Member 30 day notice policy

When members sign up they sign an agreement that says they need to give 30 days notice to the first of the month if they want to discontinue their membership. We’ve done this both to not have surprise drops in revenue, but also to because we’ve noticed that it results in members who haven’t been coming in much to start coming in again. Recently a few people got angry when they requested a change only a week in advance. How do others handle this?

We use their deposits on file to pay for the remainder of the 30days.

···

On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 4:06 PM, Elizabeth Trice [email protected] wrote:

When members sign up they sign an agreement that says they need to give 30 days notice to the first of the month if they want to discontinue their membership. We’ve done this both to not have surprise drops in revenue, but also to because we’ve noticed that it results in members who haven’t been coming in much to start coming in again. Recently a few people got angry when they requested a change only a week in advance. How do others handle this?

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


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JEROME CHANG

CENTRAL: Mid-Wilshire
5405 Wilshire Blvd (2 blocks west of La Brea) | ph: (323) 330-9505

EAST: Downtown
529 S. Broadway, Suite 4000 (@Pershing Square) | ph: (213) 550-2235

NORTH: Hollywood (Opening May 2016!)
6600 Sunset Blvd. (@Vine)

NORTHEAST: Pasadena (Opening 2016 Q2!)
600 E. Colorado Blvd. (@Los Robles)

Depending on the situation we allow ‘downgrades’ in membership so as to promote return of this member if and when they might need their membership back. Not everyone is happy with that but if they but up a big enough stink then we allow them to depart within the ten days. It really is on a case to case basis when it comes to desk memberships as we do not take a deposit but private offices are a 1 months deposit and then we do apply the deposit to their last months rent.

We adopted the same policy as Jerome, and for the same reasons you cited. We explain that while we want 30 days notice, we understand that work today often doesn't function that way. New contracts, new assignment by employers; they often don't give the member themselves much notice.

W also use the comparison to an apartment lease that collects first and last month's rent up front. (Yes, I know there are legal reasons to avoid terms like "lease", "deposit", and "rent". It's not a perfect analogy, but it helps). They make the mental connection and we've had zero complaints in over 2 years of doing it this way.

Glen FergusonTummler, Cowork Frederick
Phone:301-732-5165(tel:301-732-5165)
[email protected](mailto:[email protected])
Website:http://coworkfrederick.com(http://link.wisestamp.com/wf/click?upn=hOBFNJQde5xdQoVn4ogqwuppxK3mfNmObodKMFVhwKI-3D_r-2BdYbSjRm9r0i9vSiPZtW-2BAPKyQklbPxdjb2bvgjOXUKay-2Fzcj6elT2l43mgUwrKp-2B9bkPsOy4Afgxs39H7nHyQ02yPjXx-2FhH2qm2-2FBkLwMHZm-2FJ0sEqm2EW6JZcC-2FFZTN7mXDKY-2Fka-2BJ8AGuUhoylLBVJfP83xaxIbMIky9SiVY-2BScSuBH2OH1OpVT8jXDCAo5t-2BRZhcdezGXFntj090CC0-2F2NfWWWwgRzDSATLNHfq9On8f8Nd4pYQcJFcVi-2B-2Fhvs15ar9KzNJVtt5sG0xew-3D-3D)
Address:122 E Patrick St, Frederick, MD 21701(x-apple-data-detectors://0/4)

···

On Mar 10, 2016, 6:07 PM -0600, Elizabeth Trice<[email protected]>, wrote:

When members sign up they sign an agreement that says they need to give 30 days notice to the first of the month if they want to discontinue their membership. We've done this both to not have surprise drops in revenue, but also to because we've noticed that it results in members who haven't been coming in much to start coming in again. Recently a few people got angry when they requested a change only a week in advance. How do others handle this?

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I was always pretty adamant about not taking money from people for services
they weren't going to use. If the only reason I can come up with for
keeping someone's money is that it's "policy" or because we want to keep
the money, that doesn't pass muster for me.

I'd rather have their goodwill than their money. I've never been the
awesomest at making money, but I'd like to think there are better ways to
go about it.

That being said, we focused on monthly individual memberships. I could see
that working differently if you're subleasing offices and such. But
coworking's not a real estate business, right?

