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#1245881 - 08/08/09 07:38 PM Charging late fees & replacement books
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11403
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
The last school year wasn't so great for me in terms of getting timely payment. In two cases, I was screwed out of about $200 total (from two separate students) who never paid, but received lessons (there were also no-shows in the mix).

Part of this was my fault, trying to be understanding of circumstances without the students/parents being respectful of my policy with regards to cancellations and books.

I am revising my policy again for the new school year and I'd like to include some stronger language regarding late fees: when you charge them, how much, consequences, etc.

Also, if a student loses their books, what do you do?
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1245894 - 08/08/09 07:59 PM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: Morodiene]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
I'm sorry to hear that frown That stinks!

It states in my policy:

"payment is due on the last lesson of the quarter, (I do put the due date on the bill) for the following quarter, even if you have a credit. There will be a $15 late charge on your next bill, if it is not paid by the date due"

I do add the late charge, and I have never not been paid for it when it was billed. I found that getting that payment one week before they owed, was helpful in not getting shortchanged. I used to ask for it the first day of the quarter, but then if they didn't have it, I would have to give a lesson, be in arrears, and hope to get paid next time.

If they lose their book, I lend them one of mine. I immediately let the parent's know that they either need to find the book/s or get new ones by the following lesson, or they will be billed for the loaner.

HTH!!


Edited by Ebony and Ivory (08/08/09 08:00 PM)
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1245898 - 08/08/09 08:08 PM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: Morodiene]
Mrs.A Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 155
Late or no payment can be frustrating.I don't have an anwer about stronger language in your policy but what I do is send out a monthly tuition statement in the mail. At the bottom of the statement it reads "Monthly tuition is due the first lesson of the month. Thank you." i used to send the statement home with the kids only to find them in the book bags unopened. I believe the paretns are better about paying if the tuition statement comes in the mail with the other bills.

Unfortunately, No matter what you do, there will always be one who gets behind.

I also send a newsletter each month so when the parent sees the bill they are reminded of what they are paying for. My newsletter includes upcoming events, student recognition, pracitce tips -including imporance of regular practice, metronome tips, performance anxiety and so on.

Do you provide the books and charge the parents? I provide the books and music at no extra charge. If a book is lost, the student pays for another one.
_________________________
Piano Teacher.
Church Music Director.
Kindermusik Instructor.
Mom to four boys.


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#1245914 - 08/08/09 08:22 PM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: Mrs.A]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11403
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Thanks E&I, I think that's a good idea, and I need to really be more strict about getting paid prior to the lesson. I would sometimes make an exception and make payment due on the first of the month when lessons start up in the Fall or after Christmas break, but there's nothing wrong with sending payment in the mail, even if they don't have lessons the week prior! $15 seems reasonable but enough to be a deterrent.

Mrs. A: I used to mail statements and got out of that habit. I think you're right, though, sending it home is probably better. It's just those few exceptions that make work harder for everyone!

I do charge for books extra. I used to have my students get them on their own, but then it would take weeks sometimes for them to pick them up. I'm afraid that if I increased my rates to include any cost of books (outside of replacements) then I'd price myself out of the market. I do have a newsletter that I try to put together, but it's so time-consuming for me to do it more than once or twice a year.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1245917 - 08/08/09 08:33 PM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: Morodiene]
Piano*Dad Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10347
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Quote:
In two cases, I was screwed out of about $200 total (from two separate students) who never paid, but received lessons (there were also no-shows in the mix).


Are these returning students? If so, insist on clearing up any back payments before lessons begin.
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#1245934 - 08/08/09 09:22 PM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: Piano*Dad]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11403
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Quote:
In two cases, I was screwed out of about $200 total (from two separate students) who never paid, but received lessons (there were also no-shows in the mix).


Are these returning students? If so, insist on clearing up any back payments before lessons begin.


