In the state of Massachusetts, there are no expiration dates on a
gift certificate. We used to give out a gift certificate if a student
paid for a class and if the class did not run. That came back to bite
us. So now we issue "Tutorial Credit" which DOES have an expiration
If they paid for a gift certificate, you benefited from the money.
Our feeling is that the customer has the right to come back and use
that certificate, just like we used their money.
What you are complaining about is not the $200 gift cert, but the
two hours they spent of your time.
What you can do is be clearer to your customers that if they have a
gift certificate, they should present it first and then they can
select. You can determine how much TIME you want to spend on that
It happens to us we honor what we say. For us there is nothing worse
than than having a workshop just make the minimum number and then a
person pulls out a certificate. It's part of business.
A woman just signed up for a workshop with a $435 tutorial credit.
Ouch. However, we will probably sell her a casting machine, so it
works out in the end. Besides, we used her money already to pay a
bill, so she has the right to use her credit. Oh, and while I had her
on the phone, she just signed up for another workshop. She almost
didn't because she said, "I'm going skiing that weekend". My reply
was, "hey, this is your business". There will be plenty of snow on
the ground the next weekend.
She signed up.
The moral of the story, turn every possible bad experience into a
positive one. You might lose on the one sale and gain 2 x on the
next. You never know who will walk into your door.
M E T A L W E R X
School for Jewelry and the Metalarts
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
781 891 3854