Moving a reservation out

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Got a call from a guest who has had an accident. She cannot travel by car for the next 2 months. Her rez is 2 weeks from now. Here's the situation and question:

If she was cancelling outright I would refund less the $25 fee. If someone wants to change the rez to a later date, I don't charge the fee. I also don't extend the cancellation period so, it is now, not 3 months from now.

She has not called back after my leaving her a message (which she asked me to do) asking her if she wants to cancel outright or resched. The room is open again for booking, but I still have the deposit. I don't want to refund and rerun the deposit if she's just going to rebook, but I also don't want to keep all of the money waiting for her to call back. I called on the phone she told me to call on.

So, how long do I wait before refunding the deposit less the $25? (And then take the deposit again if they do resched.)

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Silverspoon's picture
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10/16/2011

 Unless she is a regular guest I would refund, minus the $25 fee.  Keep it simple.  Let her rebook when her life is in order rather than trying to have her figure out when she can come.  If she is a regular guest then she probably will rebook without any angst about your holding her money. In that case, I might wait a couple of days and then contact her.  

Hey, anything can happen in 3 months....perhaps you will win the lottery and be living on an island eating bon bons!! 

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Got the call. She apologized over and over. And things are a lot worse today for her than they were last week. She has decided to cancel outright and wait until things settle down.

Hillbilly's picture
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10/22/2011

1 would change your policy so this doesn't happen. I did this this year and it is working perfect! Make your deposit nonrefundable. They can move it to a different date,but no refunds. You lose the 3% fee from the credit card company when you do this. Keep it simple. You have done your part on contacting her. Keep the money until otherwise.

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

Depends on your location and how many other properties are doing nonrefundable deposits. Nonrefundable deposits could scare away a lot of folks from making a reservation.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

I think I'm the only place around here doing deposits. Period. There are a lot of hotels and there you can cancel without charge up until 6 PM date of arrival, so charging a deposit and having a 7-day cancellation is pushing the average guest. Having the cancel fee is pushing even harder!

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

Madeleine wrote:

There are a lot of hotels and there you can cancel without charge up until 6 PM date of arrival...

True, but several times a year I make reservations at Holiday Inn-type places and glady pay up front, non-refundable. The money for the full stay is gone from the time I book it, whether I show up or not.

Granted, this is to get their best price. I guess paying their higher price in order to get my money back if I cancel is like paying for travel insurance, but I always go for the lowest price possible, knowing I'm 95% certain I WILL be showing up to claim my room!

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

I've checked that pay-in-advance discount here and it's generally $10/night cheaper than being able to cancel at the last minute. Which I don't get. The guest now has all the pain with very little gain. And if you're willing to pay $250/night to stay at the Hilton, what's another $10 if it means you don't have to pay if you cancel? THAT'S cheap insurance.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Bob wrote:
1 would change your policy so this doesn't happen. I did this this year and it is working perfect! Make your deposit nonrefundable. They can move it to a different date,but no refunds. You lose the 3% fee from the credit card company when you do this. Keep it simple. You have done your part on contacting her. Keep the money until otherwise.

We've already changed out policy from no deposits taken at all to taking deposits with a cancellation fee. I know everyone told me as soon as I did this cancellations would disappear. Guess what? I'm making money on the cancellation fee! My cancellations are STILL 10% of all reservations.

I will not do non-refundable. Life happens.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

Madeleine wrote:

We've already changed out policy from no deposits taken at all to taking deposits with a cancellation fee. I know everyone told me as soon as I did this cancellations would disappear. Guess what? I'm making money on the cancellation fee! My cancellations are STILL 10% of all reservations.

I will not do non-refundable. Life happens.

I love it! At least now you're getting paid for the hassle!

Hillbilly's picture
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10/22/2011

I understand that life happens. I just want to make sure that their life does not cause a $ problem for us. So we tell people to make sure and buy travel guard insurance if they think they might need to cancel. Problem solved! Works wonders. We are happy to move the reservation to a different date worst case! Just thought I would share!

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06/24/2008

I would give her 48 hrs.  She asked for a call back, provided her number so I would give her the time.  After that just refund and send email notification of such. 

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

I would probably wait 2 days, then refund minus the fee.

Like you, I give them a choice, reschedule with no cx fee or totally cancel with a fee. I just got a call from a guest who chose to resched..he finally rescheduled from a year ago. I don't really mind keeping the money for extended periods...who knows, sometimes they forget! LOL

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

I'd wait a day for her to call back, then if there's no word, cancel entirely and do the refund less $25.

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