As a local business owner who operates by appointment only, I’d like to comment on how disruptive it is when the holder of an appointment time doesn’t show up and doesn’t contact us to cancel. I’m not talking about people who have things come up at the last minute and notify us, or someone who cancels at least 24 hours in advance for whatever reason. I’m referring to the appointment-holder who doesn’t call to cancel and who doesn’t respond to confirmation efforts.
This leads to their appointment remaining in the book and we staff for their visit appropriately. When that appointment-holder then fails to show, the following happens:
1) Despite an extensive wait list, I can’t fill that missed appointment instantaneously;
2) I have to send the staff that had been on hand to service their needs home, thereby costing my business money having to pay them for coming in, but getting no income from the missed appointment time, or I got a gut feeling after trying to confirm that the appointment wouldn’t be kept and I called off my staff preemptively, and they now aren’t getting paid at all;
3) As the business owner, my stress level increases because, if someone calls me for an appointment today they would be waiting at least two to three weeks to get in, yet here I am sitting for the next two hours, having put others off who needed to get in.
It isn’t “no big deal” to decide not to keep a commitment. There is a chain reaction that occurs. Others have to wait longer, providers have unscheduled downtime with no foreknowledge, limiting the options as to what can be done with it, and staff doesn’t have the number of hours they were expecting for the week, affecting everyone’s bottom line.
I would implore anyone that books appointments for services, if you know you will not be able to keep that appointment, or decide you no longer want or need the service, especially if that decision is made early on from when the appointment was booked, please contact the service provider and cancel out your slot. No reason necessarily needs to be given, it’s the opening up of the slot that is the important information to convey.
It’s just common courtesy to respect one another’s time and I’d just like to remind the general populace of it.