For those of us who stay within the law and endeavour to pay our bills on time, this may not be information that you’ll put on your ‘need to know’ list. However, if you have ever played dodge with your creditors (or know someone who does) then you may want to listen up. Did you know that a simple registered SMS requesting payment is now considered a valid communication for legal documents?
An SMS demand for payment? What does this actually mean in real terms?
Registered SMS to Summons in One Simple Step
An article from Business Insider warns us that ignoring an SMS from one of your creditors demanding payment can put you in line for a summons.
In today’s connected world, we are more likely to keep a mobile number and email address for longer than we live at our physical address. With the constant shifting of the population from one home, town or province to another, it can be a real headache for creditors to nail down defaulters. In fact, how many times have you answered your home phone to someone asking for a Mrs Valerie Stevenson, and then listened in disbelief as they ask if you’re sure that she no longer lives there?
So, what are businesses to do? Pinning down someone who really doesn’t want to be found by you is always going to be tricky. But if you have their cell number then you have a starting point.
Ignore an SMS Demand at Your Peril
Thanks to user-friendly tech, we now have the option to send a registered SMS in much the same way as we send registered post. The essential requirement here is that the SMS must conform to the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act Section 19 (4), which means that the message needs to be tracked.
Companies such as Registered Communication have set up their easy online systems to obtain recognition by South African courts. To ensure compliance, they are able to offer a certificate to the sender which shows proof of delivery as well as every custodian in the delivery chain for SMS and email communications.
A closed process such as this means an enormous time and cost saving for our legal system, and far more effective procedure for companies who battle to pin down their debtors.
What happens next?
Once you know that the SMS has been delivered and you have proof of such, the recipient has nowhere left to hide. People can no longer plead ignorance to claim that they didn’t receive any communications from the company that they owe.
Can they ignore the message? Sure. But as we know, you are free to do what you want, but you are never free from the consequences of your choice.
“If [a registered SMS] is ignored, the sender can obtain a default judgement. A judgement against you will have a negative impact on your credit rating or could even lead to your property being attached by the sheriff.”
Salomé le Roux, Senior Associate Von Seidel (Intellectual Property Law Firm)
The Randburg courts have already handed down two judgements on defaulters on the basis that the registered SMS that they received demanding payment was a valid legal communication.
Making use of registered SMS and email communication in this way has reaped some awesome results. According to Registered Communications, there has been an increase in responses from recipients, a decreased response time and of course, substantial cost savings.
Business SMS is a Growing Concern
At Cellfind, we are excited to see the huge benefits that our business clients are enjoying by making use of bulk SMS communications: Instant responses, cost-efficient, reliable, and able to reach pretty much everyone in the country.
If you have been looking for exactly this, then jump on board with us. We can assist you with all your SMS needs in our usual fast and friendly manner. Call us now.