Big sigh. We all know the feeling of a last minute cancellation or rescheduling in our CPR business. Maybe you’ve had an instructor move their day around to accommodate teaching a private class and now you have to call them and tell them it’s cancelled. The instructor has already loaded up their vehicle with equipment. The client now needs to reschedule and you’ll go through the process again. This administrative time costs and there’s also the cost of business you turned away to schedule a client.
At the same time, we all know life happens and we care intently about our clients at Vitali Partners. We look to serve our clients and hope they find us as accommodating whenever we can be. Let’s discuss how we can accommodate people while also responsibly operating a CPR business.
Contracts & Terms of Service
First, let’s cover the basics. You can make up any rules you want and on the go. However, when push comes to shove and you are talking to a credit card company or lawyer, you will need a contract or Terms of Service to point them to.
Generally, most CPR business’s have two types of clients. There are individual and business/corporate clients.
For the general public (individuals), you should have Terms of Service. When an individual books a class with you it’s ideal that they pay up front and agree to your terms of service. You can set the terms of service as you would like. The terms of service should include your rescheduling policy, cancellation policy, and any video or photography waivers.
For corporate clients, we always recommend having a contract in place. This contract does not need to be overly complicated. A contract should be simple and enforceable. Having your business’s lawyer read over and refine the contract is best practice. Many people will fill contracts with items that are not able to be upheld. Your contract should state straightforward. It should include details about when payment is due, how much they are paying, how you handle changes in number of attendants, and what your rescheduling or cancellation policy is.
If you are interested in learning more about government contracts, read our article here.
There are many reasons a client may need to reschedule a class with your CPR business. In the event of illness, bad weather, schedule changes, or family emergencies people may need to change the date of their training. For every legitimate reason, there are also other reasons that are less understandable. We suggest having a policy that protects your business. However, we also recommend using the policy at your discretion.
Your rescheduling policy may vary between corporate clients and individuals. For individuals, we suggest allowing free rescheduling up to 24 hours in advance. You will need to choose what makes the most sense for your business based on how you compensate your contractors and employees effected. After the free rescheduling window, you may charge a fee to move their class registration. We recommend the rescheduling be 50% the cost of tuition.
Why charge a rescheduling fee? People that sign up for a class and move their registration last minute may have taken a seat from another student. Often, our classes are full and our students have to sign up for a class at a later date. If people are allowed to reschedule for free, then that means you can end up with an empty seat last minute and take away a seat from what would have been another paying student in your next class. A rescheduling fee allows you to recoup a margin of what would otherwise have been lost to your CPR business
Furthermore, we care intently about our instructors. When they make time in their schedule to teach for us, we intend to pay them regardless if students cancel. If a student cancels last minute, we reserve the right to not refund them so we can cover our cost to pay the instructor. This is always stated up front in our Terms of Service or Contract. Without our instructors, a CPR business can not run. We look to protect both our instructors and our business so we can continue our mission of saving lives.
Example Cancellation/Rescheduling Policy
‘Cancellations or rescheduling must be made no later than 24 hours before the class start time in order to receive a full refund minus 3.5% processing fees if paid by credit card. If you choose to reschedule or cancel within 24 hours of your class start time, you will be refunded or assessed a rescheduling fee of 50% of your tuition.
Students have 30 days to reschedule their class before forfeiting their entire tuition. A student may only reschedule once. A second rescheduling will require repayment of full tuition.
Students that do not attend class and make no attempt to contact us in advance of their absence will forfeit 100% of their tuition.’
For an example of how you could use this, visit our partners website and follow the process to sign up for a class (no need to complete registration) and see the terms of service and cancellation policy here.
Another thing to consider beyond administration time, is the cost of credit/debit card processing. Be careful to note that if you are using a card processor, you are paying fees on the transaction. Most CPR businesses pay 1.5-6% on transaction fees a year. You pay these fees both when you accept payment and when you refund payment. This means that you can actually end up paying to refund a student! Be aware of your processing fees and pass them off to the customer if the change was due to their own obligations.