View Full Version : Payment in advance?

04-03-2008, 15:22
What is considered a suitable policy towards payment? A month in advance, 2 weeks in advance? How do students normally react to this?

04-03-2008, 16:13
My students normally pay at the end of each lesson or 2 weeks (4-6 lessons) in advance. That is their choice - I usually ask them to choose the way that could suit them best. I have not had any problems with that so far.
I used to have a few students who paid a month in advance but their permanent business trips.... anyway, that scheme did not work properly.

04-03-2008, 16:16
If you work for a school, payment in advance is their policy. If you are a private teacher, I guess you negotiate it for the conveniency of your students. The example of IraM is great.

04-03-2008, 18:33
I've learnt the hard way. They all now pay one month in advance, and pay monthly, whether it be groups or one to one. Sickness and other cancellations are unaccepatable, as it's loss of salary of whom we could have fitted someone else in.

But to be flexible, I either fit them in other classes to cover the number of lessons they should have per month. For example if they 12 lessons per month I try to ensure somehow that they have 12 lessons per month. They pay monthly fees otherwise you lose some of your projected income.

If your teaching privately, you're in business like any other business, and even if they don't like it, they accept it in the end.

06-03-2008, 09:27
monthly in advance is the only real way------ if you charge after each lesson you will find students calling you an hour or so before saying they have a problem ( like its raining)

when I met a new student I am quite straight with them---- in advance for the month and if they have to miss a lesson I say that if they tell me the day before I will credit from the next months fee---- It works fine


06-03-2008, 09:52
I totally agree, and the problem increases during the Summer months. This could be loss of income of which you depend on.

06-03-2008, 22:35
I am private teacher, not working at school....yet...:D

And till this day I prefered payment for each lesson....not advance, not delays....lol

But Lee's post made me to think about it from the other side....
Thanks, Lee....:iagree:

Really - if they cancel your lesson without any important reason and just in a few hours before - it is only fair, to charge them, as you could use this time on your other matters....

About advances - do not like it, because it makes some confusing....you need to check every lesson, count missing ones.....

Also - advances make you a bit dependable...not free....

And for a few times my students tried to ask discount if they would "buy" 10 lessons for example.....Do not like this idea, as you could guess:)

And as Bels said: If your teaching privately, you're in business like any other business, and even if they don't like it, they accept it in the end.
Totally agree.....:D

07-03-2008, 06:37
I've never asked to be paid in advance but a few of my students have offered it. And students do not want to pay for lessons that they don't recieve for whatever reason. I've been able to get paid for a few canceled lessons that were paid for by the company and not the student. I ususally just drop a student if their cancallation rate gets to 20%.
I had one student that I got through an agency. They canceled their 2nd lesson and then the agency called to see how it was going, (no doubt they were concerned about their fee) and I told them that I usually drop students when their cancellation rate got to 20% and this student was already at 50%. The agency suggested that I charge 50% for canceled lessons. I'm not good at negotiating, which is why I just drop a bad student, so I said lets just wait and see how it goes.
At the next lesson the student offered to pay 3 months in advance and in return for having the use of their money I would allow canceled classes. I told them I didn't need the money in advance and that just meant that come the new year I would be working for free. Again I just said lets see how it goes. When they called the next day to cancel the next lesson they offered to pay 50%. I'm guessing the agency called them and suggested it.
Anyway for the next year I made a lot of money for classes that I never went to. But that has certainly been the exception with me and not the rule.

07-03-2008, 09:30
I completely agree with Alterego. Once you've had your schedule for awhile, you get rid of the people who cancel too often. Once they hit 20%, they're on their way out.
As for payments, again, any 'problem students' should be sifted out, and you're left with good people, who can really pay whenever it's convenient for them. I have some classes that pay a few weeks in advance, some who pay per cl**** some who pay at the end of the week or month - no problems.
And I haven't managed to charge people for cancelled classes - my theory is that these (few) cancellations are the downside of this job. The upsides are many, but unfortunately the cancellations exist.