No it isn’t all right.

When I tell you it is OK that you just cancelled your appointment at the last minute, I’m lying.

Really. What is going through my mind is “Great can I find someone to come in at the last minute? Will I be able to pay my electric bill this week? I wish I could reach through the phone lines and hit you with a two by four~HARD. You couldn’t have called and told me this yesterday or better yet the day before? I already told two people I didn’t have any appointments this afternoon. If only I had known I could have filled this spot! Now what am I  going to do for an hour in the middle of the day. If I had known sooner I could have at least moved up my other appointment and gotten out of here early and got a work out in. Wonderful I’m going to be here for nine hours today but only get paid for eight. Thanks, thanks a lot.

Yes this is what is going through your hairdresser (masseuse, facialist, personal trainer, chiropractor, dental technician) mind when you cancel at the last minute.

I ask for 24 hours notice if you need to move or cancel an appointment and this is why. 48 hours is even better.

Time is money. My time, my money!

How would you feel if you came to work and at 11 your boss said we aren’t going to pay you for the next two hours. You don’t have to do anything, but we aren’t paying  you. Oh and you have to be back at 1 because we want you to work then until your shift is done. That is what it is like when a client cancels.

Now you think it is better that you reschedule for next week? That makes it all good? Nooooo it doesn’t. That means I am not getting paid for today and that appointment next week is time that I could have been doing someone else. So I am still out money. Yes it is slightly better but what it means is I am working on you for half price.

It is like your boss telling you that that work you didn’t do for the two hours that they didn’t pay you for still has to be done next week along with all the other things you do and you aren’t getting overtime, but you still have to get the work done.

Do I charge for people cancelling at the last minute? Sometimes, it is my policy to if I get less than 24 hours, but rarely do I enforce it. I always give people at least one chance and I remind them of my cancellation policy. And it is posted in my shop.

Now that you think I am being a total bitch, you should know I do understand that real emergencies come up at the last minute. People get sick, cars break down, the kids are ill, you get called into work at the last minute.Those I get and I let it go.

I forgot and went shopping? Yes, I have heard that. I scheduled a dentist appointment for then, really when did you do that? Why didn’t you call me then and move your appointment? Did you not look at your calendar and see that you already had an appointment with me? These I am not so forgiving about.

Yes things happen. I get it. But if you tell me you are going to make it up to me and pay me for it, then do it. Don’t make me ask/remind you the next time you come in. It is demeaning. Otherwise don’t offer to in the first place. You screwed up, you make it right. I have forgotten an appointment with my masseuse, and I paid her for it. She still has to pay for daycare whether I was there or not. It was my mistake and it is my responsibility to make it right.

Like I said I do understand things happen, but if it happens all the time then maybe you have a time management problem or something. You just might be an egotistical bitch. You might find that I am suddenly unable to get you into that coveted evening spot or that I don’t have time to squeeze you in in the next ten days. Yeah I know you really need to get your hair done but I’m not really inclined to go out of my way for someone that just made my life difficult.

And some clients seem to make a regular habit of this. Suddenly it becomes really difficult to get in to see me. Even after having explained my policy to those clients, they still routinely reschedule at the last minute. They don’t offer to pay, and make me remind them that they owe for the appointment. The really sneaky ones call almost exactly 24 hours before to change their appointment.

I fire them.

Yes, I have told people that I will no longer do them. It takes a lot to get me to do this but it has happened. When I start to dread seeing your name on my books and I know it is going to be a hassle and cost me money I eventually figure the energy/stress just isn’t worth it.

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8 thoughts on “No it isn’t all right.

  1. I understand this policy completely. I don’t like it when I have to cancel at the last minute for reasons beyond my control, but I understand it. People assume that they’re getting a client at a certain time, and if they suddenly don’t show, there are ramifications for everything else, namely the income. Good for you for firing clients—there must be some who are so awful you’d rather do anything but work on them.

    • Most of my clients are great and feel awful when they have to cancel. I rarely enforce my policy and actually make someone pay for a missed appointment. I always give people a warning before I enforce it.
      I really have the policy to deal with those awful clients that otherwise would walk all over me. It is amazing how fast they clean up when it is their money on the line, or they leave. Win-win situation for me!

  2. Those that refuse to respect your policies, your time, and your sanity don’t deserve you.
    In the end, it’s YOUR bottom line, and they HAVE to respect that. If they won’t . . . you’re absolutely correct to give them the Donald Trump treatment!!

  3. I would do the same thing and fire them. People are so rude nowadays. I can’t remember the last time I had to cancel a hair appointment, as I treat those appt’s like actual ‘treats’, but my hairdresser has canceled on me, more than once. That’s why I changed my hairdresser.

    • Yes it definitively can go both ways. I can tell you that I have cancelled less than a handful of time in 20 years of doing hair and always for emergencies. I think spending four days in the hospital constitutes an emergency 🙂
      I schedule my life around my appointments!

    • It doesn’t happen to me for a long time and then it happens in threes. Last week was that week! This is the down side of being self employed.
      I appreciate it, the more notice the better. If I have a couple of days notice I can almost always fill the spot.

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