Guest damages

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06/10/2012

Hello all! I am new to the forums as well as to the world of bed and breakfasts. I am learning as I go and I am wondering what does everyone do when a guest damages something in their room? We had a guest stay this weekend that must have at some point used an iron in the room and laid it down onto a bench in the room. The cloth on the bench is melted and there is no way to fix it except to reupholster it. While I did not phyically see her with an iron, the bench did not have an iron mark before she checked in. So what would some suggestions be as to handle this and what kind of policies could be put into place for future incidents?

Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

Dear Marie - never make the mistake of thinking guests will read anything - these are two examples

(1) - on check in I tell each guest the breakfast time 7.30-9.30, its on the back of their bedroom door in large print, their guest information folder and welcome letter and yet still had guests banging on the door to get in at 7.15 - me call out sorry its not half past yeat - ie we arn't ready "oh we thought it was 7am" nope

(2) my neighbour has 4 kids (2 of hers and 2 of his) and usually at their house its a complete zoo however the other day they had the rare chance of all the kids were at the EX's and they thought they would take the opportunity to have a nice dinner at a local restaurant ie 300 yards away from the BB. Just one chap to check in. She has a large sign just over her bell that says if there is no answer ring 2 numbers (1) the home number (2) mobile. Now for myself I would have diverted the home number to my mobile but she didn't and this is what happened.

(1) chap arrived rang bell tried first number only - didn't get anyone,

(2) then stood in the garden looking suspicious for 30 mins

(3) then rang the online booking agency (boo kin g.com) who have an 0845 number from his mobile which is premium rate they then started ringing round to find him somewhere else, kept him on hold for  45 mins (ie cost him a fortune) till he eventually said just sort it out and ring me back.

(4) other neighbour saw him thought it was a bit suspicious and asked if she could help. told her what had happened. She rang me in case there had been some sort of emergency say with the kids etc did I know anything - I said Ill ring her on her mobile - she told me all the stuff is there ie she has a key pad to get in then there is a pack for him ie if he had just rung the mobile number.

(5) I then dashed round checked him in, poured oil on troubled waters and he was fine in the end.

Rang her told her what had happend told her to ring him and calm him also. HOwever this proves my point! never expect people to have any kind of brains! HUGE sign directly over the bell with instructions!!!!!

Also I have it on my reg form they have to sign on check in and if there is anyone I have a suspician will be trouble ie this weekend had 3 couples together on a 40th Birthday i read it to them. I have any excesss cleaning time needed to put the room right will be charged by the number of hours required at $20 per hour, if any discount is given to any guests for disturbance that will be charged to your card.

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06/10/2012

I have seen on the forums of others talking about a guest registration form, however I do not know what all to put in it and how to word it. Is there a sample or suggestions on how to create one? As of right now, guests just go online to make a reservation or call and then pay when they come. We have nothing that states our rules or policies and I am in the process of creating one. I just don't know what all to put in it, where to start, whether to hand it to them upon check in and then sign it or just set it in the rooms and hope they read it, or to include it in their email confirmations. There's multiple ways to do it and to hopefully hold them accountable for any future "oops". I'm learning the bed and breakfast routine as I go.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

If the guest is booking online doesn't your online program provide you with forms? A confirmation email form? A guest statement form? A registration form?

If you don't have these forms with your online booking service you will have to create them.

 

The least info you will need on a guest registration form is:

  • Guest name
  • Guest address
  • Check in date
  • Check out date
  • Total number of nights
  • Rate per night
  • Taxes
  • Room number
  • Number of guests in party

Then you can add your policies:

  • Non smoking property
  • Guests responsible for damages
  • No pets/children allowed
  • Quiet time is from (fill in the blank, if you need to have this)
  • 'The Inn' (your inn name) is not responsibel for lost or stolen articles. Please keep guest room door locked. (If you requie them to lock the inn door as well, put that in here, too.)
  • Check out time (Penalty for late check out.)

They sign underneath all of this.

Hate to ask, but I am curious...have you never stayed at a B&B before? What kinds of policies did you see at other places?

BTW, don't leave this in the guest room and expect them to read it. They sign it in front of you when they walk in the door before they get their keys. If you take payment at check in they sign it along with the cc bill. If they pay at check out, you still get this signed when they arrive. That way, if they leave without paying, you run their cc that you have on file and you have thier signature showing they were there and agreed to pay the above amount for the stated days.

