Before I talk about refunds here I want to make a mention about your income. Intended Parents pay your bills. You are counting on their money to run your program all in the name of helping them reach their dream of parenthood. This is a good and needed service. However, if you mismanage your money, your income, it will come back to haunt you. I work with both large and small agencies and I have found that some live ‘hand to mouth’. Not a good idea. What I am about to suggest maybe hard for some especially if you are counting on living on the income that your agency is providing you. Do not spend any retainer money that comes through your office until your IP’s are matched with their donor or surrogate AND their contracts are signed. Not one penny. Bank it. This money may need to be refunded and if you spend it then where will you be?
Here is my refund ‘what if’ list:
*What if the surrogate/donor doesn’t want to work with the IPs that chose them? (and the IP’s don’t see any others they want and would like a refund)
*What if the surrogate/donor doesn’t pass the medical evaluation? (and the IP’s don’t see any others they want and would like a refund)
*What if the clinic rejects the donor or surrogate for failure to follow medical protocol or other reasons? (and the IP’s don’t see any others they want, don’t trust your pool of GS or Donors any longer and would like a refund)
*What if the Intended Parents have a medical or financial issue of their own and need to back out of your program? (After just a few weeks and they are not matched so they would like a refund)
*What if you find out the IP’s are delusional and YOU want to give them a refund after a few weeks of trying to please them and you see that it’s an impossible mission!?
*What if the donor/surrogate is not mentally able to perform their commitment and back out before contracts are signed? (and the IP’s don’t see any others they want and would like a refund)
If you manage your income and have a ‘cushion’ in your account equal to at least 3 retainer payments you will rest easier. Remember refunding is a hallmark of great customer service and if you have truly done all you can to make your client happy and a refund is the last resort then just give them the money! You will learn from this encounter and find that refunds are few and far between but less painful when you have the money set aside ‘just in case”.