New trend; refund trollers!

4 replies [Last post]
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Joined:
08/20/2012

We've been in business for 32 years.  Recently, I'd say in the last 5 years, we've noticed a class of people who make a reservation, come in, you never hear from them during their stay, and then when leaving they complain about everything and demand a refund or severe adjustment.  The pattern is the same; complain about things upon leaving, but never call the office to fix anything while they are there! 

When this first started, we folded once and gave a refund only to hear them laughing as they got in the car.  Never again.  It's so hard to stay positive toward guests when you have no idea what landmine is coming from so many of them. 

Are any of you seeing this and how do you deal with it?  We've gone to a policy of NO REFUNDS or adjustments for anything if you did not give us a chance to fix it while you were here.

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Joined:
06/24/2008

Sorry, no trend along these lines here either.  Your plan in place now is a good one.  We have a quick reference card in each room (as well as room booklet)- breakfast time, check out time etc. and at the bottom of each we have "If anything needs attention, please advise us so we may attend to it in a prompt manor."   So that would be our defense if they waited until checkout. 

Generic's picture
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Joined:
02/24/2011

Never had that happen. Ever. I have had guests go out and buy us gifts including bottles of wine and treats from places that we have sent them for special things. We have even had guests put a few bucks in our palm on the way out.

We had guests check out early, twice in 14 years. In both cases, we gladly accepted, because the problem was the guest themselves. We had one case where we WISH that the guest would have left early, we would have even gladly paid for their taxi and given then a discount just to get them to leave. 

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gillumhouse's picture
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Joined:
05/22/2008

In 17 years I have never had anyone demand a refund, The only chargeback I ever had was from someone who cancelled the reservation on the day of arrival from 6 miles away telling me I lied to him and was too far from where he wanted to be. THAT was early into my innkeeping and would NOT happen today. I look at it as having been my education. In all my years, I have had only 3 no-shows. The cancels I have had in the last 2 months cancelled well in advance to free up the rooms for someone else. Most benefited me that they cancelled!

Madeleine's picture
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Joined:
09/29/2011

We haven't experienced what you're seeing in quite the same way. We've had one guest demand a refund for something that was totally out of our control or, they would be happy to give us a chance to redeem ourselves with a free stay.

Other than that? No. I've not seen a trend to complain about anything when checking out and demanding a refund.

I think you've hit on your solution, tho. You have a plan in place. That's one of the best ways of handling irrational requests- be prepared with your response to them.

Meant to say that what you are experiencing has been noted here in the past in articles posted and stories told by innkeepers who know people who get all of their vacations for free by doing exactly what you've said they're doing.

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