Why should I pay for a cancelled lesson?
The vast majority of the UK’s Approved Driving Instructors are self-employed and only earn a wage when a client pays them – just like those awful zero hour contracts. Imagine getting ready for work in the morning, going out and paying your bus or train fare or fuel and parking fee, turning up at work on time only to be told by your employer they don't need you today. It has cost you time and money to be there and you might have even turned down other work and missed an opportunity to have been paid by someone else. How would you feel in those circumstances? In a similar way it is you, the client, who employs the Instructor and therefore if you fail to turn up for your lesson or you give short notice of cancellation, your Instructor doesn't get paid. The double-whammy is that the Instructor may well have turned someone else down for the time you have reserved and now can’t sell the lost time at such short notice. Not only does the Instructor miss out, other clients may also miss out too. When choosing a Driving Instructor, along with excellent teaching skills and a friendly manner, no doubt you will be expecting someone with a professional attitude and someone who provides excellent customer service, With this you would certainly expect reliability and punctuality. Looking at it from the Instructor’s perspective, they also hope that their clients are reliable and punctual, have a good attitude and are willing to accept responsibility for their own learning and the bookings they've made. If you had an instructor who consistently let you down, what would you do? I know what I'd do; I'd look for a replacement. We try to be as flexible as possible but understand that life often gets in the way, Maybe the kids are ill, unexpected bills need to be paid, work calls you in etc or you simply haven't budgeted well and have run out of cash until payday. In my experience many Instructors have a standard 48 hour or short notice cancellation policy whereby should a client cancel within this time then the lesson fee is payable either in full or in part, at Drive Right we only have a 24 hour cancellation policy. I often extend the lesson time for clients who turn up for every lesson and who give me plenty of notice if they ever need to change an appointment. It’s a nice way of rewarding them. I sometimes give away a free lesson as a way of saying thank you. What I do know from my experience is that those clients who are reliable and hard-working are the ones most likely to succeed and ultimately spend less in getting their licence. The key is to talk openly to your instructor, keep them up to date and together you will be able to avoid paying for lessons you didn't attend and maybe even get a nice little reward. Regards Phillip - Drive Right.