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Issues with the cancellation policy

Does anyone else find the cancellation policy on Tutorful to be an inconvenience and disadvantage to tutors on the platform? Specifically talking about the students’ ability to cancel lessons within 12 hours of the start time and the maximum charge for this is 50% of the lesson price. Please note for the purposes on the post we’ll say the reasons for not attending aren’t emergencies/extenuating circumstances, eg. Forgetting to cancel, forgetting the lesson was on and having another commitment, all things that can be controlled etc.

The issue I have is that it allows students to cancel as late as one minute before the lesson start time, which in my books should not be refunded at all, but because you’ve already committed that hour to teaching them and there’s no way you can book in other students or do something else within that time (if you have back to back lessons). Also, if there the first lesson in your morning and they cancel at a silly hour like 5am then there’s no way I’m going to see this until I wake up, and that means I could have had a lie in!

I do like that there is an option to partially refund when the lesson is over. But on other platforms I use, after 24 hours the ability to actually cancel the lesson (you can still request for reschedule) is locked which gives the tutor all the control including after the lesson of what they can enforce.

Over time I have had to be really regimented in my policy and quite harsh (but fair in my opinion) because I am sick of parents/students messing me around when a busy schedule means it’s hard to move people around etc.

I can imagine Tutorful would like to keep the 50% cancellation charge but I would really like them to think about the potential ramifications of people cancelling within the hour or even a couple of minutes before. Perhaps giving more control to the tutors on the fee or changing the amount as the hours tick by? I personally would prefer the policy to be 24 hours because it stops late night cancellations when people have gone to bed.

Has anyone else had this kind of experience or thoughts on the policy?


I don’t enforce Tutorful’s policy, actually. If they don’t turn up I charge full price, if they cancel last minute I sometimes charge full price depending on circumstances. That’s the thing I like about Tutorful a lot, they do allow you to be flexible and set your own rates and own policies (within reason).


Hi, how do you charge full price if they cancel the booking on the system? I get if they only verbally cancel but there’s nothing stopping them from pressing ‘cancel’ and then tutorful only gives you the choice to charge 50% or nothing at all. If there’s a way you know to get around then that would be great?

You can accept it or reject their request for a refund.

In my experience they can just cancel the booking from their end, and the only option that is offered to me is to accept it without refunding/charging anything, or charge 50% of the lesson price. I’d like there to be an option where you can reject the cancellation and charge 100% of the lesson price.

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Ah, I guess things are different for me because usually when parents cancel, they ask me to do it rather than do it themselves. Whether that affects my booking score or not is another matter, but I like it as I can control it a bit more.

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Totally agree and got in contact about this very thing a few weeks ago! I think 24 hours = half and 12 hours = full payment but I have never officially gone down this line, and there’s no way to stop them from processing it regardless. I have thought about having some guidelines and if the parent agrees then just trusting them not to process the refund. It’s a hard one!

I have declined the request and received the full refund. You could try to speak to tutorful about it.

Dear @tutor I totally agree with you as this has definitely happened on a few occasions with me, and I feel that it would be fairer to charge a 100% late fee, which equals the full price of your lesson. I feel that this is the fairest way to deal with these types of students.


I personally don’t charge students for cancelled lessons, even if they don’t show up! I value keeping the relationship positive more than the price of the lesson. After all, a positive relationship often means more lessons, better feedback and more referrals.

I have my limits for repeat-offenders of course, but that’s very rare.

However, I do agree that tutors should have the option to charge a 100% fee if they want to if the lesson is cancelled soon before the start time, perhaps something like 6 hours?

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@JoeL, I’m the same really - I value my relationship with my clients but I do value my time too. I am very lucky that I have very understanding clients who practically tell me to charge if they cancel late!


I’m similarly lucky in that regard! I also want to add that having positive relationships with clients just feels better, a benefit which shouldn’t be underestimated.


I feel the right balance needs to be struck. I have had parents who abuse the fact that I didn’t charge for the cancellation. Therefore, a reminder of my 100% cancellation policy helps act as an effective deterrent. Two to three-strike policy at most after which full cancellation charge or the student has to go.
Respecting someone’s time whom you are gaining knowledge from is a prerequisite.

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@JoeL @katywilson6 I agree, keeping positive relationships with students is key and so I do make each judgement considering all that in mind each time. I’ve also once refunded someone automatically and a parent insisted I book in another lesson (that neither of us would attend) just so I’d get paid!

Not saying Tutorful must be more ‘harsh’ with it but I would agree that if we had the option to charge a 100% fee close to the start time we’d have more control for some iffier situations/students or people who take advantage of the policy.

@katie I’ve sent people my policy before booking which mentions in detail the process of cancellations etc, but there are some who try and get around it cancel from their end… :frowning:


@tutor what is your cancellation policy if you don’t mind sharing?

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Hi all, it’s interesting to read your thoughts on this thread and see the different opinions on how cancellation charges should work.

We feel that the way our cancellation policy works is fair as it gives students some flexibility when unexpected things come up whilst also giving tutors some protection for any short notice cancellation. That said, it is interesting to read how some tutors feel this could be improved so I will definitely group the feedback that we have here and pass it on internally! Thanks for sharing your ideas!

For anyone who is unsure on the current cancellation policy at Tutorful, you can read it here For Tutors - What is your cancellation policy? – Tutorful and if you do have any questions just let us know and we’d be happy to help :slight_smile:

@Rachel_Tutorful Thanks for your reply - I think that even with adding extra protection for the tutors through the ways some tutors have suggested above there will still be flexibility for students (we can still offer refunds without charging) but filter out the possibility of those rescheduling a minute before because they realise they’ve got a dentist appointment.


I agree this what I do

can’t say I’ve ever had an issue with it myself. I’ve always felt that it goes with the territory of being self-employed, sometimes late cancellations happen. Generally though once you have established a very good rapport with someone, they will tell you way in advance as to days/weeks they are away or cannot make for whatever reason and thus it can be quite easy to plan around that. I think the 50% charge for cancellations within 12 hours of a lesson is perfect and a good solution for both parties

I’ve never enforced the policy to be honest. But its getting close…

I can see the point.

Sometimes I’m dealing with students rather than parents and some are less respectful of my time than others.

I think sometimes.its.just a lack of understanding and generally most are very good. Its just the odd one that cancels repeatedly.