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If a person arrives late for an appointment (15 minutes or more), what do you think they should expect?

20 replies

Earlybird · 21/10/2009 19:21

Just curious.....

And should what happens differ according the nature of the appointment?

For example:
serious (doctor, dentist, solicitor, business),
social (friend),
non-essential/non-urgent (hair cut/colour, manicure, massage, facial, etc)

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fanjoforthemammaries7850 · 21/10/2009 19:23

As a dental receptionist i THINK they should apologise and be grateful if they are fitted in when the dentist is fully booked.

What in reality usually happens is they don't apologise and demand to be seen and kick off if they aren't, sadly.

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FlameHasAnotherChick · 21/10/2009 19:29

if i am running that late I would apologise profusely (and assuming I had the number in my phone would have called on the way to say too), and hope like hell they could still see me.

Wouldn't expect them to though.

Well, friends I would!

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bigstripeytiger · 21/10/2009 19:32

I think that for a business type appointment then they ahould expect to be asked to re-book for another time. For social if they have phoned ahead then 15 minutes is OK IMO.

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lisbey · 21/10/2009 19:34

Doctor dentist & hairdresser etc, to have missed their appointment and to be lucky not to have to compensate for that. I am very rarely late but did miss a leg wax once and offered to pay for the appointment that was vacant (because I was late) They didn't accept and I re-booked for the following week.

Social - lots of apologies and to buy the first drink/coffee etc. Friends who are always late stop being invited. It is the rudest thing - basically saying "I had something more important to do than be with you when I said I would" and worse, "my time is more important than yours"

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stakethroughtheheartofgold · 21/10/2009 19:37

call as soon as realise will be late, apologise profusely and hope to be seen. would check friend okay to stay put till i arrived, not in hurry for kids etc. would expect e.g. haridressers appt to be rearranged for another time, would hope to be seen by docs/dentist, esp when you usually have to wait half an hour even when you arrive on time.

have had evil docs receptionists try to turn me away when arrived 5 minutes late, had phoned on way, and needed valium to get me through suicidal w/e

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Denny185 · 21/10/2009 19:40

Im a physio and run on 20 min appointments. If someone came 15 min late I would have a quick chat with them and progress any home exercises if appropriate but wouldnt do any hands on treatment. Not fair to make subsequent appointments to run late and I only have 20-30 mins for lunch as it is so cant make up the time there.

Consequently I try to be on time if not early with everything from Dr appointments, school runs to meeting friends.

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MarthaFarquhar · 21/10/2009 19:44

I work in the NHS and will see late comers as long as this doesn't put other patients out too much. Lateness may shorten the appointment time.

The only time I was late for a GP appointment (due to one of my work appointments overrunning), I called ahead with some advance grovelling, and was fitted in anyway.

With friends, 15mins is neither here nor there, but any longer and I would expect a text or some such.

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fanjoforthemammaries7850 · 21/10/2009 20:02

I get a lot of people calling to tell us they will be late. This unfortunately doesn't really help in any way if they totally miss their appointment unless the person after them has arrived hugely early and can be seen first, but we still get told "but I called to say I would be late" if we are unable to see them.

I understand it though, as my instinct if late for an appointment is to call and say I will be late.

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Earlybird · 21/10/2009 21:49

It seems to be common for the late person to expect (or demand) to be fitted in somehow.

If the person can't be squeezed in, is it reasonable to expect they should pay for the service even though they didn't receive it (due to their lateness)?

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purpleduck · 21/10/2009 21:56

Depends what it is - I assume lawyers would charge - counsellors etc I would expect to pay full price, but end the session when it was supposed to end.

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Earlybird · 21/10/2009 21:56

What about beauty treatments - hair, facial, mani, etc?

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mellifluouscauliflower · 21/10/2009 22:08

Unfortunately I think there is always someone else there who will cut your hair, so unless you are Trevor Sorbie you probably have to try and accommodate them somehow (eg trainee will dry your hair etc).

The trouble is if you turn them away you won't just be one treatment down (£30), you will be all the treatments in the future down too.

I guess that's why you alway have to wait at the hairdressers..

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morocco · 21/10/2009 22:18

depends how long you would usually have to wait if you did arrive on time for your appointment

our gp runs 20 minutes late due to fab gp who spends lots of time with each patient. we all know we'll be waiting hours to see her. I still get there on time but if I was a few minutes late, I'd expect to still have my appointment kept and not have to re-book another one. if I thought there was any chance my being late meant I'd actually missed my appointment, I would be expecting to have to rebook or wait and see if there was room at the end of the appointments.

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cookielove · 21/10/2009 22:19

well i've never had my legs waxed or had a manicure so i can't speak on those but i'm usually on time for the very few and far between hair appointments (my poor hair), when i have been late (rushing from work usually) i have always called.

I had my orthodonist appointments at hospital for 7 years, i was only late a few times and only by 5 minutes, and to be honest i never ever went in on time whether i be early, on time, or late.

As for doc's, dentist, i would also call and be happy to wait for the next available appointment, i am not a pushy person, and as long as i got a magazine and a chair i'm happy to wait till its my turn.

As for my friends, if i'm not late one of them will be, and to be honest we don't care. It's a running joke that someone is going to be late.

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Abubu · 22/10/2009 16:26

I recently ran late on a hair appointment because the hairdresser said her very first appointment of the day turned up 20 minutes late and had a knock on effect on everyone for the rest of the day. I was the last appointment of the day.

I didn't mind too much but it was a Sunday and the shopping centre that my hairdressers was in actually closed while I was still having my hair cut. They had to call security to unlock the doors and let me out which was a bit embarrasing.

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DuelingFANGo · 22/10/2009 16:30

would depend very much on why they were late. i got caught in traffic for my first appointment at the IVF clinic. i was gutted but called ahead and they saw me - phew.

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DuelingFANGo · 22/10/2009 16:31

" is it reasonable to expect they should pay for the service even though they didn't receive it"

no

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Earlybird · 22/10/2009 21:39

I think if a person arrives late for an appointment, they should either reschedule, or receive an abbreviated service that ends at the time when the original appointment was due to end.

It is not fair to the person who is on time because they are forced to wait when the problem was not caused by them.

I imagine it is also unpleasant and frustrating for the person providing the service (doctor, hairdresser, etc) because they do not have time to do a thorough job unless they run over into the next appointment.

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Georgimama · 22/10/2009 21:43

A lawyer wouldn't charge. You charge for work done - if they don't turn up, you don't charge.

I would almost certainly be able to see someone anyway (as a lawyer) because I rarely have back to back appointments. A hairdresser, doctor etc I would hope to accomodate me but I wouldn't kick off if they couldn't.

Social - depends. Almost certainly not a problem, although I'd be miffed if they didn't text to let me know.

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echt · 27/10/2009 07:49

On the other hand....I've never been late for a doctor, dentist, etc, appointment. Nor have I ever been seen on time.

Funny how we're meant to always make allowances, but it doesn't cut the other way, according to these threads.

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