does anyone have a customer cancellation policy? like if a customer cancels within 48 hours they get charged a certain amount? in past years, we have only had two, but both were day-of cancels which really screwed us. i was irritated but what could i do? it rarely happens, so i never put a policy in place…now i just got a cancellation for tomorrow because there is a 30% chance of rain starting tomorrow at 5 pm- and our job is at noon. that stinks!! how does everyone else handle a situation like this??
Regular customers I just suck it up and reschedule… annoying yes, but rather have happy returning customers.
New customers I would request a deposit to be taken by card over the phone (non refundable and non transferable), and advised as such. The service is provided with a 7 days rain guarantee, so if rain etc causes issues, I’ll return to touch up affected windows.
Up to them if they wish to proceed or not.
Lol, good thread timing. Just had a customer call and wish to reschedule due to a major possibility of rain on Thursday. $450 exterior job.
Hmmmm taking deposits along with my rain guarantee sounds pretty enticing right now
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so you let them know about the deposit and rain guarantee at the time of the estimate, or if they call to cancel/reschedule? if they reschedule, do you do the job minus the deposit they gave you, or for the full price plus deposit?
We let them know at time of booking. If 48 hrs notice is given, there is no penalty
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Just had a customer cancel 8 hours prior! It was the second time. The first time she got the dates mixed up, so really that didn’t count but still, I am sitting here coz I got stuffed around!
This screwed my weeks total! I got to the house to do an all day 3 story clean, $687, and no one is there. I call and e-mail to offer a reschedule date; no response back.
I feel like tacking on a cancellation fee for a future clean. grrrrr
This would have been the third clean on this property. Last time was about a year ago.
When I schedule the customer I always address the rain potential during rain seasons. I express to them that I always check the weather the morning of and I don’t reschedule until the morning of and only if I feel if the rain is going to effect the completion of the job. I tell them that I give a rain guarantee so they don’t have to worry about the rain after the job. I tell them that it’s better for me to have to redo a few windows on the outside than to not be able to do any work on days of potential rain.
When I explain things this way customers tend to understand my approach better and they tend to cooperate better. This greatly reduces such cancelations.
If they do call the day before I can generally reassure them that if it does rain I will absolutely fix any windows that are effective and that this allows me to keep the schedule and lose work on days where rain is forecast. This generally keeps people on the schedule. Although some will make another excuse any reschedule but that’s more rare.
If you have a long wait of weeks/months of work scheduled, ask some customers (especially if they sounds annoyed by the wait) to be put on a list to call if you have an opening sooner.
$100 deposit. Every day. Every job.
Our cancellation rate is now nearly nonexistent.
We haven’t had rain in several weeks and only expect a small chance on Sunday. This was no customer home, no phone call, no response to my calls. Blew my day.
150 bucks for us
This happened to us a few weeks ago. We schedule the appointment last fall. The customer said she never received noticed. I checked HouseCall Pro and in fact an email was sent out. We informed her politely that we are going to add on $150 fee to the next service. She said she gets hundreds of emails a day (they own several Burger King franchises in the Denver area) and didn’t see it. She also mentioned that she was having surgery in May and will reschedule then. We sent her a get well card and brownies from SendJim. Time will tell if she ever calls us back, and we may well reduce the fee. People need to realize we don’t do this for fun but it’s actually a business we run. It doesn’t bother me if it’s weather related, but it was a nice day and she just didn’t want to deal with “the help”
Wow I forgot about this post…So, update!
We have a clearly stated 48 hour cancellation policy on our quote, which incurs a non-transferable, non-refundable fee.
We have only dealt with this issue with one particular customer, and have resolved if she does it again, we will ask her to find another company to work with.
At this point, we are busy enough we have a waiting list of customers, so on the rare occasion this has happened to us, it hasn’t really been anything more than an annoyance, and a black mark against the customer. We have a two-strike rule now. If a customer is a chronic canceler, we will ask them to find someone else.
But we really have not had problems with this. I think people know our reputation now, and they know if they cancel, they will wait 6-8 weeks during our high season for a new appointment.
Thanks for the input!! Hope everyone’s busy
It’s not a problem when they cancell because it might rain. I let them know that I will definitely call to reschedule the next time I see an opening in my schedule on a sunny day. I don’t know how long they wait for my call because I never do. (wink wink)
I know I know very unprofessional.
I have been happy to not feel the need to ask for or require a deposit. I like that I can offer a great value service with only a promise that I will show up and a promise that they will have the work done.
But, after two big cancellations in the last month, ($581 & $687), one because of pollen (we have finished pollen season, and when I called to reschedule she was indignant with me on the phone and abruptly said with a huff that she was in New Jersey), the other just wasn’t home when I arrived and did not respond to my phone call or email.
I will require it two ways for a last minute canceller:
- If that customer calls to reschedule then I will require a deposit to secure a date.
- If they cancel a second time at the last minute (day of) without a call to reschedule, there will be a 50% charge on top of the regular cleaning price.
This I don’t feel I have to advertise or address on my quote sheet or website, just for that rare occasion that someone treats me as if my time and effort mean nothing; then I will present my solution to their problem.
Two words. Commercial glass
Two words. True dat!
I have had to fire some clients over the years. Some were just a pain to schedule. I just got tired of trying. Sometimes you have to fire them. You hate to do it, but it is such a relief when you do.