Amanda Valentina :: Bookings & Deposits :: Part 1
Whilst I had been of the view that most (logical) people understood the non-refundable nature of a deposit (whether stated in advertising or otherwise), there appears to be a divided view of what's acceptable, ethical, good business practice etc., with regard to whether a deposit should be refunded or otherwise in the event of a booking being cancelled.
In this instance, all cancellations I refer to in my first Scarlet Blue Escort Diary entry are cancellations that have been initiated by the client. Whether the cancellation occurs days, weeks or months prior to the booking date is of little to no consequence. A cancellation is a cancellation, irrespective of notice period provided.
Here I will provide, from my perspective, an explanation of the advantages and disadvantages of paying an escort a deposit. The deposit that is requested to secure the date and duration of the booking, that the client has requested in the first instance.
Escorts operate their businesses not dissimilar to that of any other business. There are exorbitant overheads of varying nature. In particular, touring escorts have additional expenses: flights, accommodation, additional advertising costs; as well as transport, additional phones, phone contracts, meals etc., etc.
I have, since commencing my escort business, announced my tour dates (often) more than 4.5 months in advance. I rarely deviate from my tour commitments as it's ALWAYS the case that flights and/or accommodation have been paid for in full, prior to releasing said tour dates.
All flights and accommodation that I book and make advance payment on are non-refundable. If I change my mind; for whatever reason, I forfeit the payment. I incur various penalties for change of mind or cancellation; whether by way of forfeiture of payment, cancellation fee, or re-booking fee.
Whilst I don't particularly like the imposed penalties, I have to accept that they are applied due to the change in my circumstances; not that of the service provider. Sure, it bites, but it is me that changed my mind, so why should the service provider/ business be disadvantaged because of my change of circumstances?
It is my standard practice to request a deposit once a time, date and duration of booking has been agreed upon. I also continue this practice with regular clients I've had professional engagements with for over 2 years. I have a procedural checklist, which forms part of my Amanda Valentina business model. I rarely, if ever, deviate from that procedural checklist.
As an independent touring escort, my business, brand and reputation is of utmost consideration. It is imperative that I conduct myself with professional and personal integrity at all times; it is in my best interest to do so, after all.
I don't want to sabotage my source of income, nor invite bad karma into my life. I view myself as being a consummate professional, and this is reiterated in all of my reviews across forums and advertising platforms alike. I have always aimed to provide an experience that exceeds expectations, and from the onset through to the very last minute of all booking encounters.
A deposit is beneficial to all parties concerned. It's demonstrative of the commitment that each party is making to one another with regard to the terms and conditions that have been agreed upon by both parties. It is after all, the prospective client/enquirer who has contact me. I don't solicit for bookings via any cold calling or SMS/email methods or practices.
Deposits - The Upside:
Client: Booking time and duration is secured by way of deposit payment. Client can be assured that booking will take place at the time client had requested and subsequently agreed to.
Escort: Is assured that the booking request is of a legitimate nature, and that the client fully intends on honouring the booking that the client has requested and subsequently agreed to.
Deposits - The Downside:
Client: Forfeiture of the deposit; whether change of mind or circumstance.
Escort: Likely turned down a significant amount of enquiry during the days/weeks/months preceding the booking date, and is subsequently disadvantaged as a result of the cancellation. Whether the cancellation is same day or otherwise, is of no consequence. There is either a loss of income, or additional administration and/or management of subsequent booking enquiry/management moving forward.
Deposits also enable me to forecast my financial month ahead, manage my diary effectively, and block out 'me' time. I have a financial target I strive to meet each month, and once met, I utilise what spare time I do have to carry out the myriad of other administrative tasks I need to finalise. The never-ending balancing act of being a business woman.
I don't have time to be going to the bank, or logging in to my online banking to refund your deposit. I also don't have the time to be messaging back and forth to confirm bank details and/or follow up to make sure you've received the refund.
Time is money.
A COMMON client misconception is that the escort they've cancelled on will be able "to fill the spot" automatically. Particularly if the client considers that their notice provides adequate time for the client fairies to wave their client replacement guarantee wand.
A misguided belief.
There are no magical client replacement fairies.
There are no magical wand guarantees.
Essentially, escorts are financially disadvantaged when a booking is cancelled. Especially so when the cancellation occurs on the day of scheduled booking.
Perhaps the client should have organised his "wand" a little better. I've heard all sorts of excuses in regards to cancellations. Work, personal life, ill health. The list goes on and on. We all encounter life hiccups and changes in circumstances - but guess what? That's just life.
Why should the escort be penalised? I will certainly refund a deposit if I instigate the cancellation of a booking (which is rarely the case). However, I'm not refunding a deposit back if a client cancels. Not ever.
I require all deposits to be paid into a discreet business account, and within 24-48 hours of the booking particulars being agreed upon. Failure to do so may result in me forming the opinion that you're no longer interested, or that you're simply a time waster. Either or, 80-90% of those serious booking enquiries make payment almost immediately, or within 12 hours. Illustrative of how easy it is when the serious enquirer wants to secure an appointment, hence why I give a window period of only 24-48 hours.
To be continued in Amanda Valentina :: Bookings & Deposits :: Part 2