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CDC's - Opinion Please

Hi Guys,

I just wondered if this happens to you as often as it happens to me... I seem to be getting an inordinately large number of people lately who turn up for their appointments, go though the whole session, let me pack up their week's food - and then tell me they haven't got any money or a chequebook on them:mad: :mad: :mad:

I'm always given the assurance that they'll drop the payment off within a couple of days, and most of the time they do, and I don't have to chase them. I wouldn't dream of turning up at, say - the dentist or the supermarket though, having a load of treatment, or getting my weekly shop - and then asking to be allowed to drop the money in when it suited me.

As a general rule, I'm too embarrassed to say to people that they can't have the products without paying me first - but I'm trying to run a business and surely it's not right to put me in that position. Note to self - get some backbone!!

Am I the only one this happens to, and can I please ask how other's deal with similar situations? I know I'm going to have to start being a bit tougher, but I'd be really interested in hearing your views.

Sorry if I sound a bit like I'm ranting about this, but I've just spent an hour with a new client, who announced at the end of our session that she had no means of payment on her, and literally bullied me into letting her out the door with her week's foodpacks saying 'but I only work 10 minutes away, I'll be round in an hour with the cash.' Will I ever see her again?!! At least I've got her address I suppose...

Ugh - I'm annoyed!!!:( :( :(

I'd really value your opinions on this (and yep - I know I need to grow a spine LOL!!)..

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Lesly Cambridge

Cambridge Consultant
Hi Jasmine!

No - you're not ranting - it took me years to be as definite as I am now:

1) Well, I'll just keep it here for you until you can pay for it - what time would you like to collect it?

2) Always, without fail, take a cheque guarantee card - even if it's a friend.

3) Always check the validity of a large note (I hate £50 notes!), or ask for smaller denominations, even if they have to come back later!

PS: I have a notice in my office which states that I reserve the right to charge for missed appointments, and a slip of paper in my starter packs stating the same thing. I seldom need to invoke it, but when I have done so, it works.

PPS: Hasn't your sponsor given you these tips?

Don't worry, though - you'll get there - it just gets easier with practice!



Queen of the Damned
Hey Jasmine

This has happened to me a couple of times, and like you I meekly accepted agreement to post it through my letterbox or drop it round later. Unfortunately this has come back and bitten me on the bum - still waiting on nearly £30 from a long-term client who has 'disappeared' on me :( It saddened me because I am quite a trusting bod.

Now, I clearly state at the start of the meeting that I accept cash and/or cheques only. If they say they don't have the means of payment on them at the moment I tell them where the nearest cashpoint is, and say that I will keep their stock waiting for them.

Yes, some people have been a tad 'surprised' by this, but as you say you wouldn't go round Sainsburys, fill up your trolley, and expect to pop back later with the money! :eek:

It is difficult, but tbh it is one of those things that I believe we do have to be quite 'strong' on because otherwise people will take advantage and that's not fair.

Hope you get your money from your client.
Ah well, no sign of my client or my cash yet - I've tried to call her and her phone's switched off... :sigh: Perhaps I've just learned yet another expensive lesson. :(

I think I need to find the balance between feeling assertive and feeling like I'm being rude. I always tend to think there's a fine line, which isn't true at all - there's a huge difference.

Thanks very much for your replies though Lesly and DQ. How interesting that you reserve the right to charge for missed apts Lesly.. I've often wanted to say I'm going to do this, as I know that some people think it's ok not to show up as I work from home (it's not like they're putting me out as I'll only be hanging round here anyway?!!!). Maybe, once I've got my head round the fact that I'm not going to let people have the diet products for free anymore :) I'll be able to move up to not letting people simply not turn up to their appointments...

I'll get there, I can feel my spine growing stronger as I write! I'm sitting here seething about the woman today, but I'm mainly angry with myself for allowing her to bully me like that. I'll just have to stop dwelling on it and put it down to experience.



Queen of the Damned
Yeah I was thinking about charging for missed or late appointments. Not sure how I would implement it though......


S: 13st9lb C: 11st5lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 26.5 Loss: 2st4lb(16.75%)
Jeez!! thats awful!! I've never had anyone not turn up without pennies. Not a single one.

Being a tight mean Scottish person ;) no one would be allowed out my door with anything until I had the payment!!!

You're WAY to nice Jasmine!!
Thing is....it's not even your money its the business money. Thats how I view it anyway. In order to not feel bad about asking for payment I have to separate it, its not my own personal money. It goes on stock and stuff mostly!!

Not sure how to enforce the missed appointments rule. Refuse to book them another appointment unless they pay the fine?

As has been said before you couldn't go into a shop take your products then say I have no money I will pop it round later!

Same with appointments really, just because you work from home does not mean you are there for clients 24/7. When booking an appointment just stress that you run an appointment system and outline your available times, ask if they could please arrive on time otherwise there is a possibility they cannot be seen. You do need to be firm its not being rude but you need a structure in place in order to give the best possible service to all your client.s

If you were to book a doctors, dentists or hairdressers appointment and turned up an hour late or 40 minutes early what are the chances of being seen?

As Lesly mentioned, have you discussed this with your sponsor and asked her advice?

If you do not hear back today, why drop her a text saying you are in her area and will pop in to collect the money.

