How to Create a Company Cancellation Policy [with Examples]

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A company cancellation policy is one of those things that you don’t think you need until you do. After a few clients cancel right before an appointment or miss one altogether, the lost time and profit starts to make a dent in your business.

Thankfully, making your own company cancellation policy is easy. Learn how to get started and find ready-to-use templates in this guide.

4 company cancellation policy must-haves

The purpose of a company cancellation policy is to limit when, how, and why a client can cancel an appointment or service without penalty.

To clearly communicate this information, every cancellation policy template should include these key elements:

1. A timeframe to cancel a service with or without penalty

How long do you want to give the client to cancel without penalty and when does the penalty kick in? 24 to 48-hour notice periods are the most common.

2. A late cancellation penalty

Are you going to charge a standard rebooking fee, a percentage of the cost of the service, or something else? Include in your cancellation policy exactly what your client will have to pay when they cancel their appointment last minute, whether it’s a specific fee or a percentage of the job.

3. Contact information for cancellations

How should a client contact you to cancel an appointment? Let them know which contact method you accept and how to get in touch by including the email address or phone number you want them to use.

4. A place for a signature

Before you can charge a client a late fee, they have to accept your policy. Include your company cancellation policy on estimates, quotes, and contracts so that a client can review it and acknowledge it with a signature.

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✍️ Company cancellation policy templates

To help you get started, we’ve created three different company cancellation policy templates for you to use. Add these to your own quotes, estimates, and contracts.

1. Short and sweet company cancellation policy template

Cancellation Policy – [Company Name]

Cancellations made [48 hours] or less before an appointment will be subject to a [rebooking fee of $50].

Cancellations made via [email to [email protected]] sooner than [48 hours] before an appointment will be processed without penalty.

2. Simple and straightforward company cancellation policy template

Cancellation Policy – [Company Name]

Please be advised that cancellations made up to [48 hours] before a scheduled appointment via [email, text, phone call] will be processed without a penalty.

Cancellations made [48 hours] or less before an appointment will be subject to a charge of [half of the service rate]. This includes appointments where our service provider is unable to access the property, is turned away, or the client is unavailable.

If [Company Name] cancels an appointment with less than [48 hours notice], a new appointment will be scheduled without penalty to the client, subject to availability.

3. Direct and detailed company cancellation policy template

Cancellation Policy – [Company Name]

Please note that once you have booked an appointment with us it means that we have reserved time in our schedule exclusively for you. If you cancel your appointment less than [24 hours] before it is scheduled to take place, you will be subject to a [penalty/fee/rebooking charge of $__ ].

To avoid a cancellation fee, please provide cancellation notice at least [24 hours] prior to your appointment.

You can cancel or reschedule an appointment by emailing us at [[email protected]], texting [xxx-xxx-xxxx], or calling our office at [xxx-xxx-xxxx].

⏰ When to provide a company cancellation policy to a client

You should only send your cancellation before a job takes place and if you gave a client notice of the fee.

Provide your company cancellation policy to:

  • New clients via your estimates, quotes, and contracts
  • Existing clients when they book a new appointment with you
  • Any ongoing clients if the policy is applicable to them

Pro Tip: When informing existing clients of your new cancellation policy or a change to your policy, send them an email or text highlighting the change so that they aren’t taken off guard with a surprise fee if they cancel outside of the cancellation period.

? When to charge a cancellation fee

As per your business cancellation policy, you should charge a cancellation fee when:

  • A client cancels an appointment outside of the cancellation period
  • You are unable to access the property
  • A client is a no-show

But, not every appointment cancellation deserves a fee. Don’t charge a cancellation fee:

  • To clients who have not been made aware of your new policy
  • For canceled jobs booked before the cancellation policy was in place
  • To clients who canceled an appointment within your cancellation guidelines

?‍♀️ How to prevent cancellations

The best way to avoid cancellations is to get ahead of them. Prevent last-minute cancellations by:

By staying on top of cancellations before they become a problem, you’ll benefit from a fuller work schedule and more profit for your service business.

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This post was originally published in September 2019. It was last updated in March 2022.

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