How common is this type of "pricing plan" ?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by glocke1, Jun 21, 2019.

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  1. glocke1

    glocke1 Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2002
    Got hooked up with double bass teacher roughly an hour from my home, rates are on par with just about everyone else I've seen for this area, however his pricing plan is something I've not encountered with any other teacher I've had (all of whom have been pay as you go).

    Basically he's got a policy where he wants you to pay for the months worth of lessons up front. In some ways that's good because it makes you commit to studying. However, if you have to reschedule, you reschedule during that week. If you can't reschedule you are still on hook for that week, so for example for the month of July I'll be away the last week of that month and there is no way i can reschedule anything, yet with his policy I still owe for that week and am basically just "reserving" that time slot.

    Is this normal among some of the more popular, in demand teachers? The guy doesn't take many students and claims to have a waiting list and if I give up that spot one won't become available again for awhile according to him.
  2. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

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  3. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Columbia SC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    That's Joe. It's like that line from the Eastwood film, do you feel lucky? It may be that the time slot you have doesn't work for anybody else and, since you're lucky, it'll still be there when you get back. What's more likely to happen is that somebody who has a pretty inconvenient time slot for their schedule ( like one that they scuffle to make after getting off work or the last one at night that they have to scuffle to get home before midnight) and thinks that your time slot will work better for them will be happy to take it. And then when you get back you'll be able to take their inconvenient spot, since you're not that lucky. That's how I was able to switch, lo those many years ago, from the 10PM lesson on Monday night to a nice 11 AM on Saturday morning, somebody gave up their spot. Or, if you're really unlucky, Joe doesn't have ANY open spots and has a student inquiring that'll be happy to take your spot. So it's kinda up to you what you want to do.
    I will say that the 14 years I spent studying with Joe Solomon were worth anything I had to do to make them happen.

    If it makes it easier, think about it like you're paying for cable; doesn't matter how many or how few or how often you watch it, you still pay the same amount every month.
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  4. glocke1

    glocke1 Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2002


    Thanks Ed. I like the insurance analogy better. It's insurance to ensure I'll become a better player...
  5. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    That's exactly how a local shop I've worked for forever does it. Think about it this way, if you cancel or don't show, the teacher's time is still spent. People need to make a living, even the reschedule within the week is a courtesy. There are plenty of other lessons (tennis, dance, vocational training, etc.) That you pay up front and don't get anything back if you miss a class.

    If the teacher is legit and the price is comparable to the area, this is totally fair (IMHO)
  6. glocke1

    glocke1 Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2002
    thats cool..

    To be absolutely perfectly clear on this, I never implied or said it was not fair. I was merely asking as I've never encountered it before as every teacher I've had till now has been "pay as you go".
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  7. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    It's a good sign; suggests he's a pro.
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  8. That’s the way corporate day care works. You’re paying for the spot, not how much you use it. It’s a proven, stable and predictable business model that serves the interest of the provider and encourages the subscriber to be an active participant and not flake.
    lurk and Reedt2000 like this.
  9. Yes, and it is also normal to have a set price for a month paid before the 1st at a discounted rate from the single lesson rate.
    My single lessons are market rate, it is a pretty drastic discount for committing to monthly lessons, I ask for 30 days notice to terminate, also. Once we settle on a day, you get that day, even if there are 5 in a month, however, the student pays for the major US holidays as well.
    I give less of a discount to four lessons paid upfront that can be scheduled "anytime".
  10. lurk

    lurk Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2009
    This policy shows the teacher is serious about his work and expects the same from you. Good omen. Hope it works out for you.
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  11. BD Jones

    BD Jones

    Jul 22, 2016
    This is standard among professional private lesson instructors. I deal with 8-9 different lesson teacher a year through my band program and all have the same policy. The only ones that I know of that don't do this are ones at large corporate music stores (GC, SA, M&A). Some of those are employed by the store and you pay for each lesson at the time of the lesson. My suggestion is if you know a month in advance that you will be gone to discuss a prorated option. All of mine do this when we have holiday breaks (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break) and the student won't be able to have a lesson during that time.
  12. John Le Guyader

    John Le Guyader Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2006
    DC Metro
    yes, that is how payment for my lessons work on a monthly basis here in the DC area...and if there is an excused lesson my instructor is really liberal about makeups...and lessons can often go well over allotted time.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019
  13. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Closed by request of the OP, who got their question answered.
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