Blimey I'm not a CDC but I would never dream of turning up for an appointment without any money, infact sometimes I've been 5 minutes late bwecause I've had to stop at the cashpoint on my way to my CDCs house. Last Thursday I actaully said that I had to change my day to this Friday as I don't get pay till wouldn;t have to money to pay her till then
I have applied this week to be a CDC so this thread has really interested me !!
I wouldn't dream of turning up at Anns without my cheque book to be honest. My plan (I think) is to say right from the outset, that you hvae to pay at each session you come to, or I will save stock until they want to come back with the money. At the end of the day, as I understand it, you have to pay for your order before it arrives, so clients should be no different really.
What a great idea - she even initially emailed me from her work address, so I don't suppose she'd appreciate my turning up in reception :) I've sent her a text now...

In terms of my sponsor, she's a lovely person but to be honest, not much cop when it comes to being my sponsor. Don't get me wrong, she's extremely supportive, but she works full time and only counsels a tiny bit, so isn't available that much for advice. She always does her best to help me, but I have been misadvised by her before now, so I tend to contact Head Office if I've got any queries that I know she won't be able to help me with. She is lovely though, and would definitely try to help me more if she could...

It's a really interesting idea to charge for missed or late appointments... Maybe I'll start the new tax year with a new resolve..

I don't charge for missed appointments but then i haven't had that much of a problem with them.

When someone makes an appointment to my intro session i take their email address to email directions (primarily because my house is difficult to find) but in that i also confirm the appointment date and time and give them an outline of the weekly cost for the basic diet - i find this does the trick and have barely had anyone turn up with no money - a couple of times but its been ok. I don't take cheque cards and have had a couple of cheques bounce but have never had a problem getting the money.

I wouldn't let someone take a whole starter pack without payment though!
I always confirm appointments for new customers by email if possible as I am a bit difficult to find and enclose a map as well as instructions how to find me. I always state on that email that payment is by cash or cheque, confirm what the first payment is likely to be and that payment must be made at the time of purchase. I also do a sheet of useful info for new starters with things like websites (this one of course!) my working hours, how they can contact me, saying if they want more than 10 of one product then let me know in advance or they may be disappointed if I can't supply, a price list and all the Cambridge products that are available and finally another reminder that payment must be made at the time of purchase.

Not had any problems with this set up apart from one chap ( a very well known and highly regarded person in our local community as it happens) came without cheque book and promised cheque in the post next morning so I made an exception. Guess what, cheque didn't arrive and I was off on holiday day after that. Came back, no sign of cheque so wrote him a very polite letter saying it was probably an oversight on his part but would appreciate if he could send a cheque by return. Took 10 days but got cheque in the end and never heard from him since! There's always the small claims court if you need to go down that route if worst comes to worst.

Oh this is a tricky one and just goes to show how soft I am (and probably un-business-like lol).
Yes, it's happened to me quite a lot - luckily there's a cashpoint 2 mins away, so usually people just offer to go and get the cash.

Occasionally, I've allowed trusted clients to pay later and I've never been let down so far. Once I had a cheque bounce and the client was more mortified than I was!

To be absolutely honest, I get more hacked off with clients who turn up repeatedly, week after week, take up loads of my time and then admit that they've been 'cheating' so have loads of supplies left and beggar off. Like I'm some free counselling service!!!!

I have no problem with people who aren't starting the diet for a couple of weeks - that's fair do's and they're not under any obligation to buy anything - but it's the ones who take the mickey that aggravate me!

I mean, I'm not money-grabbing (cos I wouldn't be a CDC if I was!!!!) but I do think that's a bit cheeky.

Ho hum

Oooh - that thing where you sit with people for ages offering them loads of encouragement and support, and then they say 'thanks but I don't need any diet stuff, I'm off now' happens to you too Isobel!!

Very early on I used to have one client who had both transport and mobility problems. She used to ask me to pick her up, which seeing as she was a lovely lady who I thought was desperate to do the diet, I made an absolute exception to do. After our appointment she'd want me to run her home, which I did gladly the first few times... I only began to wonder when she started to let me pick her up, go through her apt, then tell me she still had a full week's worth of sachets, before expecting me to drive her home again! I did this twice before I realised that she had no intention of doing the diet at all - she just wanted to get out of the house for an hour and have a chat.

It's such a shame because I ended up going from really liking her, to resenting every time she texted me and feeling used.

I have had several people sit for an hour before telling me they don't need any diet stuff and it drives me barmy. In my starter pack now, I've had to also put a note in to say that people won't be seen without an appointment as I was getting a lot of 'drop ins' too which wasn't ideal as I'd be generally padding about the place in my mangy old pyjamas! I've been quite firm about this lately, and that's stopped. I'm now in the process of updating my starter pack with a note about no products being supplied without payment... I'll get there..

You're absolutely right though Isobel - I'm not a CDC for the money, I do it because I love it, and generally get to meet such fantastic people... It's the same as any job - you don't love everyone you 'work with' and not everyone acts the way you'd expect them to... These are the exceptions rather than the rule though.

I've also got a note in my starter pack that there is a £10 charge for appointments where no packs are taken - i've never enforced it but if someone was doing it regularly then i would mention it!
I think I need to toughen up a bit! lol

Mind you - I bet you any money that if I did, the disgruntled client who was used to having their own way with me would complain to HQ! lol

I'm feeling very tired right now and have come to work specifically to see a couple who cancelled last week- what's the betting they don't turn up? lol

Ah now well one of them did cos the other was working and we had a chat and he gave me a list of what his lady wanted, so I wrote out her invoice and he gave me a blank cheque, asking me to fill it in!

So I did, and as I wrote in the amount, he said - oh, I want some supplies too, the list is on the back of the piece of paper, but I've only got one cheque!

Ah - it was her cheque, not his, so I messed it up totally and have had to say to him to pop one of his cheques in the post. You still following this? lol SO basically, it's my fault this time - although he should have told me earlier!!!! DOH!!


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