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Clients/students cancelling for a long period (not during the summer holidays)

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by suzette, Feb 4, 2020.

  1. suzette

    suzette New commenter

    Hello all,

    This is my first rant of the year!! So sorry if you've heard it all before.

    I've had a client/mum cancel their lesson with me yesterday and that's fine as it was within 24hrs. She said her daughter is in a dance show and it's the dress rehearsal today, hence she wasn't able to do the lesson. Now today she has messaged me to say that her daughter won't be in next week as they are going away for the half term, but won't be back until March 10th!!! She has given me no notice.

    Now that's really not on! I've had to hold off messaging her at the moment as I'm spitting feathers!!! Does she really expect me to hold her daughter's place for nearly 5 weeks!!?? (Excluding the half term).

    Apart from the six weeks holiday, I allow clients 2wks holiday, with at least one week's notice from the client. Plus they have the Easter holidays, half terms and bank holidays (If their lesson usually falls on a Monday). (I usually only get the students that are due to sit an exam soon, wanting to do the half term tutoring). I think that's reasonable.

    All of this is clearly stated in my contract, which she is aware of and it's signed by her. Has anyone else had this happen to them? I've sent her a message saying I can't guarantee the slot when she gets back as I have a waiting list and she's given me no notice at all.

    Has anyone had this happen, so early on in the year?
  2. phatsals

    phatsals Established commenter

    I had one a couple of years ago. It was first for an audition, then it was voice-over work for several weeks. The message was to the effect of 'Mimi is doing voice-over work at the BBC for the next x number of weeks, so we will pick up again in April.' No discussion, no apology, nothing. Mum was director at the Beeb, the child was 10.

    I replied by return informing the parent that as this was x number of consecutive lessons I would no longer be able to tutor them. I wished her well for the future and that was it. This particular parent only ever turned up when she wanted something, otherwise it was the step dad. The slot was quickly filled by someone who turned up on time, picked up on time and rarely, if ever, cancelled. Some people are just more trouble that they're worth - move on.
    suzette likes this.
  3. alsoamum

    alsoamum Occasional commenter

    Yes, parents will try things like this contract or no contract.

    Your message is fine. There's probably little you can do other than fill her space asap. She's unlikely to reply as she realises she has behaved with such little respect for you. I expect she's known about this for a while and didn't tell you as she knew what the reaction would be. Go ahead and fill the space if someone comes along. You are under no obligation to keep her space open given the circumstances.

    I had one miss all of the Autumn term and I did agree to keep her place open as it was a medical reason. Mum mentioned having some daytime tuition so I said I'd be happy to keep her after school space open if they booked a similar number of daytime sessions. She's now starting to try to mess me around every couple of weeks and I'm getting fed up with the guilt trips and the expectation of continued flexibility so may well call it a day. You have to ultimately do what is best for you and your family.
  4. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    If you have a waiting list then just fill the space and let them go
  5. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Perhaps a compromise is to fill the space with someone from your waiting list, but offer to put this child at the top of the waiting list for any spaces becoming available after her return.
    suzette and bramblesarah like this.
  6. suzette

    suzette New commenter

    I'm sure the little darling loves the fame more than tutoring!! ;)

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