2011 Season is nearly over - let us count the ways...

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 This year is nearly over for most B&B's, as the snow begins to fall and people are less apt to travel.  I can think of at least 2 major thorns in my side this year, and all of you have related stories of the same.

Was this year the year for pitas, or worse? Seems like we had less pita's but more bad guests this year? Or am I still raw from the experience.

In a nutshell, feel free to share a title or one liner about your one or two bad guests.

Let me start:

"You are not where you said you are" guest.  Cancel at 7pm on the night with an angry phone call, and then drive all the way out  to where we said we weren't and demand their money back (which had not even been charged yet btw), in an obnoxious even violent way to prove we are not where we said we are. Innkeeper needs to call the police on mother with teen daughter. 

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gillumhouse's picture
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Yes, I can tell the season is over - revenue is down, utilities are up, and the insurance is due!

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Let's see... I had two fake reviews this year, left by real guests who apparently thought that it's okay to falsify a review if you are homophobic. And found out that TA will even tell them how to do it.

We got through our biannual inspection, with flying colours but told that we are at the top of our rating and can't move up, no matter what we do, unless we ruin the house by installing more bathrooms.

On the good side of things, we did better business this year than last year.

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This was my year to learn about taking in long-term locals in a hardship case. It was a financial boon but I learned several rules to follow and require IF it were to ever happen again. Had I not been trying to be such a "nice guy" and help those in distress, I would have charged at least 50% on the second room - the insurance company probably would have paid it. I should have thrown them out with the first locked door!

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gillumhouse wrote:

This was my year to learn about taking in long-term locals in a hardship case. It was a financial boon but...

I'm interested in hearing more about this. In the last five years we've had first an ice storm and then flooding here. The ice storm cut power to thousands of people here for a couple of weeks. The flooding drove hundreds from their homes for a few months. Both events caused all the local hotels/motels to be full for a long period, with people who had money to pay a decent amount with their own resources and insurance.

So with the long-term folks, what sort of rates did you give (as a percent of regular rates)? Did you still include breakfast? Still do daily room cleaning? What about laundering their clothing? Anything you share could be an education for any of us who may face similar situations some time.

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So with the long-term folks, what sort of rates did you give (as a percent of regular rates)? Did you still include breakfast? Still do daily room cleaning? What about laundering their clothing? Anything you share could be an education for any of us who may face similar situations some time.

Woman & 2 sons lived in upstairs of Dad's house. Upstairs had a fire and they needed a place to live while the upstairs was repaired/replaced (Dad stayed home). Since she had 2 boys 14 & 19, I would not allow that in one room so I gave them the 2 rooms sharing a bath for the price of 1 room + tax (I was not going to fight with the tax man on it being a long term).  Her Dad was here EVERY week with a check.

I made coffee every morning early so she had it before walking the 14 year old to the bus (to make sure he was on it). I asked what kind of cereal the boys wanted and bought a box of each - THEY did not eat it so I did! No breakfast. I changed sheets once a week and cleaned the bathroom. She took their laundry over to Dad's house.

Mistakes: Did not think about the phone extension in one of the rooms - if ever again, remove it. They will be required to have a cell phone as calls will NOT be taken on the house line. Kids friends came in - IF ever again, limited to the dining room, no upstairs except for the bathroom. At the end SHE brought a low-life to visit - again visitors in  dining room only. The only other possible guest area is my office/Library and I have come to the conclusion that it should not be shared due to the stuff I have in there (computer, records, reports, etc). No one had a job so they were here ALL DAY ! They will be told there is to be NO answering of the phone. I now have call forwarding - did not then - so that would have eliminated some of the problem of her answering MY PHONE! Even AFTER I told her that phone was my business lifeline. The 14 yo was an attension getter and locked the room door - twice in such a way that the safety lock was on. I believe the first time was an accidental consequence of him slamiing it (we were not home) so hard the frame moved enough to let it engage. Problem was the fire escape window that I leave on latch had been messed with so one locked was locked and the other was as it should have been. Fortunately, the windowthat is usually locked had been unlocked and opened so the Fire Dept was able to come over with an extension ladder to get in the room. Otherwise we probably would have had to break the door. I showed the little sh** what he had done and ordered him to NEVER touch those locks. 1 AM Easter Sunday night, we get awakened by pounding on a door. Turns out to me Mom and the 19 yo trying to get the sh** to open the door (the room with only TV at the time). I crawl out the bathroom window only to discover it is raining and to be reminded that THIS porch roof has pitch. I managed to get to the window to find it is open and the TV on and the kid is supposedly sleeping (through that uh huh!). I yelled his name twice before he realized I was not on the other side of the door. (I did not climb in because I did not trust myself to not slap the crap out of him.) I gave them notice they had to be out May 1 as I had guest coming in. I was fotunate in this instance that they were the ONLY guests during that time - muddy boots on stairs, clompping up & down, outbursts from the kid, etc

The oily boot prints of the 19 yo on the area carpet in the room with a TV were the last straw for that carpet. I replaced itfor about $100 so I got off fairly lucky with stress on the house.

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Wow! A nightmare. Lots of lessons learned. I guess one lesson would be to be careful about who you take long-term. Some people are definitely worse than others. Thanks for sharing. It will certainly help those put into a simlar situation.

I'm still picturing you out on that roof in the rain. Glad it ended OK!

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I'm still picturing you out on that roof in the rain. Glad it ended OK!

