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To still charge?

(18 Posts)
CommunistLegoOoOoBloc Tue 14-Feb-17 13:51:22

I do some specialist tutoring alongside my usual work. I have a very generous cancellation policy which allows for illness and emergency (we all get ill and don't always get much notice!) but one tutee is prone to asking to cancel with short notice because he basically can't be bothered. It's half term this week and I'm due there in 45 mins. He's just asked to cancel. I messaged back to say it was too late to cancel without incurring my hourly fee. He has known half term is coming up (incidentally a really busy time for me and I could have used the slot for someone else) so he could have asked days ago.

AIBU to charge even if he cancels?

Magzmarsh Tue 14-Feb-17 13:52:38


counterpoint Tue 14-Feb-17 13:54:14

That's really awful. I've had this happen too. I don't charge for last minute cancellations as I'm likely to lose the business long term from them anyway.

Birdsgottaf1y Tue 14-Feb-17 13:54:27

Charge him, it's not a one off emergency.

ellesbellesxxx Tue 14-Feb-17 13:54:47

Yanbu... it's one thing to cancel first thing in morning but this close is rude as you will have planned your day around it

Only1scoop Tue 14-Feb-17 13:55:59

YANBU at all.

CommunistLegoOoOoBloc Tue 14-Feb-17 13:56:39

The keeping business thing is why I generally just suck it up when they cancel. But for something avoidable, I just don't see why I should have prepared a session and also lost other business because he doesn't want to leave his mate's house. I do feel a bit mean though.

ReapAndSow Tue 14-Feb-17 13:58:28

Yes you should charge him. Perhaps as a gesture o good will you could charge him half the rate but I'd only do that if I wanted to IYSWIM

BTW have you given him a warning before about his last minute cancellations? If you have always been super nice about him cancelling in the past then is it possible he thinks you don't mind. It's still completely wrong of him but more understandable.

Sparkletastic Tue 14-Feb-17 13:59:51

Definitely charge your full rate. He may reconsider if he knows there are consequences.

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 14-Feb-17 14:16:24

Some people do not value things that cost them nothing. Cancelling cost him nothing, so he did not value the ability to cancel. If he pays this time, he will value your tutoring more.

frogmellla Tue 14-Feb-17 14:18:19

Charge him. It's not an emergency and does it all the time so maybe long term you'd be better of without him anyway if you could use the slot for someone else.

xStefx Tue 14-Feb-17 15:11:38

charge him as it may stop him doing it in the future, how rude of people. I have a friend who is a mobile hairdresser and people call her 30 mins in advance to cancel (she is already on her way there and could have done someone else in the meantime) and they get annoyed when she charges them !

NoFucksImAQueen Tue 14-Feb-17 23:01:33

Did he respond?

bumsexatthebingo Tue 14-Feb-17 23:37:17

Well I think if he has been told he can cancel right up until the start of the lesson the yabu to charge him actually. But ywnbu to tell people that you need 48hrs notice or similar in future.

donquixotedelamancha Wed 15-Feb-17 00:03:45

"I have a very generous cancellation policy which allows for illness and emergency"

What is it? Is it in writing? Did he get a copy?

YANBU at all; but that is irrelevant, you have a contract (even if only verbal). If you haven't made clear that there is a cancellation fee at a certain point before a booked session, then there isn't one. You can't just make one up because it's 'fair', this is a commercial relationship. All you can do is make clear you will charge next time.

If you have discussed cancellation charges before, then of course you should charge him- unless given reason not to, teenagers will be flaky as night follows day.

budgiegirl Wed 15-Feb-17 00:19:44

While I can see why you are annoyed, if you've given the impression in the past that it's ok to cancel with short notice, then it's a bit difficult to charge him this time. You need to follow your own cancellation policy at all times, so everyone is clear where they stand.

FWIW, we had a tutor for my daughter. Although I never did cancel at short notice, she always made it clear that if my DD was not 'in the mood' to learn at anytime, then we could just cancel, and there would be no charge. I even mentioned once as we arrived at the tutors house that dd was a bit grumpy that day, as the tutor asked if we wanted to have the tutoring, and it would be fine if we didn't. While I think this is unusual, the tutors attitude to only teaching when it was going to be beneficial to the child did mean that we recommended her to others, and she was constantly fully booked.

melj1213 Wed 15-Feb-17 01:32:08


I used to be an English tutor when I lived abroad and taught English ... after being burned by one too many flakey students my cancellation policy went into the contract that the student and/or student's parent (I taught from nursery aged children to retired, older people) would sign when we went over all the admin type stuff (rules/expectations, session requirements, fee, cancellation policy, notice period etcetc)

IIRC my basic cancellation policy was that if you cancelled with 48hrs notice there would be no charge, if there was 24hrs notice it would be half the session fee and less than 24 hrs notice it would be the full session fee. Obviously everyone had emergencies, and so I was willing to waive the fees in a genuine situation, but it was made clear that it was discretionary and if I thought someone was abusing it, then they wouldn't get that benefit any longer. EG if a student was cancelling lessons two hours before the class, buy citing an "emergency", fine it happens ... if that same student is having that "emergency" every other week, then that is no longer an emergency and they are just wasting my time.

Also once a student had missed a certain amount of classes within a certain time period (eg for school kids I might do it per half term) I would have a review session with them to basically discuss their attendance and let them know that if they continued to miss classes then I would have to put them on notice as I couldn't afford to lose a tutoring space to someone who was cancelling every other lesson, not to mention I had no interest in working with someone who so clearly had no respect for my time, not only in the class but also for any planning/prep and travel time to/from the session that was wasted because they didn't cal ahead even when they knew they couldn't make it.

Itisnoteasybeingdifferent Wed 15-Feb-17 05:04:04

Chalk this one up for a record...

A MN consensus.....

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