Plenty of members pay for services they don't use, and space owners profit
from that. Once in a rare while a member will complain; giving them their
money back is part of the cost of doing business.

If a member's angry, I'd want to communicate with them, find out why
they're angry, and let them know they're heard.

Maybe you can give them a partial refund and ask them to leave an honest
testimonial on Yelp/Google Maps/etc so they can help you better attract
their replacements.

Tony

···

*---*
*New Work Cities <http://nwc.co/consulting> - Helping people build better
coworking cultures.*
*Open Coworking <http://opencoworking.org/> - Championing the global
coworking movement.*

[image: Inline image 8] <http://tonybacigalupo.com/>[image:
http://twitter.com/tonybgoode] <http://twitter.com/tonybgoode>[image:
http://facebook.com/tonybacigalupo] <http://facebook.com/tonybacigalupo>[image:
http://linkedin.com/in/tonybacigalupo]
<http://linkedin.com/in/tonybacigalupo>

On Friday, March 11, 2016, Glen Ferguson <[email protected]> wrote:

We adopted the same policy as Jerome, and for the same reasons you cited.
We explain that while we want 30 days notice, we understand that work today
often doesn't function that way. New contracts, new assignment by
employers; they often don't give the member themselves much notice.

W also use the comparison to an apartment lease that collects first and
last month's rent up front. (Yes, I know there are legal reasons to avoid
terms like "lease", "deposit", and "rent". It's not a perfect analogy, but
it helps). They make the mental connection and we've had zero complaints in
over 2 years of doing it this way.

*Glen Ferguson* Tummler, Cowork Frederick
Phone: 301-732-5165
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://coworkfrederick.com
<http://link.wisestamp.com/wf/click?upn=hOBFNJQde5xdQoVn4ogqwuppxK3mfNmObodKMFVhwKI-3D_r-2BdYbSjRm9r0i9vSiPZtW-2BAPKyQklbPxdjb2bvgjOXUKay-2Fzcj6elT2l43mgUwrKp-2B9bkPsOy4Afgxs39H7nHyQ02yPjXx-2FhH2qm2-2FBkLwMHZm-2FJ0sEqm2EW6JZcC-2FFZTN7mXDKY-2Fka-2BJ8AGuUhoylLBVJfP83xaxIbMIky9SiVY-2BScSuBH2OH1OpVT8jXDCAo5t-2BRZhcdezGXFntj090CC0-2F2NfWWWwgRzDSATLNHfq9On8f8Nd4pYQcJFcVi-2B-2Fhvs15ar9KzNJVtt5sG0xew-3D-3D>
Address: 122 E Patrick St, Frederick, MD 21701

<http://link.wisestamp.com/wf/click?upn=vpKJERi1tY7PB5Tngc96A8GMKz6vw7z0JI8fZ2-2FFUEKeUDpKRYMDliKzBO-2Bh6KbQ_r-2BdYbSjRm9r0i9vSiPZtW-2BAPKyQklbPxdjb2bvgjOXUKay-2Fzcj6elT2l43mgUwrKEMhW-2B40p6aeK-2FnYfufKui5X3yXXrCEJ2LAZEF-2BXc63to1kAmvLqlFm4601WxoxkZfyqgK6hF2t3ppQ7iL-2Bw5Lmm71ml3wmYwoyCIReMudhtHH85DJP6bop-2FJ2TGwpl-2B80-2B97G5wM-2B5aYK8qTB3WcX0lkFR-2Fjat8mWvxnHy350qjowrRAm6uxMOP-2BPziA5znmeAcqgpRVFMz6PzcAdiZgQQ-3D-3D>

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<http://link.wisestamp.com/wf/click?upn=LgCARJHnjtd3UE8bx6jzpg32zgjKYf8aPLFsr-2FxjMXR-2FCax144kUcm6o9L6ovRQS_r-2BdYbSjRm9r0i9vSiPZtW-2BAPKyQklbPxdjb2bvgjOXUKay-2Fzcj6elT2l43mgUwrKDAgeqOLETuyPdJgM-2BEz3a4V72e7iQQu2XN0M-2FPFm3GYD1EdMpqYx-2FaTLQopStzwsSaaCW5pd04sCnGS-2FNXGe4G9vlGcAiOJmV8PdTfAI9Yo8t14MeLzjOG0PMqwAiOPq77kTtLu5Kd6qNWs9W1H6LzXqhQ-2BJeKdbbcpWKJdqoufb9XHHED5AficSuof8HXB2e7x0u6gFLnDV0f9EPWb-2BSg-3D-3D>

