Ok, so here’s the deal.
You’ve issued pre-paid coupons or vouchers, so you’re working for a less than ideal rate already, but you tell yourself that it’s fine, as long as you pick up a long term client.
This is easier to do if you have a dedicated receptionist. If you don’t, then you’re doing that role, as well as that of therapist, cashier, cleaner, and full on dogsbody.
It’s EASY to con you. Yes, you read that right. It’s very easy to con you if you use a voucher scheme and are busy.
Mother books in with a pre-paid voucher. You check it off, or perhaps they’ve forgotten to print it so you check it on their phone, or perhaps they’ve printed it and you have a copy in your hand. It looks fine, and you mark it off the system as being used.
A few weeks later, someone else books in, and says they don’t have the voucher over the phone to quote. They say they’ll bring it in. On the day, they arrive a little late, looking rushed. You take the voucher they’ve printed off, stick it in your book and do the treatment.
When you go to check or redeem your voucher, you guessed it, it’s already been used. Now it’s easy enough to track it back to who used it first…. There you have it… It’s how I once got conned by a mother & daughter. Even if your clients are late, spend that minute and check the voucher code. It could save you working for an hour for free…..
If you do ‘seem,’ to have been conned, your dilemma begins.
You have to decide whether to tell them or not.
- If you tell the mother, perhaps she doesn’t know the daughter used her voucher, and you might lose a potential returning client.
- If you tell the daughter, she might have been gifted the voucher by the mother, who’s simply given her the wrong code or confirmation.
What to think about.
- Potential returning clients. If one or both of them come back, consider the approach of chalking it up to experience and moving on.
- Who’s mistake was it really?
The fault is ours, not theirs.
Ok, think about it. We can only fall for a con, when we let standards slip. I potentially worked for an hour for free with my mother daughter scenario, however that was most certainly not their fault, and it was also most likely, not even a con.
Mistakes happen, and in my experience, are far more often than people who try to con us for services.
If I’d checked that code, I’d have known it was invalid and the conversation could have been held there and then, either with a sheepish daughter leaving my therapy room, or the correct code being produced.
I said nothing, added their names to a mental checklist in my head, and smiled when the mother re-booked at full price. For those of us who issue gift vouchers, there is almost always an element of non fulfillment of vouchers, ie people who buy them as gifts, but those never get redeemed.
We should not get upset or angry with clients, not even when we think we’ve been conned. We all need to keep that in mind for our careers as therapists. When we take action, we should be calm and rational.