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Charging for cancelled lesson - Page 2

post #19 of 41

I have to agree with the majority here. If I was the student and no show no called I would expect to get charged because that is disrespectful. If I got last minute tickets to a sporting event that I wanted to go to and called to cancel I would still expect to get charged because I decided to go to the event instead.

 

On the other hand as mentioned if something came up at work or a family emergency came up I would notify my instructor and would not expect to get charged knowing I cant control these types of accurences.

 

If I was the instructor and the student cancelled last minute on a regular basis regardless of the reason I would no long keep them as a student.

 

I think you should use your best judgement, if you think this was something they couldnt control or that they will be back several times throw them a bone and dont charge them. If it is the 3rd or 4th time charge them and then decide from there if you want to keep them as a student.

post #20 of 41

I think it depends on your clientele as well as your demand(competition).  

 

1.) Are you instructing folks with a good deal of $ or not?

2.) Is there any instructor nearby whom they will run to if you charge?

3.) Are you good enough that the won't want to leave and give their business to someone else?

 

I would say it sucks if someone cancels, but stuff happens and I'd say flexibility needs to be both ways.  You never know when your boss is gonna ask you to stay last minute or if a someone fails to show up for a shift and you need to cover. I'd think if your clientele isn't upper middle to upper class you're gonna find yourself losing clients quicker than you like especially if you're in a bigger city or an area that offers a plethora of instructors.

 

I have had doctor's visits and such in the past in which those professionals have had to cancel on me, sometimes as I'm mid drive to their office.  They've never once felt they would need to pay me for my time and gas spent or credit me for my experience(which I see why you would do in order to keep your clients).  In that same sense, if they don't expect to pay me for for their cancellation, I in turn will not pay them for mine either.

 

If you do stick with the charge, I'd say you would want to seriously discount it.  Instead of full charge(70-100$) then maybe half is a bit more understandable.  My wife teaches piano and in her studio policy she states that if students cancel she holds the right to not refund....but she has never stuck to it and by doing so she earns respect and in turn more clients because of her consideration.

post #21 of 41

I apoligize. Didn't get it right on missed lessons.

post #22 of 41

As others stated, if the cancellation results in a real loss of money for you because your so busy you could have filled the slot then charge for the missed lesson.  If you need the business and likely wouldn't have filled the slot, then I wouldn't. 

 

I'd at least let a good customer get away with it once, if they do it repeatedly then they clearly have no respect for you or your time and should not only be charged, but also told to find a new instructor. 

post #23 of 41
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the info guys. I'm thinking I may make an alteration where you get one non-charged late cancel lesson without an emergency excuse. I brought this up because I had a guy get mad at me, and it seems like I may make more money in the long run if I tweak my policy a bit to keep 'em coming back even if I do take a loss for that one session.
 

post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Stone View Post

Thanks for all the info guys. I'm thinking I may make an alteration where you get one non-charged late cancel lesson without an emergency excuse. I brought this up because I had a guy get mad at me, and it seems like I may make more money in the long run if I tweak my policy a bit to keep 'em coming back even if I do take a loss for that one session.
 

 

Just curious.  Are you actually an 11 hcp, or it that a typo?

post #25 of 41

Regardless of the cancellation reason or time, it is not a good business practice to charge people who "wasted" your time. As an appointment based business, you should understand that cancellations are a major part of your work and expect them to happen. This is one risk in your line of work and the consumer shouldn't be penalized.

In short, if somebody tried to invoice me or bill me for services not rendered, I would not only not pay it but I would obviously not return.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

 

Just curious.  Are you actually an 11 hcp, or it that a typo?


Second, this ^. I'm not sure that I know of any instructors near my area that are over a single digit HC. I also don't think I would take instruction from someone with a higher HC than me in my personal opinion. Advice wouldn't be a problem, but definitely not paid instruction.

In my opinion, the phrase "those who can't do, teach" does not apply to golf. I keep stressing "in my opinion" because personally I would not pay an individual who cannot achieve, or perform, what they are teaching me and expecting me to do if they cannot do it themselves (leading by/with example).

post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder View Post

Regardless of the cancellation reason or time, it is not a good business practice to charge people who "wasted" your time. As an appointment based business, you should understand that cancellations are a major part of your work and expect them to happen. This is one risk in your line of work and the consumer shouldn't be penalized.

In short, if somebody tried to invoice me or bill me for services not rendered, I would not only not pay it but I would obviously not return.
 