On Mar 10, 2016, 6:07 PM -0600, Elizabeth Trice <[email protected]>, > wrote:

When members sign up they sign an agreement that says they need to give 30
days notice to the first of the month if they want to discontinue their
membership. We've done this both to not have surprise drops in revenue, but
also to because we've noticed that it results in members who haven't been
coming in much to start coming in again. Recently a few people got angry
when they requested a change only a week in advance. How do others handle
this?

--
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We may or may not be in the real estate business, but is a hotel?

Regardless, members have to understand that we turned away inquiries for their occupied desks. We at least need some time to re-occupy.

···

A compromise to an exiting member would be to say, “up to 30 days or if we fill that seat quicker”

Jerome

www.BLANKSPACES.com

On Mar 11, 2016, at 9:41 AM, Tony Bacigalupo [email protected] wrote:

I was always pretty adamant about not taking money from people for services they weren’t going to use. If the only reason I can come up with for keeping someone’s money is that it’s “policy” or because we want to keep the money, that doesn’t pass muster for me.

I’d rather have their goodwill than their money. I’ve never been the awesomest at making money, but I’d like to think there are better ways to go about it.

That being said, we focused on monthly individual memberships. I could see that working differently if you’re subleasing offices and such. But coworking’s not a real estate business, right?

Plenty of members pay for services they don’t use, and space owners profit from that. Once in a rare while a member will complain; giving them their money back is part of the cost of doing business.

If a member’s angry, I’d want to communicate with them, find out why they’re angry, and let them know they’re heard.

Maybe you can give them a partial refund and ask them to leave an honest testimonial on Yelp/Google Maps/etc so they can help you better attract their replacements.

Tony

New Work Cities - Helping people build better coworking cultures.

Open Coworking - Championing the global coworking movement.

<web.png><tw.png><fb.png><li.png>

On Friday, March 11, 2016, Glen Ferguson [email protected] wrote:

We adopted the same policy as Jerome, and for the same reasons you cited. We explain that while we want 30 days notice, we understand that work today often doesn’t function that way. New contracts, new assignment by employers; they often don’t give the member themselves much notice.

W also use the comparison to an apartment lease that collects first and last month’s rent up front. (Yes, I know there are legal reasons to avoid terms like “lease”, “deposit”, and “rent”. It’s not a perfect analogy, but it helps). They make the mental connection and we’ve had zero complaints in over 2 years of doing it this way.

Glen Ferguson Tummler, Cowork Frederick
Phone: 301-732-5165

Email: [email protected]

Website: http://coworkfrederick.com

Address: 122 E Patrick St, Frederick, MD 21701

On Mar 10, 2016, 6:07 PM -0600, Elizabeth Trice [email protected], wrote:

When members sign up they sign an agreement that says they need to give 30 days notice to the first of the month if they want to discontinue their membership. We’ve done this both to not have surprise drops in revenue, but also to because we’ve noticed that it results in members who haven’t been coming in much to start coming in again. Recently a few people got angry when they requested a change only a week in advance. How do others handle this?

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

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My personal feeling is that there are several different "right" ways to do
this depending on what kind of space you're operating, your values and
goals for the business, and the kinds of members you attract (and want to
attract). I think the more you have a strict policy with a deposit and
deduct the percentage of the deposit for any time they go over as a matter
of policy, the more you set up clear expectations and also a business
relationship. They're the client, you're the service provider. That can be
a great relationship to set up and if it's a clear relationship, you'll
have very little trouble with members being upset when you take their
deposit if they don't give you proper notice: that's what they'll expect.
Gyms/fitness clubs do it. Executive suites do it. I'd imagine We Work does
it (maybe with a little more focus on customer service and willingness to
give refund to unhappy customers). And I would guess for the most part,
these businesses are more profitable than the average coworking space. I
think with that approach, to the extent it fits with other approaches of
your coworking space, you'll also probably attract a different kind of
member: one who is more concerned with the quality of the amenities and
that everything runs well than they are with the quality of the community
and feeling a sense of identity with the space (not "more" in an objective
sense, but "more" relative to coworking spaces that take the other
approach). Again, that can be a fine thing and may be more likely to
attract the corporate clients and people who are happy to pay a higher
premium, and it may end up in higher average profits.

