How do I cancel a private figure skating lesson?
One of the most uncomfortable issues a private coach sometimes faces is what to do about students who cancel a lesson at the last minute or don’t show up. I think I am a little too nice, and I need help with that. I try to remember that a majority of lessons are missed because of the parent, and through no fault of the student. So I avoid reprimanding the student if the parent brought them late.
As a coach, here are my issues:
- I feel guilty charging for time I didn’t spend with a student - But I have to also look at it from the point of view that this is my job, I planned on this income to pay bills, therefore it is not fair to me. Hopefully, I will get better at this.
- I am very understanding if a parent calls me right before a lesson to cancel, if I haven’t made it to the rink yet or even if I have, I just go home and don’t charge them. But often times this does change my whole day. If I would have known I was going to have a day off, I would have brought some work out clothes with me and gone to the gym.
- Most of the time I have another student on the ice, so I can spend the time with them instead and not charge the person who has canceled.
- As long as the family doesn’t make it a habit, I have a hard time charging them. Even if it is becoming a habit, I have a hard time standing up for myself. I try to put myself in their shoes and be understanding of their situation.
- If a lesson is missed I ask the student to reschedule.
A few strategies could have helped me deal with this issue:
- Charge for the month up front. If a student misses a lesson, they’ve already paid for it, so there’s no uncomfortable conversation the next week like, “By the way, you still owe me for last week.”
- Make a policy, in writing that I give to new students with rules to deal with situations such as this. My rule would/could be something like this:
- Cancellation of private lessons must be made 24 hours in advance
- In the case of a last-minute cancellation due to illness, a doctor’s note will be needed
- Make a policy that allows for one cancellation every six months, or something similar.
As a parent how can I help?
- Be respectful and always let your coach know as soon as possible you can’t make a lesson. Llet your coach know. I tend to check my email.
- Offer to pay for the missed lesson
- Reschedule the lesson as soon as possible
- Apologize and don’t make it a habit
- Bring your coach fresh warm cookies to the next lesson- Okay this is a joke, but it can’t hurt right?
Today on Rinkformation:
IceCoach.net: How do I cancel a private figure skating lesson?
Private figure skating lessons are different from other sport’s practices or lessons because most of the time, you pay after the fact. If you sign up for group lessons you have already paid, so if you miss a class you don’t get a refund.
Parents, what else should coaches like me do? How can a coach stand up for themselves and the income they depend on without coming off the wrong way? How much is too much? What are your coach’s policies?
Do you have a question for Ice Coach? Do you have a suggestion for a post you’d like to read? E-mail me at IceCoach@IceCoach.net.
Red Telephone Box: crimsonsoul on Morguefile.com
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Telephone Boxes: malias / Gideon on Flickr.com Creative Commons
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