What do you do to compensate guests for 'Acts of God' or 'weather'?

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Alibi Ike's picture
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08/08/2010

Unfortunately, we were hit by a power outage due to the snowstorm this past weekend. 6 of our 7 rooms were jolly campers, liked the the cozy fireplace in the living room and the efforts we made to assist them in getting on the road in the morning. One room, however, is demanding a full refund or a free night because their weekend was ruined, they almost died driving home because they were so tired from being kept up all night (not quite sure by what as everyone else said they slept soundly), and there were no showers in the morning. (We did explain they could try to shower and see what happened. WE did not shower in order to save the remaining hot water for the guests.)

So, discuss...what should we do? (I'm already guessing I know the answer...but have at it anyway!)

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We had a tropical storm/hurricane this past season & had some super fab. nice guests. There was limited power/water for two days & (tho we have a generator/cistern) because they were so nice we offered them the two night's refund. Instead they told us to donate that money to our local rescue group (that we work with)! What great folks! 

gillumhouse's picture
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The ONLY weather related no charge cancel policy I have is in the winter if the roads on either end are hairy, I will post the stable fee and nothing else. I do not want the horses in any danger of any kind. And here the stable is up a HILL higher than anything else in the area and then the stable itself is down in a bowl. If we have ice, the rig is NOT going to get up it. We have walked the horses up to the trailer parked on the road several times because it that. They got down the night before OK, but by morning only a fool would take the rig down to the stable. And I charge the stable fee because I do not want to lose my stable. So far guests have been OK with that and so far - no cancels.

Alibi Ike's picture
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Check is in the mail. Don't need the aggro. BTW, this was a very well forewarned weather pattern, they could just have stayed home.

Hillbilly's picture
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Our property now offers TravelGuard Insurance. I would recommend all of you to get this set up on your site or at least tell them in person that you recommend this. This way if weather, death, car breaks down or they get sick you will still receive payment and they get their money back. This cuts down on a lot of trouble for us. This type of thing would of been covered and you would not be eating the cost. This way If a guest calls and cancels last min and they say "Its snowing in our home town and I can not get out of our town. I don't think I should be charged!" All you have to say is "Did you purchase the TravelGuard Insurance we recommended to you?" Then It falls on the customer. They really can't complain after that!

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 will look into it soon. Great response!

 

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Bob wrote:
Our property now offers TravelGuard Insurance. I would recommend all of you to get this set up on your site or at least tell them in person that you recommend this. ----

Then It falls on the customer. They really can't complain after that!

I do not offer Travel Ins on my site but I DO recommend it in my confirmation under the cancel policy.  That is my recommendation, they can do their own work to get it, I am not in the ins. business. 

I've had 2 calls just today canceling due to sickness - one for tonight, one for the weekend.  The one for the weekend just said I will have to call you back to reschedule.  That is fine but does not let you off the hook for this weekend.  There was no squalking, she knew the terms. 

Hillbilly's picture
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  I'ts really simple to set up.  There is an option for you to make a % off of it.  Or just a direct link to a spacific Insurance plan that is set up for you from TravelGuard.  Either way you don't have to do anything else but tell them "If you would like to purchase the Insurance there is a link on our site!"  When I set it up I thought it was going to be another thing to have to deal with during the day!  Nope!  Very easy!   Just something to think about offering!  We have cut our cancellations a great deal because of it.  Keeps people honest.

egoodell's picture
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Bob wrote:
Our property now offers TravelGuard Insurance. I would recommend all of you to get this set up on your site or at least tell them in person that you recommend this. This way if weather, death, car breaks down or they get sick you will still receive payment and they get their money back. This cuts down on a lot of trouble for us. This type of thing would of been covered and you would not be eating the cost. This way If a guest calls and cancels last min and they say "Its snowing in our home town and I can not get out of our town. I don't think I should be charged!" All you have to say is "Did you purchase the TravelGuard Insurance we recommended to you?" Then It falls on the customer. They really can't complain after that!

I will have to check that but I can't believe that travel insurance will cover, "I don't want to come because it's forcast that it's going to rain" which is the only one that I get. I will not hold them responsible if the police say "do not drive" but just because of rain? That was a tour gift certificate and it DID pour that morning but the afternoon by 12noon the sun was shining all afternoon and our tours start at 1pm. I'm proud we stuck to our guns - we could have booked the van 10 times over and they cancelled the day before. Their gift certificate is used.

RIki

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Proud Texan's picture
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05/30/2008

We've had numeous power outages for one reason or another.   Fortunately,  most of these have occurred when we had no guests.    For the few times they occurred while we were occupied,  if there were temperature extremes (Texas hot or Texas cold)  we offered guest a full refund if they wanted to go to a local motel.    We've never had anyone leave.   They'll stick it out and most usually enjoy their stay anyway.

Once, when Texas used to get rain,  we had an extremely severe thunderstorm accompanied by driving rains and shear winds.   We had a couple making the 3 hour trek from Houston coming to stay the night.  THEY WERE ON A MOTORCYCLE.   We were finally able to contact them.   They were hold up at a service station somewhere waiting for the storm to subside. I told them to find somewhere close by to stay and they would not be charged for the night.  Nope, they were coming.   They arrived about 2 a.m.  drenched to the bone.

I guess we just try to put ourselves in their place and do what is fair.

 

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

Proud Texan wrote:

...we offered guest a full refund if they wanted to go to a local motel...

Yes, if they don't stay due to "acts of God" I wouldn't charge them anything. But I got the impression from the original post that they DID stay, and still wanted the full refund. If they stay with the power off, I'd charge 50%. They're still using a bed and what amenities you can still offer, and they could have taken the full refund and left.

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05/30/2008

I'd probably give them a full refund or a gift certificate for another stay.  They weren't happy campers and I liked happy campers around here. 

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Arks's picture
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Alibi Ike wrote:

One room, however, is demanding a full refund or a free night because their weekend was ruined...

Of course they want it 100% their way. People always do.

Of course you can think of good reasons it's all beyond your control and you shouldn't have to absorb ALL the loss.

I'd say in situations like this that both "sides" should suffer equally. Cut it in half like King Solomon. A 50% refund.

Alibi Ike's picture
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They received a partial refund on the way out the door, as did everyone else. Not enough, even though it is mentioned in the email. 'Didn't go far enough.'

seashanty's picture
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Alibi Ike wrote:

They received a partial refund on the way out the door, as did everyone else. Not enough, even though it is mentioned in the email. 'Didn't go far enough.'

unreal. ungrateful. un-nice!

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BBBBoB's picture
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11/25/2008

 I would be hard pressed to take responsibility for things outside of my circle of influence. What is that phrase that Forest Gump coined ?... "S#it Happens"?

BBBBob

Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

with it being a power outage I would consider a partial refund but the external stuff? tough luck! we had more snow last year and earler than we have ever had but it was at what I call the level of slight inconvenience (ie drive a bit slower, start 30 mins earlier that sort of thing) and people were crying like little girls that it was "traffic chaos" miraculously people made it when you said there would be a charge mind! I apreciate in the US when it snows its proper snow but people should have travel insurance sorry!

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camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

 the level of slight inconvenience (ie drive a bit slower, start 30 mins earlier that sort of thing)

You know...common sense sort of things Sticking out tongue

Joey Camb's picture
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you would think! but no its TRAFFIC CHAOS!!!!

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camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

you would think! but no its TRAFFIC CHAOS!!!!

Someone said on this forum: Common sense is not common

Joey Camb's picture
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do not get me started!

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