What do you need to do if you need to cancel your appointment?
For appointments (even the free consultation) booked more than 24 hours in advance, I require 24 hrs' notice if you wish to cancel. If you wish to reschedule the appointment, that can be arranged, subject to certain conditions. Cancellations with less than 24 hours' notice, will incur a cancellation fee of a minimum of $200 to a maximum of $400 (dependent on the therapy session booked).
If the cancellation is due to an emergency, then there will be no cancellation fee. Below is a list of valid and non-valid emergency reasons for cancellation:
1. A close, dependent, relative is involved in an incident, accident or medical emergency (within the 24-hour window) documentation may be required.
2. 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.
3. You are suddenly and unavoidably taken ill (proof of emergency required)
4. You experience an overwhelming state of anxiety. In this case, anxiety must be the stated cause, on the booking form comments section, for you seeking treatment
5. You experience an unavoidable delay, e.g. an unexpected/unavoidable incident on public transport, a matter of public record. Or you're involved in a delay e.g. due to a traffic accident, breakdown or other such events, again, supplying proof of such an event
6. Any provable emergency that genuinely detained you beyond the allotted time slot or prevented you from leaving home or office
Things that do not qualify as an emergency, for the purposes of cancelling the appointment are:
a. You having a change of mind
b. Your Company (including self-employed individuals) with a business requirement or 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 yourself/your employer (including self-employed) to indemnify you against any pre-arranged appointments, made with or without their knowledge or consent (as applicable)
c. You are invited to an event that is more important to you than the therapy session
d. Poor time management
e. An existing medical condition, e.g. a cold or flu. this is covered in conditions 2, 3, and 4 above.
The reasoning for this list of conditions, regarding cancelling an appointment (including the Free Consultation), is, like any business owner, I make my living providing my services. I work by appointment only, meaning, I am not at my office, unless I have an appointment. This is important as businesses that open on specific days, for specified hours are there during those hours. Therefore, it would be difficult, but not impossible, to say your cancellation caused them to suffer a loss! 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 unavailable to other potential or existing clients. If you fail to attend, I experience a specific loss of income for that period and this loss is irrecoverable! Given 24 hours' notice, that you cannot attend, I at least 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, I have the prospect of gaining you as a client. This potentially provides me with 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 will likely go somewhere else. The vast majority of clients book online, making it impossible to know how many potential clients wanted the slot you blocked. Of course, that is not your concern. However, if you fail to attend or cancel with too little time, 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, fail to meet their requirements, will they give you a refund? Of course, you know the answer to the above examples is no!
The bottom line is, that it is both improper and unfair to expect someone else to suffer a loss as a consequence of your behaviour! However, and more importantly, a fundamental objective of psychological therapy treatments is to create an awareness of one's personal areas of liability and responsibility. It is an essential need to accept that as a prerequisite for effective living. The bottom line is, that 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. Whilst it doesn't happen that often; it does happen!
Trans4mational Therapy Centre, Singapore