Blackmail Overheard at a B&B - yes, I was evesdropping

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seashanty's picture
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I stayed at a sweet little B&B (location omitted to protect the innocent).  A woman with attitude with a capital A waited until checkout,  after breakfast, to complain to the owner that she was supremely dissatisifed, she hadn't realized her room would be so very small and not as she imagined it from the pictures online (she was there alone).  That she felt it was false advertising and worthy of a bad review on that basis. Besides, (her) bed seemed smaller than a queen.  seemed?  Either it was a queen or it wasn't.  

Can you spell BLACKMAIL?

 I was there when she checked in, there were other rooms with doors open, possibly available, she did not ask if she could be moved to a different room, no hint that anything was not as she thought.  

In my opinion, her room was lovely, with a gorgeous view, a desk and chair, and a nice big bed (sure looked like a queen to me) and full private bath.  

Because I was curious, I slowly refilled by own coffee travel mug at the self serve (loved this option) and listened to the checkout conversation.  

The innkeeper said, 'what can I do to make it better?'  Guest, 'you can take $75 off my bill'  Innkeeper, 'How about $25?' Guest, how about $50?  Innkeeper, 'Done.' 

The cat-like smirk on the guest's face was painful to see.  

I picked up my coffee and my bag and headed out to my car.  The supreme guest sailed past me and said, 'I NEVER pay full price for ANYTHING'.  And then got in her very new car.  

That expression makes me cringe.  I keep hearing it and I don't know why it bothers me so much ... I guess it's because I find that people are not bargain hunting but making up a complaints to get their 'deal'.

I suppose karma will kick that woman in the rear some day, at least I hope so.

frownangry

 

Generic's picture
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It's amazing what a little money can do to save you trouble...

http://www.dlink.com/ca/en/home-solutions/view/network-cameras/dcs-942l-enhanced-day-night-cloud-camera

It's in the cloud... too late to try to delete Smiling

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Arks's picture
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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

It's amazing what a little money can do to save you trouble...It's in the cloud... too late to try to delete Smiling

How many times have we wished a camera had been running when someone said something they later claim they didn't say. These days it's really possible to have that, though guests won't like having a camera on them all the time, and it's probably not ethical to have a hidden camera.

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Generic's picture
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Not even hidden. On the wall in few view. They just never notice it. Not my fault Smiling

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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

They just never notice it. Not my fault Smiling

yesyes

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"Do these pants make my butt look big?"

 

haha you can't win. we talk shop here, but what we do in real life is just do what we do. I know people come here and read all these little jiggly comments and think "Sheesh people give it a break" it is just us discussing small things of innkeeping. Some days we just need to talk bed sizes, gluten free recipes and more...

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Ice
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I NEVER would of given her any discount!  She had plenty of time to complain about what ever, waiting till checkout did NOT give me time to "fix it" !

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seashanty's picture
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Is there an option for a guest rebuttal? I suppose there is, right? as another guest I can come along and say the opposite.

 I am going to be watching for an online review and see if anything gets posted. amazing to think that this discount does not guarantee this princess won't STILL go on ta and post what her gripes were.  

I am going to email the innkeeper and tell her what I heard and what you've said about options for recourse.  Just in case ... 

I just know that princess goes everywhere looking for ways to get refunds. Probably returned her designer outift when she got home.  grrrrrrr.  

nasty business

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seashanty wrote:

I just know that princess goes everywhere looking for ways to get refunds. Probably returned her designer outift when she got home.  grrrrrrr.  

Never pays full price. I would almost PAY HER WAY to spend a couple of days with Eric Arthur Blair, just to hear if she scores a discount there! It would be interesting.

Generic's picture
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If I got an inkling from her conversations in email or telephone that she wanted a discount, I would have long ago suggested that she book elsewhere. I know of several B&Bs that need the business and would be bending over backwards for her. They just aren't me!

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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

If I got an inkling...

Oh, no inkling. This is a pro. No hint of displeasure until the blackmail at checkout time. THEN you get to deal with it. Give her $50 to just go away quietly, and suffer the doubts? Buck up to her threats and suffer the review?