It was the porch at the back of the house. Add a long over-sized (even for me) fleece robe and (thank goodness) deer hide slippers, with cold rain dripping from the roof on the back of my neck to that picture. If THAT doesn't make you cringe, nothing will.

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I'm picturing a flash of lightening just as the kid looks up and sees you through the window. A Way to Stay meets Fright Night.

gillumhouse's picture
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Even without the lightening, he had the fear of GOD in his face when he realized my head & shoulders was in the room screaming his name!

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Arkansawyer wrote:

Wow! A nightmare. Lots of lessons learned. I guess one lesson would be to be careful about who you take long-term. Some people are definitely worse than others. Thanks for sharing. It will certainly help those put into a simlar situation.

I'm still picturing you out on that roof in the rain. Glad it ended OK!

Just had a call from an executive assistant who needs her boss from a pharmaceutical company to stay here for 4 weeks in January, and oh he needs 530am breakfasts each morning before his meetings/etc.  Wants to pay next to nothing to rent a room.

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Arkansawyer wrote:

Wow! A nightmare. Lots of lessons learned. I guess one lesson would be to be careful about who you take long-term. Some people are definitely worse than others. Thanks for sharing. It will certainly help those put into a simlar situation.

I'm still picturing you out on that roof in the rain. Glad it ended OK!

Just had a call from an executive assistant who needs her boss from a pharmaceutical company to stay here for 4 weeks in January, and oh he needs 530am breakfasts each morning before his meetings/etc.  Wants to pay next to nothing to rent a room.

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Just had a call from an executive assistant who needs her boss from a pharmaceutical company to stay here for 4 weeks in January, and oh he needs 530am breakfasts each morning before his meetings/etc.  Wants to pay next to nothing to rent a room.

Well, you know the hotel down the road will defintiely bring in staff to make sure he has his breakfast at 5:30 AM! For $59/night.

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Do you think that it's not necessarily more PITA's or demanding guests...just that you have highlighted them more ?........more aware of them ?........or they're just getting under your skin more ?

 

I say it every season myself....this year people were this or that.....when I get to the end of my season, such as now. I do in depth reflection of the past season......I find this year is like any other year.

Except....that I allowed certain individuals to get under my skin....and that some incidents were influenced by me.

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One Day wrote:

Do you think that it's not necessarily more PITA's or demanding guests...just that you have highlighted them more ?........more aware of them ?........or they're just getting under your skin more ?

 

I say it every season myself....this year people were this or that.....when I get to the end of my season, such as now. I do in depth reflection of the past season......I find this year is like any other year.

Except....that I allowed certain individuals to get under my skin....and that some incidents were influenced by me.

It definitely was a real and not just perceived difference. It was so horrible I took one couple to small claims court. I think the difference is that fewer and fewer people take responsibility for their own actions and decisions. Add that to social media and it gives them more power than they deserve. The strange thing is, it only happens in the summer season here.

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This past summer had an account bounce a check.....was told to redeposit when she handed me another months invoice payment check......those 2 bounced......same check and another bounced.

She behaved without a care in the world.

3 weeks later I caught her and the husband moving out......no emotions..........no regrets.........nothing.

I have people that have been able to collect half of what is owed so far.

 

I haven't had any kind of incident like this in decades.......last time I had to take anyone to small claims was mid 80's

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Around here, everything is under rent control. One of the big concessions to this is that rent is never forgiven, even in bankruptcy and the other is that it's collectable (including interest) for 30 years. That's a heck of a long time to try to run away... especially when it's easy enough to get someone's wages garnished.

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we can't here  which is a pain. had a tennant years ago who when he left owed me 6 weeks rent but I was glad to be shot of him by them as he was always paying rent late and messing me about. however it turned out afterwards he was a serial financial disaster moved out of his parents house at 16 got a council flat and didn't pay his council tax and stole things from his "friends" houses to hock to pay rent ie no job so how he thought he could cope is beyond me. Since he left me he moved back in with his godmother who let him live rent free for 3 months. Mind you while pleeeding poverty he look a 6 week holiday to Africa and 8 days to Austria so no dice there. flitts from job to job never making any progress. Don't think I could live like that as if you ever eventually want to do anything with your life your credit history is beyond buggered.

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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This summer gave us some pretty awful and demanding guests. From the horrible dog people to the shrinks who thought we were a business center, the snooty couple who hated the whole area and just couldn't understand what someone could do in this area for 3 a night stay so they left but had to pay, to the more than typical folks that think for $170 a night they would be staying at a Ritz Carlton. If I could have, I would have thrown in the towel this summer!

On the other hand, after the crazies left after summer, I don't think in all these years we've ever had this many kind, supportive, generous guests as we've had in the last few months. It's restored my faith in people and reminded me of how great being an innkeeper can be. Such a dichotomy!

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We had more guests asking for (expecting more?) for their buck:  early check-in, late check-out, and for the first time ever, to-go bags for their scones or muffins that they didn't eat at breakfast. 

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Oh I was just thinking of the collective incidents we have shared here on the forum. And people wonder why we are not goodness and light all the time, and people wonder why day after day after day of people bending or breaking the rules gets us upset.  Overall, it seems 2011 had more than it's share of BAD GUESTS.

I am not talking about guests we just don't get, or pitas, I mean BAD GUESTS. BAD INNKEEPER SHAKEN AND NO SLEEPIE GUESTS.

Madeleine's picture
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Fewer major PITAs, more snide, niggling commentators.

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