No, one I will definitely not teach again, regardless of whether or not they pay up (doubtful), and the other I sent a letter over a week ago to collect, and still no payment, no returned phone calls, etc. I will not teach this student again either. The problem is, it's not worth paying a lawyer to get involved or to even take them to court (I think that costs about $100), about what they each owe.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1245936 - 08/08/09 09:28 PM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: Morodiene]
Piano*Dad Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10347
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
I wonder whether small teacher organizations have informal (or formal) ways to let other teachers in the area know which families are 'deadbeats.' That might help other teachers avoid getting stung. The first time a family is turned down by one teacher for unpaid debts to another teacher, well, that might send a signal heard around the community.
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#1245942 - 08/08/09 09:40 PM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: Piano*Dad]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11403
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
I wonder whether small teacher organizations have informal (or formal) ways to let other teachers in the area know which families are 'deadbeats.' That might help other teachers avoid getting stung. The first time a family is turned down by one teacher for unpaid debts to another teacher, well, that might send a signal heard around the community.


I think (correct me if I'm wrong) John mentioned that he will check with a student's previous teacher to see if any money was owed when they left. I think this is a wise thing to do. It doesn't prevent new no-show/no-pay students from joining, but it can certainly head off the ones who bounce around from teacher to teacher without paying for all the lessons rendered.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1245997 - 08/09/09 12:19 AM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: Mrs.A]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1263
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Mrs.A
Late or no payment can be frustrating.I don't have an anwer about stronger language in your policy but what I do is send out a monthly tuition statement in the mail. At the bottom of the statement it reads "Monthly tuition is due the first lesson of the month. Thank you."


Mailing out monthly statements? That would cost me over $25 each month. I don't think so.

Part of teaching piano is educating PARENTS. I don't think it's difficult to remember that tuition is due at the first lesson of the month. Why should I send out a reminder? I have a $20 late fee if tuition isn't paid by the 10th of the month. However, I'm not an ogre. I will send out a reminder email on the 9th to any students who still are unpaid for the month. This email reads: "A reminder that tuition for this month is still unpaid and is due by the 10th. Payments received after that date will need to include the $20 late fee." Email is wonderful. I usually have a half dozen checks under my doormat by the end of the following day.

Regarding books.... I charge a yearly fee that covers all supplies and books. I purchase the books myself. If a student loses a book I instruct the parent where they can buy a replacement.
_________________________
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild

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#1246000 - 08/09/09 12:26 AM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: dumdumdiddle]
saerra Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 842
Loc: Atlanta, GA
If I were a teacher... I'd be soooo tempted to report people to the credit bureaus for not paying!

Is there at least a way to claim it on your taxes? (I'm not an accountant, but it seems like... once you've done the work, and not been paid, it counts as a "donation" on your part, or something?)

Just a thought!

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#1246020 - 08/09/09 01:15 AM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Mrs.A Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 155
Originally Posted By: dumdumdiddle
Originally Posted By: Mrs.A
Late or no payment can be frustrating.I don't have an anwer about stronger language in your policy but what I do is send out a monthly tuition statement in the mail. At the bottom of the statement it reads "Monthly tuition is due the first lesson of the month. Thank you."


Mailing out monthly statements? That would cost me over $25 each month. I don't think so.





I don’t think of it costing me $25.00 a month. I think of it as 44 cents per student. I consider that expense when determining my fees. My student is paying for the stamp.

If it would cost you $25.00 a month, you must have a full studio of 50+ students which is nice income. That $25.00 expense is TAX DEDUCTIBLE by the way.
_________________________
Piano Teacher.
Church Music Director.
Kindermusik Instructor.
Mom to four boys.


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#1246039 - 08/09/09 02:59 AM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: Mrs.A]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2844
Loc: UK.
Morodiene, your sig line says you are a WMTA member. I'm not quite sure what that is but is it possible they could help with collecting the outstanding debts?

I am a member of the ISM in the UK and part of the membership includes legal advice and help. So far I have never needed to use it but their handbook says they will help in these situations. I think it would carry more weight if your ex-student got a more official letter from the WMTA rather than just a yourself.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1246096 - 08/09/09 09:39 AM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: Chris H.]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11403
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Chris H.
Morodiene, your sig line says you are a WMTA member. I'm not quite sure what that is but is it possible they could help with collecting the outstanding debts?

