I left cash on the bathroom counter for our stay!

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Hillbilly's picture
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Well....this is a first.  A couple stayed with us over a week ago.  They never came to breakfast.  On Sunday we go to Church so we leave before checkout. (11)  When I got back from Church I tried to run his balance on his card.  You already know what happened. ( Decline)  So I waited a few days and ran it again.  This time it was able to be charged.  Yesterday, I received an email making sure we received the cash they left for payment. Ummmmm no!  So we told them nothing was ever found.  He was really made when we told him the balance had been placed on his card.  He then told us how bad we were and someone must of nabed it.  Really?  He then said he was going to write really bad reviews and contact his lawyer!  Im really tired of these  types of people............

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Just remember, we always make drastic changes to policies after one bad experience, sometimes we need to rethink how we do things, other times just write it off.  If we all did everything due to the bad apples, we would have pretty miserable places to stay!

And in the end, we become those really worn out grouchy unbearable innkeepers that people always tell us about, and we all understand why they are that way, but it doesn't matter, we can't be that way.

Life goes on...this too shall pass. 

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Joey Camb's picture
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this is why I changed to pay on arrival

(1) people who have to leave early - I am not getting up at 5am to do it.

(2) I know I have the money before they get a key.

(3) I am not faffing on in the middle of a busy breakfast ie 22 people trying to run up and down messing on

(4) don't want people's last memory of us to be me arguing with them if they have paid or not ie we gave our card when we booked so we must have paid etc - got very sick of this I can tell you.

(5) if they break anything or make a mess I know I have a card that works.

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Sorry this happened to you, Bob.  I agree with Maddie that you probably need to change how you handle payment for Sunday check-outs if you regularly attend church.  I always gave an itemized printed receipt for payment from my guest management software at check-out, along with their cc receipt when I ran their card at check in.  If the guest decided to throw it in the trash after they left here, that was their deal...I had a copy for my files with their signed registration form. 

Doesn't help much that you now need to navigate your way out of this situation! 

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Hillbilly's picture
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10/22/2011

I think I just got taking advantage of........  Its my fault I did not receive payment before I left for Church.  They found a way to get out of paying for their second night.  I just love working for FREE!

Joey Camb's picture
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not think sweethart - know! believe me ive been there done that, its why we now have a pay on arrival policy.

Hillbilly's picture
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Im going to be making changes!  Bad Bob! Bad Bob!

Madeleine's picture
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Bob wrote:

I think I just got taking advantage of........  Its my fault I did not receive payment before I left for Church.  They found a way to get out of paying for their second night.  I just love working for FREE!

Aren't you charging them? If you decided to refund, be sure you never let them stay again. And if they write a review to tell everyone how to get a free night, be sure to respond by saying there are new policies in place to avoid any issues in the future.

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Generic's picture
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If you take advantage of someone while they are out at church, the next place they will be staying is going to be a heck of a lot warmer than Bob's place Smiling

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Hillbilly's picture
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Thats too funny!  You guys have put a smile on my face!  I thought for awhile you would be reading about me on the news!

Silverspoon's picture
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10/16/2011

 We also collect any balance due upon arrival.  For those paying in cash we issue a cash receipt and sign it to assure them that they are paid in full. Most folks just want reassurance that they are not being "taken".  But of course, the one you mentioned is just a crook.  Not much more you can do about him.  I bet he's all bluster.

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Madeleine's picture
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Here's a learning experience for everyone...never leave your business when you're not finished conducting business. If your guests regularly check out when no one is there to handle business you need a new model. Hire someone to come in every Sunday for the sole purpose of taking care of guests who have not yet checked out.

We're responsible for conducting the business portion in a manner that leaves nothing to be pondered by the guest. How do I pay? Where do I pay? Who do I pay? Can I sneak away without paying?

Either get payment in advance on Saturday night stays and hope they leave when they're supposed to or have someone in house to take care of things for you.

Just because this is the first time doesn't make it the last. Be proactive. As much as I hate hanging around to get the stragglers to sign their cc receipts I do it or I have someone else here to make sure it is done.

Hillbilly's picture
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Great advice! Good old honor system no longer works these days i'm afraid.

gillumhouse's picture
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I totally agree. IF I am going on a city or any other activity where DH will handle the breakfast and check-out, I request that we settle up the night before as "DH does not know how to use the credit card machine". No one leaves my B & B without someone saying "goodbye, thank you for choosing the Gillum House."

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Sounds like a simple scam to me! Did he lock his room when he left? Did he drop his keys off at the office? No one would leave that kind of money just laying there, especially if you have housekeepers. Like JB said, nice tip.

No receipt, no payment.

As far as payment on arrival, we don't do that because a lot of our guests purchase things during their stay and I don't want to pay swipe fees 3 times for one guest (deposit, arrival, extra purchases). If we didn't sell a lot of extras, I would probably charge them on arrival.

Don't worry about the bad reviews. The guy will look like an idiot no matter how he spins it.

Hillbilly's picture
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This is why we have not charged their balance until they leave.  We have a gift shop and a lot of people buy things on the last day!  This couple did not come to breakfast their last day.  It's always something!  Thanks for the lift me up!

Madeleine's picture
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You can have it both ways...at check-in run the card to open a folio. That way you have the card swiped for the amount of the stay. If someone wants to add something to the folio at check out or during their stay, you only have to add the extras into that folio.

Make a separate folio for each room. You won't have more than one open folio per room number at any time because you close the folio when the room checks out. The room charges have been approved. You're good to go.

