Constant Lateness and Customer Service


chocolate bag addict
Jul 25, 2008
I work in an office where we book appointments every 20 minutes. This one particular women consistently shows up 30 to 40 minutes late for her appointments (despite reminder calls) and then expects to be seen immediately and have other clients (who are on time) wait. She never calls to warn of lateness or to ask if it is a problem. This has been ongoing for nearly a year. Most recently, 45 minutes late, she made the biggest stink in a waiting room full of people after being told that 1) she would have to wait until our other scheduled appointments were taken care of out of courtesy for their being on time, or 2) if that was unacceptable, she could reschedule for later in the afternoon or the next day (times typically reserved for emergencies). This was literally a 55ish year-old woman throwing a tantrum in front of other adults to the point where it was necessary to escort her into an appointment room to keep her under control (where, of course, we saw her right away in order to vacate the room for other appointments). How do you reason with someone like this? I'm at a loss! I feel like if you've already missed your appointment by 3/4 of an hour, we are being more than accommodating by fitting you in after scheduled hours and by not charging a missed appointment fee for wasting our time which could have been spent with another client. Does anyone have any experience in this arena?


I want all the bags
Jun 25, 2007
Caught in the bell tower
I totally agree that if she's that late, she looses her alloted time. Honestly, who does she think she is just wandering in when she's good and ready? I can't stand that! Try telling her that her appointment is actually half and hour later than it really is - then she'll show up right on time! LOL! Sounds funny, but it works. DH's dad used to be late all the time, so we started doing this and it really works!


Chic, not cheap.
Feb 6, 2007
Are you able to refuse service to her? You should be able to decline to provide services to people who a constantly late and rude.


Founder of B.U.M.
Mar 7, 2007
Winchester, England
Are you able to refuse service to her? You should be able to decline to provide services to people who a constantly late and rude.
This is the tack I would take too. Unless she contributes huge financial value to the company. You also have to think about how she may be alienating some of the other clients who have to witness the tantrums. Some people find any sort of confrontation (even as just a spectator) acutely embarrassing.

Spoilt hag. I hate her and I don't know the woman.


Sep 22, 2008
I think she's more trouble than she is worth. Tell her if she doesn't start showing up on time you don't need her business anymore.


Sylvie Guillem fan
May 10, 2006
If this is a medical office, the doctors probably won't let you tell her to find another practice. They don't care about the Front Office. They only care about $$$.

When she calls for a 2pm appt, just write her in at 2:40pm and highlight her with a special color to remind everyone in the front office what the game is.

Hugs to you. She sounds like the biggest B*tch from He!!


Nov 29, 2006
Where the water is
Are you able to refuse service to her? You should be able to decline to provide services to people who a constantly late and rude.
While there is a fine line for "the customer is always right", this is clearly not acceptable. I don't know what kind of industry you are in, but it's similar to a spa. By accident, I was late once... I would say about 15 minutes. But I called to let them know that I was stuck in traffic. They let me know because they didn't have another person scheduled after me, that they wouldn't reduce my service time 15 minutes. If there was someone scheduled after me, I was sh*t outta luck.

If this is of a similar type scope, she loses her right to continue her service or to be provided the full service. Sorry, she booked one hour at 1 and if she comes at 1:45, then she's pretty much missed it with no other fault but her own.
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People with this kind of entitled, spoiled attitude make me ill. The reason they are this way is because they've never been told NO by someone who meant it.

I realize you may not have that power OP. I am guessing you work in a medical office? I feel for you. there is nothing so frustrating as someone who is constantly late, and then combative.


Jun 4, 2007
i know a couple of dentist offices that if you are late or have to reschedule just TWICE, they will tell you to go somewhere else.