No Show Today...Voice Lessons...

Updated on December 11, 2011
K.K. asks from Fredericksburg, VA
13 answers

Hi Moms!

I am so aggravated. I had a voice lesson today from 11am-1:30pm, they never showed up called or texted! Nothing! They are usually good with communicating. I had a late night at work and didn't get back home till 2am. I had to get up early, get things ready and ate my breakfast fast, knowing the child would be here today. I sent an email and the person read it, but never replied back.


What to do?! I'm just so pissed off of no shows, no communication and etc. We had this voice lesson planned since last Sunday.


Any advice? Oh and for the lesson it was $80 today...which I'm sure I won't be getting.

update: I have an AOL account as these people do, I sent two messages, they have "read" the first one....never responded back. Hmm...ODD?

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So What Happened?

The mother called me this morning!!! I did not have her number, just the father's number. Anyhow! She apologized a lot and wanted to make it up to me. Her daughter was sick and her husband was on call for work, she did not have my number. Anyhow...she's going to stay with the lessons and make-up the hours missed as well.

Thanks moms for the great advice as always!

More Answers



answers from Seattle on

Make sure your student wasn't in an accident or other emergency before getting too revved up.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

Is it your practice to not charge for lessons missed? That needs to change immediately. My daughter had tutors, coaches and teachers that would always have been paid if we missed. Even the ones we didn't have formal contracts with, same policy.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

In your contract to your clients, you should probably state that they have to pay whether they show or not... that might help.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

In all my years of teaching piano, and now paying for music or dance or skating lessons....basically, ANY kind of lesson where a teacher is required to reserve time one one student...there should be, if not already, a 'no show policy.'

You need to start a less than 24 cancellation or no show policy. Put it in writing for all students you start with. You can reduce the rate by 50% as many circumstances are unforeseen....but you do not loose out on your personal income.

Don't feel bad. Since you are a fee for service type of business, and you need to make $$ in order to eat and survive like everyone else, you are counting on this I'm sure as part of your budget. Otherwise, you could offer the time to another paying customer.

So, I would professionally and politely send this no-show a bill for half the rate. Otherwise you will not continue lessons with them if this happens again. Unfortunately, most artists like yourself don't have enough students to up and cut someone off like that, because you are so dependent upon that income.

And, it's not too late to instigate this policy. Just give them a heads up...Due to the frequency of this problem in your business, and you reserving the time specifically for this student, etc....Keep the form readily available for all future students from now on, and I guarantee you'll nip this problem before it starts up again. Make your expectations clear from the beginning and the flakes will drop the wayside.

Sorry about this loss, as you might not recoup it, but it doesn't hurt to ask for it. You can even pro-rate it, given the time of the year. See how nice and reasonable you sound?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I think I'd assume they were done with the lessons & were too cowardly to tell you.

A contract, including a disenrollment policy, and a no show policy might be a start, to avoid this in the future.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

If this is a service you do as a job then I'd suggest treating it as a job. Do the lessons on a per month payment basis. Get the money at the first lesson for the month and if you need to cancel and reschedule that's fine. If they miss the lesson and don't notify you 24 hrs before then you keep the money and don't need to reschedule unless you want to.

Make up a handout to students and their parents setting out your guidelines ahead of time so you don't run into this situation again. I've had children in everything from dance to sports to music lessons and I always knew up front what was expected on my part.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

Is it in your written policy - the one the student or student's parents sign - that no-show lessons *will* be paid for unless notice is given within 24 hours before the lesson (barring any emergency)? If it isn't, you need to make that official, starting now.

That said, there might have been an emergency in your student's family. It's too bad they didn't give you a call, but maybe they left quite suddenly for the hospital... or even the funeral home. People's minds don't work quite right in such situations.

It's aggravating, yes, but you also know it happens, has happened, and will happen to every teacher on the planet.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Fargo on

Send them a bill for the 80 dollars. Do you have a contract? I am revising my contract to state that I will expect payment for any missed lessons.

I have had to drop two different piano students due to missed lessons. My favorite excuse? "Sorry missed the lesson but on the way out the door, little Jimmy decided that he would rather go snowmobiling." Aaakkkkk!

So sorry that your student's parents put you in this position.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

What a bummer.

I think it might be wise to charge a month in advance. Also, have it in the contract that if you "no show" or cancel less than 24 hours in advance, the fee for the lesson is still charged.
Now, if there is a true emergency that can't be helped such as the child being taken to the ER in the middle of the night or something like that, you can have some flexibility. But just blowing off a scheduled lesson with no communication....the parents should still have to pay you for your time. That's a time slot you could have had open for someone who would be there.
If people are going to flake on you, you don't have to accept them as clients.

Just my opinion.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

While I agree with others that you should bill them for the missed lesson -- one person suggested billing for half the fee if you haven't told them previously that you will bill for a missed lesson -- I would add that first, you should find out if there was some truly unavoidable emergency or conflict. If they have been as you say "good with communicating" up until today, give them the benefit of the doubt until you know more, and figure that there may have been a sudden illness or emergency; those things can drive the idea of contacting a teacher right out of a parent's mind (like when my daughter came down with appendicitis -- I did call her dance school, but the next day!). Just because someone picked up the AOL message doesn't mean that they had time to answer, if there was a true emergency. And anyone in the family might have read it, not the parent with the ability to answer your question....

It's also possible that what happened here was what happened to another family I know: Recently mom was out of town caring for her sick parent and dad (who usually did not run the kids to their lessons) was in charge and just blew it one night, totally forgetting the schedule he'd been given for lessons. I would think that would be at least somewhat forgiveable, under the circumstances.

So...get more information before you drop their kid as your student or send them a bill for 100 percent of the fee, and yes, do create written contracts for every student with policies that cover things like this for the future.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Is this a first lesson? If not send and invoice and if not paid no more lessons. In future, get a deposit and/or credit card, make sure your "signed" agreement stipulates that a client WILL be charged for a no show without prior notice of at least (??? days/hours).

In the case of emergency, acceptions can be made.

Don't be too upset, turn off your phone and go back to bed. 2 AM? That's awful!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Any lessons of any kind that my daughter has been in we have had to pay for the entire "session" up front. We were allowed 2 makeup sessions, if we contacted the instructor ahead of time to arrange a different time.

Having said that... dealing with people is a skill all in and of itself. And it's not for everyone. You may not want to do this on your own.... being an instructor at a center may give you more peace of mind.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I would send them an invoice for the $80 and in the future make it known that you will be charging a late/no show fee without 24-48 hour notice. I am so sorry this happened!

1 mom found this helpful

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