What is value if not a Free Night Stay?

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10/07/2008

and then some.

This is year two where I have seen a B&B review for an inn who gave a free night stay to a guest, plus gifts, dinner from a local restaurant as a donation and more.

The TA value bubble is lacking a bubble.

What ELSE could be done to add value to this stay. I know this is just unrealistic, I mean couldn't the free stay couple have said "Everything was awesome! Thank you Cindy and Bob for your hospitality!" and that be it. 

They got a value of several hundred dollars! Seems to me this is ingratitude to knock the inn back a bubble.

BUBBLE KNOCKERS!" a new term

Noun, meaning

a guest who stays for free and Lives the Life of Riley, and is an ingrate.

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Madeleine's picture
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Something from the reverse side of the coin made me more not want to do this than no shows or guests not thinking it was a big deal, etc. (BTW, I sincerely think guests think we 'write this off' so we're getting some sort of tax bennie from it. I will address that next year in my marketing.)

Anyhoo, the thing that bothered me more was an innkeeper somewhere was using this to jack up his/her FB likes by raffling a room off every week by forcing readers to like the inn's page to be entered into a drawing.

Is it me or is that mercenary and not really the intent? Or is the whole thing a marketing ploy and I should just shut up about how other people choose to participate?

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gillumhouse's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

Something from the reverse side of the coin made me more not want to do this than no shows or guests not thinking it was a big deal, etc. (BTW, I sincerely think guests think we 'write this off' so we're getting some sort of tax bennie from it. I will address that next year in my marketing.)

Anyhoo, the thing that bothered me more was an innkeeper somewhere was using this to jack up his/her FB likes by raffling a room off every week by forcing readers to like the inn's page to be entered into a drawing.

Is it me or is that mercenary and not really the intent? Or is the whole thing a marketing ploy and I should just shut up about how other people choose to participate?

It was not meant as a marketing ploy. From the beginning we had some who looked at it that way and we jumped on it immediately and said it could not be that way - strings attached. such as BOGO. Since giving it up, there does not seem to be any control. Others did not see it the way we did. 

Was it a publicity thing - yes, because without publicity the military would not know it was available. Was it meant to generate revenue? Yes, but later from friends and family and the military themselves REMEMBERING B & B when traveling - but NOT on Nov 10 or 11.

What made B & Bs For Vets was the Media grabbed onto the story that so many B & Bs all over the Country and Canada (even in Mexico and as far as Africa) were saying Thank You at the same time. The group that has it now is so busy doing the doily battle they forgot to publicize something being done all over the USA and Canada (now observing B & Bs For Vets for Remembrance Day).

No, Maddie, you do not have it wrong, it was meant to say thank you, not be a moneymaker or a contest. I do a first come- first gets - and I am giving a minimum of 2-nights so they can SEE my area and tell others.(This has happened for many although not for me. Sigh!)

muirford's picture
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05/22/2008

gillumhouse wrote:

 Since giving it up, there does not seem to be any control. Others did not see it the way we did. 

There was none of that control when we ran it.  You know that there were innkeepers on the website before PAII who did BOGOs, or 10% discounts, instead of free nights. We found out about that on the PAII forum.  That is almost impossible to police, although PAII tries by monitoring the offers and taking complaints, unless the vets who get turned away complain. These issues didn't begin when PAII took it over - innkeepers created that particular problem.

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gillumhouse's picture
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When we found them, we deleted them. I made a few phone calls about it because I was afraid it would tarnish the program. PAII did not do it - no. Innkeepers are responsible, but PAII put it as "Make your offer"  rather than list your participation with a free room.

muirford's picture
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gillumhouse wrote:

When we found them, we deleted them. I made a few phone calls about it because I was afraid it would tarnish the program. PAII did not do it - no. Innkeepers are responsible, but PAII put it as "Make your offer"  rather than list your participation with a free room.

PAII did have as their requirement for the program that at least one free room be offered, same as us. This is from their email, and it was repeated when you went on the site to submit your offer, at least for the first time.  I don't remember if it showed up when you were just editing an already existing offer.

