- You must call/email/text at least 24 hours prior to your scheduled appointment time if you need to cancel/reschedule an appointment.
- If you cancel with less than 24-hours notice, you will be charged half of the regular rate for your massage for the missed appointment.
- If you don't show up or call within 15 minutes after the start of your appointment, it will be considered a no-show/cancellation.
- If you cancel with less than 24 hours notice but somebody else fills the spot you had reserved, your cancellation fee is waived.
Though there is a wide degree of variation from business to business in how strongly it is enforced, the above is a fairly standard cancellation policy for the massage industry. If you are a regular consumer of massage you are probably aware of this, but you may not be aware of the reasons behind these policies, so I'll answer a few frequently-asked questions about it here:
Why is there a charge?
While you are not receiving the service you reserved, the time has still been set aside for you, and without advanced notice it is very difficult, if not impossible (depending on how much notice, if any, you do give), to find someone else to sell that time to. Because massage is a low-volume business (we only see ONE client at a time, for an entire hour or more), every cancellation not only leaves a significant hole in our schedule, but also represents a significant loss of income. The cancellation fee mitigates the loss for the practitioner.
Is the fee punitive? Don't you make exceptions?
Because the fee is not punitive, the only exceptions made are if the spot gets filled by someone else. Though we certainly sympathize with those who are unable to make the appointment due to circumstances beyond their control, we are not in the business of judging whether someone's excuse is 1) truthful or 2) "good enough" to warrant a waiver. And no matter how good the reason for missing an appointment is, the financial loss suffered by the practitioner is no different. There is no malice or spite towards those who miss appointments; it is simply a matter of recuperating the cost for lost time.
How do you determine the amount charged?
Some massage businesses charge the full amount for a missed appointment, however Warrior Massage only charges half. This is because, as stated above, we sympathize with those who miss an appointment due to situations beyond their control... and for those who miss an appointment because you just forgot, we appreciate your honesty. Either way you'll only be charged half of the regular rate for the appointment.
Does charging a fee really reduce missed appointments?
Yes. Practitioners who do not charge a cancellation fee have many more missed appointments and no-shows than those who do. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to go through with an appointment is entirely in the hands of the client, not the practitioner. Yet the cost of missing the appointment is, without a fee, paid mostly by the practitioner. Passing on some of that cost to the person making the decision means that people are a) more likely to take seriously the responsibility to remember appointments and b) less likely to schedule appointments for times when they might not be able to make it.
Hopefully this will help you understand massage appointment cancellation fees, and alleviate some concerns regarding them. See you at your next appointment!