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My trainer waived a cancellation fee

I had the flu and missed a session at the gym. I didn’t call and cancel so I should have been charged the cancellation fee according to their policy.

She waived the fee and emailed to make sure I was OK.

Smart call.

I would have paid the fee — it is completely fair. But it would have been the start of the end of my positive feelings about the gym. I’m always looking for an excuse to exercise less, and I’m sure I would have slowly soured on the place.

Instead, I booked 6 more sessions. Not only do I appreciate the gesture — now I feel guilty if I don’t spend more time and money with them.

Lesson: What policy have you set that is completely reasonable, but will cost you your relationship with your customers? How fast can you get rid of it?

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Comments

  1. Frances January 1, 2010 at 10:23 am #

    This is an important insight for trainers. It takes so little to discourage someone (like me) from my resolve to work out. The fact that it costs so much makes it even easier to tell myself, skip it, this is not worth it. I had the opposite experience where a trainer wasn’t quite fully there with me over several weeks due to personal stuff he was going through. He acknowledged he was more tired than usual and unprepared, but instead of offering to make it up, he offered me a less than great workout. I dropped hiim. I also have a friend who didn’t renew a massage monthly package because the first time she cancelled within 24 hours of the appointment, they charged her the cancellation fee. They lost her forever, as well as me, since I heard her about negative feelings towards them.

  2. Andy Hayes | Travel Online Partners January 2, 2010 at 7:00 am #

    Love this example. Good business is about doing the right thing, not just padding out the bottom line. (Incidentally, if you are doing the right thing, the bottom line will sort itself out.)

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