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How to tell a client I don't want to take them on (after all)?

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by SayItLikeItIs, Feb 3, 2020.

  1. SayItLikeItIs

    SayItLikeItIs Occasional commenter

    Helpful tutors -

    I haven't seen a post exactly like this one before, and I wonder if anyone has any experience of this? Last week a parent looking for an SEN tutor found my phone number through a google cached page in family-type magazine in which I advertised my services quite some years ago. I wasn't in the best place when she rang me, and the call took me unawares. I found myself saying that I had a place available without going through my usual 'screening' process.

    A few days on and various texts and emails later, all in all I am finding her rather rude, and so I would rather not take her child on. Can anyone suggest a professional way in which I can now withdraw the offer of tuition? I don't want to just 'ghost' her although that would be easy to do.
  2. Lespaul101

    Lespaul101 New commenter

    You could either tell the truth and say that due to her attitude towards you, you don’t believe that you would be able to develop a beneficial working relationship or just tell them you’ve had a change of circumstances and no longer have that space available.
    SayItLikeItIs likes this.
  3. alsoamum

    alsoamum Occasional commenter

    I'd just say 'Upon reflection, I don't think this is going to work. Thank you for your interest but I cannot offer tuition.'
    SayItLikeItIs likes this.
  4. alsoamum

    alsoamum Occasional commenter

    I had to do this once in very similar circumstances. The mother followed up with some pretty rude messages.... which just probed my point to be honest.
  5. briancant

    briancant Occasional commenter

    Apologize and explain for 'personal' reasons you can't take her on. No need to make anyone feel bad.
  6. bramblesarah

    bramblesarah Occasional commenter

    I would go down the route of 'I don't think I am the right fit for your family therefore I don't want to waste anymore of your time'
    I would be interested to hear about your screening process as when someone rings me I just say yes straight away and I have ended up with some clients I would rather have not taken on.
    SayItLikeItIs likes this.
  7. SayItLikeItIs

    SayItLikeItIs Occasional commenter

    I am a specialist dyslexia tutor, so get listed under Special Needs on tutoring websites. My screening process is more about whether I can really offer what they are looking for. But of course they need to be the right student for me too, so I try to have a dialogue with them first. This can be quite tricky with tutoring websites, especially as some parents insist their child is dyslexic whereas their needs are far more complex. And it's not foolproof. Sometimes I don't get enough background information until after they've signed up and then I have to go with it, until it reaches the point where I may have to tell them that I don't have the expertise to deal with their child's needs. But before accepting them for tuition I generally get a vibe as to parental attitude etc.

    I got a good vibe off this parent to begin with. But because she contacted me direct, and didn't have to pay a fee to a tutoring agency, I feel I can let myself off the hook with this one.
    bramblesarah likes this.
  8. SayItLikeItIs

    SayItLikeItIs Occasional commenter

    Thank you to everyone for your replies. I'd feel comfortable with anyone of these. It's much appreciated!
  9. SayItLikeItIs

    SayItLikeItIs Occasional commenter

    This was the wording I went for, only to receive a text back saying what disgraceful service I had given and that she'd certainly be leaving a negative review! (Not that she'd be able to do so in this case.) So if I was trying to protect myself from further rude behaviour, then it didn't work! I think it proved my point, and I did get a quick reply back in to tell her the real reason why I had cancelled her, before blocking her number. Heyho, it's all learning.
  10. gainly

    gainly Lead commenter

    Seems like you had a lucky escape.
  11. Ian1983

    Ian1983 Occasional commenter

    I just don't answer the phone to unrecognised numbers.

    I find it much easier to let people leave a message, then I check my schedule and have a think about it before contacting them back. This way, there's no possibility of me being caught unawares and ending up in the awkward position of having said yes but now wanting to say no!
    alsoamum likes this.
  12. alsoamum

    alsoamum Occasional commenter

    I do this woth my supply agency lol, always listen to the voice mail first!
  13. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Some agency websites, such as TH, allow parents to leave feedback, which gives the latter the ability to vent their spleen at 'not getting what they want, when they want it', by blaming the tutor and giving him or her bad feedback, with possible repercussions, as other prospective customers can see it. I had a parent who bought by details and we could not agree a time for tuition as his son had 'other commitments' on all seven days of the week. As my reward for trying to accomodate this parent was a one star feedback, blaming my lack of flexibility.
  14. BrandonO82

    BrandonO82 New commenter

    Expect a rude reply, but don't overstress when it comes to what you tell her. Just go for it, tell her that you cannot tutor the child as you found her attitude to be rude towards you. You are not obliged to give any further explanations, after all.

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