I am a member of the ISM in the UK and part of the membership includes legal advice and help. So far I have never needed to use it but their handbook says they will help in these situations. I think it would carry more weight if your ex-student got a more official letter from the WMTA rather than just a yourself.


Chris, I never thought of that. I'm not sure if they help in these cases, although I do know they have legal advice. That's a great idea!

For stamps, that would cost me $15.40/month. The email idea is great! I only have a few parents who like to contact me via email, but perhaps if I get email addresses from those who would prefer to save a tree and help me keep costs down by receiving their invoice via email (and then I can email them a reminder) that would be a great help. I think setting a deadline by which all payments must be made helps, because then what difference does it make if they pay on the 10th or on the 30th if they get billed for being late on the following month's statement?

These are great ideas, thanks guys!
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1246100 - 08/09/09 09:46 AM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: Chris H.]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7300
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Morodiene, if you take students without a contract, life is more complicated. However, if you word your studio policies: "Payment is due the 1st of each month, and payments received after the 7th will be subject to a late fee of $15. Unless other arrangements are made, lessons will be suspended until payments are current. Payments more than 90 days in arrears will be turned over to a collection agency," you should have little trouble. Does Wisconsin have a small claim's court? For $200, it might be worth the effort.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1246110 - 08/09/09 10:02 AM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11403
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Morodiene, if you take students without a contract, life is more complicated. However, if you word your studio policies: "Payment is due the 1st of each month, and payments received after the 7th will be subject to a late fee of $15. Unless other arrangements are made, lessons will be suspended until payments are current. Payments more than 90 days in arrears will be turned over to a collection agency," you should have little trouble. Does Wisconsin have a small claim's court? For $200, it might be worth the effort.


I do have a contract, but I didn't have anything about a late fee in there (I used to have one, but stopped doing it since it didn't seem to matter for some people). WI does have small claims court. The $200 is over two students, though, $100 each, which makes it seem less worthwhile. MTNA I just found out, does have free legal advice, and so I'll contact them on Monday to find out what I can do. I like your wording! May I use that (have to ask ;))?

Edited to add: Have you ever had to enforce the discontinuation of lessons?


Edited by Morodiene (08/09/09 10:06 AM)
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1246115 - 08/09/09 10:18 AM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: saerra]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1263
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: saerra
If I were a teacher... I'd be soooo tempted to report people to the credit bureaus for not paying!


I have done that with 3 different students who had unpaid tuition balances. We have a local collection agency that takes 40% as their fee; pretty high but at least when they collect, I get something. The agency also reports to the major credit bureaus. I've received payment for 2 of the accounts. The 3rd hasn't paid but the unpaid debt will remain in their credit file.

I've also threatened to send an unpaid balance to collections on 4 different occasions. It worked; I got paid within a week.
_________________________
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild

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#1246143 - 08/09/09 11:09 AM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11403
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I just cannot imagine not paying my teacher for lessons, and I guess I'm a bit of a softy when it comes to adhering to my own policy on things. I'm hoping with stronger wording with less "wiggle room" I'll do better at it. After all, what good is a policy that I won't even stick to myself, or always make exceptions? I want to be flexible and understanding, but it seems that whenever I am, people go the extra mile in taking advantage of that. It reminds me of that marketing list that someone posted recently. There was one line in particular that said something to the effect of: "Over time, a favor given increases in the eyes of the giver, and diminishes in the eyes of the recipient." I'm sure these people have justified to themselves that it was OK not to pay me, and I'm sure I didn't help the situation by being "nice" and letting things slide because the family was having hardships at the time.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1246431 - 08/09/09 09:38 PM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: Morodiene]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1644
Loc: northern California
Yes, unfortunately, I did have to discontinue lessons with one student due to a no-pay situation. Just once since 1991, and I do recall the situation vividly and hope this never happens again. Student's mom came to the door with him, just in time for his lesson. She handed me a $5 and some change, saying that's all they could pay for the whole month. She owed me for the month prior as well, and had promised to pay for both months on that lesson day. She told me that's the best they could do and we parted ways. Embarrassing situation to say the least.
A friend who owns a local music store in my community says he has delinquent payment situations with lessons way too often. Not sure how this happens in a store situation but apparently it does.


