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As part of becoming an AAC client, you are given the opportunity to define your business policies and procedures regarding management of your customers. This blog is a brief overview of the policies and procedures you can define and implement for your facility or school with AAC.
Identifying your business policies and procedures is optional. However, the additional information enables AAC to provide better customer service by reducing customer calls to your facility that are business, not fitness, related. By clearly defining your policies and procedures, we can act on those instructions, on your behalf, to handle customer issues promptly.
AAC does not give state-specific guidelines or rules to a facility or school—it is expected that you will consult state laws to ensure that your contracts are compliant to ensure enforceability. As a resource, IHRSA provides state-specific information that might assist you in creation of your policies and contracts. See www.ihrsa.org/state/ for more details.
Not all Martial Arts schools are considered under Fitness regulations in each state. You will need to verify with your state whether Martial Arts schools are covered by Fitness center statutes or whether they are under a different statute such as Education or School.
Type of Agreements
Your facility or school chooses the type of agreements you will employ in your business. The type of agreement you can offer may be regulated by your state statutes, so check state law before determining the type of contract you will offer.
You might employ a type of “open” agreement: month-to-month, no specific time commitment; or a “term” agreement: an agreement with a specific time commitment, with or without a renewal option. A renewal option with a term agreement means that the contract commitment will continue on a month-to-month basis after the contract end date. The term contract ends and the renewal kicks in, moving the customer to an “open” type agreement with no set expiration date but continuing payments.
Don’t forget to check what your specific state regulates regarding types of allowable contracts!
Each type of agreement may have different cancellation procedures. A cancellation procedure should define:
- Reasons a cancellation may be obtained (medical, relocation). This applies only to term contracts.
- Number of days’ notice required.
- Acceptable forms of notice: verbal (phone or in-person) and/or written (hard-copy, email, FAX).
Ensure what you say and what you show are the same. The procedures you define and what your staff tell the customer should agree. Having contradicting cancellation procedures can cause legal issues!
A “freeze” is when a customer needs to place a hold on an account for a temporary time period with the intent to complete the contract when the freeze is lifted. Certain restrictions may apply to a freeze, such as a term contract cannot be frozen for more than 12 months.
Your business defines the notice required and how a freeze can be implemented as well as limitations for length of time allowed. These steps are defined for each type of contract because term and open contracts are handled differently.
Early Termination Procedures
Similar to cancellation, early termination procedures include defining if the customer must pay a penalty for early termination or continue to cover the remaining portion, or a percentage of the remaining portion, of the contract.
Handling Business Policies and Procedures
With AAC, you select whether AAC or your facility manages the implementation of these procedures. For example, you may want your facility to handle individual freeze requests, while having AAC manage cancellations and early terminations according to your rules; however, providing AAC with your rules enables AAC to communicate to your customer what those rules are before AAC refers them to contact your facility directly to request that service.
Identifying your policies and procedures clearly enables AAC to handle your customers as an extension of your business, ensuring consistency in communication received from you and AAC. As a result, your customers feel more informed and their issues can be handled quickly and judiciously according to your rules.
All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about Affiliated Acceptance Corporation and the services we provide. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, may not be current and is subject to change without notice.