Dealing with the public ain't easy.

My favorite Barney Frank quote:

Somebody complained about how politicians are a bunch of corrupt, lazy, no-count bums. Representative Barney Frank replied: "Y' know, the public is no bargain, either."

Generic's picture
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It may be the situation of one of those times that you accept the bad review so that others know you can't be blackmailed. 

Or, saying it to me in front of my digital camera so that I can post it to youtube for the world to see....

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Arkansawyer wrote:

seashanty wrote:

I just know that princess goes everywhere looking for ways to get refunds. Probably returned her designer outift when she got home.  grrrrrrr.  

Never pays full price. I would almost PAY HER WAY to spend a couple of days with Eric Arthur Blair, just to hear if she scores a discount there! It would be interesting.

You see Arks, now THAT would be great reality TV!

Breakfast Diva's picture
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This same type of thing is what a someone tried to pull on our assistant when we were away. From the moment they got here, they were searching for a discount. Wrote me a letter after their stay...trying to weasle out a discount.

NEVER!

I've had the bed size questioned before too! What's with these people? The same bed that most people say is HUGE, this one guy won't believe me when I tell him no, it's not a queen, it's a king.

I feel bad for the innkeeper, but she needs to stand up for herself more.

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

I feel bad for the innkeeper, but she needs to stand up for herself more.

Some days it takes all your strength, and you don't have any more...

 

Here I am spending hours on ONE issue for my own personal life, would you believe I returned a food processor without a recpt, brand new, and have a corp refund recpt and they refuse to give me the check.  It was a gift. They boast return any thing any time for any reason...what a load!

I am on hold for 12 minutes, then a recording, and so on and so on...as it continues on and on trying to sort out a small issue. Corporation treating you like rubbish. I am being nice, I am not getting mad...thankfully I used TWITTER to get their attention finally. And they responded there immediately with their 70k followers and looking into it. The customer service dept is the worst I have ever seen.

I have a headache from it all now. and so I wrote on FB:

 

Do you ever have those days when you are taking care of business and it is one long call after another, on hold, never speaking to a real person.

12 minutes to speak to a machine.
10 more minutes.
5 minutes.
8 minutes.
Still haven’t reconciled the issue.

You feel like that spawning salmon who keeps jumping at the small waterfall to get up there and keeps bouncing back off it again...and there is a big grizzly standing behind you up to his knees in the water with a hungry grin on his face.

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Total sidetrack, but if you ever don't get what you need from the disservice dept or from tweeting or a million phone calls, look up EECB - Executive Email Carpet Bombing.

You find out the emails of the top executives and you email all of them with your problem, what you have experienced at the non-rarified levels, what you want them to do to make it right and then you usually get what you need.

Another option is Consumerist.

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

I feel bad for the innkeeper, but she needs to stand up for herself more.

Some days it takes all your strength, and you don't have any more...

I do understand, I truly do. I'm so sorry it's one of those days/times for you. In that situation you do whatever you can just to get through the day.

What I was talking about was in more general terms. If I caved in everytime someone was unreasonable, I would have burnt out  years ago. PITAs suck the life out of you. Nothing will make me more resentful of my career/profession/life than feeling like I give my everything and then become a doormat. Sometimes making what would be the less confrontational choice really can result in lasting resentment towards all. There's a fine line and we all individually need to figure out where we are on any given day or time.

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I am there with you today - in a way. John ruined the ONLY mat he had in the color he needs to mat a painting (forgetfulness that only HE is not permitted to have) and I will have to listen to the explosion for the rest of the day minimum. Draining.

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angry as steam exits my ears! 

it is not that this woman doesn't want to ask for a discount when booking, she knows that her ugliness in person gives her more ammo and she gets MORE of a discount.  She is experienced.  And as someone else said, if it had been someone other than SS they would have gotten a good lesson. 

We all need to use this as a lesson.  Play this out in your head over and over. How could you turn this into your favor?  Obviously SS saw there were other rooms available.  Step 1, ask why this person waited until check out to speak up.  (we know but what would the guest's story be?)   