Of course it's tough to change a working policy for one loser, but sometimes that one person is the tip of an ugly iceberg.

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Good idea Maddie!  Our's is set up that way but since I do not have extras I do not use.  But this is what Hotels do.  They scan the card, get approval for payment then leave it open for extras, close on departure. 

Generic's picture
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Ask him for the receipt for the cash as proof. Because that is what the judge is going to ask him to show.

Arks's picture
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That kind of thing would get tiresome!

I'm for getting the full balance due when they arrive, not when they leave. What's the reasoning not to? They're obligated to pay it within a day or two anyway. What's the problem with getting it in the beginning?

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Madeleine's picture
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Arkansawyer wrote:

I'm for getting the full balance due when they arrive, not when they leave. What's the reasoning not to? They're obligated to pay it within a day or two anyway. What's the problem with getting it in the beginning?

I have no problem requesting payment on arrival. It's in the confirmation, it's in the policies. You don't get into a hotel without your credit card being handed over and a signature taken, why do guests think a B&B is different in re payment?

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Madeleine wrote:

Arkansawyer wrote:

I'm for getting the full balance due when they arrive, not when they leave. What's the reasoning not to? They're obligated to pay it within a day or two anyway. What's the problem with getting it in the beginning?

I have no problem requesting payment on arrival. It's in the confirmation, it's in the policies. You don't get into a hotel without your credit card being handed over and a signature taken, why do guests think a B&B is different in re payment?

Most guests think sicne they put their cc online to secure their room they have already paid. I know everyone here can attest to that same scenario, even tho we do not say it is paid in full upon reservation.

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

Arkansawyer wrote:

I'm for getting the full balance due when they arrive, not when they leave. What's the reasoning not to? They're obligated to pay it within a day or two anyway. What's the problem with getting it in the beginning?

I have no problem requesting payment on arrival. It's in the confirmation, it's in the policies. You don't get into a hotel without your credit card being handed over and a signature taken, why do guests think a B&B is different in re payment?

Most guests think sicne they put their cc online to secure their room they have already paid. I know everyone here can attest to that same scenario, even tho we do not say it is paid in full upon reservation.

This is the latest one...when the guests check-in I ask them to sign the deposit receipt as well as the balance receipt AND the reg form. OK, it's excessive, I know. BUT, the biggie lately is this, 'The deposit cleared months ago, why do I have to sign it?'

A lot of guests have asked why they have to sign the deposit slip. Do they think it's something I'm charging twice?

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Most A lot of guests have asked why they have to sign the deposit slip. Do they think it's something I'm charging twice?

[/quote]

If they ask, I just tell them that "guests in the past have gotten confused about where they stayed and told their cc company that they never stayed here. This way, they remember because they get a copy of what they sign." (and I have a signed copy to prove if they challenge )

 

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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For what it's worth, I don't have the guest sign the deposit receipt since it was processed as 'card not present'. The few times I've asked them if they even want it, they say no.

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

For what it's worth, I don't have the guest sign the deposit receipt since it was processed as 'card not present'. The few times I've asked them if they even want it, they say no.

For the RARE case that they forget that there were 2 charges to their card, it is wise to have a signature for both once they are there.  I had that happen once and was asked by the CC co for the signature reciept, I had it.  I may have gotten by showing it was a deposit/balance type thing but having the signature made it simple and less paperwork to provide. 

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Madeleine wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

Arkansawyer wrote:

I'm for getting the full balance due when they arrive, not when they leave. What's the reasoning not to? They're obligated to pay it within a day or two anyway. What's the problem with getting it in the beginning?

I have no problem requesting payment on arrival. It's in the confirmation, it's in the policies. You don't get into a hotel without your credit card being handed over and a signature taken, why do guests think a B&B is different in re payment?

Most guests think sicne they put their cc online to secure their room they have already paid. I know everyone here can attest to that same scenario, even tho we do not say it is paid in full upon reservation.

This is the latest one...when the guests check-in I ask them to sign the deposit receipt as well as the balance receipt AND the reg form. OK, it's excessive, I know. BUT, the biggie lately is this, 'The deposit cleared months ago, why do I have to sign it?'

A lot of guests have asked why they have to sign the deposit slip. Do they think it's something I'm charging twice?

Yes! They think they are being double billed. In our case, they have never SEEN a charge from us on their credit card, so why do they think there is one? And then there are those who whip out their cell phone and go straight to their bank account to double check it before allowing me to swipe their card.  Funny how efficient they are, and yet clueless. People have different M.O's that is for sure...

Madeleine's picture
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I've had to tell people who don't know how to check their cc online that if they find an error on the paper statement to just give me a call. I think they are relieved if still not believing me that they are not paid in full just because they used their cc when making the rez.

Then there are the ones who call from the road and when they arrive they sort of wave me off when I ask for the card again, 'I gave the information to the person who answered the phone, I don't have to give you my cc.'

Yes, true, you don't. And I don't have to give you the keys to the room, either.

Arks's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

'I gave the information to the person who answered the phone, I don't have to give you my cc.'

Yes, true, you don't. And I don't have to give you the keys to the room, either.

Excellent!

When they check into a hotel, even if they paid in full before arrival, they'll still have to present a credit card. Standard procedure. We have to have signatures and such for our records.

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10/07/2008

 Oh Bob what a wingnut. He didn't leave cash in the bathroom. You knew that the minute he said it. Tell him "Well you must be a big tipper!"

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