Pick your battles

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

As I continue to learn in this biz, sometimes the battle is not worth winning. Guest booked multiple rooms and on arrival wanted us to refund her and then run the balance on the other cards. I was tired. I said no. She went off on me online. After that nothing was right. Sure, I could have paid the extra money running the rooms twice and avoided this whole debacle. Hindsight is 20/20 isn't it.

We did go out of our way on other things for this group but it wasn't enough after her not getting her money refunded and us asking her to just work it out with her friends.

The really annoying thing is that she did not read anything. Not the room descriptions, not that she was going to be charged in advance, nothing. Then there was also the embarrassment she suffered when her friends saw what room they got compared with the room she gave herself. And she makes it sound like none of this was known to her.

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Joey Camb's picture
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read the review and response - would perhaps have used the phrase "newly renovated in style and in keeping with our 100 year old house" or something along that lines, emphasizing that an ultra modern look in a  100 year old house would be weird etc - I would also say it was not a question of trouble to  refund the card but both exchange rates and transaction costs would be considerable and this charge would have had to be passed onto the guest.

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Madeleine's picture
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I like the 'in keeping with the age of the house'. That's a keeper!

I never even considered that the exchange rate would be different from what she paid weeks ago. Had I thought of that I could have mentioned it.

Joey Camb's picture
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you can alter management responses - ie you have to delete it and then put it on again, but it is something to keep in mind - its all about balance,  what you want to say is all the things that are important ie you have a modern toilet and not a 106 year old one is key - but the other parts blend naturally with the period of the property - could people who want an ultra modern ikea box please go to XYz - ours is not the place for you.

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06/24/2008

What age group are giving you problems? 

We complain about people stereo typing B&B's and yet that is exactly what we are doing to age groups.  In the last year or so I have had many 20 somethings stay here.  They love the rooms, floral prints, the mixture of antiques etc. saying it was what they were wanting.  I am sure there are those that look elsewhere because of the same.  We can't be everything to everyone.  Dare to be unique.

As for this guest/review get past it.  You already know it was because you would not reverse the charges and not because your rooms were outdated.  It is now too common in reviews to see that nastiness is because they did not get their way 90% of the time. 

While it sounds like if you had to do it over you would have reversed the charges and may do so if it were to happen again, you may consider stating you will do it for a fee instead of saying no.  I can't remember the article but read where it is better to come up with an alternative or compromise than to use what was referred to as the FIRM brick wall word of NO.    Every now and again I am reminded of that article, usually after I just told someone NO. crying

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

The problem reviewers, the ones who find everything dated and grandma and 80's, are in their late 20's give or take. But, there are a lot of them who say they love their rooms and never write a review.

I got my first review in two years on bb.com the other day. It's obvious I don't draw a reviewing clientele here. With this last one, I am firmly in 4th place now so I stop trying at this point. It will take another 10-15 5 star reviews to drag us out of 4th place and that's a year's worth of reviews.

So, let it go. I know I have to.

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

Actually, it doesn't work that way. The frequency of reviews is very important. Just one or two more than normal during the winter can make a significant difference.

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Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

Not so horrible. But you are going to keep getting that "dated" thing as long as you have florals, toile or quilts. It's just that way that people see it.

Incidentally, BB has a TV with a DVD player built in for $230 at the moment, without the DVD it's under $200 and that will end the discussion about TVs. We replaced all ours for flat screens and even if they are never opened, there are those people who appreciate that it's flat and in the room. And others turn it on to relax for 10 minutes before they got to bed. Put them on the wall and be done with it over the winter. We actually find that more guests look for them in the winter and for some, they won't book without them. But those who don't care won't be bothered that it's there.

I'd reply to this review pointing out that the descriptions are on the website. That the rooms were reserved with one credit card and you had no way to know that they would change their minds on arrival. And that considering that the card was a foreign card, had you reversed the charge they would have been left with a currency difference (because of the difference in buy/sell rates) in any case.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

It's the age group. Now have guests in those same rooms who 'love' the look. I do not have the patience to deal with washing white linens after every guest. If I had a laundry service, housekeeper AND an extra $1000 to buy it all, maybe.

BUT, if I can BUY the linens I buy, then someone else is buying this look, too.

If it's dated then so are thousands of bedrooms around the country. At this point, I think they're looking for things to complain about. Oh, mention the decor, a couple of other people did, too! Really make a point of how dated it is because NO ONE uses floral bedding anymore.