That DangryN queen bed thing!  I have had that, usually when someone has stopped by and wants to check out the room.  Is this a queen?  Doesn't look like a queen.  While I have never done this, if the above scenario were to happen here, there are 2 ways to address this:  Oh, lets go take a look & bring a tape measure.  1st you could show that the well fitted sheets are queens, secondly you could take the measurements and then Google and print the bed size demotions.  I am sure by doing so the person may begin to back down. 

There may still be a review but no discount.    And thinking of this what guarantees that this person will not write a bad review & get $50 off their stay? 

Thanks Eric for reminding me that TA has this in place for innkeepers.  We all hope not to need it and fail to remember it. 

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Sometimes if you have a large headboard or an elegant bed, a queen can look smaller than it seems!  Sad that you would have to go to such lengths to prove that something is what it actually is!

I caved on a few things, but I would not like to be threatened in this manner when I knew it was all probably a lie.  Grrrrr.....  angry

 

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Arks's picture
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Samster wrote:

Sometimes if you have a large headboard or an elegant bed, a queen can look smaller than it seems! 

Yes, that's the situation in my case. I bought massive, tall headboards and in photos my king size beds look like standard full beds! I may need to leave a tape measure and a bed size chart on my nightstands!

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I had a review that said single duvets were narrow - all single duvets in the UK are standard! they don't make them in any other size!!!! you can't buy them!

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Madeleine's picture
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You may want to email her and let her know you overheard the comments made to her (not the crap you heard later) and mention the TA mgmt option to report the guest in advance.

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Madeleine wrote:

You may want to email her and let her know you overheard the comments made to her (not the crap you heard later) and mention the TA mgmt option to report the guest in advance.

As an innkeeper I would be embarrassed but thankful to get that email from SS.  And if I were SS, would include that I was an innkeeper, heard the comments, as well as the comments made in the parking lot, and mention that TA has a reporting feature for such issues. 

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You all heard SS side of the story, the innkeeper was approached at check out and told it was an unsatisfactory stay. Period. You would not do the same thing? Feel the pressure to do this? I would. Esp if they demanded their money back. I absolutely would.

Call me a wimp.

I want guests to be happy, if they aren't then they aren't and I would do something.

Madeleine's picture
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Of course we would want to do something. Up and until she said 'bad review'. Then my Irish kicks in. Publish and be damned. She is entitled to her opinion, but not my money.

Yes, we have let people walk without paying. But not under threat. Just because they were sorrowfully miserable people and they were killing my joy.

We've refunded after the fact (we shouldn't have) just so the guest would never come back.

We've lost bookings that were for hundreds of dollars just because the PITA vibe was so strong I erred on the side of fewer dollars and no misery.

But don't threaten me.

OK, really, it was hearing what she said after the fact even tho we all know that's what lowlife people do. They can't manage to ask in advance so they threaten later on. Total lowlife.

Generic's picture
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The innkeeper should have stood her ground, it's a deal sealed.

I've had a few who have tried to hint at a discount, but I point out that other rooms were available at the time they booked and that it was their choice, not mine. 

And I would be submitting their name to TA's blackmail form. And to be truthful, we need someone to organize an International list of people like this. Name, address, phone number, car licence plate. The other side is that same database should be used for good comments as well, for example guest was environmentally conscious, etc.

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My hug would be for commiseration as I was tempted to smack her. She reinforced a scammer. Now that woman is poised to go to every B & B and pull the same crap. That innkeeper probably did not make $50 in profit on that stay - so she worked for nothing. With guests like taht, she will not stay in business very long - nor will any of us. I stood my ground with my last one because I do not want them to pull that crap on another innkeeper who might pull out the stops to get them to stay. Go - you booked it, you pay. That woman is a selfish person who one day will reap what she has sowed. Meanwhile, had it been someone other than SS who witnessed this exchange, there may be a clone running around out there.

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Can I give that innkeeper a hug?

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Can I give that innkeeper a hug?

how a about a swift kick to the butt for being so naive.

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