What If Facebook Paid All The Invoices Owed To Your Small Business?
If your small business remained profitable during the COVID-19 pandemic which has dragged on for the past year and a half, there is a good chance that Facebook has helped you accomplish this. Social media provides versatile ways for small businesses to connect with customers even before the pandemic hit, and during the long periods of restrictions on in-person visits to places of business in the Washington, D.C. area, it was a lifeline for small businesses. Facebook, perhaps more than any other medium, enables you to see your online reputation evolve in real time. Resourceful small business owners can use Facebook to make customers love them and stay loyal to them throughout the pandemic and beyond. What Facebook has not been able to do now, is to solve the widespread problem where customers love your products but can’t afford to pay for them, financing purchases and then ghosting you after a few installments or failing to update expired credit cards to keep paying for subscription services. Facebook is about to roll out a new service that could help small businesses get paid more quickly. Whether or not your business chooses to participate in Facebook’s new payment collection service, a small business lawyer can help you find efficient ways to get paid without alienating your customer base.
Will Facebook Fast Track Invoice Solve Problems for Your Small Business or Create New Problems?
This year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau updated its debt collection guidelines to account for social media and other forms of communication that have debuted since the last time the guidelines were updated. The CFPB now allows creditors and collection agencies to contact borrowers on social media and request payment of outstanding debts. To consumers, this means that unsolicited offers of “friendship” from collection agencies can spoil their humblebrag-browsing experience just like unsolicited offers of “friendship” from former classmates promising untold riches to anyone who buys into their multilevel marketing business venture.
Facebook, however, saw an opportunity in the new guidelines. In November, it will launch a program called Facebook Fast Track Invoice. For a small, one-time fee, Facebook will purchase invoices from participating small businesses by paying them in full and then contacting the customers and requesting that they pay Facebook directly instead of paying the business. Facebook claims that the goal of the program is to help the smallest business, especially those owned by racial and ethnic minorities, women, U.S. military veterans, people with disabilities, and LGBTQIA+ people. Participating in the program could backfire though. If selling debt is sleazy, then selling debt to a capitalist Leviathan like Facebook before even giving the customer a chance to pay on time is the province of some next level bottom feeder viscous slime. What better way to thank your customers for their business than by making them indebted to Facebook without their consent?
Let Us Help You Today
You can’t please everyone, at least not if you want to stay financially solvent. A Washington DC small business law attorney can help you choose the best strategy for seeing payment of overdue invoices. Contact Tobin, O’Connor & Ewing for a consultation.