Claiming Territory

Parents trying to manipulate policy

Gabrielle K., Iowa

Has anyone had any issues with parents of students trying to manipulate policy? My policy clearly states that I do not do makeup lessons or refunds unless in the event of inclement weather, and I just had all of my students and life coaches sign the 2017 policy three weeks ago, including this family. I’ve been firm on my expectations from day one.

When this particular family started, they told me they would have basketball down the road that might interfere with class time. I told them when the time comes, we can look and see if we need to change the class time for the season. The parent has not been doing the life coach’s role for the past two months. They have missed class for the second week in a row.¬†Since the student doesn’t have classmates, I offered a phone call in place of a makeup session to be gracious.

She’s now demanding a makeup lesson and threatening the bureau of consumer protection over my studio. Even if she filed a complaint I have my policy in writing with her signature on it. If I give her a makeup session I would have to do it for every student that happens to have a scheduling conflict, whether it’s legitimate or not. If any of you have been through anything this crazy before, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Sue L., California

Some people are just contentious. When I get a sense that someone is like that and they tend to run all over my boundaries, I have stopped fighting back and usually they go away on their own. In my mind, some battles just aren’t worth fighting.

Ruth P., North Carolina

I would write a friendly but firm email and attach a scanned copy of the document she signed. Case closed!

Leeanne I., Australia

You have a signed contract. Any complaint she makes would not stand up in court. Do not let her intimidate you with threats. Be gracious and stick to your policies.

Carrie L., Michigan

Parents will definitely try to push to not follow through. There have been times when we just had to let it go and other times where the parent understood and paid as they were supposed to. Many kids’ activities have the same ‘rules’ around us so we also cite them as needed.

Patti P., Hawaii

I personally would write a nicely worded letter, with a copy of the signed studio policy attached, and let them go. This parent will be a pain in the neck continuously.

Laurie Richards, Nebraska

I definitely would not keep this student unless she could agree to my policies.