Unlock a world of musical knowledge by connecting with passionate musicians across the globe.

Home Forums Music Forum Christmas Voucher Policies? (All Teachers)

  • Christmas Voucher Policies? (All Teachers)

    Posted by Guest Teacher on October 9, 2016 at 8:17 am

    I also wanted to ask a question about your experience with packaged lessons as I have sold a few on the run-up to Christmas. Hopefully I will not have to worry about this but I was just wondering if you had anybody requesting refunds? What’s MGR Music’s position in terms of this? Would it maybe be an idea to mention on the website that these packages are only refundable for a limited period of time? (i.e. 2 weeks after purchase?). As I said, I haven’t had anybody contacting me yet but knowing how it works sometimes with other “Christmas Presents”, I thought it would be good to have a clearer idea before any issue arises (hopefully not!).

    This question was sent by Alberto to Matthew & adapted and reposted here by Matthew due to the relevance he felt it had for all teachers. If you have sold Christmas Vouchers what policies, if any, do you have in place?

    Victoria Atkinson replied 7 years, 4 months ago 6 Members · 16 Replies
  • 16 Replies
  • Matthew Rusk

    Administrator
    October 9, 2016 at 8:20 am

    My personal advice would be, yes we do have incidents when clients request refunds (often for reasons of falling out with the person that they have bought them for…girlfriends/boyfriends breaking up etc.). In terms of the commission that isn’t a problem, business policy is that if you generate income from the lessons than commission is created, if you make no money then no commission is created – so in this case if you were to refund a client then I would refund you the commission on that clients lessons (or more likely deduce the refund amount from the next months payment). The more likely thing we find that happens if that the receiver doesn’t claim their lessons for months/years and turns up one day demanding their lessons…I would therefore recommend a 3 month expiry date to take your first lesson. That said it really is something to play by ear as lets say Student A is suddenly admitted into hospital it seems very harsh to prevent them from taking their £100 worth of lessons as they didn’t make it to their first one due to serious illness etc. Interested to hear what other teacher think/have done this year🙂

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    October 9, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Hi

    Really glad this has come up as I am dealing with a refund myself. I actually enforced a £5 deduction fee to cover admin costs (as I even had to go out and POST the vouchers would you believe!!!!!) which was cheeky as I hadn’t mentioned it in the T’s & C’s (which I will now do!) but the guy accepted it nonetheless. But perhaps this isn’t enough. Me and Georgia (my PA) have been wondering what to do in this situation. Either an 85% refund or no refund at all after a certain amount of time… not sure!

    Also, Matthew, even if we take voucher payment fully and upfront, do you only take commission once the lesson is had, as obviously it starts showing up on spreadsheets and invoices? I probably already know this to be a yes, as this is what I’ve been doing…!

  • Matthew Rusk

    Administrator
    October 9, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Hi Eliza,

    Thanks for the question – just to clarify on that specific point, I leave it essentially with the teacher whether they wish to record the full commission at the time of payment or as the lessons take place. Either way I do not mind as long as that teacher is consistent in the manner that they record these transactions. Hope that helps to clarify it🙂

  • Kat Hunter

    Member
    October 9, 2016 at 8:21 am

    I’ve made it so that my vouchers and bulk lessons are absolutely non-refundable. They are both discounted, so i stand strong on this.
    However I give them a whole 12 months before they expire, which I’m happy to do.
    I also say that the voucher/bundle will be transferrable once. So if they’re sure they won’t use it, they can change whose name it’s in and either be compensated by that person, or gift it onwards.

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    October 9, 2016 at 8:21 am

    Interesting…!!

  • Phil Schneider

    Member
    October 9, 2016 at 8:21 am

    from the daily mail

    ” while consumer ministers have urged shoppers to use vouchers before they expire, admitting that ‘hundreds of millions of pounds is going unspent’, there are no plans to ban expiry dates.
    Instead a government business spokesman told the Mail they are working with retailers on a voluntary code to make all stores extend expiry dates to at least two years.
    That is not the case in the Republic of Ireland, however, where in May, the government proposed a Bill to ban stores from having expiry dates at all.

  • Kat Hunter

    Member
    October 9, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Interesting!

  • Kat Hunter

    Member
    October 9, 2016 at 8:26 am

    I found this to be a pretty helpful article when I was putting vouchers in place and it advocates for no expiry:
    http://www.toughcookiemarketing.com/turning-gift-vouchers-into-gold/

  • Guest Teacher

    Member
    October 9, 2016 at 8:26 am

    What do you put on your vouchers? Trying to design my first ones!

