Cancelling it all out

Terp all sold outA thought struck me last night. Ow!

Recently, there was a public event in which I have been badgering the organisers for some time to provide an BSL (British Sign Language) interpreter. It was a job recruitment/open day for a new hotel opening and I have been telling my clients to go and attend.

Later, it transpired that the interpreter never turned up and I had disgruntled clients complaining about that fact. So, I tried to get to the bottom of it and discovered that the interpreter cancelled the booking at the last minute.Yes, you read that right – cancelled. But the event was not cancelled to 500 hearing people who had no problem in vying for 25 jobs that need to be filled.

I do not know the full reasons behind the cancellation but there was deaf people who travelled a long way to be there and it was a complete waste of time cos no interpreter. I feel if the interpreter cancel the booking then it should be their obligation to find a replacement – no question nor quibble. If they have to use a very expensive emergency interpreter, yes I would insist. It is an opportunity not to be missed.

I would insist because it is also a well-known fact that interpreters will charge YOU cancellation fee if you cancel the booking or change the booking in any way. I do know that some interpreters would usually have a backup job or have no trouble filling up the booking – to double their money.

What happened if the interpreter who cancel the booking or fail to turn up?

How about I start charging BSL interpreters a cancellation fee because of my time have been spent on informing people about availability of interpreter, printing out leaflets, posting it and pestering job centre with phone call after phone call to provide an interpreter? Oh yes, and not forgetting the travel costs and food for the deaf people who turned up on the day. I wish I could put a price on frustration and despair bubbled up on the day and add that to the bill.

It is not a healthy consumer market as we are at the mercy of these service providers. We, the consumers, should be able to have more power to redress these things and whenever we book, it stay booked.