Our own space really tries to emphasize the community aspect and trying to
improve the life of freelancers and other location independent workers. It
fits my own values for why I started a coworking space, and I figure if I
can't be profitable with that approach, I'd rather not be in this business
(which I started in large part because I wanted to run a business that I
felt did social good). This is NOT to criticize people who take a more
"business first" approach. I feel pretty ambivalent about my approach, and
I've had a hard time being profitable, probably in part because I haven't
taken the former approach. That said, I think we're doing well, and I also
think that's in large part because I have taken the latter approach. We do
a lot like what Tony suggested: We don't take a deposit and we only ask for
two weeks notice, but as long as people tell me before their new membership
starts, I let them cancel without any penalty. We have expectations and we
set them up clearly when they sign up, but generally I let people off
completely as long as it's for time they're not going to work in the space
either because they're upset about the service or because they had to move
or work inside their company or they broke their leg (or they just
disappear and stop paying, which I have a hard time enforcing because I
didn't take a deposit, although this happens with maybe 1 out of 40 members
in my experience).

I'm sure I'm motivated to think this way, but it's my sense that this
approach has created a lot more goodwill and return customers than the cost
of the money I've lost.

BUT I only think that's the case for my coworking space and the kinds of
members I attract and want to attract. I attract mostly freelancers and
micro-entrepreneurs and solo-remote workers (a lot of location-independent
professionals / digital nomads, given my location in Prague, Czech Republic
and the fact that we're an "English-language" coworking space). They tend
to want a funkier, more personal, more community focused space. They also
REALLY prize flexibility. I used to have a big incentive for committing for
long-term (6 month or 1 year) memberships. I dropped that and started
emphasizing month-by-month membership value and ease of starting and
stopping. It might just be a chance correlation, but my membership number
greatly improved after these changes, and there's no longer any sense of
regret that people signed up for something that wouldn't have been their
first choice and then were locked into a membership they no longer wanted.
I also think I've lost very few paid membership months as a result (and in
fact have gained because more people join as a result of the policy.

My 5 cents.

Will

···

On Friday, March 11, 2016 at 7:13:55 PM UTC+1, Jerome wrote:

We may or may not be in the real estate business, but is a hotel?
Regardless, members have to understand that we turned away inquiries for
their occupied desks. We at least need some time to re-occupy.

A compromise to an exiting member would be to say, "up to 30 days or if we
fill that seat quicker"

Jerome
www.BLANKSPACES.com <http://www.blankspaces.com/>

On Mar 11, 2016, at 9:41 AM, Tony Bacigalupo <[email protected]> wrote:

I was always pretty adamant about not taking money from people for
services they weren't going to use. If the only reason I can come up with
for keeping someone's money is that it's "policy" or because we want to
keep the money, that doesn't pass muster for me.

I'd rather have their goodwill than their money. I've never been the
awesomest at making money, but I'd like to think there are better ways to
go about it.

That being said, we focused on monthly individual memberships. I could see
that working differently if you're subleasing offices and such. But
coworking's not a real estate business, right?

Plenty of members pay for services they don't use, and space owners profit
from that. Once in a rare while a member will complain; giving them their
money back is part of the cost of doing business.

If a member's angry, I'd want to communicate with them, find out why
they're angry, and let them know they're heard.

Maybe you can give them a partial refund and ask them to leave an honest
testimonial on Yelp/Google Maps/etc so they can help you better attract
their replacements.

Tony
*---*
*New Work Cities <http://nwc.co/consulting> - Helping people build better
coworking cultures.*
*Open Coworking <http://opencoworking.org/> - Championing the global
coworking movement.*

<web.png> <http://tonybacigalupo.com/><tw.png>
<http://twitter.com/tonybgoode><fb.png>
<http://facebook.com/tonybacigalupo><li.png>
<http://linkedin.com/in/tonybacigalupo>

On Friday, March 11, 2016, Glen Ferguson <[email protected]> > wrote:

We adopted the same policy as Jerome, and for the same reasons you cited.
We explain that while we want 30 days notice, we understand that work today
often doesn't function that way. New contracts, new assignment by
employers; they often don't give the member themselves much notice.