Edited by Barb860 (08/09/09 09:40 PM)
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1246446 - 08/09/09 10:12 PM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: Barb860]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11403
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Well, I realize it happens only as a result of me allowing it to happen. It shouldn't happen, but we have to stick to our guns or pay the price (literally). What really hurts is the knowledge that the child pays the most in these cases.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1246719 - 08/10/09 12:21 PM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: Morodiene]
trillingadventurer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 304
Loc: San Diego
I had a payment issue yesterday. My students pay for the month at the first lessons of the month. Last week the dad said, "Oh, can I pay you next week?" I paused (since I had gone over my payment policy during our first meeting) and then said O.K. (Mistake #1!) When I showed up yesterday (week 2) dad told me I should have gotten it in the mail and if I didn't get it by Monday (today) to give them a call. (They are implementing me into their auto-pay through the bank or something.) I was really surprised by their lack of respect regarding on time payments. They love me and even gave me a present two weeks ago and said their son has really transformed through lessons. And it's a new relationship and already I have a little bit of a bitter taste in my mouth. Darn! I am going to pass out an updated policy in September and include late fees. And also if it happens again I will consider dropping them.
_________________________
M. Katchur

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#1246731 - 08/10/09 12:55 PM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: trillingadventurer]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
Originally Posted By: trillingadventurer
I was really surprised by their lack of respect regarding on time payments. They love me and even gave me a present two weeks ago and said their son has really transformed through lessons. And it's a new relationship and already I have a little bit of a bitter taste in my mouth. Darn! I am going to pass out an updated policy in September and include late fees. And also if it happens again I will consider dropping them.


I'm sorry to hear that frown

Another case of "give an inch...."
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1246764 - 08/10/09 02:06 PM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: Morodiene]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7300
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Morodiene, if you take students without a contract, life is more complicated. However, if you word your studio policies: "Payment is due the 1st of each month, and payments received after the 7th will be subject to a late fee of $15. Unless other arrangements are made, lessons will be suspended until payments are current. Payments more than 90 days in arrears will be turned over to a collection agency," you should have little trouble. Does Wisconsin have a small claim's court? For $200, it might be worth the effort.


I do have a contract, but I didn't have anything about a late fee in there (I used to have one, but stopped doing it since it didn't seem to matter for some people). WI does have small claims court. The $200 is over two students, though, $100 each, which makes it seem less worthwhile. MTNA I just found out, does have free legal advice, and so I'll contact them on Monday to find out what I can do. I like your wording! May I use that (have to ask ;))?


You and any teacher here may use this wording without attribution! Glad it works for you.

John

PS If you publish it in a text book or something, I actually would appreciate credit! Thanks.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1246864 - 08/10/09 05:20 PM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: saerra]
musiclady Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/05
Posts: 431
Loc: Toronto, Canada
My late fee is $75, and when I threatened to enforce to late fee after two days of not getting it as promised, I got it the day before it went into effect. I have a couple of families who like to pay early, because that's when they receive their pay. You could even offer an early bird incentive to pay early.

I use a registration/materials fee of $125 going up to $150 for new students, but they're getting a lot for their money. They also have the option of going for a package that includes books and materials, which for at least three of my students, saves them money (mainly because they go through very quickly or are at a pretty advanced level where the music is more expensive.

Meri
_________________________
Clarinet and Piano Teacher based out of Toronto, Canada.Web: http://donmillsmusicstudio.weebly.com

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#1247369 - 08/11/09 03:20 PM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: musiclady]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11403
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Just an update:

I contacted MTNA regarding legal advice for bill collections. They sent me 4 collection letters that were written by a lawyer for MTNA members to use. I'm sending out two of those today giving them both 10 days to pay up or to be sent to a bill collector. Now to find a bill collector, as I doubt I'll get payment from these people.

