Every so often an instructor posts on the forum or contacts me about a difficult situation arising due to a class member wanting money back or transferring payments which is not in line with the instructor's class policy. It is a well-known fact that many of us do not read terms and conditions when buying a product or service, we tend to skim down the legal jargon and sign on the dotted line, but clearly establishing terms and conditions is an important step to protecting yourself and your business and avoiding unpleasant confrontations. Although terms and conditions may vary for each instructor, here are some basic tips to help you.
- Stay friendly! Just because you are setting down rules and policies it does not mean it needs to be written in imposing and legal manner. Keeping your tone friendly and positive not only means clients will read them through but also that if a dispute does arise they will be more open to understanding.
- Keep them short, simple to understand and clear, no need for lots of legal jargon!
- Clearly explain your policies and procedures with the most important first. The main policies you may wish to include are payment, cancellation, booking and studio behaviour.
- Review other Pilates companies T&Cs to ensure you have covered everything needed. Obviously do not copy as yours need to be specific to your company, but they can be a good reference point.
- Keep your terms and conditions up to date. As changes happen to your classes make sure they are reflected in your terms & conditions. Good practice could be to have each client re-sign the T&Cs with their par-q every 12 months.
- Check spelling and grammar! Like any documentation, terms and conditions represent you and your company and need to give a professional impression.
If you would like any further advice I would love to hear from you!