I have a 48 hour cancellation policy. All sessions are paid in advance. All of my policies are outlined in my contract and I verbally go over my cancellation policy with all clients.
My clients rarely cancel unless they are sick.
I will make every attempt at accommodating cancellations made within the proper time frame with another time in my schedule.
I’m right there with everybody else – 24 hours. But if a client calls me at 3 PM on a Monday to cancel a 12 PM workout on Tuesday, I’ll roll with it. Emergencies happen – I get it – and I usually don’t charge. But if emergencies are always happening at the last minute, I have no problem charging. Fortunately, I don’t deal with this too often.
Don’t let people get away with it because they will repeat offend. I have a long term client who is a neighbor and, of course, became a good friend due to our long term training relationship. She started cancelling last minute on me a lot. I did not charge her at first—big mistake–because she started taking advantage of my laxity. I finally spoke to her about it and she has been better but will slide every so often. It is hard to lay down the law once you let them get away with it a few times.
I also have a 24-hour cancellation policy. I feel as long as clients know that up front they are less likely to cancel. Most of my clients are respectful, but life happens, so sometimes it is necessary to cancel at the last minute. Sometimes you may have repeat offenders, and you can detect the problem areas and put a stop to them by charging.
I’m wondering if you have talked to your clients who are canceling a lot lately?
I like your idea of billing on a monthly basis. It makes renewal discussions less frequent, especially if you have them on auto-pay. Then, if they’re blowing you off, you still get paid.
For most of my in-home clients, I have a 24-hour cancellation policy and I will give them one warning before I start charging them. I have one client I’ve treated differently because her travel and work schedule are not completely under her control, so I have a more flexible policy with her, but she also pays me a bit more.