Also the woman I spoke with at the MTNA office was very helpful in giving suggestions. One thing is she recommended setting up a paypal account to receive credit or debit card payments. Actually she has a merchant account, but I think paypal is much easier to work with. I'm still looking into it, but I think it is possible to arrange for recurring payments via paypal where you don't have to physically go in each month to pay. Does anyone deal with paypal and know how this works? I have set up an account.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1247388 - 08/11/09 04:12 PM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: Morodiene]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
I tried the Paypal thing for awhile. You will pay a fee for every transaction and it states in the policy that you can't raise your fees to cover it (or something to that effect).

I had only 1 parent interested in it, so I didn't go though with it.

I personally have been using it for about 8 years for various things, but not billing.

Just make sure you read the fine print.
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1247397 - 08/11/09 04:46 PM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1263
Loc: California
You know, I've heard of a few teachers who require parents write out a whole year's worth of checks, dated the 1st of each month, to be given to the teacher when they begin lessons. Then all the teacher has to do is deposit the appropriate check for the month.

Does anyone do this? This would certainly take care of late-paying parents.
_________________________
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild

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#1247411 - 08/11/09 05:15 PM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: Morodiene]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7300
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Just an update:

I contacted MTNA regarding legal advice for bill collections. They sent me 4 collection letters that were written by a lawyer for MTNA members to use. I'm sending out two of those today giving them both 10 days to pay up or to be sent to a bill collector. Now to find a bill collector, as I doubt I'll get payment from these people.


When you receive them, please share your opinion/thoughts on them. Thanks,

John
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#1247415 - 08/11/09 05:23 PM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1785
Loc: Central TX
Originally Posted By: Ebony and Ivory
I tried the Paypal thing for awhile. You will pay a fee for every transaction and it states in the policy that you can't raise your fees to cover it (or something to that effect).

I had only 1 parent interested in it, so I didn't go though with it.

I personally have been using it for about 8 years for various things, but not billing.

Just make sure you read the fine print.


If you have a personal account, you will be charged 2.9% if the sender of the payment uses a credit/debit card and you're limited to receiving < $500 worth of payments per month (more than that and you are bumped up to a business or premiere account). Business accounts get charged the fee for any payments but will get a discount once the volume is high enough (like $3000 or so). Another important difference in personal vs business accts is that personal accounts can only transfer up to $500 per month from your paypal account to your bank account.

Another option is to encourage your clients to use the automatic bill paying feature many banks offer now. It doesn't cost the user anything (usually), doesn't cost you anything (you just get a check from the bank), and makes it more likely that you'll get your payment on time (understanding that the client can change the bill payment at any time). We do this with our piano teacher and it makes everyone's life simpler.

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#1247422 - 08/11/09 05:36 PM Re: Charging late fees & replacement books [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11403
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
E&I:
Yes, I'm aware of the cost. Actually, if you have a merchant account where you can take credit cards, you have to pay a fee as well. I think the fees are comparable. And no, you can't charge more for thsoe who wish to pay by credit card. However, you can increase your rates overall to cover such incidental costs.

dum:
I believe in the state of WI you are not allowed to take post-dated checks. At least that is the case of rental laws, not sure about other situations.

John,
Actually she emailed them to me so I have them and already used them! They start out as a nice reminder, the next letter is more hard line, then the last two letters for used just prior to sending an account to collections or an attorney. I used the one for collections, as the dollar amounts aren't enough for small claims court. It basically says the amount, reminds them of the signed agreement or policy (with a date as to when it was signed) stating they agreed to the payment terms but have not responded to efforts to collect the amount owed by mailed invoices or phone calls. It then gives them until a certain date (they recommend either 10 or 20 days) to bring the account current or it will be sent to a debt collector, which may incur further fees for legal action that may be taken.

I think that is is important to give a deadline for things, and list repercussions that may happen should payment not be made by that time. Otherwise, they may say to themselves, "I'll pay it when I get some extra money" or something, rather than making an actual commitment to paying it.
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