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Common courtesy? Or not? The rest of the story P.2

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  • Common courtesy? Or not? The rest of the story P.2

    Question for the professionals and those that take lessons (probably covers everybody lol)...
    If you had a family that started riding with you and would show up for 2 lessons in a row and then not show up (no call or email saying they weren't coming) for a few, then show up for one again and do that off and on (really sporadic) and then stop coming completely...

    Is it common courtesy to call or email the instructor (who you technically have a scheduled appointment with) to let them know that you aren't coming that day? Or is that asking too much?

    How about when you decide to quit lessons altogether? Should you maybe notify the instructor or not?

    If you were the instructor in this situation and you weren't notified in either case, how would you react?
    Last edited by Brigit; Nov. 15, 2011, 04:07 PM.
    __________________________________________________ _
    Proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals!

  • #2
    As someone who has lessoned for years, I try to call/text to inform my instructor if I am unable to attend my regular lessons. That is just being a polite, considerate adult dealing with a busy professional.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


    • #3
      I ALWAYS let my trainer know if I can't make a lesson (though I virtually don't miss a single one) I also let him now as soon as possible so he can re arrange his day if he wants to.


      • #4
        Yes it is common courtesy to cancel. At my barn, I sell lessons in packages, so if you don't cancel and no-show, then you lose the lesson.

        I would assume that the family is not really that interested in riding. The only way to get any good at it is to ride regularly. You can't get good taking a lesson here or there.
        Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule


        • #5
          I think that some people today think they can fit so much on their day, but their time management is just not that good and something has to give all along, at times being their riding.

          I think that the first time someone misses an appointment, be it riding lesson or any other, even lunch with a friend, there should have been notice given if possible in advance and if just forgotten, apologies given immediately.

          If you are the one left waiting, as an instructor, I would want to find right away why the student was a no show and didn't give notice, contact them and go from that.
          If they are wishy-washy and don't respect your time, drop them.
          If they had a real problem, accept their apologies and hope they don't repeat.

          People that keep missing appointments, I would not give them any more of my time with another appointment.
          I would be proactive with dead beats, only way to get them on with the program, or making it clear to them that they don't fit, if they can't honor their commitments.
          Learning to ride requires some discipline.
          Being there and on time is just part of it and to be expected.
          If not, those people are wasting everyone's time.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Brigit View Post
            If you were the instructor in this situation and you weren't notified in either case, how would you react?
            I would create a new agreement that pays for X number of lessons at Y days/times from here on out and inform them that if they do not show/do not call twenty-four hours prior to the lesson to cancel, then there will not be a make-up time, and the lessons are non-refundable.

            You might also put a courtesy clause in there, and offer several different means to contact you.
            If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
            DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
            Originally posted by talkofthetown
            As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.


            • #7
              Every Drs office here will call you ahead of appointments.
              I wonder if some such automated program would fit with riding lesson's also?
              "Forgetful" people would have to either cancel or try a bit harder to show up.


              • #8
                I do not get why this question even needs to be asked.

                If you have scheduled an appointment with anyone about anything it is common courtesy to call and say you are not going to show up if that is the case. Why do you think a riding lesson should be any different?


                • #9
                  I agree wtih people over scheduling themselves and it becoming out of hand. I know when I was ascout leader for the last 3 years we had families who were very sporadic and then just stopped coming with no notice... The kids want to try so many things and be involved with all these different activities, and then the parents just can't get them to every thing they sign them up for... I think that it is very inconsiderate of them to not notify you they will not be there, but I also think it is becoming the way alot of younger families do things anymore... self centered, I- want -it -now parents are bringing up self centered, I- want -it -now kids... I would offer lessons in a block that is for a specific time frame- say that month or that week, and they are purchased as a "use it or lose it" deal. No make ups unless of course you cancel on them.


                  • #10
                    My lesson agreement actually states that I am to be notified of my clients missing a lesson. If I am not notified by the specified time allotted (does that make sense?) then there is a $15.00 fee plus the full lesson fee due to me. No other lessons will happen until all fees are paid in full.

                    In signing the lesson agreement, I extend that courtesy to my students as well. If I ask that they give me at least 1 hour notice if they are sick, then I need to abide by the same rules.

                    For me, its common courtesy and respect to let people know if you are unable to be at a scheduled lesson. If it were me in your position, after the second missed lesson without a word, they wouldn't be students of mine anymore.

                    But that is just my opinion.
                    Boomer's Hopes & Dreams
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                    RIP Boomer - May 21, 1989 - November 3, 2010


                    • #11
                      Of course it is common courtesy to let people know if you can't make a scheduled appointment.

                      As far as notifying the trainer that you aren't going to take lessons anymore, I think it is courteous to do so but I don't get mad if people don't. Generally if someone says, "Oh I'm going on vacation, let me call you when I get back to schedule my next lesson," or whatever and then I never hear from them, I just assume that life got in the way or they decided my lessons weren't a good fit or whatever. For some reason a lot of people are really afraid to tell their trainers that they're leaving even though I don't really care.