Second, this ^. I'm not sure that I know of any instructors near my area that are over a single digit HC. I also don't think I would take instruction from someone with a higher HC than me in my personal opinion. Advice wouldn't be a problem, but definitely not paid instruction.

In my opinion, the phrase "those who can't do, teach" does not apply to golf. I keep stressing "in my opinion" because personally I would not pay an individual who cannot achieve, or perform, what they are teaching me and expecting me to do if they cannot do it themselves (leading by/with example).

I must say I completely disagree with your first paragraph.  Now in my business, they pay first, in a lot of cases by buying a package of lessons.  Remember, it is ultimately a business.  My boss, and his boss, dislikes no shows as much as I do.  And that's why we have a policy in place.  Of course emergencies happen, and we account for these.  But, multiple no shows with no calls is completely irresponsible.  When I get a no show I always follow with an email, and much of the time the customer takes accountability and offers payment.  Most of the time I don't accept unless it's multiple times or in the thick of my busy season.  So you as the customer would not return because he expected you to show up for an appointment you made?  For me I'm available for 6-7 days a week, and am flexible for the customer.  That allows them to pick a time that works.  Barring an emergency, a no call is ridiculous.    

post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rfordeagle View Post

I must say I completely disagree with your first paragraph.  Now in my business, they pay first, in a lot of cases by buying a package of lessons.  Remember, it is ultimately a business.  My boss, and his boss, dislikes no shows as much as I do.  And that's why we have a policy in place.  Of course emergencies happen, and we account for these.  But, multiple no shows with no calls is completely irresponsible.  When I get a no show I always follow with an email, and much of the time the customer takes accountability and offers payment.  Most of the time I don't accept unless it's multiple times or in the thick of my busy season.  So you as the customer would not return because he expected you to show up for an appointment you made?  For me I'm available for 6-7 days a week, and am flexible for the customer.  That allows them to pick a time that works.  Barring an emergency, a no call is ridiculous.    

 

Your approach is much different than what was stated by the OP. You take each instance on a case-by-case basis and determine whether the behavior is repetitive. After that consideration, you determine if the charge is appropriate or deemed "necessary".

The OP is simply stating that a charge is in place, period.

However, I have also ran several successful businesses and maintained a no questions asked refund policy. Customers who were on a basis of being charged monthly would be refunded in full even if they called 2-3 days after and mentioned that they forgot to cancel. This practice was worth it because retention increased dramatically (customers who intended to utilize similar services in the future were more likely to choose us as again due to past experience).

Again - in my opinion - appointment based businesses should account for cancellations and include them as part of the "red" accounting. This is just my opinion and it definitely is not an "I"m right, you're wrong" statement. You can be successful on either end of the spectrum here. I personally believe it is easier to be lenient though which boosts repeat business, word-of-mouth (grass roots marketing), loyalty and retention.

post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

 

Just curious.  Are you actually an 11 hcp, or it that a typo?

I have to say that this was going to be one of my initial questions as well.

post #29 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder View Post

 

Your approach is much different than what was stated by the OP. You take each instance on a case-by-case basis and determine whether the behavior is repetitive. After that consideration, you determine if the charge is appropriate or deemed "necessary".

The OP is simply stating that a charge is in place, period.

However, I have also ran several successful businesses and maintained a no questions asked refund policy. Customers who were on a basis of being charged monthly would be refunded in full even if they called 2-3 days after and mentioned that they forgot to cancel. This practice was worth it because retention increased dramatically (customers who intended to utilize similar services in the future were more likely to choose us as again due to past experience).

Again - in my opinion - appointment based businesses should account for cancellations and include them as part of the "red" accounting. This is just my opinion and it definitely is not an "I"m right, you're wrong" statement. You can be successful on either end of the spectrum here. I personally believe it is easier to be lenient though which boosts repeat business, word-of-mouth (grass roots marketing), loyalty and retention.

 

I don't know how to cut the quote down to a certain section, but in response to your last sentence or so, do you think that after you're established and everyone knows you in the area that you change how lenient you are, or do you always keep that lenient approach?

 

And for the handicap guys, yes I'd say typo but it I don't know if that is the right term because it was actually my voice commands on the phone that interpreted my words wrong. Google is incredible, but I wouldn't trust the voice thing to dictate your last will and testament for sure.

post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Stone View Post

 

I don't know how to cut the quote down to a certain section, but in response to your last sentence or so, do you think that after you're established and everyone knows you in the area that you change how lenient you are, or do you always keep that lenient approach?

