According to the Federal Trade Commission's website, it would appear that cell phone service providers are by far the leading industry when it comes to cancellation fees for their customers. Regardless of your cell carrier or your mobile plan, it's likely that you have a hefty early cancellation fee that you agreed to cover in the event that you cancel your service before your contract expires.
Granted, clients are definitely not signing any long-term contract with an escort when they book an appointment with her. However, a cancellation fee could be something to consider in certain situations or depending on what services you offer.
For example, if you are willing to travel out of state or even internationally to see new clients, then obviously it makes sense to require a deposit when they book a chunk of your time. Charging a cancellation fee for these types of bookings can help ward off potential flakes and customers who are less than serious to the commitment they are asking for.
We all know that it can really upset our schedules when we have set aside time for a new client, only to have them cancel at the last moment. While this is certainly a pain, my policy has always been: "I don't owe anything to someone I've never met, and they don't owe me anything either."
While this may not suit everyone, it's worked well for me. If someone seems flaky, I would recommend always keeping your options open and planning tentatively rather than setting your plans in stone.
While doing some research on this option, I came to find that it's most common for escorting agencies to charge cancellation fees which I assume is due to the fact that they are more likely to be registered businesses and they probably already accept credit cards.
As far as independent escorts go, the ease with which a cancellation fee can be charged also varies significantly from one region to another.
During my research, I discovered this Hungarian escort's website which clearly states a requirement for 20% deposit and 50% of the full amount in the case of cancellations. The site claims that an agreement made by phone or email is legally binding under Hungarian law.
Obviously you should always consult a lawyer regarding the laws in the country or state where you are located.
I also discovered some independent providers who charged cancellation fees with different conditions as well. Another website I visited required a 25% - 50% deposit, depending on where she needed to travel and refunded this amount if cancellations were at least two weeks before the scheduled booking.
If the client cancelled a week prior to the booked date, they were refunded half of the deposit. And if they cancelled between 7 and 2 days, they got 25% of the deposit refunded. However, anything less than two days notice and the deposit was not refunded at all.
So ultimately, this is something only you can decide for yourself. Is it viable to require deposits for your time, or would the best policy be to simply blacklist any flaky potential clients after the first cancelled date they book with you?