                      Of course if they have regular scheduled lessons and then just stop showing up (without interrupting the schedule) it is rude.
                      exploring the relationship between horse and human


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                        I do not get why this question even needs to be asked.

                        If you have scheduled an appointment with anyone about anything it is common courtesy to call and say you are not going to show up if that is the case. Why do you think a riding lesson should be any different?
                        This ^. Personally, I think trainers should be entitled to the same professional courtesy others are entitled to, to the extent that "no shows" are billed.
                        Ridge Farm Inc.-full care retirement


                        • #13
                          I don't sell lessons in blocks - no indoor here so bad weather makes me call off and I just don't want the hassle of who owes who lessons/money. So, they pay when they're here for a lesson. The down side of this is it makes it easier for no shows without consequences. It doesn't happen often, mostly because when people meet me for lessons initially, I tell them - if you need to reschedule or can't make it call me, if the weather's bad I make the decision and call off lessons if need be. Most people are very considerate and if someone does have that brain lapse and truly forget, they are very apologetic. If something happened like OP is describing, I'd give the lesson slot away to another student. If the original no-showers do show up at their original scheduled time and expect a lesson after so many screwups, that's a great time to have the conversation, "So sorry, I gave your spot away when you no-showed twice. You'll need to rescedule if you want a lesson, I don't have room tonight." They'll probably climb in their car and you'll never hear from them again, but I don't want a customer like that anyway. Its a colossal waste of my time standing around with an empty lesson spot when I expected to be teaching (and was counting on that lesson $). I don't like chasing people around on the phone, they need to be there when they said they'd be.

                          If you really want to hang onto them as customers, you can start calling to confirm the night before. Personally, I think that's silly to start that, but I also understand starting-out instructors wanting to hang onto each and every customer. Good luck, OP!


                          • #14
                            Our barn sells lessons in blocks.You pay for 8 weeks and have 9 weeks to take them in. If you have to miss 1 lesson ,it isn't a loss to you.If you make all 8 weeks then the 9th one is free. If we have to cancel a lesson then we extend the block a week.When setting prices you figure what you are willing to make for the 9 weeks ,and then your time is covered.We have a small program ,and want students who are committed to coming every week.If they don't want to do that we will fill the slot with someone who else.
                            You would be amazed at how few people cancel lessons when they have already paid for them.


                            • #15
                              I think after 2 weeks of no show and then they arrive on the 3rd week expecting a lesson, I would just tell them that sorry you can't teach them. Since you hadn't heard from them the previous 2 weeks, you assumed they weren't coming back, so you already used the horses in previous lessons.

                              Now you can give them a heads up that this is what may happen if they continue to be inconsiderate. I guess it depends on how much you need their money. However if you are turning people away and could use this time slot for regular clients, I would let them know this as well.


                              • #16
                                It SHOULD be a common courtesy to let your instructor know if you cant attend a lesson.

                                I've been blessed my students are all pretty good about this. However, I had one student about a year ago just quit showing up..I texted/called..finally got a text back they were busy..and would get back with me when they wanted to start up again..I feel it was a way of them stopping lessons..I think they reached a point in their horsemanship where they were happy (all they wanted to do was ride down the trails) and so stopped altogether.

                                if I ran a large lesson program, I may consider selling lessons in "Blocks"..and implmenting a cancelation policy.


                                • #17


                                  quite pissed off.

                                  it infuriates me no end when people waste *my* time, so i'm very conscious of wasting other peoples' time.

                                  but maybe that's just me.

                                  i can't remember the reason, but i got hung up one day on the way to the barn, and called from the side of the road to let them know i wasn't coming, to make sure no one was standing there with a horse waiting for me to show up. (they were very nice and even offered to come get me. )

                                  OT: WOW! just discovered the spell check on here! woo!
                                  Today I will be happier than a bird with a french fry.


                                  • #18
                                    Of course it is common courtesy, which unfortunately is not evident alot in society anymore...I would sell a block of lessons and if they no call, no show, oh well for them..that way you are not stuck with a block of time losing money. People fail to realize that when they behave this way, it is costing you your paycheck..If at their job someone randomly decided to deduct an hours worth of pay they would have a stroke.


                                    • #19
                                      This is the reason I stopped charging hourly or day rates for my childcare service. I charge a flat monthly rate. Now if gramma shows up and keeps the kids, I don't lose any income....


                                      • #20
                                        To piggyback Lucky, this is also why I started requiring payment before the lessons are given, and only sell packages. You have to pay for the month up front. Of course there are some exceptions, but, it sure does weed out the sort of folks you are talking about.
                                        "Aye God, Woodrow..."