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Cancellations-the other side

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  • Cancellations-the other side

    I know we all probably don't like cancellations, especially last minute ones, but sometimes things just come up. I understand that and don't give my clients attitude if it truly is something beyojnd their control. Today I was on the other end of that because I had to cancel a doctors appointment. Last night at about 5pm my daughter started crying telling me her mouth and ear hurt. I called the doctor and they had me bring her in at 6:15pm. I thought she was just cutting her 6 year molars, but she'd been sick over the weekend as well. She'd been in on Friday with a high fever, but had seemed to be fever free since Sunday. I wasn't expecting to find she was sick. Friday she tested negative for strep and they couldn't find anything else wrong, so figured it was viral. Well, last night at about 6:30pm I found out she is running a fever again of about 100, not too bad considering what it had been, but she also has now an ear infection and strep. Of course my doctor who I'm supposed to see is closed by the time I find all of this out. So I call first thing this morning. I told the receptionist the circumstances and apologized for the last minute notice, but I didn't think they wanted a sick child in their office. She was very, well, not nice about the whole thing. She told me they had a cancellation policy of 24 hours and that now they had a half hour appointment going empty. Funny, since when I booked it they told me it was 15 minutes, but that's beside the point. She started asking me if I couldn't just get someone to watch her. Now, who wants to come watch a sick child? The only other people I know home during the day are other moms. She himmed and hawwed and threw in some exasperated sighs. I UNDERSTAND totally how inconvenient this is, but sometimes life is inconvenient and throws a curve ball now and again. She didn't offer to rebook my appointment either and pretty much said "fine, I'll cancel you" and hung up the phone on me. There is just no need for rudeness or to try to guilt me into trying to find a way there. I know the doctors time is valuable, I would never intentionally waste anyone's time, but things do happen I just cannot control.
    I'm glad at least I don't read anyone the riot act when they need to cancel.
    What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

  • #2
    Wait until you get the doctor's bill in the mail, and you can't book an appointment until you pay up. The doctor may understand, but the office manager may have a heart of stone.
    "With God's help, all things are possible!"
    Laura Lee Ray
    I am kats_melody on eGroomer. Follow my Twitter tweets - @ZOOMGROOM on


    • #3
      I'd be curious if that doctor knows about the lack of professionalism his staff presents. Maybe that conversation is doctor directed, but I'd doubt it.


      • #4
        Mylady, that would have resulted in a serious discussion with the office manager. Patient care also involves understanding that things come up. However, next time,call the answering service in the evening and leave a message. That way you can prove you made a reasonable attempt to contact them as soon as you had the emergency.


        • #5

          I agree with Swissnchow, get a hold of the doctor and let them know how horrible that person was. Of all the offices that should understand illness it should be at a doctor's office. If that doctor is as busy as most he is not going to miss you. I'm busy enough that if someone cancels, like last week because of illness, I have to admit I kicked up my heels for a bit of extra time.

          I have a $20 cancellation fee if shorter notice than 24 hours. I never apply it if I can tell it's a necessary cancellation. It is in place so that people don't just cancel because they chose to go to the beach. I have one customer that insisted on paying me the fee anyway though she had a serious reason to cancel.

          I hope you get her to behave, get her out of there, or perhaps find a new doctor?

          Wishing your daughter wellness.
          Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.


          • #6
            I hope your daughter feels better, and sorry you had to go through that.


            • #7
              I did call and get the answering service and they told me they didn't handle cancellations, only emergencies that required calling the doctor. This is a new doctor that I was supposed to see to have the sleep study done eventually. My regular doctor wants me tested for sleep apnea.
              I had someone at my ped's office get very rude with me when I went to cancel once too. I called, set up an appointment for the next morning and then realized I couldn't make it and called right back. The lady I spoke to told me I wasn't giving them 24 hours notice, I explained I had JUST booked it and she told me they were going to charge me. I told her that was fine, but I expected to be paid for the last TWO appointments the doctor had cancelled on me the morning of the appointment I was supposed to go to. Never got a bill.
              What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.


              • #8
                I don't think I've heard anyone say that there are never good reasons for last minute cancellations and even no-shows. Yours definitely was one of those, and it sounds like you were treated pretty rudely by the receptionist.

                And I have to wonder why it seems she was taking it so personally. I might have even asked her. Does the doctor dock her pay when people have to miss?

                After an imperfect start with my business, I no longer take any of that personally (even when, yes, it does affect my bank account.) I am, and always have been, graciously sympathetic when I am given a good-sounding reason for a cancellation or no-show.

                But it was the poor or no-excuse club that used to grate on me. No more. When I feel it's fair, I ask to be paid (per my policy.) People either choose to pay or they don't. If they don't, they don't come back.

                Either way, I'm not angry or holding any resentments. The world is a very imperfect place and some people are better at being imperfect than others. One thing I do know is that no one, upon getting out of bed this morning, decided it was their day to make my day miserable.

                Unless maybe it was Helly, lol.
                The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit. ~Nelson Henderson


                • #9
                  as a mom of 7 I know all to well how things come up.. I am very flexible with my clients scheduling and I have no problem with cancellations.. sure it messes me up but I know there will be days when I am on the other side.. maybe I am just not a fussy person, but a good report with my clients is worth too much to fuss about one appointment..

                  I wouldn't want to do business with anyone who was rude if I had to cancel..

                  I hope she is feeling better


                  • #10
                    TheyCallMeMom, you are my hero! I think anyone with more than 2 kids should be nominated for saint hood. I know I have my hands full with two and am always in awe of those moms with more kids. A dear friend of mine has 6, three are triplets, and she is another one of my heros! Whenever I feel stressed I talk to her LOL.
                    Anyway, now both the kids are sick so I'll be taking my son to the doctor today as well. Evie is still not looking or feeling well. She's so pale and my son is now running a fever. At least they are good at sharing something.
                    What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.