    Also, would anyone mind just listing what they put in T’s + C’s, I wouldn’t want to miss anything!

    Steph x

  • Matthew Rusk

    Administrator
    October 9, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Great question Steph, I would recommend broadly a nice image with “Singing Lessons Southampton” as the main header “Singing Lessons” being the most important of that so the person knows what the voucher is for, your name, email address and phone number on. Teachers also sometimes put T&Cs on the back.

    I would recommend doing one lesson vouchers each, so when someone is given 5 lessons they get five vouchers (looks like more than a single “five lesson” voucher). If you need any help designing the vouchers don’t hesitate to let me know, some examples below of what a voucher can look like:

  • Guest Teacher

    Member
    October 9, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Thats great Matthew, thank you! x

  • Josh Burke

    Member
    October 9, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Hi everyone! I’m pretty new here but am very interested in this as I’ve just had my first enquiry asking about christmas vouchers and I have no Idea what to do! I like all the ideas mentioned above, but I am intrigued to know what you do with the issue of actually arranging the lessons.

    My worry is for example, that the person who receives my gift voucher as a present decides to get in touch, but then our schedules clash and we can’t actually arrange any lessons. I guess I would have to try my best to alter my schedule to fit them in if they’ve already payed however much, but I can just see it being hard to manage.

    Also on a side note, people may have already thought of this but to me it makes sense so I thought I’d share. I would prefer to send people my vouchers by email because I’m one of these new age millennial types who doesn’t believe in paper or the post office. However, this obviously could make it really easy to print of multiple vouchers. So to make things easier when dealing with multiple people wanting vouchers, I would put a unique code on each voucher somewhere, then keep a text or excel file somewhere with a list of all the codes I’ve given out, then when it’s been redeemed I’d check it off in the file as ‘redeemed’, meaning that I know that I’ve only seen the same voucher once.

    This might not even be an issue that anyone has faced, but the cynical side of me assumes that someone out there would get one voucher then print off another for a friend or something.

    Anyway, nice to meet you all for the first time!

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    October 9, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Hi Josh!

    I see your point and I too am a computer email voucher type person. You would surely know who you had issued vouchers to and who you were awaiting vouchers from though?

  • Josh Burke

    Member
    October 9, 2016 at 8:33 am

    That is a very valid point. Apparently I try to make things more complicated than they need to be… Thanks for helping me realise that though!🙂

  • Jonny Black

    Member
    October 9, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Dear all,

    I’ve had quite a few situations with people wanting to cancel pre-booked block bookings and asking for refunds etc. I generally run with a no refund policy however I treat each situation according to the person and their particular approach and attitude. I try and be as reasonable and flexible as possible. Matthew and I came up with the following T’s and C’s which is on the FAQ page on my website. I’ve not had any issues since as this seems to cover every possibility and is pretty strict (but fair) –

    Cancellation Policy & T&Cs:

    If you need to cancel or rearrange, please call, text or e-mail me 24 hours before the scheduled lesson. Please see my terms and conditions below:

    1. Regular cancellation of lessons may result in you losing your slot.

    2. 24 hours notice is required for cancellation of a lesson. If less than 24 hours notice is given, the full lesson fee is charged. (Does not apply in exceptional circumstances).

    3. Gift vouchers must be used within six months of purchase. Vouchers may only be used by the recipient. Gift vouchers are non-refundable.

    4. For block bookings paid in advance:

    (i) Lessons must be taken within 6 months of booking.

    (ii) A 25% cancelation fee will be charged if the series is cancelled at any point and lessons received up to the point of cancelation will be charged at full rate.

    In terms of who has booked singing vouchers, I just make a iist and when they contact me I know who has redeemed their vouchers. Nobody ever seems to actually bring them with them anyway but I always know who they are so there is never any confusion. The strangest thing about all this is the people who pay/book lessons for a present and I never hear from them again!

    Hope this helps!

    Jonny

  • Victoria Atkinson

    Member
    October 9, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Hi Everyone,

    I was just going to start a conversation about this but it appears I dont need to as all of my queries have been addressed by you all, so thank you all very much for this!

    The T and C’s is great, many thanks for this Jonny!

    Vicki

Log in to reply.