Cancellations From Returnees

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Highlands John's picture
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Is it me or are long stay returnees more likely to cancel than others?

I've had several instances this year of people who stayed with us last summer who consequently made a big booking for this summer which they then cancelled. Until now there was not a big issue as they cancel well in advance but this morning I've had a 7 night cancellation for next week. I'm furious, particularly due to the frivolous email I received saying decided not to come due to bad weather and husband being behind with the garden.

I'm very tempted to write back and say please don't try and book again in the future as your booking will not be accepted. Would you?

I get the impression that people have a lovely holiday with us, think oooh we must go back next year, book it and then as the time draws nearer decide they don't want to go back to the same place twice.

 

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Silverspoon's picture
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 We have a 50% (or 2-night min) deposit, 30 day cancellation period.  That pretty much takes care of the frivolous cancellations.  

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I didn't have too many cancellations, but I had the same experience as JB - it was the locals that cancelled the most.  Seems like they were more likely to just decide they couldn't make it or they realized they couldn't smoke inside.  HA! 

Other cancellations appeared to be genuine in my experience. 

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Anon Inn's picture
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We have a fairly generous deposit policy - one night down, all refunded if canceling 3 days prior.  For us it works.  I would not be happy in your situation, but can totally understand being overwhelmed with garden and such and needing to stay home and catch up.  They may book again, when your deposit policy has been adjusted and is firmly in place to work for you!

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10/07/2008

 The worst are locals, by far. They feel they have no policies apply to them, so we always need to be extra stringent and let them know what the policies are.  They might just not show up and expect to not pay. Or give you the they might be here wed or thurs...and won't make a definite booking, and I tell them they need to reserve the room.

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Proud Texan's picture
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05/30/2008

 EVERYONE, has to make a deposit.  If part of the deposit is non-refundable,  very few cancel EVER.   There has to be a death in the family before they'll cancel if they have to pay for it.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

I don't even have cc numbers for long time repeats. They call, they book, they come. If they don't I'm not charging them so ne sense in even having the cc number.

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

I used to not charge repeats the deposit. Sure enough, the only time we got burned was with a repeat guest! I didn't have their credit card either. Of course, I banned them, and they tried to make another reservation but no way!

Now, everybody gets a deposit taken.

Highlands John's picture
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04/16/2010

We do take deposits from EVERYONE, including these people and I suppose £140 is better than nawt, but their flipant attitide to cancelling has still p***** me off and we're still £400+ down on the deal.

Haven't decided whether to write and tell them they are no longer welcome, yet.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Highlands John wrote:

We do take deposits from EVERYONE, including these people and I suppose £140 is better than nawt, but their flipant attitide to cancelling has still p***** me off and we're still £400+ down on the deal.

Haven't decided whether to write and tell them they are no longer welcome, yet.

Did they notify you before your cancellation period kicked in? If not, and all you're can keep is the 140, then you might consider changing your policy to make guests responsible for all days reserved.

You're upset now, so don't send them an e-mail. What I would do is the next time they try to reserve, tell them that if they make a reservation, the full amount will be payed upfront and there's no cancellations and no changes.

Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

I agree with that - if they call to reserve again its payment up front and no cancellation - that way you will have calmed down!

Its the attitude that narks me off - was just one night cancelled but was trying the card as new they were comming for the event that was cancelled but obviously didn't do it quick enough as the card declined ie they had cancelled it or maxed it out. _ sent an email are you cancelling? yes we are sorry for the short notice - no mention of payment cos they knew we didn't have anything to charge them with - now that is a nasty peice of work.

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Highlands John's picture
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camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

I agree with that - if they call to reserve again its payment up front and no cancellation - that way you will have calmed down!

On the face of it a good idea, but I just would not have these people back now. Never.

If they were the sort of people who are likely to come back off-season maybe, but they've only ever been in peak summer, so no.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

I don't find that long time repeats cancel more often. I do find they get cranky if I won't let them rebook for next year in the same breath they are canceling this year!

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

The upside is that if they do return they may return often and therefore bring in more income in the future. Just part of doing business.

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Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

I think its this idea which to a certain extent is our own fault - they see it as staying with friends they don't see us as like a hotel where it is very clearly a business. Had it this week with our big annual event cancellation - why are we charged? - would the pre  mier inn or trav el tod ge give you anything back? Nope. Have changed my policy for next year - pay in full on point of booking no refund that it.

Highlands John's picture
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04/16/2010

I think you're right.

Don't think charging in advance is the answer for us, but am considring putting our deposit up for next year.

Always weary of making/changing rules to punish a (very) few that affect everyone.

Joey Camb's picture
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We have a lot of regulars for this event many of whom stay 3 nights who i won't enforce it as much - they are lifetime members of this event, its the people who havn't stayed before and only book 1 night and slot in around my regulars who mess me about - so thats the end of that!

Flower's picture
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06/19/2011

Those few is what makes changes to our point of view. Once bitten twice shy! We seem to learn by being burnt! Then it makes us look at all we do .. And then say could I have made this better? The loss of income means we can look at things in a different light. Also try and stop what is happening if you are not happy with the way it is .

I know the loss of our small income made us take a long hard look at are policy. YES ! we did make changes ...has it hurt us. NO WAY!

Our regulars understood why we changed. But after 5 plus years of coming the business lines changed. From both of our ways of looking at each other. Some times that is ok but some times when the line cross over from business to friends it hard to change the rules.

You bet the big chain stores alway change their policy. To make their business run better. AND to make a better profit. 

.

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

We implemented deposits last year after losing too many big bookings and having no recourse when the cards on file were bad. We changed the policy this year from taking the deposit one week prior to arrival (WAY too many bad cards) to taking the deposit on booking. We chose to give our repeats a 'perk' of not charging them in advance. Mostly because we know they are not still out there looking for a better deal.

New guests keep looking and will bail without that deposit in place.

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