 

And for the handicap guys, yes I'd say typo but it I don't know if that is the right term because it was actually my voice commands on the phone that interpreted my words wrong. Google is incredible, but I wouldn't trust the voice thing to dictate your last will and testament for sure.

Personally, I would remain lenient to the extent of not being taken advantage of. If there is one thing that I have learned through trial and error, transparency is something that is truly underrated and hardly practiced by any business (Fortune 500, small and large). Your business is a face-to-face meeting with consumers who are paying for your direct services and time. Thus, you have the direct opportunity to discuss many topics with your customers. This could include habitual lateness or absences by your customer if it becomes a problem for you. You can very easily, on a case-by-case basis when necessary, say "Hey Joe, I really appreciate you being here and it really is a pleasure to have your confidence and loyalty. Do you think we can talk about something before we get started here? I really wanted to let you know that you put me in a tough position a couple of times when you were a no call - no show several times. Unfortunately, I am going to have to ask that you pay for your lessons in bulk and advance." The conversation from there is essentially a flow chart. Customer Agrees? > If Yes > Great! - If No > Why? > Discuss.

One thing that you can also implement is the general concept of providing lessons in bulk rates - ie: 10 sessions @ $850.00 - 5 sessions @ $450.00. If you have a website or business card, make it clear that refunds are not applicable - however missed sessions can be made up. This way if you show up and they do not, you were still paid (even though you still technically lost on gas and time).

Personally, it sounds like the bulk packages may be the route you want to go. You're receiving the revenue and the consumer, one way or another, will receive the services they are purchasing. 

post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Stone View Post

 

I don't know how to cut the quote down to a certain section, but in response to your last sentence or so, do you think that after you're established and everyone knows you in the area that you change how lenient you are, or do you always keep that lenient approach?

 

And for the handicap guys, yes I'd say typo but it I don't know if that is the right term because it was actually my voice commands on the phone that interpreted my words wrong. Google is incredible, but I wouldn't trust the voice thing to dictate your last will and testament for sure.

 

Not to continue to pick, but now your hcp says 7.8.  Is that now correct.  Still seems unusually high for an instructor.  Just an observation......

post #32 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

 

Not to continue to pick, but now your hcp says 7.8.  Is that now correct.  Still seems unusually high for an instructor.  Just an observation......

Moments ago, prior to the 7.8, it was modified to 10.3.

post #33 of 41

I know plenty of instructors who handicaps aren't exceptionally low.  Reason being they don't play a lot due to the game being their job.  They're more tied to instructing others with little time to their own game.

post #34 of 41

To say that 7.8 is unusually high for an instructor is being very kind.

 

If I were a 5 hdcp and took a lesson from a guy, and then later found out he was a 7.8, it would be like going out on a date with a girl and later finding out she was a dude.

 

"Yeah, I'm playing golf with my instructor today---it should be a pretty good match if I give him a 2 shots a side."

 

 

PS: please, please don't come back with: "Well, the guys on tour take lessons from teachers that they can beat."

post #35 of 41

I think most people would agree that if you don't keep up with your game on the regular that your game won't be sharp and you can go from being someone who shoots around 75 on the regular to someone who shoots 85 once every month or 2.

 

As a track athlete in high school and college I could run a mile in the low 4's.  I couldnt sniff that right now, 10 years later.  If I went back into training I couldnt probably get mid 4's.  I could very well effectively and successfully coach people younger and near my age to run faster than me.  Being a coach or instructor doesn't mean you're currently or were ever better than the average player.  It is your understanding of the game and conveying the information needed to the athlete and being able to get the results out of them. Not, how good of a player you are, but how good of a teacher you are.

post #36 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdieNumNums View Post

I think most people would agree that if you don't keep up with your game on the regular that your game won't be sharp and you can go from being someone who shoots around 75 on the regular to someone who shoots 85 once every month or 2.

 

As a track athlete in high school and college I could run a mile in the low 4's.  I couldnt sniff that right now, 10 years later.  If I went back into training I couldnt probably get mid 4's.  I could very well effectively and successfully coach people younger and near my age to run faster than me.  Being a coach or instructor doesn't mean you're currently or were ever better than the average player.  It is your understanding of the game and conveying the information needed to the athlete and being able to get the results out of them. Not, how good of a player you are, but how good of a teacher you are.

 

Ok Birdie, I agree with some of that in principle, but I would still have a hard time taking a lesson from a guy that shoots 85 every month or so.....unless he was playing on a broken ankle or something.

 

Birdie, would you take a lesson from a guy that occasionally shoots 85?

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