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Is this a fair cancellation policy, bearing in mind that payment will have been taken in advance?

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by ellesabe, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. Over 24 hours notice: An alternative session will be arranged at no extra cost.
    Over 6 hours notice: An alterative session will be arranged at 50% of the usual fee.
    Unfortunately if you are unable to give 6 hours notice of a cancellation, you will still be charged for the session. If you wish for an additional session you will be charged the full price.
  2. PlymouthMaid

    PlymouthMaid Occasional commenter

    I am unsure about this section:
    'Over 6 hours notice: An alternative session will be arranged at 50% of the usual fee'.
    it seems to imply that that they can have an alternative date at half the original cost?? do you mean that you want to charge them 150% of the normal cost to have a rearranged session? confused but maybe that is just me
  3. jubileebabe

    jubileebabe New commenter

    I understand it to mean that if they cancel with more than 24 hours notice they have to pay for that session but can arrange another one for no extra cost. If they don't want another session they have to pay for the one they missed anyway.
    If they give between 6 and 24 hours notice, they must pay for the missed session but can arrange another lesson for half the usual price if they wish.
    If they cancel giving less than 6 hours notice they must pay for the missed session and if they wish to arrange another one they have to pay full price for it.
    Seems fair enough to me as long as you make it clear when you take the student on that this is your policy. I made the mistake of not doing something like this and it has caused me no end of problems, even moreso because my two regular students are the children of a friend and she thinks it's fine to cancel an hour before!
    It would be interesting to read what policies other people have on this.
  4. erm


    My official policy is that I reserve the right to charge for lessons cancelled with less than 24 hours notice. As I charge in advance, this in effect means that I won't refund or rearrange. It also means that I get fewer cancellations all together as sessions are confirmed and paid for at the start of each month. (So university open days, sporting fixtures, any other clashes come to my attention earlier and regular sessions can be rearranged with good notice on both sides.)

    In practice, the first time it happens, I will always attempt to rearrange and clients are grateful as they are aware of my 24 hour policy. I understand that sicknesses and other emergencies can't be helped. I am very flexible and like to think I do not take advantage.

    If it happens again *and* I feel I'm being messed about, I will charge and not offer an alternative time. This is rare and inevitably one of two things happens. Either the clients improve their commitment or they take their business elsewhere (and presumably find a tutor who is happier to be messed about), leaving me to fill their slot with a more reliable student.

    FWIW, I think the policy in the OP is a bit complicated.
  5. takethatno1fan

    takethatno1fan New commenter

    erm, I have just started doing some tutoring so could I ask a quick question please. When you say you charge in advance, how exactly do you do that? i.e. do you ask the client to pay at the end of a lesson for the following one?
  6. erm


    I give them an invoice on the last session of the month for all the sessions scheduled in the next month, payable on the first session of the month. The first few sessions I'm happy to be paid weekly, but after the first month, this is what I do and I explain this to all clients before they start. No one has ever batted an eye. I have been doing this for the last two years and it has worked well for me. I have had far fewer cancellations. I have only had only ever twice had to charge for a missed lesson. One didn't miss another and the other left and was replaced within a fortnight which I was very happy about because she was clearly not committed. (Her excuse that time was that she'd been asked to play tennis at short notice... like about 2 hours... which was why she couldn't give me notice. I think the first time it was too much homework that night to fit me in. It was clear cancelled lessons were going to be a common occurrence.)

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