This doesn't help

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Madeleine's picture
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The latest AARP magazine encourages readers to get the best price on everything by finding out what the competition charges, bring this up to the business and then ask them to do better than the competition's lowest price. They then go on to say that hotels are one of the best places to do this because empty rooms don't pay the bills.

The problem with this is that guests lump very small properties in with 'hotels' and make the incorrect assumption that we are happy to give them Motel 6 rates just to have some income.

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I like to type the info in myself and make my own reservations, to make sure it is correct.

I called again and read them my email address again, third phone call. Yes that is what we have, yes yes yes. I got the confirmation# and went into the system myself with the confirmation # they gave me, and there it is "Inkeeperva"  one N.  

And the real reason we (ahem, I am) are total control funkyfreakamaniacs.  We have to do everything ourselves or they won't be done properly, sorry there it is. If it stuffs up my day, my plans, then it is no good, let me do it. Here, gimmee that!

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Madeleine's picture
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It's odd how I need to control stuff and other stuff I can just let go. DH cannot let anything go. He's always wanting me to verify everything with everybody. I say, 'Just let them do their job.' As you know, they don't always do their job!

You do realize that even tho they got the info wrong they are sitting around telling each other, 'Do you know how many times she has called? Oh boy, a real PITA!'

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Madeleine wrote:

You do realize that even tho they got the info wrong they are sitting around telling each other, 'Do you know how many times she has called? Oh boy, a real PITA!'

BHAAAA HA HA

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

we (ahem, I am) are total control funkyfreakamaniacs. 

JB! We never would have guessed!! Eye-wink Deleting those garnish photos was certainly no indication of you wanting total control over your threads! Smiling

I know how you feel. I've been tempted before to drive to Little Rock (3 hour drive) just to go into a state office and personally walk them through the steps of doing something that should have been, but wasn't, easily managed with a single short phone call.

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Madeleine, I guess you don't even want to know how beautiful the Marriott hotel room is that I'm sitting in and all the amenities it has for $99/night.     It's a group rate for our BIG EVENT!  But, the hotel is currently running a special for anyone (which includes all the same things) for $105/night.

There are a couple of B&Bs in this city, but their websites are atrocious so unfortunately it's difficult to even see what they are all about! 

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AARP is just getting on the perverbial bandwagon... and why not - it seems to be working for pric eline and pro gres sive ins. 

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Update from a person trying to book a room, aka "I NEED IT NOW!"

I made a reservation over the phone. I know, stop the presses! Only because a big flag came up online and it would not complete the process and I had to call. It was not fun. After reserving, and I even gave my email addie, I hung up and went HUH! I didn't even get a confirmation #!  So I then waited, nothing, no email, waited some more, nothing, and got to CALL AGAIN.

Now you all think of me as ADHD innkeeper at times, but I mean dang it, I have DH on the I.M. line waiting for get the time off work, he has his employees on another waiting to confirm (a Friday) with them, and his boss on another.  Meanwhile I have ONE finger on the BLOCK OFF THE REZ calendar online to make sure we can get a way, and the phone book out and about to call the kennel to lodge the pup.

I need to know NOW. This is how we live, not just innkeepers. Our plans are NOW, RIGHT NOW. If I am here making the plans now, I need it now.

So they confirmed it is reserved, I got a confirmation #, and I made them spell out my email addie, and it is still not here. (and yes I checked my junk filter!)  

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RezKey sends an e-mail you will be called within 24 hours but I am USUALLY at the computer and do the call immediately. After I have the cc#, they are told they are confirmed and will get a confirm letter before the day is over. In your case I would have sent an immediate confirm e-mail with the letter to follow since you needed it NOW. I tell them when I get the cc# they are confirmed. Back in the old days (before online reservations), that is all I did.

Madeleine's picture
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Thank you for that. I always sent the confirms out immediately when I saw the pending rez. If there was a problem, I sent an email asking for clarification. Mostly because guests who book in the middle of the day online are probably not home (the phone number they give) or don't want to answer their cell at work (the alternate number).

However, now that we are doing deposits the day you reserve, I don't send the confirm until the card clears and I can't always run out to the card machine to do it immediately.

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Did William Shatner write that AARP article??!

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Aussie Innkeeper wrote:

Did William Shatner write that AARP article??!

You mean "The Negotiator"?

Just saw this one

Madeleine's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Aussie Innkeeper wrote:

Did William Shatner write that AARP article??!

You mean "The Negotiator"?

Just saw this one

I think a lot of seasoned innkeepers are able to 'walk away' from a guest's offer of 'something is better than nothing'. Where I think I miss out is the ability to find a common ground where everyone is happy. And that's where Quit Taking It Personally has to come in. Maybe this is the year I start treating my business as if I just work here instead of owning the place.

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Madeleine wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Aussie Innkeeper wrote:

Did William Shatner write that AARP article??!

You mean "The Negotiator"?

Just saw this one

I think a lot of seasoned innkeepers are able to 'walk away' from a guest's offer of 'something is better than nothing'. Where I think I miss out is the ability to find a common ground where everyone is happy. And that's where Quit Taking It Personally has to come in. Maybe this is the year I start treating my business as if I just work here instead of owning the place.

When you find that secret, can you please share it with us. I would also like that in my life, but i am here 24/7 and it is harder to detach. 

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I won't go down unless I have a ton of rooms and it is today but I am in the same boat as madeline as I want in a couple of years time to buy the next door property if my books arnt good enough they won't lend me the money so I want every penny though to show I can pay the mortgage of the other property when the time comes as it will need a lot of work so we will probably have to shut for about 3 months to get at least a few rooms up to scratch and the mortgage has to be paid in the mean time,

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 Hey I didn't do that! The forum burped! I only said it once. haha

Madeleine's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

 Hey I didn't do that! The forum burped! I only said it once. haha

Yeah, sure. Maybe it's you who are having a senior moment!