W also use the comparison to an apartment lease that collects first and
last month's rent up front. (Yes, I know there are legal reasons to avoid
terms like "lease", "deposit", and "rent". It's not a perfect analogy, but
it helps). They make the mental connection and we've had zero complaints in
over 2 years of doing it this way.

*Glen Ferguson* Tummler, Cowork Frederick
Phone: 301-732-5165
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://coworkfrederick.com
<http://link.wisestamp.com/wf/click?upn=hOBFNJQde5xdQoVn4ogqwuppxK3mfNmObodKMFVhwKI-3D_r-2BdYbSjRm9r0i9vSiPZtW-2BAPKyQklbPxdjb2bvgjOXUKay-2Fzcj6elT2l43mgUwrKp-2B9bkPsOy4Afgxs39H7nHyQ02yPjXx-2FhH2qm2-2FBkLwMHZm-2FJ0sEqm2EW6JZcC-2FFZTN7mXDKY-2Fka-2BJ8AGuUhoylLBVJfP83xaxIbMIky9SiVY-2BScSuBH2OH1OpVT8jXDCAo5t-2BRZhcdezGXFntj090CC0-2F2NfWWWwgRzDSATLNHfq9On8f8Nd4pYQcJFcVi-2B-2Fhvs15ar9KzNJVtt5sG0xew-3D-3D>
Address: 122 E Patrick St, Frederick, MD 21701

<http://link.wisestamp.com/wf/click?upn=vpKJERi1tY7PB5Tngc96A8GMKz6vw7z0JI8fZ2-2FFUEKeUDpKRYMDliKzBO-2Bh6KbQ_r-2BdYbSjRm9r0i9vSiPZtW-2BAPKyQklbPxdjb2bvgjOXUKay-2Fzcj6elT2l43mgUwrKEMhW-2B40p6aeK-2FnYfufKui5X3yXXrCEJ2LAZEF-2BXc63to1kAmvLqlFm4601WxoxkZfyqgK6hF2t3ppQ7iL-2Bw5Lmm71ml3wmYwoyCIReMudhtHH85DJP6bop-2FJ2TGwpl-2B80-2B97G5wM-2B5aYK8qTB3WcX0lkFR-2Fjat8mWvxnHy350qjowrRAm6uxMOP-2BPziA5znmeAcqgpRVFMz6PzcAdiZgQQ-3D-3D>
  
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On Mar 10, 2016, 6:07 PM -0600, Elizabeth Trice , wrote:

When members sign up they sign an agreement that says they need to give
30 days notice to the first of the month if they want to discontinue their
membership. We've done this both to not have surprise drops in revenue, but
also to because we've noticed that it results in members who haven't been
coming in much to start coming in again. Recently a few people got angry
when they requested a change only a week in advance. How do others handle
this?

On Friday, March 11, 2016 at 7:13:55 PM UTC+1, Jerome wrote:

We may or may not be in the real estate business, but is a hotel?
Regardless, members have to understand that we turned away inquiries for
their occupied desks. We at least need some time to re-occupy.

A compromise to an exiting member would be to say, "up to 30 days or if we
fill that seat quicker"

Jerome
www.BLANKSPACES.com <http://www.blankspaces.com>

On Mar 11, 2016, at 9:41 AM, Tony Bacigalupo <[email protected] > <javascript:>> wrote:

I was always pretty adamant about not taking money from people for
services they weren't going to use. If the only reason I can come up with
for keeping someone's money is that it's "policy" or because we want to
keep the money, that doesn't pass muster for me.

I'd rather have their goodwill than their money. I've never been the
awesomest at making money, but I'd like to think there are better ways to
go about it.

That being said, we focused on monthly individual memberships. I could see
that working differently if you're subleasing offices and such. But
coworking's not a real estate business, right?

Plenty of members pay for services they don't use, and space owners profit
from that. Once in a rare while a member will complain; giving them their
money back is part of the cost of doing business.

If a member's angry, I'd want to communicate with them, find out why
they're angry, and let them know they're heard.

