No shows

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Read the little sidebar article a few weeks ago about ideas for handling no shows and cancellations. Upshot is to listen to the guest and try to work something out that benefits all. Thought it was ok advice but maybe not from someone who has had guests screaming at them.

Opportunity to try it out today. Had a multi-night no show this weekend. I weighed the options- call and verify the guest remembers, verify they booked the correct dates, verify they didn't have an accident en route. Or, just charge them and open the rooms up.

I don't usually call as I believe we're all adults here. But I didn't want to open the room if the guest had made a mistake in the date and was all happy to be arriving today.

Called anyway. Was treated to a sob story about how they were sure they DID cancel because they know they canceled the moose safari. Whole story about the troubles they've seen. When I explained they had made a deposit and that they were on the hook for the next 2 nights things got serious. 'I want to speak to a manager.'

Hmmm. The 'manager' who's cooking breakfast right now or the 'manager' who's on the phone with you already?

Guest didn't know they had paid a deposit. (Does NO ONE read anything?) Booked online. Policies box checked. Email sent showing deposit taken. No refund.

But I still had to listen to the story. And have the guilt piled on.

Could not take the step advised in the blog post of offering that money as a voucher for a future stay.

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Country Girl's picture
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02/20/2009

We don't refund if someone cancels after our cancelation deadline or is a no show unless it's a weather issue and they absolutely can't get here.

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08/20/2012

Why are we even discussing this?  WHY would you give a refund (or voucher) to guests who either no-show or cancel at the last minute?  You can't run a business giving away rooms!  Establish you policies, publish them on your website, on the confirmation, make them acknowledge they've read it on the on-line reservation procedure and THAT'S IT!  No deviation.  People will give you sob stories...  TOO BAD!  Then, when they charge back on their credit card you HAVE PROOF when fighting the chargeback.  We win 90% of our CB appeals because we document the refund policy in several areas.  Stop being nice and start running a business.  A voucher is the same as a refund!  And if they write a bad review you respond with the policy!

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

Fourteen years... only one chargeback, a fraud on a stolen card. We explain the policy. Offer to send a copy of the invoice so that they can request it back from their insurance company. And explain our policy of sending out a voucher if we resell the night, which encourages them to tell us well ahead of time.

I have to say that if I have ever given a guest a voucher, I have never had a single regret about it. I've done it only when I have resold the days, never for the same amount, always with the ability to expire it, because it isn't tied to the original amount and in the few cases when they have booked, they have spent a lot more than they originally were going to spend (and often off-season) because they looked at the voucher as being found money. I've always ended up ahead of the deal and never had a bad review because of it.

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

I issued a voucher a long time ago. They never came back. They did want their money back when they told me they had made the mistake of RSVP'ing to 2 different weddings in one weekend. That whole group was a pain. The minister left at 4 PM and never said a word. We found the keys, cleaned the room and sold it again that night.

One of the bachelors in the wedding party needed a room but after listening to him all morning about what he was planning to do that night I decided not to tell him we had an open room.

I've had guests TELL me it would be the gracious thing to do (offer the voucher) after they tried to get out of their rez at 5 PM day of arrival. And, another time had an absolutely awful guest tell me she knew she wasn't going to be able to make it that night but didn't think she should have to pay as we weren't full anyway. (I hate that argument.) No deposit taken that time and I chalked it up as a lesson learned.

But, these are few and far between and fewer and farther with the deposit in place.

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04/03/2011

Madeleine wrote:

I issued a voucher a long time ago. They never came back. They did want their money back when they told me they had made the mistake of RSVP'ing to 2 different weddings in one weekend. That whole group was a pain. The minister left at 4 PM and never said a word. We found the keys, cleaned the room and sold it again that night.

One of the bachelors in the wedding party needed a room but after listening to him all morning about what he was planning to do that night I decided not to tell him we had an open room.

I've had guests TELL me it would be the gracious thing to do (offer the voucher) after they tried to get out of their rez at 5 PM day of arrival. And, another time had an absolutely awful guest tell me she knew she wasn't going to be able to make it that night but didn't think she should have to pay as we weren't full anyway. (I hate that argument.) No deposit taken that time and I chalked it up as a lesson learned.

But, these are few and far between and fewer and farther with the deposit in place.

Although you may not have been full, who knows who did not book because they wanted that particular room. Or wanted several nights but didn't book because that one booking  was causing unavailability of all the nights they wanted. So her argument was not necessarily valid.

