Managing Booking Cancellation Fees

Managing Booking Cancellation Fees

The ability to manage booking cancellation fees is an essential part of running a successful field service business. The unpredictable nature of customer behaviour often leads to cancellations, sometimes at the last moment, causing a loss of potential revenue and disruption in your service schedule. OctopusPro’s cancellation fee functionality allows you to mitigate these issues by setting a fee for cancelled bookings. This proactive approach not only protects your revenue but also incentivizes customers to follow through with their bookings.

Whether you’re managing a mobile car wash, a beauty salon, or an online tutorial service, this feature can be an instrumental tool in your business. For example, a mobile pet grooming business can set a cancellation fee to discourage clients from last-minute cancellations, ensuring that the groomer’s time and effort for setting up the on-location service is valued. Similarly, an online tutorial service can implement a cancellation fee to guarantee the tutor’s schedule is respected.

Benefits of Managing Cancellation Fees in OctopusPro

Efficiently managing cancellation fees in OctopusPro provides a plethora of benefits:

  • Revenue Protection: Last-minute cancellations without a backup plan can lead to revenue loss. By setting up a cancellation fee, you ensure that you still receive a certain amount, even if a booking is cancelled.
  • Customer Commitment: A cancellation fee encourages customers to commit to their bookings, reducing the frequency of cancellations.
  • Schedule Stability: With fewer cancellations, you maintain a steady and predictable schedule, leading to better time management and service efficiency.
  • Enhanced Financial Management: Assigning cancellation fees to cancelled bookings ensures that your business is compensated for its time and potential revenue loss.
  • Flexibility: OctopusPro allows you to set a default cancellation fee but also offers the flexibility to manually adjust the fee on a case-by-case basis.
  • Efficiency: The automatic application of the cancellation fee when a booking’s status is changed to CANCELLED eliminates the need for manual calculations, saving time and reducing errors.
  • Transparency: By adding cancellation fees to the customer’s invoice, you maintain transparency in your charges, which can enhance customer trust and satisfaction.

How to Set Up a Cancellation Fee

  1. Log in to your OctopusPro account.
  2. In the left-hand menu, navigate to Settings > Financial Settings > Tax & Fees.
  3. On the Tax Rates setting page, scroll down to the input box labeled Cancellation Fee.
  4. Input your desired cancellation fee.
    set the cancellation fee in the relevant field
  5. Once you click outside the input box, the cancellation fee value will save automatically. A confirmation message will appear on the bottom left side of the page, indicating the successful update.

Cancellation Fee During Onboarding

During the onboarding process, you can also set your cancellation fee. This setting is in the ‘Tax and Fees’ step, which is the third step of the process. Input your desired cancellation fee, and it will be saved automatically upon clicking outside the input box.

Applying Cancellation Fees to Bookings

Cancellation fees, once set, become a crucial component in the day-to-day operations of your OctopusPro system for admins, fieldworkers, and customers. Here is an in-depth understanding of how cancellation fees apply in a practical setting:

Admin Users:

For admin users, cancellation fees ensure that your business’s time, resources, and potential income aren’t wasted due to cancellations. Admin users can apply the cancellation fee to any booking marked as “CANCELLED”.

  1. When an admin user reviews the booking list or individual booking details and changes the status of a booking to “CANCELLED”, they will be prompted with a question: ‘Do you want to add the default cancellation fee to this invoice?’
  2. If they choose ‘yes’, the default cancellation fee set in the system gets automatically applied to the customer’s invoice. Admin users also have the flexibility to manually adjust the cancellation fee for each individual booking from the booking edit form, if needed.
  3. The applied cancellation fee will be visible in the invoice summary and detail for transparency and record-keeping, enabling the admin team to track and report on the revenues generated from cancellation fees and evaluate their effectiveness.


Fieldworkers also play a significant role in the application of cancellation fees, as they often change the status of a booking to “CANCELLED” when the customer is no longer able to proceed with the service.

  1. If a customer cancels their booking, the fieldworker will update the booking status to “CANCELLED” using their OctopusPro mobile app.
  2. As with admin users, they’ll be prompted with a question asking if they want to add the cancellation fee to the invoice. They can choose to apply the default fee or adjust it based on the situation.
  3. Fieldworkers can review the applied cancellation fee in their job summary to better understand their earnings and the cost breakdown for each job, providing transparency and enabling them to answer any customer inquiries about the charges.


While customers don’t actively apply the cancellation fee, its implementation significantly affects their interaction with your services and their understanding of your pricing.

  1. After the admin user or fieldworker applies the cancellation fee, it is included in the final invoice sent to the customer, clearly itemized for transparency.
  2. OctopusPro’s client portal allows customers to check their booking status and related invoices. If a booking is marked as “CANCELLED”, they can view the detailed invoice, including the applied cancellation fee.
  3. In the event of any queries or disputes, customers can refer to the booking details and the clear breakdown of charges, fostering trust and transparency.

Whether you’re a small business or a larger enterprise, OctopusPro’s comprehensive set of tools can streamline your operations, making service delivery and financial management more efficient. With OctopusPro, you can safeguard your business interests without compromising on customer transparency. Learn how to set up cancellation fees, apply them to cancelled bookings, and review their implementation with OctopusPro.

Keep in mind that the cancellation fee feature helps to maintain the professional standards of your service while adding a layer of protection against unexpected schedule changes. It provides an efficient way to manage bookings and keep your business running smoothly.

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