Posted January 18, 2021
As outbreaks of Coronavirus continue to affect states and territories across Australia, and with a rise in isolations and testing numbers, many of our members are reporting an increase in appointment cancellations. Whether it’s due to self-isolation, forced lockdown of particular areas or the inability to attend an appointment due to being in a testing queue, here are the responsibilities of salon owners during these ongoing, challenging times.
The ACCC advises that if an appointment is cancelled due to government restrictions it is unlikely that the customer will be entitled to a refund under the Consumer Guarantee provisions of the Australian Consumer Law. Businesses can still uphold their existing cancellation or change policies, as those terms came into effect from the time they made the booking. However, we encourage all salon owners to take a more personable approach during these challenging times and assess carefully whether someone is coming to you with the right intentions or not. Salon owners need to make sure that they get as much information as possible from their clients to ensure that their cancellation request is genuine, and thus worthy of being given leniency. If a client cancels because of their physical location, check that their postcode is within a lockdown area or not. If they are cancelling to go and get tested, salon owners can ask to see a screenshot of the receipt of test which all testing recipients do receive. Think about sharing your covid policy across social media and in house EDM’s to ensure clients are up to date of your policy. For example, if cancelling within 24 hours of their appointment for a COVID test, they will need to show proof of receipt, otherwise a cancellation charge may be incurred.
Salon owners may agree to another solution with the client, possibly providing a refund of the deposit, a credit note or voucher, or postponing or rescheduling their appointments.
Where possible, HABA encourages members to focus on rescheduling any appointments that are requested for cancellation. This demonstrates flexibility for your clients, which will be greatly appreciated, and enables you to continue to keep the business in your books. In the instance that an appointment cannot be rescheduled, consider offering a credit note for those who might have paid upfront and waiving any cancellation fees for those clients who have a genuine need to cancel their appointment due to Covid-19.
According to the ACCC, all businesses are expected to honour and extend gift card expiry dates to cover any period that the card was unable to be used due to the business’s closure. For gift cards due to expire while a business is out of operation, the ACCC expects businesses to either a) reimburse the amount remaining on the gift card or voucher; b) extend the expiry period or c) amend the terms and conditions of the gift card or voucher to allow it to be used online or for retail purchases.
While we understand how hard these times are for members, and how difficult the past 12 months have been for salons, we encourage all of our members to be empathetic during these times. Cancellations are challenging for any business, however, we are all in this together, and that includes our clients. Covid won’t go on forever, and so it’s important to consider the relationships you’re building with your clients as long term – a little leniency now can result in great loyalty down the track.
If you’ve got any questions at all, remember you can always #askhaba
Just phone us on (02) 9221 9911 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our team of advisers will be in touch as soon as we can.
Subscribe to Blog via Email
Copyright © Hair and Beauty Australia | ABN 781 333 722 00