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Or is my client?

(23 Posts)
Topaz25 Mon 03-Feb-14 09:40:57

I'm self-employed. I have two appointments with this client a week. She has cancelled the last three appointments because she has been unwell and it has been hard to get hold of her to check when I should come around again. This has been difficult as I wouldn't want to bother her by turning up unexpectedly or let her down by not turning up if she was expecting me.

Last week she texted me:
"All been well il see you on Monday though thank u and sorry for the inconvenience x"

So I replied:
No problem, see you on Monday at 9, let me know if anything changes.

To me, all being well means unless something changes and she didn't let me know anything had changed. Today I texted her en route to let her know I might be a few minutes late and she replied:

"I don't need u today. I did say I'd let u know when I needed u again."

So she thought she had said she would let me know when she needed me again whereas I thought she said Monday unless anything changes and then didn't let me know anything had changed. AIBU? It also seems like she is trying to change our regular arrangement to an as and when arrangement, which is confusing.

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Mon 03-Feb-14 09:45:08

I think it is an unfortunate miscommunication on both sides.

She should have been clearer and you should have asked the direct question are you confirming that I attend on monday.

If you don't want an 'as and when' then perhaps you will have to say that you can't work like that and she either pays to reserve the slot, whether she uses it or not, or you will sadly have to tell other clients that that slot is available?

Peekingduck Mon 03-Feb-14 09:48:47

Unless you can firm things up with her, do you need her as a client? Sometimes you need to sack them. You're losing the opportunity to be doing other work while she clogs up your diary with appointments she isn't going to make.
Ring her. Say there's obviously been a misunderstanding and ask if she wants to book her next appointment now or will you leave it for her to contact you.
I think you did fine, your text in reply was perfectly clear, it gave the day and the time you'd be there.

Peekingduck Mon 03-Feb-14 09:50:00

"All been well il see you on Monday though thank u and sorry for the inconvenience x"

So I replied:
No problem, see you on Monday at 9, let me know if anything changes.

This was pretty clear wasn't it? She said she'd see you on Monday "all being well" and you replied that you would see her on Monday at 9.

But she's a pain in the arse client, so you'll need to be that bit extra clear with her in future.

Topaz25 Mon 03-Feb-14 09:50:05

I thought I was confirming it by saying see you on Monday at nine, which she could have corrected at the time. But I should have been more direct.

TeacupDrama Mon 03-Feb-14 09:53:08

it just depends whether you can keep that slot free for her you might need to see I can't keep the 3-4pm slot open for you if you keep cancelling if you just want me on an occasional basis i will try and fit you in but I can not keep a slot reserved just in case unless that slot is paid for

I'm a dentist i would tend depending on circumstances to allow for 2 late cancellations before not booking again, this would particularly apply if a popular slot like either first/ last appointment

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Mon 03-Feb-14 10:05:08

Yes, I agree, but I have learned with some people that no matter how clear you may be to most! You have to spell it out in words of one syllable and force a reply from them that ensures there is no doubt.

"Are you confirming now that I am to attend our appointment on monday."

Requires a yes, no or waffle about let's wait and see.

Anything less than that and there will always be somebody who messes you about!

There's foolproof and there's damned fool proof.

[bitter]

WooWooOwl Mon 03-Feb-14 10:07:43

I would have read her text the way you did. Client is BU.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 03-Feb-14 10:08:04

I would have thought the same as you, do you have to continue with this client?

Peekingduck Mon 03-Feb-14 10:22:38

I see nothing unclear in the communication at all. Client wasn't 100%, but Op was completely clear in her reply. But I would have rung the client, saying something like "Just checking as wasn't sure from your text. Do you want me to put Monday in the diary? Yes? Fine, that's Monday at 9 am...". Texts are a bit unprofessional I think and if the client is flakey not the best way to go.

SparklyTwinkleGlitter Mon 03-Feb-14 10:26:19

Mobile hairdressers use texts to confirm appts as standard practice these days.

If a client cancels last minute more than once, I introduce a deposit system to secure their next appt. They rarely cancel after that!

TheSmallPrint Mon 03-Feb-14 10:27:32

YANBU I would have taken her message in exactly the way you did, if she thought something else she should have corrected you on receipt of your text back.

Get rid of unreliable clients if you can afford to, they end up costing you time and money.

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 03-Feb-14 12:34:24

She is definitely in the wrong here. What is your cancellation policy?

DoJo Mon 03-Feb-14 14:22:01

Your text was perfectly clear - she is being unreasonable expecting you to magically divine that she didn't want you after saying that she did.

Firing unreliable clients is one of the best things about being self employed, although perhaps this incident will be a positive in as much as it will spur you on to introduce a more formal booking system which includes penalties for those who mess you about. Perhaps your earlier kindness in giving this client leeway has caused her to think you are endlessly flexible, but you need to knock it on the head now and make sure she is aware that you will be making no more allowances.

Topaz25 Mon 03-Feb-14 15:31:51

You're right, I've been too flexible. It's a new business so I was afraid to alienate a paying client but that's not a problem any more because if she keeps cancelling appointments she's not paying me anyway! This has motivated me to promote the business more and build a bigger client base. If a new client is interested in her time slot I will tell her that I can't keep it open for her without a deposit. Until then should I assume all our other appointments are cancelled and she'll call me if she needs me? That's what I got from her last text but I wouldn't want another misunderstanding!

Topaz25 Mon 03-Feb-14 16:08:34

BTW she prefers text, I have tried calling her before and she texts saying she's too busy to talk. I am glad we texted in this case though because I can look back and see what was said instead of second guessing myself thinking I misunderstood

Topaz25 Mon 03-Feb-14 16:14:06

I also really don't want her to leave a bad review.

tiredoutgran Mon 03-Feb-14 16:40:44

I would wait for her to decide she needs you and then be too busy for several weeks, you don't need clients like that, especially in a new business.

DameDeepRedBetty Mon 03-Feb-14 16:45:40

I've had clients like this. I sacked them. I didn't actually tell them they were sacked, just said I wasn't free whatever time/day they asked for, implying my diary was full.

Topaz25 Wed 05-Feb-14 07:46:44

Update: She texted me at 22:30 last night saying she wouldn't be needing my services anymore. TBH it's a relief at this point. Thank you for all your answers, you helped me realise I was not BU but need to be more assertive in future.

meganorks Wed 05-Feb-14 10:42:07

YANBU. That seemed pretty clear to me. She is mucking you about and trying to lay tgw blame with you. To be honest I quite often first d clients unreasonable and they usually get away with it because they are the client.

Sounds like maybe you need to have a chat to find out if their needs have changed and make a new arrangement.

Coconutty Wed 05-Feb-14 10:47:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsCosmopilite Wed 05-Feb-14 10:53:08

I think you're better off without her, she sounds rather flaky! Nothing unclear in your message to her, by the way.

For the future though, maybe adapt Iseeyou's approach. "Please confirm we are agreed on our appointment on X(day) at XX (Location) at xx(time)"?

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