Jump to content

Charging for missed appointments

Recommended Posts

Most doctors'/dentists' offices in my area do not charge for missed appointments unless its a habit and you don't call first.  But calling to reschedule even the day of usually does not result in a charge.  Likewise, you make a haircut appointment and don't make it, do you have to pay for the one you missed before you can make another one?  It's frustrating but it happens and we have to live with it. 


With that said, I had one customer who claimed she only trusted me, wouldn't go anywhere else and had to have me work on her car.  She was lazy and a flake.  She claimed medical issues but even when I would call her the day before and she was enthusiastic and adamant that she would be there and then I'd call her hours before her appointment she would still either be 30-60 minutes late or not show up at all.  Finally I got fed up with it, I had tried everything else so I finally told her she would have to prepay for her appointment before I would schedule it.  I told her if she didn't make it within 15 minutes of the appointment time, she would forfeit the labor portion and have to pay again before I would reschedule.  She agreed once and made it 20 minutes late. I let it go and did the work.  The next time it was the same thing, you have to pay for the appointment up front and if you are more than 15 minutes late, you lose the labor portion.  She was almost an hour late and then argued that she couldn't make it on time.  I stuck to my guns and held her to the agreement she had made.  I refunded nothing and she didn't have me do the work.  This was the last time I saw her but she did call a couple times years later.  I hated to do it, but I was tired of losing 2 or 3 hours because she would not show up for her appointments.  Since she did have multiple medical conditions (none that prevented her from getting around when SHE wanted to) I turned the tables on her and asked if she was ever late for a doctors' appointment and before she answered I asked her, if you're late do they still take you and put off all their other patients who arrived on time and kept their appointments?  She was like, "Yeah, but," and I cut her off before she could make up a lie.


Get used to people not showing up, it's frustrating but it is a part of running a business where you work on a schedule.  When people call me to cancel, I am always friendly and nice and I respond with, "I am sad that I won't get to serve you, but thank you for calling to cancel.  Now I know that you won't be in, I can use that time to serve someone else and I am sure they would thank you too."  It reinforces that their actions affect not only me but other people as well and that their thoughtfulness in showing me the respect of cancelling is appreciated.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi coastalcarcarenc! Good question - but in my opinion, I think it's something we (the industry) sort of created ourselves. 

The short answer is most car owners view their repair shop as a commodity. On the other hand, doctors, dentist, etc. are professionals they have an association or relationship with. 
Pretty hard to tell a customer they're going to be charged if they don't show up for (what they feel) is the same service they can get anywhere. 

Why? Well maybe you can answer this?
Why is it that current stats show that when a repair shop gets a new customer, there's ONLY a 27% CHANCE THAT CUSTOMER IS GOING TO RETURN FOR A SECOND VISIT. 

So what did YOUR SHOP do to follow up? Stay in touch? Let the customer KNOW YOU CARE?

Hope this helps!

"The Car Count Fixer"

P.S.: New Training : Virtually Unknown Secret That Will Add At Least $126,750 To Your Repair Shop While You 10X Customer Reviews and New Customer Referrals WITHOUT Ever Spending Another Dime on That Money Sucking Advertising!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After a while you get to know who's probably not going to show up and just plan accordingly. I have a couple dozen customers who are pretty absent minded I don't make a fuss its really not their fault they can't get their shit together I just put them down and when they call to reschedule I just say don't worry about it no problem. They are good customers btw very loyal they just can't keep their appts. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

After a while you get to know who's probably not going to show up and just plan accordingly. I have a couple dozen customers who are pretty absent minded I don't make a fuss its really not their fault they can't get their shit together I just put them down and when they call to reschedule I just say don't worry about it no problem. They are good customers btw very loyal they just can't keep their appts. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had few of those kind of customers in the past.... If they call to cancel/reschedule, I always accommodate and tell them I appreciate them letting me know. The ones that are 'no show', I make a note in the system....if they are regular and use my shop exclusively , I would let it slide....if they are from online, I just reschedule them few days ahead and dont expect them to show up and plan accordingly, if they show up and i am busy, then i tell them it will be done the next day ...I dont think doctors etc charge for missed appointments in my area, and I dont think a regular customer would return if I tried to bill them for a missed appointment.... But my issue right now is, the very good customers returning my cars back with fully emptied gas tanks ;). I am going to place a black tape below the 1/4 line to try to eliminate that, lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you have so many missed or blown off appointments, maybe there is a story there OTHER than penalizing those customers who don't show up.  Was the phone attendant not quite polite or accommodating enough?  Did a follow up email or text go through to verify?  