"Although participation only requires one free room, we encourage  inns and B&Bs to offer as many as they can. We discourage innkeepers from making only one room free, so that others can be sold at a discount. The spirit of the promotion is about giving vets a free room. Additionally, we encourage you to offer rooms to all veterans, not just active military."

PAII is really not the bad guy in this scenario. 

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06/24/2008

Free plus even more extras than the ave guest gets when paying and yet they still don't rate it 5 bubbles?  I sure hope it was a slip of the mouse!

My one year using the B&B for Vets site provided a mixed bag - one who loved everything, one that seemed to have been dragged by his wife, and a 3rd that brought her young child that had no parenting.  This yr for Vets Day I chose not to be a part of the main site but chose to run it through FB.  Had several think about it but no takers.  

Then by chance we had someone call to book for Sat/Sun nights and happened to ask if we had a military discount.  I told him I could do one better than a discount and gave him Sun for free.  He was overwhelmed by the offer and he and his GF had a wonderful stay.  It so happened he was on his last leave before being shipped overseas for a yr.  And he left a $40 tip in the room with a very kind note. 

THIS may be how I say THANKS from now on.  A random act of kindness, whether it be on Vet's day or some other time of year. 
 

OnTheShore's picture
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08/28/2011

Didn't we have this same discussion last year? One of the points I remember was the idea that some people probably rate value based on what they would have had to pay if they had paid full price, not based on the fact that they got the thing for free (or other special discount).

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Madeleine's picture
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Harborfields wrote:

Didn't we have this same discussion last year? One of the points I remember was the idea that some people probably rate value based on what they would have had to pay if they had paid full price, not based on the fact that they got the thing for free (or other special discount).

It does sound familiar. This is why DH and I argue every year about whether or not to do the free night. I tell him all this stuff and he feels badly that everyone is going thru this and he doesn't want to do it. I'm willing to do it one more year. But if we get more no shows again next year and people who think this is some sort of entitlement then we won't do it again.

It's a gift. And, yes I know, the person gave a big chunk of their life to the military and some of the ones we had were disabled from it but so is DH and he never expects someone to do this for him anywhere we go.

Innkeep's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

It does sound familiar. This is why DH and I argue every year about whether or not to do the free night. I tell him all this stuff and he feels badly that everyone is going thru this and he doesn't want to do it. I'm willing to do it one more year. But if we get more no shows again next year and people who think this is some sort of entitlement then we won't do it again.

It's a gift. And, yes I know, the person gave a big chunk of their life to the military and some of the ones we had were disabled from it but so is DH and he never expects someone to do this for him anywhere we go.

My experiences have not been all that great re no shows, etc.  Our town has very little going on for Vet's Day.  I have listed a generous discount on the "specials" webpage that I give vets any time, and feel this is the contribution I choose to make.  If anyone calls me I would go for a Vets Day special, though.  I did that one year.

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10/07/2008

Harborfields wrote:

Didn't we have this same discussion last year? One of the points I remember was the idea that some people probably rate value based on what they would have had to pay if they had paid full price, not based on the fact that they got the thing for free (or other special discount).

We did. Exact conversation.

And if I didn't say then, I will say now "It is like getting the shaft"

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

I guess some people see their mission in life as being to give what they see as a neutral review, regardless of their personal circumstances. They're basing the value score not on what they themselves paid, but on what the average guest would pay. They know the rate, even if they didn't have to pay it themselves.

Yesterday a local business person called to get a couple of one-night gift certificates to put in a fundraiser raffle at her church. I thought, oh boy, that means some locals will put their relatives there on their next visit to town, and the extended family will be moving in for the weekend. Extended family means extended mess to clean up! 

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egoodell's picture
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06/01/2008

I think some people just don't want to give a "perfect" score for some reason. We get those who rave about us and our location, and then give us four bubbles on location or value. And they tell us they book us for all the extras we give that others do not. Don't know.

Riki

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Bubble knockers! Love it!

I wonder if the guest had a mouse control problem and meant to leave 5 bubbles for value? It does seem nit picky unless it was a horrid stay to not just go all in when someone gives you something for free, including their time and hospitality. Or, say nothing at all.

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