," the delinquent debtor responded. "They think it would be a lousy trick."


Crochety old Mr. Crump received the following collection message from the big-city department store: "We are surprised that we haven't received any money from you."

The old gentleman responded, "No need to be surprised. I haven't sent any."


Obviously annoyed by strong collection letters, a retailer responded with these choice words: "I am doing the best I can. Every month I place my bills in a hat. Then I draw out bills and pay them until my money runs out. If you don't stop pestering me with your collection letters, you won't even get in the hat next month."


A retailer ordered a carload of refrigerators before paying for the last order. The manufacturer responded with a collection message saying that the goods could not be sent until payment was made for the last order.

"Unable to wait so long," the retailer replied. "Cancel order."


The collection order was terse: "Please remit the amount you owe us right away."

The response was quick and equally terse: "The amount we owe you is $145.20."




Back in the 1870s, a little peddler arrived in a western mining town with little more than a mule, a wagon, and a wagonload of assorted merchandise. He had no sooner turned onto Main Street than the mule balked.

Calmly, the little peddler spoke: "This is once. Now giddap!" The mule didn't move.

Again the peddler spoke: "This is twice. Now giddap!" The mule didn't move.

A third time the peddler spoke: "This is the third time. Now giddap!" The mule didn't move.

The little peddler calmly walked to the back of the wagon, got his rifle, walked up to the mule, and in front of half the people in town shot the mule dead.

Without a mule, the little peddler could go no place, so he started a store in the town. It prospered, and in time people began to buy on credit. A few got a little behind in their payments. The little man just mailed them their bills. Across the bottom of each bill he wrote, "This is once."

He never had any trouble collecting.