Dental appointment cancellation charge.

Discussion in 'Consumer Issues and Rights' started by pingin, 11 Apr 2018.

  1. Early Riser

    Early Riser Frequent Poster

    In the course of a typical week it would be interesting to know how many people either "no show" or cancel late because the cat is sick or "traffic delay" (real or not - and is the the provider's problem anyway?). The thing is that from day to day it is impossible to predict.

    If the provider concerned is expected to just take this on the chin then it means either higher charges all round or tightly scheduled bookings, resulting in delays some of the time. Would punters be prepared to accept no-refund deposits as an alternative?

    In practice I suspect many providers have an informal system - accept it the first time and, maybe, a caution if it recurs. This seems very reasonable to me.

    And, as Slim has said, emergencies and unpredictable matters arise and must be dealt with.
  2. T McGibney

    T McGibney Frequent Poster

    All depends on the context. I occasionally attend a particular practitioner and always request their last available appointment of the day, because that suits me and my work.

    I do so in the full knowledge that I will probably, on the law of averages, be kept waiting beyond the allotted time, simply because if there's any unexpected disruption to their appointments schedule during the day, that can affect later appointments.

    If I want to avoid this, I'm free to opt for an appointment earlier in the day.
  3. odyssey06

    odyssey06 Frequent Poster

    I totally get that, but what I am challenging is how expected the "unexpected disruptions" are. I think it's a bit naive of a provider to expect that every day everything will run smoothly. Their experience should tell them to expect a certain amount of disruption to have built up as the day goes on.
  4. elcato

    elcato Moderator

    I read my latest dentist T&C and they have a policy of a possible charge for a late cancellation or no show. They do allow a caveat where there may be a plausible excuse also. Seems fair to me.
  5. llgon

    llgon Frequent Poster

    Who would expect that?

    Obviously disruptions will occur but they can't be unlimited. Some control has to be exercised over those that are necessary and those that can be avoided.

    It is clear from all posts that there is leeway provided - a zero tolerance policy would be unsustainable.
  6. Leo

    Leo Moderator

    I doubt there are too many providers operating such a model. Any who did (or their staff) would surely tire of working up to a 25% longer days much of the time to accommodate the additional appointments.
    T McGibney likes this.
  7. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

    The bigger picture is that your time is as valuable as your doctor or dentist and if they make an appointment with you for a particular time they should stick to it. If it was unusual to be left waiting 20 or 30 minutes, or much longer on occasion, to see them then that would be one thing but when it is the norm them they are showing contempt for you their customer.
    I changed GP because she consistently left we waiting more than 30 minutes after my appointment time.
  8. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

    Exactly, so they should schedule appointments accordingly so that their customers aren't left waiting towards the end of the day.
    odyssey06 likes this.
  9. Slim

    Slim Frequent Poster

    I don't agree about value and time in a situation where I am in pain(toothache) or concerned about a health issue(GP). I decide to turn up at their surgery at a mutually agreed appointed time but I have to accept that they may have overruns on prior appointments. I agree with you that repeated delays are rude and unacceptable and I would also change doctors in that situation. Public hospital consultants' appointment times are a joke, although unfunny.

    In OP's case, I feel some sympathy for a busy dentist trying to run a business and no-shows are a pain and expensive.
  10. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

    I have no problem with cancellation charges less than 24 hours before the appointment.
    Slim likes this.
  11. arbitron

    arbitron Frequent Poster

    This reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where George is charged for cancelling a physio appointment with less than 24 hours notice. When the physiotherapist subsequently cancels on him for personal reasons (i.e. to go skiing), George tries to charge her a fee :D

    When I lived in the UK my GP had a maximum of 10 minutes per session and it was strictly enforced. If you needed 11 minutes you had to book in for an extra session, no exceptions. You had to be prepared and start talking the moment you got in the door, watching the clock like a hawk. It was horrible and made me feel like a nuisance.

    Some people are shy/nervous seeing a dentist or doctor and they need extra time to relax. Healthcare is social as well as transactional. Anyway, I much prefer my current GP who is usually on time, occasionally delayed by 20 minutes, but always pays attention and gives me the time I need.