What do you need to do if you need to cancel your appointment?
- If you booked your appointment (including the free consultation) more than 24 hours in advance, then you need to advise me as soon as possible that you are unable to attend or wish to reschedule the appointment but giving 24 hours notice to avoid the cancellation fee of $200
- If you booked your appointment (including the free consultation) with less than 24 hours to the appointment time, please be certain you can attend. However, if you cannot, then advise me asap, to avoid the cancellation fee of $200
- The only ways to avoid the cancellation fee are due to an emergency. For example:
- A close, dependent, relative is involved in an incident, accident or medical emergency (within the 24-hour window) documentation to be provided, as/if requested. If something happens (including an existing condition/cause) more than 24 hours before the appointment, please advise that there may be a need for a last-minute cancellation.
- You are suddenly and unavoidably taken ill (proof of emergency required)
- You experience an overwhelming state of anxiety, in this case, anxiety must be the stated cause, on the booking form comments section, of you seeking treatment
- You experience an unavoidable delay, e.g. an unexpected/unavoidable incident e.g. on public transport, which will be a matter of public record or are involved in a delay e.g. due to a traffic accident, breakdown or other such events, again, supplying proof of such an event
- Or any provable emergency that genuinely detained you beyond the allotted time slot or prevented you from leaving home/office
Things that do not qualify as an emergency, for the purposes of cancelling the appointment are:
- You having a change of mind
- Your Company (including a self-employed individual) having a business emergency that requires you to work during the allotted time of your session (including travelling time). While this may be unavoidable, it is the responsibility of your employer (including self-employed) to indemnify you against any pre-arranged appointments, made with their knowledge or consent (if applicable)
- You are invited to an event that is more important to you than the therapy session
- Poor time management
- An existing medical condition, e.g. a cold or flu. this is covered in condition C (a) above
I feel it appropriate to explain the reasoning behind this list of conditions for cancelling an appointment, including the Free Consultation. Like any business owner, I make my living providing my services. Also, perhaps unlike some businesses, I work by appointment only, meaning, I am not at my office, unless as I have an appointment. This is important because, for businesses that are open on specific days, for a specified number of hours, they are there during those hours, so, it would be difficult for them to say you have caused them to suffer a loss; after all, they were there anyway! In my case, I have to travel to my office specifically to attend the meeting. In addition to that, once you book a slot, it is locked into my system and therefore, unavailable to any other potential or existing client. So, if you fail to attend, I experience a specific loss of income for that period and this loss is irrecoverable! If you advise me within 24-hours that you cannot attend, I have 24 hours to attempt to fill that slot or make alternative arrangements that benefit me.
If the initial consultation is free, how come I have to pay for a late cancellation?
While the consultation is free, it does afford me the prospect of gaining you as a client, thus leading to the possibility of revenue for my business. If you book a slot, that time is then unavailable to any other client, be it a current client or a potential new one. For new clients, historically, if I am unavailable on the day/time of their choice, they go somewhere else and since the vast majority of my clients book online, it is impossible for me to know how many potential clients wanted the slot you blocked. Of course, that is not your concern but it becomes a concern for me if you fail to attend the appointment or cancel with too little, reasonable, time to fill the vacant slot because I lose revenue or the potential of it.
To qualify the above, imagine you book a theatre ticket and don't show up or try to cancel with less than 24 hours notice, will they give you a refund?
If you book a flight or hotel room, that has a specific cancellation policy, and, you fail to meet their requirements, will they give you a refund?
Of course, you know the answer to both the above two examples is no! The bottom line for any business owner is, it is both improper and unfair to expect someone else to suffer a loss as a consequence of your behaviour but . . . more importantly, one of the fundamental objectives of all psychological therapy treatments, is, to create an awareness of one's personal areas of liability and responsibility and the need to accept that as a prerequisite for effective living. The bottom line being, when you are held accountable for your errors and mistakes, you will eventually make fewer of them and that makes life better for everyone but most of all YOU!
Essentially, to sum it up, I am seeking to avoid people being inconsiderate or expecting me to suffer the consequences of their behaviour and while it doesn't happen that often; it does happen!
Trans4mational Therapy Centre, Singapore