A Fairy Tale of 2 Coaches...and how protecting your business and using a solid contract can help you keep your dreamy sales and continue building your biz and income stream! 🔥
This is the story of Coach Elsa and Coach Anna (if you have a young child in quarantine, you will get that reference for sure!) ❄️☃️❄️
While this may be a fairy tale, I assure you, it's based on real people and real events that happen ALL THE TIME.
Here comes Client Kristoff who paid in full ($3,500) for Anna’s 3 month coaching program. After about 6 weeks, he asks Anna for a refund. 😱
He claims that he’s just not getting the results he wants, even though Anna is delivering great coaching, that doesn’t matter, he’s coming and saying he wants his money back in-full and if Anna doesn’t give it back, he’s going to call his credit card company to request a chargeback and if that doesn’t work, he’s promising he’ll see her in court!.
So given the fact that Kristoff never signed a contract, what are the options that Coach Anna has in this case?
- Obviously she could give him the refund. #letitgo That solves the problem even though that kind of sucks for Anna. She has expenses and it’s possible that she may have already spent that money.
- She could fight it, I did my coaching, game over. #keepsies Maybe nothing happens and Kristoff moves on OR maybe he doesn’t. Maybe he trashes her all over the internet (does Anna have anything in place to prevent that from happening? Nope!), requests the chargeback or files the claim in court and all of a sudden Anna is looking at $3500 plus attorneys fees and damages + welcome to dramatown … population 1. Coach Anna’s problems certainly snowballed fast, didn’t they?
- She could offer a partial refund and give half the money back to appease Kristoff with a settlement.
In any one of these cases, she’s losing money and time. This one scenario could be enough to make Anna think twice and maybe even want to quit her coaching business.
Are you with me so far?
Client Kristoff, now continuing his adventure of self-discovery subsequently joins Elsa’s 3 month coaching program and pays in full $3500. After about 6 weeks, he asks Elsa for a refund.
He claims that he’s just not getting the results he wants, even though Elsa is delivering great coaching, that doesn’t matter, he’s coming and saying he wants his money back in full and if Elsa doesn’t give it back, he’s going to call his credit card company to request a chargeback and if that doesn’t work, he’s promising he’ll see her in court!
So given the fact that Kristoff SIGNED a contract, what are the options that Elsa has in this case? Well the great news is … Elsa has LOTS of options.
- She could deny the refund. She can cite the contract’s “no refund” policy and call it a day. #gopoundsnowkristoff
- She could give a partial refund for coaching she hasn’t done yet, this is her choice and 100% at her discretion as the business owner.
- She can enforce the terms and remind Kristoff that while he can waste his money and file a lawsuit - the judge would immediately throw out the case because Elsa’s contract contained an ironclad arbitration.
- She can remind him of the non-disparagement clause and that if he does anything publicly to disparage her, she can freeze him in his tracks and bring a claim for breach of contract.
Elsa’s payment and refund policy, her non-disparagement clause, her disclaimers, her arbitration clause and general terms ALL PROTECT HER from Kristoff’s refund demand. 💪🏻
Her contract gives her so many OPTIONS with how to respond and the freedom to do what is best for her and her business. And best of all, it allows her a path forward where she won’t lose ANY sales.
How will you write your (happily) ever after … Anna or Elsa - the choice is yours?
Sarah Kornblet Waldbuesser, Esq.
Attorney for Coaches & Online Business Owners
After several years at a law firm and a few career jumps, she ended up falling in love with online business and loves helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams in a smart and protected way. She is also an adventurer, traveler, and food and wine lover. When not at her computer, she loves hanging with her family, having wine with friends, flying around the globe and connecting with other online business owners.