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Joined:
06/10/2012

Wow. Ok. LOL. Long story short, the previous inkeeper took care of all of this. I have stepped up for the majority of her place and I have never worked for nor stayed in a bed and breakfast until last July but I started as a housekeeper and have since then moved up. I have found that I absolutely love this career and have found my niche and what makes me happy. So I shall play around on the rezo site and see what kind of forms I can find. Oh, I do know that an email is sent to the guests upon an online reservation, however I haven't seen for myself what all is on it.

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Joined:
05/22/2008

 Sounds like you need a crash course on innkeeping. At least  you should go to an aspiring innkeeper course. I know it is a bit after the fact now, but sounds like you really need to know more about innkeeping.

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06/10/2012

 Where are there such courses that can be recommended?

gillumhouse's picture
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Joined:
05/22/2008

Whwere are you? State? Can point you in the right direction from there.

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Joined:
06/10/2012

I am in South Central Pa. Is there a such thing as an online program?

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Joined:
05/22/2008

 you should plan to go to the mid atlantic innkeeper conference it is near baltimore next march.

get yourself innkeeping for dummies. nov 7-8 the newly formed pa associatio is having a course.you can also check the paii site.

 

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06/10/2012

I had seen the innkeeping for dummies and I honestly laughed when I first saw it. But now that I am doing all sorts of things blind sighted, I actually think I am going to get this. I had seen the seminar. Not to far from me. It's something that I want to discuss with the owners about possibly going to it. I wrote up a registration form last night to have the guests sign at check in. Not sure why we never had one until now but it includes the damage fees and such in it. Also never thought about a cleaning fee for those that choose to ignore the no smoking rules. Thank you everyone for the suggestions! I am definitely going to be using these forums on a regular basis!

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Joined:
10/07/2008

MarieF wrote:

 I am definitely going to be using these forums on a regular basis!

Welcome to the forum!

We implore you to take some classes. Use the forum and read all the past threads. But we are not here as trainers, in fact there are a handful here WHO DO INNKEEPING TRAINING, Presidents of B&B Associations, etc. 

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gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Goo gle Aspiring Innkeeper seminar - many of the State Associations hold them.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

So it sounds like the innkeeper who left was an employee, not the owner. And left in a hurry if you didn't get any explanation of how the reservation system works. Hopefully you can send a test email to yourself so you can see what the guest is getting. Otherwise you have no idea what they've been told about check in times or anything like that.

How do you know how much to charge them when they show up? There must be some sort of print out that you can get.

Hopefully you got a raise taking over all this responsibility!

Good thing you like what you're doing!

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06/10/2012

Yes, she was an employee, as am I. The reservation system figures everything out for me when they book. It tells me the cost, number of nights etc so that part is easy. I just don't know what details are sent in the automatic email confirmation. A behind the scenes staff member helps me out by answering the email for me. It seems complicated but it's actually pretty easy and I zoom right through it. The previous innkeeper had the mentality of the housekeeper "keeps house" and that's it. But anywho, she's the past and I'm the present and I'm loving it! Just need a bit of help and thank you!

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

MarieF wrote:

Yes, she was an employee, as am I. The reservation system figures everything out for me when they book. It tells me the cost, number of nights etc so that part is easy. I just don't know what details are sent in the automatic email confirmation.

All of the reservation systems do what yours is doing. BUT, you should be getting a cc of the email that the guest gets so you have it on file in case you need to refer to it, as we have done when guests have shown up claiming they have a rez when they have arrived on the wrong day. I print out the confirmation and show it to them on the spot.

Anyway, you didn't come here for this rez info, so let us know if you need any other help. Good luck with the new responsibilites!

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

MarieF wrote:

...I started as a housekeeper and have since then moved up...

A major understatement!

Glad you've found your niche! You're going to do fine, especially now that you're on this forum. Spend lots of time with the search function in the upper right corner. Pretty much every question and answer you can imagine is there. Then come to the group for clarifications.

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All saints can do miracles, but few of them can keep hotel. ~ Mark Twain

 

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

You'll want to have a statement on your signed guest registration form that states the guest is responsible for damages to the room or property. You'll need to take photos of the damage. At this point, I would get an estimate for repairs and send it to the guest with a copy of the photo showing the damage (date and time photo taken imprinted on the photo would be good) and ask for payment.

You may or may not get payment and there's not a lot you can do unless this is a lot of money and you want to sue in small claims court.

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