Maybe you can give them a partial refund and ask them to leave an honest
testimonial on Yelp/Google Maps/etc so they can help you better attract
their replacements.

Tony
*---*
*New Work Cities <http://nwc.co/consulting> - Helping people build better
coworking cultures.*
*Open Coworking <http://opencoworking.org/> - Championing the global
coworking movement.*

<web.png> <http://tonybacigalupo.com/><tw.png>
<http://twitter.com/tonybgoode><fb.png>
<http://facebook.com/tonybacigalupo><li.png>
<http://linkedin.com/in/tonybacigalupo>

On Friday, March 11, 2016, Glen Ferguson <[email protected] > <javascript:>> wrote:

We adopted the same policy as Jerome, and for the same reasons you cited.
We explain that while we want 30 days notice, we understand that work today
often doesn't function that way. New contracts, new assignment by
employers; they often don't give the member themselves much notice.

W also use the comparison to an apartment lease that collects first and
last month's rent up front. (Yes, I know there are legal reasons to avoid
terms like "lease", "deposit", and "rent". It's not a perfect analogy, but
it helps). They make the mental connection and we've had zero complaints in
over 2 years of doing it this way.

*Glen Ferguson* Tummler, Cowork Frederick
Phone: 301-732-5165
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://coworkfrederick.com
<http://link.wisestamp.com/wf/click?upn=hOBFNJQde5xdQoVn4ogqwuppxK3mfNmObodKMFVhwKI-3D_r-2BdYbSjRm9r0i9vSiPZtW-2BAPKyQklbPxdjb2bvgjOXUKay-2Fzcj6elT2l43mgUwrKp-2B9bkPsOy4Afgxs39H7nHyQ02yPjXx-2FhH2qm2-2FBkLwMHZm-2FJ0sEqm2EW6JZcC-2FFZTN7mXDKY-2Fka-2BJ8AGuUhoylLBVJfP83xaxIbMIky9SiVY-2BScSuBH2OH1OpVT8jXDCAo5t-2BRZhcdezGXFntj090CC0-2F2NfWWWwgRzDSATLNHfq9On8f8Nd4pYQcJFcVi-2B-2Fhvs15ar9KzNJVtt5sG0xew-3D-3D>
Address: 122 E Patrick St, Frederick, MD 21701

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On Mar 10, 2016, 6:07 PM -0600, Elizabeth Trice <[email protected]>, >> wrote:

When members sign up they sign an agreement that says they need to give
30 days notice to the first of the month if they want to discontinue their
membership. We've done this both to not have surprise drops in revenue, but
also to because we've noticed that it results in members who haven't been
coming in much to start coming in again. Recently a few people got angry
when they requested a change only a week in advance. How do others handle
this?

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Our basic contract calls for one calendar month to be paid in advance. At any time during a calendar month, a coworker can let us know that in the following month they want to terminate or upgrade or downgrade to a different plan. The last day is also good though almost nobody does that; in that case we issue a credit for the invoice which has already issued but is not yet late.

Several coworkers have asked for longer arrangements, quarterly is the most popular. But we have several who pay semi annually or annually in advance.

It does solve a number of problems.

···

On Friday, March 11, 2016 at 1:06:56 AM UTC+1, Elizabeth Trice wrote:

When members sign up they sign an agreement that says they need to give 30 days notice to the first of the month if they want to discontinue their membership. We’ve done this both to not have surprise drops in revenue, but also to because we’ve noticed that it results in members who haven’t been coming in much to start coming in again. Recently a few people got angry when they requested a change only a week in advance. How do others handle this?

I used to have a 30 day cancellation policy and I hated it. I was always going around my own policy to not have to enforce it so I just took it away. If a person can’t be a member anymore, it’s for a good reason and I don’t want some dumb contract to help me force a member to pay for days they will never use.

Angel

···

On Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 5:06:56 PM UTC-7, Elizabeth Trice wrote:

When members sign up they sign an agreement that says they need to give 30 days notice to the first of the month if they want to discontinue their membership. We’ve done this both to not have surprise drops in revenue, but also to because we’ve noticed that it results in members who haven’t been coming in much to start coming in again. Recently a few people got angry when they requested a change only a week in advance. How do others handle this?