Yes, it sucks when a customer fails to show up for appointments, I'll be honest with the advertising campaign I am running right now it's about a 25% hit rate on the appointments made because it's a FREE diag.  They have nothing in it to win or lose, and with no perceived value, there is no need to be professional towards us.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      Most shop owners would agree that the independent auto repair industry has been too cheap for too long regarding its pricing and labor rates. However, can we keep raising our labor rates and prices until we achieve the profit we desire and need? Is it that simple?
      The first step in achieving your required gross and net profit is understanding your numbers and establishing the correct labor and part margins. The next step is to find your business's inefficiencies that impact high production levels.
      Here are a few things to consider. First, do you have the workflow processes in place that is conducive to high production? What about your shop layout? Do you have all the right tools and equipment? Do you have a continuous training program in place? Are technicians waiting to use a particular scanner or waiting to access information from the shop's workstation computer?
      And lastly, are all the estimates written correctly? Is the labor correct for each job? Are you allowing extra time for rust, older vehicles, labor jobs with no parts included, and the fact that many published labor times are wrong? Let's not forget that perhaps the most significant labor loss is not charging enough labor time for testing, electrical work, and other complicated repairs.  
      Once you have determined the correct labor rate and pricing, review your entire operation. Then, tighten up on all those labor leaks and inefficiencies. Improving production and paying close attention to the labor on each job will add much-needed dollars to your bottom line.
  • Similar Topics

    • By ASOG Podcast
      The Biggest Mistake New Shops Make
    • By carmcapriotto
      During Today's episode #105 Brent and I Talk About:
      Brent’s Favorite Super Hero Brent’s Shop Brent’s Coaching Style Brent’s Ideal Client  
      This episode is sponsored by AutoLeap. AutoLeap is a cloud-based all-in-one automotive invoice software that helps you supercharge your mechanic shop. Their customers have experienced:
      30% increase in revenue by improving transparency and trust 50% reduction in time spent researching and ordering parts 10% increase in profit margins through robust reporting  
      Click here to learn more about AutoLeap and schedule a demo: http://bit.ly/3GRgO88
      Don't forget to rate and review us!
      Connect with Chris:
      [email protected]
      Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AutoFixAutoShopCoaching
      Youtube: https://bit.ly/3ClX0ae
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By ASOG Podcast
      Free Diagnostic Time: Is It Worth It for Auto Repair Shops?
    • By Ruben Van Zenden
      Today, we simply cannot ignore social media, everyone is using it whether you are a fan or not. Personally, I think it has its negative and positive sides. 
      I have been looking at 100+ car repair shops and noticed that only a hand full are using social media marketing, for example, Facebook advertising. 
      Why are so few car repair shops making use of this, in my opinion, great opportunity to increase car count? 
    • By carmcapriotto
      Recorded Live at Vision 2023, Al Wright and Travis Troy discuss the benefits of joining MWACA's S.O.S. (Shop Owner's Support) Group. When we can support and learn from other shop owners, we continue Advancing the Aftermarket and raising the bar for the industry. Travis also gives us an overview of Vision's newest class for general service technicians.
      Al Wright, John’s Automotive, Cedar Rapids, IA. Al’s previous episodes HERE
      Travis Troy, Honest Wrenches, Akeny and Des Moines, IA. Listen to Travis’ other episodes HERE
      Show Notes
      Travis Troy- 21 team members attending Vision 2023 MWACA SOS Shop Owner’s Support- What is an S.O.S. Group? Think of it as your advisory board. Our S.O.S. Groups consist of no more than 10 shops that meet on a monthly basis. Meetings are similar to “twenty groups” without the intense financial focus or expensive monthly commitment. Groups meet monthly at a participating shop to discuss relevant issues, set and review goals, and evaluate the hosting shop.    Be vulnerable, and be transparent, not as a business owner but as a friend. We are not each other’s competition.  Learning from others, raising the bar for the Automotive industry  FTI- failure to implement, the number one failure for shop owners. Debrief after the SOS meeting with a list of items to work on and change.  Elevate before you grow. GSTA General Service Technician Academy - 2-day course. This program benefits the technician and the shop with increased efficiency, knowledge, and safety, as well as cost-savings by helping prevent beginning mistakes. Certifications will come from Tire Industry Association (TIA), Automotive Lift Institute (ALI), and Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS).  GTSA will cover- Tire Safety – hands-on mounting and dismounting, repair procedures and balancing, Tire pressure monitoring basics, Lift safety – Including Information access for proper lift placement, OSHA and shop safety training, Alignment basics, Intro to Air Conditioning, Electricity Fundamentals, Introduction to Digital Vehicle Inspections - a systematic approach to test drives, inspections, photos and videos and the benefits to the tech and to the shop of performing the DVI. Surviving a Health Scare [THA 316]
      Thanks to our Partners, AAPEX and NAPA TRACS. Set your sights on Las Vegas in 2023. Mark your calendar now … October 31 - Nov 2, 2023, AAPEX - Now more than ever. And don’t miss the next free AAPEX webinar. Register now at AAPEXSHOW.COM NAPA TRACS will move your shop into the SMS fast lane with onsite training and six days a week of support and local representation. Find NAPA TRACS on the Web at NAPATRACS.com Connect with the Podcast: -Join our Insider List: https://remarkableresults.biz/insider -All books mentioned on our podcasts: https://remarkableresults.biz/books -Our Classroom page for personal or team learning: https://remarkableresults.biz/classroom -Buy Me a Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/carm -The Aftermarket Radio Network: https://aftermarketradionetwork.com -Special episode collections: https://remarkableresults.biz/collections      
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio

  • By nptrb, in Automotive Industry,

    By nptrb, in Automotive Industry,

    By nptrb, in Automotive Industry,

  • Our Sponsors

  • Create New...