Joey Camb's picture
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Had another really weird no show last night - 9.30 is our last check in wern't here so charged the card all went through fine but only had a home number - figured it was worth a try - man answered said she was in town on a hen party (the words we all dread) figured she would turn up at 2am drunk for me to let in. Said he would get her to ring - stayed up till 11pm when I really could have done with being in bed - no sight or sound of her so there we go - one less room to clean!

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Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

...said she was in town on a hen party (the words we all dread)...

I finally took time to research "hen party" and discovered it's what we call a bachelorette party. Now I know why you dread them!

Hen is a lot easier to spell.

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Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

the male version is a stag party - most bb's have a condition that they won't take them - we have on ours if you book and we find out you are a hen party you will be charge in full and will not be allowed entry.

Had one a while back booked as a school reunion and then in front of me said "hen party" and I could see it on her face she realised what a slip she had made - let them stay as there was only 6 of them and 3 were the mother and 2 aunts and 4th was a 6 month pregnant lady.

birdwatcher's picture
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02/22/2009

you got that right K-NO VOUCHER! we had a sob story the other day: the lady calls us from San Diego Airport she is to be at the Inn that afternoon (east coast) and she is literally screaming on the phone that the ENTIRE SAN DIEGO AIRPORT WAS EVACUATED! because of some kind of emergency and that she would not be able to get to the Inn and to please cancel the reservation-she even said cant you hear the emergency engines?

All I could hear was her yelling in my ear. I told her that I would have to check on that and would have to call her back....so of course if there was an evacuation of an entire airport it would be on the news-wouldnt you think? so we found out that her plane was delayed but the airport was not evacuated. We did not give her a refund..and told her so. although the owner of the inn did say we could give her a gift certificate-which we did. If it was our place we more than likely would not have done that.

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

Today, we had guests arrive with a rather dour look on their face. To make a long story short, they called to cancel (it was before check-in time anyway) and we charged them for the night. Then we looked them up online.... innkeepers in another country. Well, I lost a night, but I didn't have to do a stitch of work and my two days of all rooms... cleared up.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

Today, we had guests arrive with a rather dour look on their face. To make a long story short, they called to cancel (it was before check-in time anyway) and we charged them for the night. Then we looked them up online.... innkeepers in another country. Well, I lost a night, but I didn't have to do a stitch of work and my two days of all rooms... cleared up.

What I find appalling is that you discovered they were innkeepers. Innkeepers should know better!

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

We have had a few innkeepers from this particular country stay with us... oddly, none of them have had great ratings on their properties. And they seem to resemble their properties.

We always wonder if they will learn anything from the experience....(they don't).

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

 And they seem to resemble their properties.

This is kind of a joke with us. It does seem that innkeepers match up with their properties!

Innkeep's picture
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06/04/2008

Madeleine wrote:

Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

 And they seem to resemble their properties.

This is kind of a joke with us. It does seem that innkeepers match up with their properties!

I hope not.  Hopefully my property doesn't look as dowdy as I do crying

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07/21/2009

I resemble that remark cool

Silverspoon's picture
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10/16/2011

It sounds like basically they blew you off because they did not realize that they had money at stake as a deposit.  Probably figured that they could just not show up and leave you hanging with no repercussions to them.  You did exactly the right thing!   

Now go have a nice glass of wine and forget about them. cool

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Madeleine's picture
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Silverspoon wrote:

It sounds like basically they blew you off because they did not realize that they had money at stake as a deposit. 

Hadn't thought about it that way. I know the safari takes a deposit of half the trip. They probably never read the policies or their confirmation or their cc statement!

Highlands John's picture
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04/16/2010

I always email to confirm cancelations, so there's no excuses like "we thought we DID cancel".

I only very occasionally refund deposits when the cancelation has not financially impacted me.

Example1: Someone recently phoned on Wed. afternoon and booked a room for Sunday. On Thursday morning they phoned again because they'd got the date wrong and needed Monday, but we were full.

Do you really need these people booking again?

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05/22/2008

Charge them and forget it! No voucher, you went beyond what is required. Now you have an empty room because of them..hopefully you will fill it..but they forfeit their deposit. They checked the box Smiling

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

Sob story plus a quarter will get you a phone call.

I would have called them as well.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

The way I look at it is this - they paid a deposit for NOW and failed to keep their part of the contract (would have been holy Hannah if YOU had failed to keep your part and there was  no room if they showed up in the wee hours) and deposit is forfeit. Now why in the world would you want to give them a voucher for the amount of the deposit? You are out money because they broke the contract. So you give a voucher and they decide to use it in the future - Murphy says they are going to book it, screw up a longer reservation because they are booked for those nights, and after you lose the longer stay, will cancel again. Tell them to pull the sob story on Big Chain Hotel when they no show and see what the reaction is - it ain't gonna be a voucher.

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