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Dell in late payment Hall of Shame

Small biz suffers from corporate sloth

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Direct computer seller Dell has been entered into a late payments Hall of Shame for unilaterally adding an extra 15 days to the time it aims to settle invoices.

Dell wrote to suppliers telling them it was changing T&Cs from 10 July because of "current economic conditions". It will now settle invoices in 65 days rather than 50.

The computer giant has been awarded the dishonour by the Forum of Private Business.

A spokesman for the Forum said smaller companies had no choice but to put up and shut up when a big customer decides to change payment terms. He said it was time the government acted to stop the bully boy tactics of big firms.

Late payments by large organisations has been a campaigning issue for small business for some time - they tend to struggle with cash flow at the best of times, and most small companies have to settle their own bills within 30 days.

One in five FPB members said problems with late payments had become worse in recent months. On average FPB members said 36 per cent of turnover was tied up in late payments at any given time.

The Forum of Private Business set up the Hall of Shame to publicise the issue - previous entrants include Computacenter. ®

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