"Why do I have to enter a credit card to book my appointment?"
Updated: Oct 6
When scheduling your appointment you will be asked to enter a credit card in order to complete the reservation. I understand that this makes some people uncomfortable and so I thought I'd explain all of they why's and what's and how's. Unfortunately over the years I've been in business (nearly 10 years!) I've had quite a few no-show clients and this problem seems to have grown worse since I've reopened. This means that someone scheduled an appointment and did not show up, nor did they contact me to cancel or let me know why they didn't show up. The result of which is hours of my time wasted, not to mention turning down other appointments I could have accepted and missing out on new clients who would have become repeat clients if they'd been able to get an appointment. All things considered, a no-show is not just a couple hours of work lost, it's potentially many hours of future work lost. So here's how I deal with this:
First of all, rest assured, your information is safe. The booking app I use, Acuity Scheduling, is linked to my credit card processor Square, which is where your information is stored. Square is a credit card processor used by many businesses and is very secure.
Second, this is not a prepayment. You will not be charged at the time you schedule your appointment. The only time I will use this information to collect payment is after a number of things have happened: when a client is 15 minutes late I'll send a text message reminding them that I have them scheduled at the given time. I will usually ask if they are on their way. I understand that my studio is a little hard to find, that traffic is unpredictable and parking can be a challenge. If I don't hear back from the client within the following 15 minutes (which means they are now 30 minutes late and I'm unlikely to be able to accommodate them) I consider the appointment forfeited. At the end of the day, or sometimes the following day, I will process the payment for the appointment and send an email stating the facts: the client did not cancel or communicate with me in any way, did not respond to the message I sent at the time of their appointment and did not appear for their appointment at all, resulting in them having been charged the given price of the scheduled appointment.
My hope is that the credit card requirement will make people more thoughtful about scheduling appointments that they may already know they can't or won't keep, or that at the very least they will make a greater attempt to contact me if they realize that they are going to miss their appointment. In case you missed it on the 'Services' page, here is my cancellation policy:
When booking your appointment please consider the time it may take for you to find parking, etc. Clients arriving up to 15 minutes late may be asked to reschedule their appointment to avoid inconvenience to others and will be charged 25% of the service. Clients arriving more than 15 minutes late will be asked to reschedule and will be charged the full price of the service. If you need to cancel a scheduled appointment please do so at least 24 hours prior, last minute cancellations will be charged. Clients who neglect to cancel an appointment and fail to appear will be charged the full price of service(s) booked. Please be considerate of the time of the stylist and other clients. Thank you!
I hope that this has helped you to better understand my policy and that you are assured that your information is secure and will not be abused.