It's finally happened

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InnBloom's picture
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I've been reading this site for a couple of years, and contributing a bit for what, 18 months?  Secretly I sometimes wonder where some of you FIND the extra-special people who you seem to attract.  Okay, so you've finally sent some toward me.

I got an online reservation made late last evening (Tuesday) for -- let's call them John and Mary -- booking pretty last minute for Thursday.   There's a note that says Mary is gluten & casein free.  So sometime today I sent an email following up on what we usually offer for gluten-free guests and asking questions about preferences and some specific questions about the casein-free diet (which is new to me).

John writes back pretty promptly, but confusingly.  He confirms that Mary can't have any cow-milk products, but then comments "My wife Susie will also prep for the trip". 

Huh?

I write back and tell him I had assumed Mary was his wife, and ask to verify that Susie is not coming? (specifically confirming that we're talking about two people coming)

He responds that actually his wife Susie is coming with his daughter Mary and their son Junior, but there was only space in my online booking to allow for two names. And he mistakenly put his own name in there.  So ha ha, that's why I'm confused.  By the way, Mary is 6 and Junior is 4.  "Shouldn't be a problem, correct?"

By this time I'm out to dinner.  I email him back, quoting our stated policies (which must be agreed to when booking online---and which are repeated in the confirmation that is emailed automatically when a reservation is booked) that:

--  all of our rooms can accommodate one or two guests only  (I count either 3 or 4, depending on how I read the email)

and

--- that our inn is appropriate for adult guests (2 of them are clearly not adults)

and that

--- special occasions may occasionally allow for children, but only with the advance permission of the innkeepers (none requested or given)

I express my sincere disappointment that we won't be able to accommodate them as planned, and offer to help them find suitable other accomodations, and I cancel their reservation.  This is the first time in 4-1/2 years I've ever cancelled anyone's reservation, and I'll let you know what happens if the s*** hits the fan.  This has given me a stomach-ache.

What's amazing is just how upsetting this whole thing was to me. And how much of my already busy day has been tied up with dealing with this guy, and how i'm not looking forward to hearing back from him.  And of course, if I DON'T hear back from him by morning, I'll feel like I need to call him to be sure he understands that they have no reservation.

PITAS stink.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Joey Camb's picture
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It should not be expected that a B&B owner will provide a babysitting service (unless it secifically says so on their web site) for any child its that simple. Discovered a mum and dad had left their 11 year old in the room while they went out to a party and i was livid now the girl was no trouble (didn't find out till the morning) but its not the point is it?

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Madeleine's picture
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If you don't hear back, do call in the morning. We had to do this with a PITA who kept making reservations that we kept cancelling. We worried everytime that he would just show up saying he didn't know the reservation was cancelled. We emailed and called and his phone always went to VM and our emails were never answered. 

It's awful to spend the whole day worried someone is going to show up at the door who you are NOT going to accommodate no matter what the sob story is. (I can say this better than ss because there are dozens of places here to stay and there was not a lot where she was.)

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  Let us know how it turns out....

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seashanty's picture
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 if i were you  .... no,

no ... to clarify

... if this were happening to me in my innkeeping days, the mom with children would show up, as in 'i never received any messages from you that we had no reservation.'  and i would look at their sorry faces and feel miffed but sorry for them.  i would then pile all three in a bed, or two in a bed and pull the pathetic fold-a-bed into the room, and i would say ' i have to charge for the extra person in the room. ' and the mom would be miffed at me for the extra charge.  never mind that i would not have believed a word of 'we never got any message from you' ... never mind that i was going against my own policy in letting them stay ...

could turn out okay, could turn out 'yucky' .........

so ... i'm wondering what really happened at your place.

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InnBloom's picture
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That's what I feared, too, seashanty.  Along with Dad showing up and going postal because we cancelled them.

But here's what happened.  I wasn't home this morning when Dad called because I had to take my elderly mom to the doctor.  (Thank goodness!)  DH took the call, and Dad was not happy, but DH stood his ground.  Dad finally allowed as how maybe a B&B wasn't the best place for them to be booking.  (So sorry, guys, if that means they won't be coming YOUR way). 

Turns out Mom was coming to town for a conference.  DH is still wondering who was supposed to watch the kids during the conference (but he didn't ask). 

And probably the part that irks me the most is that I was turning myself inside out to accomodate this special diet and it turns out to be a 6-yr-old who I'm guessing wouldn't eat three bites of anything put in front of her anyway!  

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Bloom, now this is getting interesting.  Makes me wonder if they picked a B&B on purpose knowing that the owners were on-site so that there would be someone around to "watch" the kids while the mom was at the conference.  That is just wrong on so many levels though. 

We took kids 12 and up, but had calls for younger kids from time to time.  I guess my paranoia from some of the folks on here who talked about being taken to task for discrimination influenced how I handled the calls/emails from folks with younger kids.  Luckily, once I explained our property configuration and our breakfast set-up, most people figured out that we weren't the best lodging choice for kids.  We had a handful of guests with kids a little younger than 12 years old and they were great guests. 

We did have one room with a private entrance at the back of our second house with a full kitchen which I used as the only option for people with young kids.  I'd discount the room for no breakfast service and they could do their own thing without coming to the main house dining room.  Win-win.  But that was my choice to offer, not something that I'd gotten brow beaten into doing. 

Hope this guy has it figured out now for you. 

Generic's picture
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InnBloom wrote:

Turns out Mom was coming to town for a conference.  DH is still wondering who was supposed to watch the kids during the conference (but he didn't ask). 

And probably the part that irks me the most is that I was turning myself inside out to accomodate this special diet and it turns out to be a 6-yr-old who I'm guessing wouldn't eat three bites of anything put in front of her anyway!  

