Making plans and having to cancel them due to different reasons is something we have all encountered at some point. Whether we get delayed or experience travel issues, canceling plans is something we dread. Having to inform the other party of your unavailability is twice the ordeal.
In this article, we will guide you on how to politely cancel an appointment.
The art is mainly to always remember to be sincere and try to reschedule immediately you cancel or as soon as you can, and lastly and most importantly; rescheduling according to the next available time slot of both the parties.
Your appointment nears and you cannot attend it. Following these ways when you are canceling the appointment will make you stand out as polite, respectful, and sincere.
The main steps around which appointment cancellation revolve include the following;
Step 1: Canceling the Meeting
Ensure contacting the other party as soon as you can
If you take longer to cancel an appointment, you will be inconveniencing the party you are meeting with even more. The person will feel disrespected and might not want to meet you for another appointment. Try and contact them as soon as possible.
This will give them plenty of notice and show that you value their time and presence. It will portray respect.
Call to cancel the appointment yourself
If you are giving short notice on the canceled appointment, be kind enough to call the other party yourself. The short notice involves less than a day’s notice. Try not to start sending emails or text messages.
Call them directly to avoid looking inconsiderate.
Offer a sincere apology
Whether you have provided the other party with plenty of notice or a short time notice, always ensure you offer an apology. Inform the other person how sorry you are for missing the appointment. Be brief in your apology and avoid being vague.
Explain the reason for cancelation
If you have a good reason for appointment cancellation, try and briefly explain to them. It might be illness or travel issues, be brief about the reason when informing them. In case you forgot or double-booked an appointment, provide a general explanation.
You can state that “Something came up that I can’t get out of.” Remember, you do not have to get into details about why you are doing the appointment cancellation. Explaining too much may make you look dishonest even when you are not.
Try and avoid making up excuses. If the other party finds out the truth, you will be at risk if worsening the situation. Finally, when explaining why you canceled the appointment, never say “Something else important came up.” Such a phrase makes you sound disrespectful.
Let them know you value their time
The last part in step one of appointment cancellation involves you mentioning how much you value their time. Appreciate them for agreeing to schedule the appointment and apologize for having to cancel it. Clearly show them how valuable their time is and how apologetic you are.
Step 2: Rescheduling for Another Time
You have successfully canceled the appointment successfully. The next right thing to do is to reschedule it for another time as soon as you cancel the appointment. These ways will guide you in rescheduling your canceled appointment for another time.
Offer to reschedule
When you offer to reschedule the canceled appointment, it shows that you are still interested in the appointment. Also, it will save you the trouble of determining who arranges the next appointment. As you call or email to cancel an appointment, ensure you mention that you will reschedule it at the other party’s convenience.
List down some available time slots
Since you canceled the meeting, it is helpful and wise to reschedule the appointment according to the other person’s schedule. However, it is okay to offer them a few options of when you will be available. Even as you suggest your time slots, always check with them about which time slot is convenient or if they have other suggestions.
Suggest a closer rendezvous point to them
To compensate for canceling the first appointment, offer to meet at their office or somewhere closer to where they will be at that time. Make it more convenient for them. Also, you can suggest using Skype or Google Hangouts if the person stays far away.
Ensure choosing a time you know you can make it
You do not want to miss another appointment. The first cancellation is already inconvenient and irritating enough. A second miss will just be insolent of you. So, go through your schedule and agree on a time that will also work for you. It is safest not to reschedule within a timeline that might have unexpected events coming up.
Make a note of the chosen time
Once the date has been established, don’t forget to mark it on your calendar. You can also make a little note and place it where it is visible to you to act as a reminder of the rescheduled appointment.
Appreciate their patience in person
When you finally meet, start your appointment by thanking them for their patience. You do not have to apologize again but being appreciative is necessary. It reminds them that you value their time.
Preparing and Sending the Email
As you cancel an appointment, try and think of the other person. Imagine the trouble you have caused them and try to picture if it were you in their position. You would definitely appreciate being informed, apologized to, and explained why the meeting had to be canceled. Also, you will want the meeting rescheduled to your convenience. Well, here is a step-by-step guide on how to write a polite meeting cancellation email when you cannot attend the appointment you had scheduled. Check out some examples of meeting cancellation email further in this article.
Write the email yourself
Do not leave this task to your assistant. You can have them remind you about writing this email but do not allow them to write it for you. Ensure you spare some time and write the email yourself. Let it come from your email address.
Provide advanced notice for cancelation
Ensure you give a notice in advance. Informing the other party in less than a day’s notice is outright rude and inconvenient. Try and give the other person some more time to readjust their schedules. In case it is a last-minute email, then you better have a very good reason.
Give a reasonable explanation
Explain why you cannot attend the appointment to avoid having the other person think that you just wanted appointment cancellation. Giving an explanation in this part of your email makes you look reliable and believable. However, do not provide a very lengthy explanation. Let your message be brief and straight to the point.
