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To think you should pay if you cancel?

89 replies

helpagirlout17 · 17/12/2019 22:37

DP is a tutor, he is also a full time teacher and tutors after school. This means all his teaching work gets pushed back so he can earn the extra income. He isn't cheap - we are in a huge grammar area for the best schools in England and he teaches Maths and Economics.

Anyway, a lot of people just cancel and don't even offer to pay.
I mean hours before he is due to drive round or maximum around 24 hours in advance.

Now the thing is, he is fully booked, already doing 7 hours a week. Lots of enquiries always coming in and a big waiting list. The people cancelling is unfair. He wants to put a policy in place - would you find it outrageous to pay for a tutor if you had to cancel?

(As I know this comes up sometimes, he's set up as a private company and pays taxes on the income)

OP posts:

theghostofjohnsmith · 17/12/2019 22:39

It's pretty standard to have to pay if you give less than 24hrs notice. Sounds fair to me.


SushiGo · 17/12/2019 22:39

Having a cancellation policy is totally fair.


Petrichor11 · 17/12/2019 22:40

I thought a cancellation fee would be normal in this line of work if people cancel with less than 24/48 hours notice?

He could always waive it if a family was otherwise reliable and had an unavoidable emergency, but far better to have it as policy


Lantern19 · 17/12/2019 22:41

Sounds completely fair. He just needs to make it clear at the point of booking to avoid any disputes


shoebedobedobedobedoo · 17/12/2019 22:42

I would expect to pay for a tutor if I cancelled with less than 24 hours notice, in fact I wouldn't think 48 hours notice was unreasonable.

He should definitely have a policy in place and have payment up front for 'x' sessions at a time (make it 4, make it a term, whatever works best for him), then he won't be fighting to get the money. If he has a waiting list then he should also have something in the policy about frequent no-shows, say 20% no show = termination of contract.

I don't think its unreasonable at all.


Helbelle17 · 17/12/2019 22:43

When I did this as an almost full time thing, i had a cancellation policy . 24 hours notice, or full payment. I would waive this if was a genuine emergency. Most people understood.


JaneR0chester · 17/12/2019 22:43

Wow, he goes to them??? We paid for an 11+ tutor - went round to their house, had to give +24hr notice otherwise we were liable for the lesson's fee.

In your position I would ask for half termly payments, paid in advance (we do this for our music lessons). And make them come to you! if that's possible.


TitchyP · 17/12/2019 22:48

I do lots of private tutoring and struggled with this for ages. I now charge by the month, and payment is taken in advance. If a lesson is missed I offer another time to make it up at our mutual convenience. I also have a few that pay termly as I offer a discount for that.

Also it's a good idea to let parents know of the waiting list. Too many cancelled lessons and they will lose their slot to someone waiting.


helpagirlout17 · 18/12/2019 10:23

Thanks everyone!
Yes he goes to them and it's best that way at the moment because we live in a small place. Maybe when we move we will Smile

OP posts:

BlaueLagune · 18/12/2019 10:29

Yes and no. Would he pay his clients compensation if he had to cancel last minute because he couldn't make it? I'm never quite sure why the consumer is expected to bear all the risk in these situations - same goes for hairdressers, dentists etc.

I have a personal trainer and she has sometimes cancelled on the day because of illness and another time because her dog had died. So she takes a sensible flexible approach if I have to cancel at short notice though I usually give a few days' notice.

I agree with taking money upfront each month and then he can take a view on whether someone is messing him around or there is a genuine reason for cancelling. I pay my PT for 10 sessions in a block so she has the money upfront so if I did mess her around she'd have the money in her bank account already.


mummykauli7 · 18/12/2019 10:42

As he is in demand he could put a policy in place that payment needs to be made in full for the session to be considered as a confirmed session.

If there is a cancellation of less than 24hours fees will not be refunded.


funnyface85 · 18/12/2019 10:44

No unreasonable at all. They should pay in advance, with the quickness of online banking nowadays, its quick and easy and will reduce people cancelling.


gamerwidow · 18/12/2019 10:45

A cancellation policy is fair. My DDs tutor doesn’t charge for cancellations which I found really surprising given that if I take a slot and cancel at short notice she can’t use the slot for anyone else.
I don’t mess her about so it’s not a problem but I’m sure others wouldn’t be so reasonable.


Blobby10 · 18/12/2019 10:46

Please put a cancellation fee in place. It can always be waived when circumstances really are beyond that person's control. I would always expect to pay the tutors fee if I cancelled with less than 48 hours notice


SarahAndQuack · 18/12/2019 10:46

My mum tutors; she has a cancellation policy of 24hrs and I think that's standard. She will occasionally waive that if there's an obvious reason (eg., sudden illness or a family emergency), but she says most people automatically want to pay anyway.

@BlaueLagune - isn't the difference that the OP's husband is out of pocket? He'll already have prepped the lesson, so has already done the work. By contrast if your hairdresser cancels, you simply don't get the service you wanted. But you're not doing anything for free.


ChristmasSpiritsOnThRocksPleas · 18/12/2019 10:48

A cancellation policy seems fine to me.


ellesbellesxxx · 18/12/2019 10:48

Cancellation policy of 24 hours here but considering 48 hours as a couple of people were cancelling with 25 hours notice!


DarklyDreamingDexter · 18/12/2019 10:51

Yes, absolutely put a cancellation policy in in place. It’s only fair. He can still waive it as a goodwill gesture in cases of dire emergency, but otherwise why should he be out of pocket and inconvenienced for other people’s bad planning? If there are serial offenders, I’d definitely warn them about potentially losing their regular slot if he has a waiting long list.


ThreeAnkleBiters · 18/12/2019 10:54

Yes put a fee in then waive it as a good will gesture when he believes the person is genuinely suddenly sick or has an emergency. I had the same when I was tutoring. Being teenagers they'd get a last minute invite and just ditch the tutoring for one week. If their parents had had to pay for the missed session they may have been more discerning about letting them ditch.


supersop60 · 18/12/2019 10:56

I am a music tutor and have come across this many times. I now have a contract, lessons paid half-termly in advance. If I cancel, I make up the lesson, if they cancel , I already have the money for that lesson. In the interests of goodwill, I'm also flexible re notice period or emergencies.


Whathewhatnow · 18/12/2019 10:56

Fees in advance is the way to go. Once people have paid up they will be less willing to cancel IME.


LuluBellaBlue · 18/12/2019 10:56

I know one tutor who has a 7 day cancellation policy!!
I’d say 48 hours is normal


ThreeAnkleBiters · 18/12/2019 10:57

Would he pay his clients compensation if he had to cancel last minute because he couldn't make it?

That's not the same at all. If he cancels last minute the student isn't out of pocket. If the student cancels last minute he wastes a slot that some one else would have paid for.


WhoTheFuckIsGail · 18/12/2019 11:02

Yep, totally fair. When we used a tutor we had to pay a month in advance. I thought that was fair.


T0tallyFuckedUpFamily · 18/12/2019 11:06

Totally fair. For goodness sake, I run a doggy daycare/holidays and my clients volunteer to pay, if they cancel. I rarely accept, but the offers are genuine and I can afford to take the lose, due to the numbers I take.

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