Worse yet, likely a child with autism... how the heck can you leave a child with autism unsupervised for even a minute?!?!?!

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seashanty's picture
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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

Worse yet, likely a child with autism... how the heck can you leave a child with autism unsupervised for even a minute ?!?!?!

[/quote]

for goodness sake ... they don't know that the child would be left unsupervised. 

i just have to say this ... because i seem to read near panic in your response  quoting your  ?!?!?!

autistic children and people are as varied as eyeglass prescriptions. the spectrum is so wide.  i have personal knowledge of autism and many will sit quietly, reading, drawing, working, they make no trouble whatsoever, you'd hardly know they were there.   please don't think you're going to see out of control outbursts and erratic behavior from every autistic person.

and the GFCF diet is not just for autism. 

http://gfcf.com/gfcfdietandhealth/gfcf-diet-and-health.html

 

gillumhouse's picture
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A man who is famous in his "world" (not the usualcelebrity) and his wife stayed here with their 2 boys. They cam in thier RV. His wife came in to tell me (I had been made aware of the autism of the younger boy in advance) the boy sometimes had "issues" and would not leave the RV all weekend so please do not be offended if he does not want to stay here. I told her no problem (the boy would then have stayed in the RV with the nanny.). I went into my office and heard a small voice say, "I like this house."

2 years later, the boy was mainstreamed in school and his Dad told me he was right up there with acedemics although a bit behind socially. You should have seen the grin on the Dad's face when I told him I was happier to hear that than the GREAT achievement HE (the Dad) had achieved the year before.

The autistic child at our church was not as fortunate - I do not think his condition was caught as early and his parents did not have the ability to dedicate the time to him as the other child had.

Generic's picture
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The point here is that this is a problem client from the get-go. And I'm not in a panic at all. I don't take young children at all. But a parent that has a child on a special diet for any of the reasons listed, should have certainly been planning ahead, not at the last minute.

(Besides, no child should be unsupervised at small age.)

If I had a child on the GFCF or SCD you better believe that I would be planning every single meal before I even left the house.

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seashanty wrote:

Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

Worse yet, likely a child with autism... how the heck can you leave a child with autism unsupervised for even a minute ?!?!?!

for goodness sake ... they don't know that the child would be left unsupervised. 

i just have to say this ... because i seem to read near panic in your response  quoting your  ?!?!?!

autistic children and people are as varied as eyeglass prescriptions. the spectrum is so wide.  i have personal knowledge of autism and many will sit quietly, reading, drawing, working, they make no trouble whatsoever, you'd hardly know they were there.   please don't think you're going to see out of control outbursts and erratic behavior from every autistic person.

and the GFCF diet is not just for autism. 

http://gfcf.com/gfcfdietandhealth/gfcf-diet-and-health.html

 

[/quote]

Just to add, I don't think anyone insinuated an out of control child with outbursts, although that is a possibility of course with any child, but a child with autism may not respond to strangers well if even at all, or in a strange environment if left alone. The family are the link to the child. 

The point is we have policies for a reason, we need to stick to them. Bend them if it is in our favor, meaning we can work things out for everyone at the inn, we have the overview of all the guests who will be here, a single room does not.

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Generic's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Just to add, I don't think anyone insinuated an out of control child with outbursts, although that is a possibility of course with any child, but a child with autism may not respond to strangers well if even at all, or in a strange environment if left alone. The family are the link to the child. 

The point is we have policies for a reason, we need to stick to them. Bend them if it is in our favor, meaning we can work things out for everyone at the inn, we have the overview of all the guests who will be here, a single room does not.

Don't know the child at all, for all we know the child might be the nicest child and quietest child in the world. But policies are in place for a reason. It should a lack of respect to not read the polices and not follow the policies, but to specifically violate them by saying you have two in the room and bringing three?

We had it happen to us earlier this year... a couple asked us for two cribs for the room for their infant twins... when we don't take children under 7 and the room is maximum occupancy of 3. 

Joey Camb's picture
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A B&B I know from another forum was expected to look after a chap's mother who was suffering with dementia (not the later stages but was confused to be out of her natural environment and with strangers) this chap was basically going to lock her in the room till he got back!

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Sorry Inn Bloom. We all know that feeling you have in your gut right now.

Madeleine's picture
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Sorry you got this. Kids don't count as people, so even though one of them has dietary issues you're expected to cater for, they aren't going to count those kids as paying customers.

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Madeleine's picture
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Twice in the past 2 days I have had guests hissing at me in the kitchen that so and so can't have that. As I'm putting it on the plate. C'mon people it's not like you didn't know the day before what was coming.

Highlands John's picture
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04/16/2010

Don't you just love 'em.

 

We don't accept babies and young children, our policy clearly states that we only accept children if they are old enough to have their own room and the full room rate will be charged. I had a booking for 2 people in the summer and for some reason (which escapes me at present) I had to call them about their booking. It was only then that she mentioned as a side, that they had a baby.

I told her we don't accept babies, cancelled her booking and refunded her deposit, but it's annoying that I was put in that position. She cleary put 2 persons of the booking, doesn't a baby count as a person and if not at what age does one qualify as a person ?

I frequently get people trying to book 3 even 4 people into a double room. "We'll manage" is the usual response to my telling them there is only 1 double bed. I tell them no and point out that my buildings, contents and public liability insurance is void if I have more than 6 guests at a time.

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  to the club.

You did well.

Generic's picture
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Don't you hate when people don't read.

GFCF is a diet often associated with treatment of autism. (And it's controversial).

Ice
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Don't let this get you down.

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gillumhouse's picture
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Sorry you got a PITA. May this be your first and last.

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