Propose a Time to Reschedule
When you reschedule the appointment, it portrays that you are still interested in the meeting. In this part of the email, mention a few time slots as you confirm with the other person about when it will suitable for them to meet.
Give the other person a chance to review their schedule and adjust it. You can include a CTA button with a link to your calendar in your email signature to enable the other person to pick a time slot that is convenient for them. Use online tools, like Newoldstamp, to help you get a clickable email signature.
End the email with appreciation
Make sure you thank the other party for taking their time to read the email and for understanding your situation. Appreciate them for agreeing to reschedule the canceled appointment. Inform them that you are grateful for their ability to find time once again even after you canceled the meeting.
Send the email
After writing the cancellation email, ensure you send it immediately or as soon as possible. Sending the meeting cancellation email sooner will help give the recipient a chance to reschedule their plans. Do not postpone sending an appointment cancellation email to the last minute.
In case the meeting was with multiple people, send the meeting cancellation email on time. With such many people, delaying to send the email missing reduces the chances of rescheduling a meeting where everyone can be in attendance. With multiple people, always be ready that none of your time slots will work. Use Cc or Bcc to reach all your recipients at once and on time.
Follow up the email with a personal apology
After writing and sending the appointment cancellation email, you need to follow up to make sure the other person has received it. Through a follow-up email, you can apologize some more for canceling the meeting, find out what the recipient has agreed on, and thank them for their understanding. You could also ask them to email or call you back to know their preferred rescheduling time.
Appointment Cancellation Email Examples
Here are a few samples to give you an idea about sentence structuring:
Canceling a staff meeting letter sample
Subject: Cancelation of Tomorrow’s Meeting
Dear Team Members,
I am writing this to let you know that due to some unavoidable emergency situation, I have to cancel tomorrow’s staff meeting that was scheduled for 9am regarding new policies for the department.
Please accept my sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused by such a short notice. I am aware that you time is valuable and how important the meeting was to each one of you.
I will communicate further by the end of the day concerning when we can reschedule the meeting.
Canceling a meeting with potential clients sample
Subject: Meeting Cancellation
Dear Mr. /Mrs. (Name),
I am writing to inform you that I have to cancel our meeting regarding checking the fabric types scheduled for Friday 15th at 4pm. I have fallen ill and I am now bed-ridden.
I am sorry for any inconveniences that my situation may have caused. I assure you that I wrote this email immediately I knew I could not make to come for the meeting.
Please accept my apologies and understand my situation. Once I am well, we could reschedule the meeting for a later date that is comfortable for you. Kindly send me your confirmation for when you will be available for a rescheduled meeting.
Thank you once again for your understanding.
Canceling an official appointment sample
Subject: Meeting Cancellation
Dear Mr. / Mrs. (Name),
I regret to inform you that I have to cancel our appointment regarding my Tax issues scheduled for this week Wednesday 20th. I am having travel issues and I might be stuck for a while.
I cannot currently suggest when the appointment can be rescheduled as my travel troubles might take along. However, I will contact you as soon as possible when I have more details about my troubles.
Please do not hesitate to write me back through this email. I apologize for any inconveniences that I may have caused and thank you for understanding my situation.
Having to cancel the plans you have made can be inevitable at times. Let us help you craft the best meeting/appointment cancellation email/letters.
Check out our Free meeting/appointment cancellation email/letter templates today and download them. Use them to write a polite and respectful email/letter when you have to cancel and reschedule your appointment.
Tips to Consider
No matter the person you were meeting up with, providing a decent reason is enough to have them understand you. Things happen and they should be professional enough to understand you.
For this to be achieved, keep in mind these steps while canceling a meeting;
- Appreciate the other person’s time
- Ensure you have a good reason for canceling the meeting
- Thank them for understanding you
- Show interest in the meeting by rescheduling
- Suggest new time slots that are suitable for them and you.
- Always be respectful and polite.
- Avoid canceling meetings as they affect your relations badly.
- Prior to meeting somebody whose services are being paid for, such as a consultant, check whether there is a cancellation policy available to their services
Canceling meetings or appointments that you have scheduled is something inevitable. You might face travel issues or fall sick and be unable to attend the meeting or appointment. Well if that is the case, you need to ensure that you consider the other party. Appointment cancellation means that you are inconveniencing another person. Make sure you call or write an email to inform them about the cancellation. Also, apologize, appreciate them for their time and also thank them for understanding your situation.
The most important thing when you cancel an appointment or a meeting is to reschedule and be considerate of the other person’s schedule. Calling might be fast but emailing is way more suitable. To write a meeting cancellation email, check out the samples and examples in our article for more details on the same. Also, try out or free downloadable meeting/appointment cancellation email/letter templates today! Let us help you remain considerate and respectful even when you cancel an appointment
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between postponement and appointment cancellation?
Postponement refers to means that a meeting or appointment has been pushed to a later date or time than it was originally planned. Appointment cancellation, on the other hand, means that a meeting or appointment is no longer scheduled or in plans.