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Advertised specials is not what I am referring to in my comments, btw, I am speaking of the beggars who call and try to bargain the room rate. Everyone likes a discount, as is apparent in the black friday mania.  If you pay sticker price on a new vehicle, than buyer's remorse will be your only friend.  There can and should be an incentive, whatever that is for your inn. It could be add ons vs take aways...

I would never be as bold to say everything is worth it and they better pay it or else, that is not the way to bring in new guests/customers. Not here, anyway.  LOL

NOTE - as always, I have found the cheapest of the cheap to have the most $ and pull up in a brand new luxury car after bickering over the price. Now having grown up in SouthernCalf i know that anyone can lease a luxury vehicle, so I won't be that daft. The average person doesn't show themselves to be so STINGY.  BUT as Maddie shared with us, the AARP crowd are THE WORST.  Just go to Florida and you will see...

Another Innkeeper tshirt idea "This isn't Florida, We don't offer early bird discounts!"

Madeleine's picture
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I'M the AARP crowd, don't forget! Am I stupid for not trying to bargain with every vendor? Maybe.

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 80% of this forum is the AARP crowd, and no I didn't forget. You shared the article.

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 80% of this forum is the AARP crowd, and no I didn't forget. You shared the article.

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 80% of this forum is the AARP crowd, and no I didn't forget. You shared the article.

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In 2010 we got those type of calls. Not only was the economy bad, but a local b&b was using their discounted winter prices and on top of that had a 2 for 1. Our occupancy was still better than theirs and I don't have winter rates. I think their desperate rate plan really hurt them in the long run. Their TA reviews were pretty good, but the people would say things like "best bargain place in ____. It's hard to increase your rates with that kind of reputation.

When I would get those calls, I would just tell them I would not play that game and you get what you pay for (of course in a polite way). One good thing for us is that no place around us offers our room amenities, so if they were just looking for a b&b, they would try to get us to reduce our rate...if they were looking for an experience, then those are our target customers and they would still book with us. If they didn't have the money, then they really weren't our target customers after all.

Oh, by the way, that b&b would be getting $55 per night, then send the guests to a near by fine dining restaurant where you can't get out of that place for more than $120. Makes total lack of sense to me! Sometimes we innkeepers are our own worst enemies.

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 I am toying with the idea of telling them when they ask for a deal: My best deal is 5% off paid in cash. I'll give it to you instead of the credit card processor.

RIki

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Madeleine's picture
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What I have found with the 'pay cash for a discount' crowd is they expect a substantial discount and no taxes. And the reason for this is they do not expect anyone who takes cash to claim it on their taxes so it is 'free money'. I have had guests say that to me at the door. 'We'll pay cash.' I always say, 'Thanks, we appreciate that.' Then there's a pause and the guest asks why then are we charging them the sales tax?

It's tough facing that kind of mentality because I always sound smug and pompous when I explain we claim everything because someday we want to sell this business for what it's worth. Which we can't do if we don't show a decent income.

 

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Plus, even though many small business owners do it, it is unethical not to claim cash income and also not charge and submit the appropriate taxes.  So those types of guests are actually trying to encourage you not to do the right thing!

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Madeleine wrote:

What I have found with the 'pay cash for a discount' crowd is they expect a substantial discount and no taxes. And the reason for this is they do not expect anyone who takes cash to claim it on their taxes so it is 'free money'. I have had guests say that to me at the door. 'We'll pay cash.' I always say, 'Thanks, we appreciate that.' Then there's a pause and the guest asks why then are we charging them the sales tax?

It's tough facing that kind of mentality because I always sound smug and pompous when I explain we claim everything because someday we want to sell this business for what it's worth. Which we can't do if we don't show a decent income.

 

I have a friend who does it sucessfully. There is no disount on my end - and they know it - they are just getting the cut that would go to the credit card processors. I'm not talking about getting the normal cash for discount.  Five percent is not what those people are looking for. It's a more polite way of telling them I don't discount .

RIki

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I've had people try to do this with our B&B. Our answer is simple, please enjoy the hospitality at ________, from what I understand they are a great place to stay. Good luck. <click>

I don't think it pays to do this. To me, what they are saying on the telephone is one of two things...

1. I'm a cheap bastard, give me the lowest price and I'll run over there and see if they will be even cheaper. (Oh and I will be a PITA the entire stay.)

2. I'm want to stay with you, but I don't like your price, will you work for less? I don't think your work is worth your price, so work for cheaper... but don't cut down on your service level.

You just never know when someone wonderful will book instead of them and be a wonderful delight without all the price bickering. In fact, I have had quite a few people who have booked my cheapest room, lately. I don't upgrade them. I put them into the room they booked. I leave the doors to all my unoccupied rooms open, so that they can look in and see what they could have had instead for a few dollars more. I don't push, I don't prod, I don't even offer the upgrade option. If it's price then they made the compromise and need to live with it.

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I wish we could get all innkeepers on board with this concept. Working harder or working smarter?

gillumhouse's picture
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I will not cooperate with this kind of mentality - I know what I offer is worth what I charge (more actually but I will not get it here).

That said, I just made arrangements with a univ to take students on rotations for less than half of the fee for my budget room, but it will be coffee & juice only unless I am fixing breakfast for other guests and then they are welcome to breakfast.

I told the lady at the university that I am doing this because they are students busting butt trying to be employable, they are not sitting on their butts demanding handouts. I am willing to help students get ahead. The first one comes in January.

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 I agree....if we undervalue our own services and amenities we are doing a disservice to ourselves.

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