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flowermama

Cancellation policy - unreasonable?

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born.a.girl
1 hour ago, CallMeFeral said:

I'm ok with 'pure reminders' - i.e. they aren't asking for a response, just reminding me, not to have a cancelling provision. In the end it is up to me to cancel my appointments in good time without being reminded, and I appreciate the help remembering them.

But yeah, it's better if they can be far enough in advance to allow cancellation. And certainly if they require a yes/no response, they need to allow cancellation - otherwise what is the point of the yes/no?

Exactly.  As you say, either is fine, provided it's soon enough to cancel if you need to.

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born.a.girl
28 minutes ago, flowermama said:

I heard back from them this afternoon; they’ve waived the cancellation fee. It was a bit begrudging but I pointed out that I had sent my email prior to their text being sent so therefore I’d fulfilled my obligations under their policy. They then tried to reschedule my appointment - I passed and will be going somewhere else! Thanks for all the responses 😊

Great on both counts. Glad you've got options.  Seriously, they must be really clueless on public relations.

The cheapest public relations is the customer you already have.

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Freddie'sMum

Damn straight BAG.  The best customers are the same people who come into your office / shop / business on a regular basis and spend their hard earned money with you !  As a business you want to get and keep regulars.

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overlytired

Glad to hear the positive outcome, OP!
 

They should state beforehand when the confirmation text is sent out (e.g. 36 hours before the appointment) so people have enough time to cancel. It's not fair to state you can cancel without penalty up until 48 hours before but not after the confirmation text if the text is sent out before the cancellation window has closed.

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CallMeFeral
2 hours ago, born.a.girl said:

Exactly.  As you say, either is fine, provided it's soon enough to cancel if you need to.

Well I actually think the first one (where it's a reminder not a response-required) is fine even if it's NOT soon enough to cancel. 

I feel like reminders are a fairly recent phenomenon, prior to that people were expected to manage their own appointments and cancel in a timely manner without being reminded. I don't feel like the presence of reminders shifts this responsibility. For instance if a place had a 1-week-before cancellation policy, it would still be useful to send a reminder 1-2 days before an appointment because that's  a time interval that is more likely to help the person remember to attend the appointment. I don't think a business has any responsibility (as much as it may be a 'nice to have') to send a reminder before their cancellation period runs out. I think that responsibility still lies with the person. 

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José
10 hours ago, born.a.girl said:

Exactly.  As you say, either is fine, provided it's soon enough to cancel if you need to.

I don't know....

Some people are forgetful or rely on these reminders. They fully intend to attend but like the reminder text.  The reminder text is just that, a reminder. Not an invitation to cancel.

Although the ones that ask for a y/n reply are asking for confirmation/ cancellation and should allow you to reply promptly without penalty.  

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born.a.girl
1 minute ago, José said:

I don't know....

Some people are forgetful or rely on these reminders. They fully intend to attend but like the reminder text.  The reminder text is just that, a reminder. Not an invitation to cancel.

Although the ones that ask for a y/n reply are asking for confirmation/ cancellation and should allow you to reply promptly without penalty.  

Yes, they were the ones I meant, not just 'you should be able to cancel any time after a reminder'.

I misspoke in my previous comment.  I was thinking more along the lines of the OP's situation, where you can't have a reminder so far ahead of the appointment, with a no leading to a cancellation charge.   The least amount of time I've seen for reminders is 24 hours, and not one of them has had a cancellation fee for cancelling then.

Due to Covid, any I've had this year in particular have stressed that you shouldn't hesitate to cancel if you feel unwell, and you can wake feeling unwell for a 9am appointment.

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Holidayromp

Can you go anywhere else?  These people sound like a PITA to deal with. 

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TheGreenSheep
12 hours ago, Lunafreya said:

I once talked to a very hoity toity receptionist who was most annoyed I was cancelling my appointment on the day I was supposed to go even though I was in the emergency room. She lectured me and said at this short notice she wouldn’t be able to fit anyone else in and there may be a cancellation fee. I ended up making a complaint to her boss because I couldn’t help being in emergency and she said she’d talk to her 

hoity toity OMG LOL, love it, I got a good laugh at your description, there are so many of those people who love to make you feel small and silly.

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Hollycoddle

I'll just put this here...

 

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Moo point

That's an appalling system, I'm glad they waived the fee. I've dealt with various providers who have different cancellation policies, but even then are usually happy to waive it if there's a valid reason.

My son's therapy clinic has a 24 hour cancellation policy, however they send reminders a few days before (I often receive this on a weekend as our appt is on Wednesdays). But even when I've had to cancel on the day due to illness, I've never been charged. Their policy is discretionary, presumably to deal with serial offenders :D

Unless a provider states when their reminder text will be sent, what's to stop them sending it a week or more before with no option for cancellation?

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