Just ranting. I am not changing the bedding because a couple of 20 year olds wanted what? You know, if you look at EVERY B&B in this town we all have the same damn bedding (in some cases the exact same bedding!) It's all florals and stripes and toiles or shiny, non-washable stuff. Do guests really want non-washabIe bedding? I am the only one who gets the 'dated, grandma' comments and some places have not updated anything in 20 years. And I get that because I didn't give them what they wanted. It's the worst thing they can say. To them.

Generic's picture
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You know that there are differences between old and dated florals and new florals. Take a look at JCP and you will see. I'm not suggesting all white at all, Just that  geometrics and modern is different than old toile and florals. 

Of course it's the age group. Have a B&B right across the street that draws and different crowd than I do, it's simply because I take online booking and they don't that my age group of clientele is different. You have to look at your online demographics, you might just be skewing younger than you used to because you do take online booking and you may need to cater to them. I'll tell you one thing about having a younger clientele... they drop money on stuff a lot easier than the older clientele and don't ask me about discounts.

 

Madeleine's picture
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And how soon before the geometrics brand me as 'dated' again? Or, 'trying too hard to be something they're not'?

I guess the real issue is this...they SAW the rooms online before they booked. They booked anyway. If it was so abhorrent to them why did they bother? Did they think it was magically going to be 'modern' when they got here?

No, they just had to pick on something. And they chose what others in their age group have picked as a 'problem'. Something they don't understand. History. Charm.

And you think if I changed one little thing, the quilt, they would all of a sudden think this is 'modern' and they'd stop using that as the worst insult they can think of? No, I'd have to get all new furniture as well. Nothing with character or history. All modern Ikea or Pottery Barn.

Because 90% of our guests fit the decor I guess I just have to get THEM to write reviews. It's kind of obvious I cannot please youngsters. Not sure what they want but it's not here. Maybe if you're that age group in a $75k car I should just refund you at the door and save myself the grief. Because if you can afford that car at your age you're looking for the resort next door, not here.

All this for a stinking one night stay. If you read further you'll see what they really wanted vs what they got here. At $600/night. Seriously, if they could afford that they really should have stayed at a resort. Not a mom & pop shop.

 

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05/22/2008

You have many WONDERFUL reviews!!!!! I hate for you to put yourself down because of this one. they were pissed about the no refund   so just took stabs at anything else. They saw your site and booked. I would state that in a response. Every b &b has their own unique style. A hip modern look would not go with your property. I think your place looks so welcoming and has really come along way since I first saw it.

You continue to do what works for you!Smiling

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

Maddy, I'm not to blame and neither are you, it's their expectations. But the point here is that as neutral as can be and they have little to complain about. And yes, the younger they are the more of a chance they will review.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

I cannot even GIVE away an old TV! The last room to get TV (had lost its cable connection when I moved my b-i-l into my Library rather then get another cable line) got a flat screen that we mounted on the wall behind the door - with a brass doorstop screwed into the floor to protect it! Looks as if the old TV is going to Iowa - daughter says the couple across the street from her sister take everything they put out to the curb. YEEHAA! Out of my store room!!

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

I just read the review and I know it really hurts, but in reality, it's not so bad. Her saying it was her first time in a b&b gives you the opportunity to explain in your management response how b&bs differ from hotels and how those rooms were recently renovated and beautiful. Photos on your website depict the rooms accurately.

As far as the charging, you can state that the rooms were reserved by one person, so charged to one person. Reasonable people will totally understand.

Getting 3 circles out of 5 is pretty good for a person ticked off at you! I seem to get 1 circle any time guests are unhappy with us.

I'm so sorry these PITAs are making your tough summer even tougher!

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05/22/2008

I agree a three is not terrible and you can use your response to educate. I am thinking you get so many pitas because your town is a real tourist attraction and most of them are more shoppers for stuff and not lodging. They want a place to sleep and if all they know is hotels...well you know what happensSad

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10/07/2008

This is when I always chirp in and say why it is so important not to oversell your inn. You DO NOT oversell your inn Maddie, what you present is how it is, and it is lovely! There is no secret shared bathroom or outside jungle gym you have hidden from anyone...Don't let the turkeys get you down! 

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

That's all I'm hanging onto. Everything that was complained about was completely available to look at (photos) and read about (in a variety of locations).

And, heaven knows, I'm here to ask. Phone call or email away.

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05/22/2008

Don't worry about it. Another PITA bites the dust...let it go.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

I guess my overall problem seems to be this age group. They are expecting, I don't know what, and they are not finding it here. So I'm seeing more of these 'dated decor' reviews on rooms that were JUST redone this spring.

Highlands John's picture
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04/16/2010

yes

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